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Topic: Balanced or Unbalanced Soundcard?

  1. #1

    Balanced or Unbalanced Soundcard?

    I am trying to understand how to hook up the best audio signal to my soundcard that has balanced/unbalanced option.

    There are xlr and 1/4 inch Mic and Line inputs. I heard that its better to use Balanced cables when recording Audio to eliminate noise interference.

    I have a Roland XP60 Synth. Is it better to connect it Balanced or Unbalanced to my Soundcard, Why or Why not?

    Can someone please help me as I am trying to understand the concept.

    I guess I am a little confused because I read that Microphones use Balanced and anything else like Synths use Unbalanced.

    How does this work. I wish to get the best quality transfer of Audio from my Giga System into my Mac Soundcard.

    Any suggestions?

    Please shed some light as it is dark in here!


    [This message has been edited by caveman (edited 01-03-2002).]

  2. #2

    Re: Balanced or Unbalanced Soundcard?

    Your XP-60 is, AFAIK, unbalanced so it won´t matter - just use unbalanced. If you have anything else you want to connect to your soundcard that IS balanced, you should definitely use balanced cables. Cleaner and better sound, less noise too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    San Jose, Ca, USA

    Re: Balanced or Unbalanced Soundcard?

    What is balanced?

    The balanced is a transmitter and receiver protocol, each input or output balanced Channels contains two dedicated signals (pair-signal) and one Ground-shield. It is A low impedance and called differential-pair or balanced signals (Hot(+) and Cold(-)). The pair-signal are out-of-phase (inverted each-other), which are also designed on purpose for best transmitters used, suitable for audio recordings and high-speed applications needed.

    Benefits to use the balanced?

    a> The balanced is a technology, which also be designed to handle well I/O signals, from 20 feet and up to 200 feet cable can be used, without loosing performance. Especially for MIC recording (vocals or acoustic instruments), which can be used to run the audio-signals through cables from one room to other control-room, for example. If the connection is less than 6~10 feet then you might not need it.
    b> Other balanced purpose is to minimize the noise, hum and interference possibility.

    Summary options:
    1> Balanced:
    To use the balanced as possible for getting best recording performance, that what it\'s designed for. And when you have more than 10 feet cable for audio connections would be a must.
    2> Unbalanced:
    Other cases, you can use the unbalanced, which is a general purpose used (signal and ground-shield), using high quality and short distance cables would be helpful.

    Hope this helps,

    [This message has been edited by LHong (edited 01-06-2002).]

  4. #4

    Re: Balanced or Unbalanced Soundcard?

    Thanks Simon

    Its lighter in here now!!!

    I appreciate the input. I basically do not use mics that much anymore, because I am a synth/Giga junkie.


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