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Thread: Converting unbalanced instrument input to balanced XLR input

  1. #1
    nigeltufnel88 is offline Newbie
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    Converting unbalanced instrument input to balanced XLR input

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    Hi everyone!

    I have an apogee Ensemble which has 4 XLR inputs and 4 instrument inputs. I wanted to record 8 mics into it for live drum recording and was wondering if i can use one of these to convert the 4 instrument inputs into XLR without any loss in quality of the preamps

    Pyle PDC21 1/4'' Instrument To Balanced & Unbalanced (1/4''/XLR) Direct Box

    Neutrik NA2M-J-TX Miniature Transformer Balancing Adapter

    I wanted to post links for these but apparently u need to have at least 10 posts to do that.

    Any other suggestions are more than welcome!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    mjbphotos's Avatar
    mjbphotos is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    The Apogee only has 4 mic pre-amps. If you want to use 8 mics, you will need another device with 4 mic pre-amps and 4 channel output via digital - a quick look at the specs doesn't show it has line inputs?

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    mjbphotos's Avatar
    mjbphotos is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    The Apogee only has 4 mic pre-amps. If you want to use 8 mics, you will need another device with 4 mic pre-amps and 4 channel output via digital - a quick look at the specs doesn't show it has line inputs?

  4. #4
    nigeltufnel88 is offline Newbie
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    thanks for your reply...but it does have instrument inputs...a quick look at the specs:

    Eight channels of premium 24-bit 192K AD/DA conversion
    Four digitally controlled 75db microphone preamps
    Two fully balanced inserts on mic pre channels
    Four hi-Z instrument inputs capable of handling high-level instruments
    Two individual, controllable and assignable high level headphone outputs
    2-, 6-, or 8-channel monitor outputs

  5. #5
    TyphoidHippo's Avatar
    TyphoidHippo is offline 1Trillion K Platinum User
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    Instrument inputs are not the same as line-level inputs. If those inputs have at least some gain you can turn up (because mic level is a significantly lower level signal than instrument-level), you might be able to get a usable signal (no phantom power, of course - so only dynamic mics could even possibly be used here), but it's definitely not an ideal way to record a microphone. It's also not ideal to run mic preamps into instrument inputs, either...but you probably could get a usable signal that way, too - you'd just have to be careful with your gain staging. I, too, might have to second the suggestion of adding four channels, including a/d conversion, and using the ADAT input on the apogee... it's the only way that's not kinda ghetto.

    It's very unusual to see 4 channels of instrument inputs rather than line-ins. If they were line-level inputs, it would be cut-and-dry: get 4 external preamps and run them into your 4 line-ins.

    edit: And if using the dynamic mics through the instrument inputs was to work at all - you wouldn't need all the DI boxes (those are used for going from line-level or instrument level down to mic-level.. which you're dong the opposite of here) and such. Just go grab an XLR to 1/4" cable and see if it works. Simple enough to find out. I can get a signal from a dynamic mic using a cable like that through the instrument input on an old M-Audio interface I have around here somewhere - there's not very much clean gain available, though...and I wouldn't use it for recording anything that wasn't going to be sound-replaced completely.

  6. #6
    lewisprosound is offline Registered User
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    Yup you need 4 mic preamps that have an instrument in option, or 4 mic preamps alongside 4 external di boxes. You need a di box plug your instrument into a mic preamp, simple

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