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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => LAB Lounge FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Rob Gow on December 06, 2010, 10:50:36 am

Title: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Gow on December 06, 2010, 10:50:36 am
I have a curious audio problem, that only happens when I use my snake. This has to do with my subs, which are XLR fed.

When I'm not using my snake, everything is fine. I have TRS outputs on my Yorkville Unity processor. So I have a TRS to XLR adapter cable. No problems, everything is fine.

When I use my snake, it has a TRS male, at the fantail, and TRS female on the box (obviously) so I use the TRS to XLR at the box, and then XLR to the sub. Everything is fine, but it just won't reach to my rack from the fantail, so I use a TRS extender (male to female)

Everything checks out fine, until I use the extender.

The  TRS to XLR checks out fine:

Tip = pin 2
Ring = pin 3
sleeve = pin 1

With the TRS to XLR plugged into the box, it checks out fine as well, from fantail to the end of the adapter cord.

Again:


Tip = pin 2
Ring = pin 3
sleeve = pin 1

But when I add the TRS male to female extender to the fantail and check, this is what happens:


Tip = pin 2 & pin 3
Ring = dead on pin 2 & 3
sleeve = pin 1

If I test the extender on its own with a TRS to TRS patch cable, it's fine:

T = T
R = R
S = S

If I test the extender with the TRS -> XLR it checks out as well:


Tip = pin 2
Ring = pin 3
sleeve = pin 1

It's just the combination of all 3 that gives me the problem. My workaround is to not push the TRS to XLR in all the way, at the box. I know that's not right, but it works.


Any ideas?

Again, everything on their own checks out. With the snake, I plug a short TRS patch cable into the box, and testing from the fantail,

T = T, R = R, and S = S.

It has always done this from the start, with that combination. Of all 3 cords, has nothing to do with the sub or Unity processor, as the testing is just with the wiring alone. (final XLR cord from the TRS to XLR to the sub has no effect, so it's been left out of the testing chain)



Any ideas? Testing signal with a multimeter.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Geoff Doane on December 06, 2010, 11:13:37 am
Rob Gow wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 11:50


Tip = pin 2 & pin 3
Ring = dead on pin 2 & 3
sleeve = pin 1




Maybe there's something funny with the different connectors and they don't mate quite the way they should.  With signal on both pins 2 and 3 at the sub, the CMRR of the input will cancel out any signal that is there.  Pulling the plug part way out unbalances the signal, but now the input XLR just sees one signal, and it works.

I know it doesn't answer the question, but my solution would be to change the TRS connections on the snake to XLR, and use an extra long TRS>XLR adapter at the rack to reach the snake return.

GTD
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Alfredo Cannon on December 06, 2010, 11:19:34 am
If your snake is balanced cable (which it should be) just make sure your trs/xlr cable you plug into the box is also balanced cable. This is not your problem, though. Just making sure you know you should be using balanced instead of unbalanced.
 Now. What I would do is use xlr mic cable as extension cable. They connect to eachother to make one long cable. You can try that or just wait for a pro to answer your question. I'm an amateur sound guy.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Jeff Wheeler on December 06, 2010, 11:28:37 am
Get an extender that mates better with your other connectors?
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Christian Tepfer on December 06, 2010, 12:32:01 pm
In addition to what's already said, why do you use a TRS extender anyway? Since you do to XLR you could extend that with the better connector system.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Mac Kerr on December 06, 2010, 02:21:04 pm
Christian Tepfer wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 12:32

In addition to what's already said, why do you use a TRS extender anyway? Since you do to XLR you could extend that with the better connector system.


My thoughts exactly. Why are you using TRS to extend instead of XLR?

Mac
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Spence on December 06, 2010, 02:31:30 pm
Perhaps your "TRS Extender" is really a headphone extension cord.

Extend it with XLRs.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on December 06, 2010, 04:04:02 pm
Mac Kerr wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 14:21

Christian Tepfer wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 12:32

In addition to what's already said, why do you use a TRS extender anyway? Since you do to XLR you could extend that with the better connector system.


My thoughts exactly. Why are you using TRS to extend instead of XLR?

Mac


Because he has TRS male at the fantail (mixer end) and TRS female at the stage box end.  He stated his fantail did not reach to his rack so he used a TRS female to TRS male extender from the fantail to the rack.

I think he just has a bum TRS female to male patch cable and should consider changing the ends on his fantail to XLR OR building a quality TRS female to male cable with Neutrik or Switchcraft TRS connectors.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Jordan Wolf on December 06, 2010, 04:14:55 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 16:04


I think he...should consider changing the ends on his fantail to XLR...


The OP should just change over to XLR and be done with it.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Duane Massey on December 06, 2010, 10:24:41 pm
+1 on changing to XLR; Examine the TRS connectors closely. There are some out there that are not standard, but you have to look really close to see the difference.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on December 07, 2010, 09:54:39 am
Duane Massey wrote on Mon, 06 December 2010 21:24

+1 on changing to XLR; Examine the TRS connectors closely. There are some out there that are not standard, but you have to look really close to see the difference.

+2 - a diagonal cutters are the right solution for TRS males on a snake fantail.
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Donnie Evans on December 07, 2010, 10:16:42 am
+3...

Get one of these for your processor:

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/Adaptors/XLR_Barrel/CA-310/CA-310_TRS_120w.jpg

And one of these for your fantail end of your snake. (or better yet cut the TRS end off and install female XLR)

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/NEUTRIK/NA3FJ/NA3FJ_130w.jpg
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Gow on December 07, 2010, 01:11:27 pm
I'll give thy a try and see how it works, with the adapters then I'll probably re-wire things...
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Hanno Meingast on December 07, 2010, 07:12:45 pm
Are you maybe using Hosa brand TRS plugs? I have come across some plastic encased male plugs where the plastic was a bit too long, or to put it another way, where the metal is encased a bit too deep into the plastic, so the plug cannot enter all the way into the jack
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Gow on February 06, 2011, 08:25:57 pm
I ended up making new extension cables, with Neutrik connectors, and now the problem is solved. Everything works fine, so I'm glad I was able to find a solution!!!

Thanks for your thoughts guys!



I stayed with TRS, going to XLR was the next step...

I used these...

http://www.neutrik.com/client/neutrik/media/products/view/210_748797090.jpg

And

http://www.neutrik.com/client/neutrik/media/products/view/210_135449292.jpg
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Dick Rees on February 06, 2011, 09:23:55 pm
Well, it's good that you got it working.  But (as Mac said earlier) why didn't you just use an XLR cable to go from the TRS>XLRM adaptor at the snake box to the rack?  too easy?
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Gow on February 07, 2011, 12:01:38 am
Since I'm thinking of selling the snake farily soon, I'm not too crazy about hacking it up. By using the adapters, and an XLR cord in between, I just felt like I was introducing more connections than need be.

If what I did hadnt worked, I would have went the XLR route...
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Dick Rees on February 07, 2011, 10:35:36 am
You needn't worry so much about the number of connections as long as they are of a standard, robust type such as XLR.  They should of course lock together for security.  And at times it may even be desirable to not put "all your eggs in one basket" for quick trouble-shooting or replacement.  Staying with standard, readily available cables should always be preferred over making proprietary cabling......unless you make up plenty of spares.  
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: brian maddox on February 13, 2011, 11:48:17 pm
Donnie Evans wrote on Tue, 07 December 2010 10:16

+3...

Get one of these for your processor:

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/Adaptors/XLR_Barrel/CA-310/CA-310_TRS_120w.jpg




sorry, i know the OP's issue has been resolved, but i have to jump in...

these adapters are an abomination that should never have been invented.  why, you ask?  well i'll tell you...

they always get plugged into a devices 1/4" jack with an additional xlr connector plugged into the end of them.  this introduces a tremendous amount of leverage on the connector not to mention providing a very convenient 'pole' sticking out of your gear for you to trip/snag on.  just a very, very bad idea.

if you must adapt 1/4" male to XLR female, please use a proper adapter wired out of separate connectors and a piece of wire, even if said wire is only 3 inches long.  infinitely safer and easier to strain relief.  that's the right/only way to do it.

brian
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on February 14, 2011, 01:36:44 am
brian maddox wrote on Sun, 13 February 2011 21:48

Donnie Evans wrote on Tue, 07 December 2010 10:16

+3...

Get one of these for your processor:

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/Adaptors/XLR_Barrel/CA-310/CA-310_TRS_120w.jpg




sorry, i know the OP's issue has been resolved, but i have to jump in...

these adapters are an abomination that should never have been invented.  why, you ask?  well i'll tell you...

they always get plugged into a devices 1/4" jack with an additional xlr connector plugged into the end of them.  this introduces a tremendous amount of leverage on the connector not to mention providing a very convenient 'pole' sticking out of your gear for you to trip/snag on.  just a very, very bad idea.

if you must adapt 1/4" male to XLR female, please use a proper adapter wired out of separate connectors and a piece of wire, even if said wire is only 3 inches long.  infinitely safer and easier to strain relief.  that's the right/only way to do it.

brian



Now let's say you have a bunch of rigs out and each of needs a set of adapters for every bonehead BE or musician that forgot his or hers at home.  I would say that the barrel type adapters are the correct item to put in the tool box.  I own several dozen barrel type adapters and they have NEVER caused any damage to any of my gear.  I also own several patch cables with TRS to XLR in all genders and they also have never caused any damage.  For quick fixes, I'll take the barrel adapters any day, for patching between equipment for an entire event or semi permanent use, I'll take the patch cables everytime!
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: brian maddox on February 14, 2011, 07:23:02 am
RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS wrote on Mon, 14 February 2011 01:36

brian maddox wrote on Sun, 13 February 2011 21:48

Donnie Evans wrote on Tue, 07 December 2010 10:16

+3...

Get one of these for your processor:

http://www.audiopile.net/products/Adaptors_Connectors/Adaptors/XLR_Barrel/CA-310/CA-310_TRS_120w.jpg




sorry, i know the OP's issue has been resolved, but i have to jump in...

these adapters are an abomination that should never have been invented.  why, you ask?  well i'll tell you...

they always get plugged into a devices 1/4" jack with an additional xlr connector plugged into the end of them.  this introduces a tremendous amount of leverage on the connector not to mention providing a very convenient 'pole' sticking out of your gear for you to trip/snag on.  just a very, very bad idea.

if you must adapt 1/4" male to XLR female, please use a proper adapter wired out of separate connectors and a piece of wire, even if said wire is only 3 inches long.  infinitely safer and easier to strain relief.  that's the right/only way to do it.

brian



Now let's say you have a bunch of rigs out and each of needs a set of adapters for every bonehead BE or musician that forgot his or hers at home.  I would say that the barrel type adapters are the correct item to put in the tool box.  I own several dozen barrel type adapters and they have NEVER caused any damage to any of my gear.  I also own several patch cables with TRS to XLR in all genders and they also have never caused any damage.  For quick fixes, I'll take the barrel adapters any day, for patching between equipment for an entire event or semi permanent use, I'll take the patch cables everytime!


for the record, i wasn't speaking of all barrel adapters, just specifically those with a male 1/4" connector on them.  that being said, i have to say i can't follow your logic.  are you saying that barrel adapters are quicker to implement than wired adapters?  or cheaper to have in your inventory so you can implement them in many different systems?

i will say that the argument of 'it's never caused a problem' is an inherently flawed one.  there are lots of things we all do every day to prevent bad things from happening, not because they already have before, but because they so clearly could...

all this being said, it's your gear and your gig.  you are obviously free to do what you think is best...

have fun.  good luck!

brian
Title: Re: Curious audio puzzle (TRS -> XLR)
Post by: Rob Gow on March 01, 2011, 11:22:13 am
Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 07 February 2011 09:35

You needn't worry so much about the number of connections as long as they are of a standard, robust type such as XLR.  They should of course lock together for security.  And at times it may even be desirable to not put "all your eggs in one basket" for quick trouble-shooting or replacement.  Staying with standard, readily available cables should always be preferred over making proprietary cabling......unless you make up plenty of spares.  


I find I get stuck in rock climbing mode, one less connection in the chain = one less piece that can fail.

Wink

It's been working well ever since. I too don't like the idea of a big piece hanging off the jack. All my snake returns are TRS, so all my cords that attach are 90 degree neutrik ends, so theres less chance of someone fumbling in the dark accidentally kicking something.