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Recording from turntable into audio interface problem

Discussion in 'Recording' started by laoit, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. laoit

    laoit Active Member

    Hi everyone, this is my first post so please forgive me if the answer to my query is blindingly obvious to you all! I've searched online for a while and cannot find concrete evidence for me to continue!

    Baaaaasically, I own a Mackie Onyx Blackjack external sound card.{{ http://www.mackie.com/Products/onyxblackjack/pdf/Onyx_Blackjack_OM.pdf }} I initially bought this to connect my laptop to my studio monitors for production and it does the job great. I now however would like to attempt to connect one of my Technics (1210's), which has the standard RCA left and right output to it. What I want to do is connect the technics into the mic pre amp input/s somehow.

    The question is, is it possible for ONE of the inputs in the Blackjack to receive a stereo signal of the record being played on the turntable? If so can it then be recorded into logic so I can sample the record?

    If this is possible would something like this do the job > dsp_rca2xlr.jpg or this cb_1-4in-rca__16388_zoom.jpg Obviously the RCAs would have be female so the technics could plug into it, but hopefully you get what I mean.

    from what i've read but cannot really get a straight answer is that one xlr cable will only, however, carry a mono signal, I thought maybe it could carry a balanced mono signal OR unbalanced stereo signal?

    If it is only a mono signal then would it be better to give the RCAs one xlr each and place one into input 1 and the other into input 2 in the blackjack. Using something like this > IPE0000020445.jpg

    Thanks thumb,
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The first problem you need to address is that that interface doesn't have a phono preamplifier with the needed RIAA playback curve. It's also generally required to run a separate ground wire from the turntable to the preamp. Some turntables now have built in preamps, but I don't think that one does. You could use a standalone phono preamp or a decent stereo receiver or integrated amp to convert the signal into something appropriate for capture.

    That first picture won't record stereo. It will capture a difference signal which won't do you much good. The second cable will do the same thing with your interface. Both XLR and TRS (1/4" tip/ring/sleeve) can carry stereo, but the XLR seldom actually gets used that way and your inputs are not setup for that. They are two balanced mono connectors.

    The third cable is close, but interfacing unbalanced with balanced is not necessarily a straightforward thing. You may be best served by a pair of RCA-TS (unbalanced 1/4") cables. Check out this article on Sound System Interconnection.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Radial J33 Phono Preamp is about the best in the business (at this level) for going between the pickup cartridge and the inputs of your Mackie. There are other, cheaper, ones: RadioShack has a rock-bottom unit and there's a device named the PA005 from an Australian company called Pro.2.
  4. laoit

    laoit Active Member

    @ Bouldersound; Thanks for your speedy reply, I see now how necessary the pre amp is, I did not know about the RIAA playback curve until now, very interesting. Also I completely forgot about the GND wire coming from the turntables.

    @ Boswell; nice one for the potential pre amp suggestions, I also had a look around and found this cheapo bit of cabling/usb device that I guess would eradicate the need to input the turntbable into the Mackie as it goes straight into the computer, it also solves the ground wire problem > 43711-alesis-phonolink-stereo-rca-to-usb-cable-large.jpg

    using this I could potentially record samples into logic and have them played out to my monitors via the Mackie?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    That Alesis unit looks like it would do the job, probably with better quality than the RadioShack device. The documentation is a bit sparse, but it appears there is an edge-on level control and also a slide switch to switch in the RIAA equalisation needed for phono cartridges.
  6. laoit

    laoit Active Member

    Hey, I think I have sorted it all out now (without spending a penny), Thinking about what you guys have said I dug up this old mixer I had after remembering it had balanced TRS outputs (gemini FX-7000), so I connected the turntables up to it. Then I had the left TRS (from the mixer) going into input one on the Onyx Blackjack and the right into input 2. Pressed play on the Technics and it all seems to work fine - input one goes to the left monitor and input 2 to the right. I test recorded an old Glenn Miller record I had and aside from the crackle and pops it sounds great. So I guess the mixer acts as/is a pre amp and sets the signal up to be received by the blackjack?

    I think I could even hook up my Xbox to the mixer as well and have the sound from that coming through the monitors, even sample gunshots and various other interesting sounds from games, bonus!

    I appreciate the help from you two, I learnt something new and seem to have got even more out of it.

  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Yep, DJ mixers typically have phono preamps. Connect the Xbox to a line input rather than a phono input.

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