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Old 12th November 2014, 11:59 PM   #1
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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Default How do I get balanced audio out of a standard XLR mic?

I have this standard microphone:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use it to pull audio into my camcorder and my laptop, which can only be done by adapting the XLR plug into a common 1/8th inch jack. I accomplish this by using this balanced XLR-to-1/4" adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Which plugs into a 10 ft stereo cable that adapts 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch. This:

Amazon.com: Hosa Cable CMS110 1/8 inch TRS to 1/4 Inch TRS Adapter Cable - 10 Foot: Musical Instruments

So here's the problem. Both the left and right channels coming out are identical. This results in phased silence when it's plugged into my laptop (because the DAC I use converts stereo inputs to mono), and audible unbalanced stereo when using my camcorder, which just sounds weird. Obviously neither are desirable. I want the L and R channels balanced so I get clean mono. The Hosa adapter says it's balanced, so why do I get unbalanced audio? More importantly, what can I buy instead that will give me the result I want? I would really appreciate links to Amazon or similar sites for a 10 ft XLR-to-1/8th" cable, or a proper adapter to replace mine. Thanks!
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Old 13th November 2014, 01:58 AM   #2
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your taking the opposite ends of a single phase feed from a microphone and wondering why your getting squat when you sum them to mono?(if only i had a nickel for every time i gotta teach a noob 'bout balanced lines shessh!)
i can point you to a few primer texts on mic's and balanced lines...
but in fact your solution can be easily assembled with a small handi box a couple of jacks and few bits of wire...
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Old 13th November 2014, 03:11 AM   #3
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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You don't have to be condescending.
I'm really not looking to do any soldering and whatnot. Just looking for a simple $10 solution somewhere.
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Old 13th November 2014, 04:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL2 View Post
You don't have to be condescending.
I'm really not looking to do any soldering and whatnot. Just looking for a simple $10 solution somewhere.
Could you back up and explain what you are trying to do? I honestly cannot understand your 1st post in entirety. The answer to the question you posed about why the signal is unbalanced is that the cable you are using is unbalanced. However, the rest of your post sounds like you are trying to use the single microphone as a stereo source (L and R); is that correct?

EDIT: OK I read your post again and the mic spec again and it seems the silence you are getting is because you need a mic preamp to get the signal to line level. The whole balanced/unbalanced thing is a red herring.
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Last edited by leadbelly; 13th November 2014 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:03 AM   #5
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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No, preamp has nothing to do with it. It's just a phase cancellation. It's not that it's getting minimal sound, just none. I'm not trying to do anything with stereo, but my camcorder records in stereo, and the 3.5mm input is stereo. It won't record in mono. So I need to output a balanced signal where that one channel is 180deg from the other, that way I won't get awkward sounding doubled audio, Having opposite signals will also solve the laptop problem, as the DAC will convert them into a mono signal that doesn't cancel itself out.

So are you telling me that the cable is the problem is the cable? But the cable has two isolated separate channels, so I don't see how that makes sence.
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:07 AM   #6
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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Would a cable like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-CSS...a+interconnect

make any difference, as this one specifically says it is balanced, assuming the cable is the problem
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:10 AM   #7
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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Also, as far as the laptop, if I unplug the cable slightly so that only one of the ports is connected, it works
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL2 View Post
No, preamp has nothing to do with it. It's just a phase cancellation. It's not that it's getting minimal sound, just none. I'm not trying to do anything with stereo, but my camcorder records in stereo, and the 3.5mm input is stereo. It won't record in mono. So I need to output a balanced signal where that one channel is 180deg from the other, that way I won't get awkward sounding doubled audio, Having opposite signals will also solve the laptop problem, as the DAC will convert them into a mono signal that doesn't cancel itself out.

So are you telling me that the cable is the problem is the cable? But the cable has two isolated separate channels, so I don't see how that makes sence.
You are somehow conflating a balanced signal with 2 channels. They are not even close to being the same thing. Your theory about perfect phase cancellation resulting in no sound at all is silly. Read up about it yourself if you don`t want to listen to advice.
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MattL2 View Post
Also, as far as the laptop, if I unplug the cable slightly so that only one of the ports is connected, it works
Sounds like a pinout issue.
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Old 13th November 2014, 05:37 AM   #10
MattL2 is offline MattL2  United States
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I don't know what that means. Look, all I'm asking for is advice. I'm glad that you know this stuff but I obviously don't. All I am asking for is simply a solution to my problem. Is that something you can give?
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