splitting line inputs

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by jt7747, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. jt7747

    jt7747 Guest

    Hi, first timer here, I play in a small jazz band and am always trying to think of low cost ways to produce a nice recordings.

    For piano bass and drums I use a couple of cheap mp3 players with stereo line input for piano and bass, and a zoom h2 for drums. Mixed down this sounds real nice.

    Recently I had a gig with vocals, so I used my small behringer mixer to record bass to left, and vocals to right on one of my recorders. The trouble is, once I'd differentiated the left and right I then wanted to 'merge' both tracks to mono, and then split that mono feed to two keyboard amps.

    So, the questions, firstly is it OK to join left and right outputs into one mono output just with a hard wired connector wire? Will this damage my little mixer?

    Equally, if I want to take a source (eg vocals) and split it, is it OK to use a simple splitter lead? Eg split it so one side goes to mp3 recorder, and the other side goes to an amp. I'm confused as to whether all these impedance differences will wreak havoc with my components.

    Or are there a multitude of small boxes that will a) split a signal into two mono outputs, and b) join two mono signals (stereo left and right) into one mono signal?

    Thanks for your time
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Half the point in a mixer is to mix signals. Can't you use 2 inputs on the mixer?
    I don't think you'll damage anything by doing it but you'll probably overload the input and it'll sound awful.

    Splitting an output is OK but you lose a small amount of signal volume to all connected devices in the process.
     
  3. jt7747

    jt7747 Guest

    Yes, my small mixer (eurorack UB502) has 3 inputs.

    Here's what I have: bass in, vocals in

    Here's what I want: in the mixer, to put bass on the right, put vocals to the left, and then record the stereo output via the headphone jack to my mp3 player. This means I have two separate tracks for later mastering.

    Easy.

    But, I then want to amplify those tracks. So I want to take the main stereo out from the mixer, merge it to mono, then split the merged track to feed into two amps.

    That should make more sense. I can do the first bit easily. How do I do the second bit without frying my gear?
     
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Aha... my misunderstanding.

    Cheap and nasty way:
    Get an insert cable (not a Y lead) and plug it into a balanced input on the amp. This will work but sound different from what it should.

    Or:
    Get another mixer (I see them for $20 since it's discontinued now) and use that.

    I still think the Y-cord-in-reverse will work but is still less than ideal.

    You CAN use a Y-cord to split the summed signal to the amps but you'll need an extra 3 or 6dB of oomph, I can't remember which.
     
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    So going into the mixer is being accomplished already. Now you want to feed the single, mono sound out of the mixer into 2 devices at the same time plus a stereo output to the recording device?

    I would say, either do what Codemonkey suggests and get that second mixer (which still doesn't entirely solve the problem) or start rethinking your approach.

    The first question I have would be - why are you doing what you're doing? What's the motivation? Maybe that will help us determine what can be done.

    Second, give us more detail about your amps. Do you they have a pass through?

    Third, are you tied to that mixer? You do realize that it's not just the weakest link in the chain, ridding the planet of all B***inger mixers would actually solve world hunger, cure cancer and create world peace all simultaneously.

    I could certainly accomplish everything you're asking for on a simple Mackie 1202. You can pick those up on EBay for a song and they'll last until shortly after the last cockroach dies.

    Cheers-
    J.
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Mackie mixers cannot be poisoned or nuked; are unsusceptible to bribery and subversion; they do not die of old age; and sound damn good.
    But if you put them upside down, they're stuck.

    Cucco, the OP can't afford a song right now. Because he can't get his live performances sorted... vis a vis his appearance here. Tough world, this.

    I agree that selling** the Behringer will help, come to think of it. I had mentally blacklisted the option as it can be an expensive (but rewarding) route.

    **edit: I'd rather not sell it. Subjecting it to terrorist nuclear attacks; elephant poison and very possibly a large amount of force might about do the trick.
     
  7. jt7747

    jt7747 Guest

    So yes, the easy way would be to get another little behringer to mix the stereo output back to mono and send it to my amps / PA. It's a little noisy but for the stuff I do (and most of the time I don't use it, we just plug straight into the amps) it's ok. Thanks for your tips
     
  8. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    does the B@&^%$ mixer have any sends or subgroups? you could just send a second mix to a second device...
     
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    It's a $20 B***inger mixer. Sorry...I just laughed so much I let a little trickle out....gotta go clean up.
     
  10. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Please let me know if I get this right:

    You want the UB502 to send a dual mono sound to your amps so the amplified bass and vocals are not panned hard left and right but smack in the middle. Like this:

    Code:
    L----                                          ----mono for amp 1
          > mono summing - dual mono separation<
    R----                                          ----mono for amp 2
    
    You can construct a specialized cable or use two Y cables. In the latter you'll have to modify the stereo jack receiver. Pin 1 and 2 need to be interconnected. Label it also as specialized because it will look misleading to anyone not knowing what it is for.

    Please verify if this is worth it, because a good cable and matching connectors can cost you so much that you might have to rethink the strategy and buy another mixer altogether, improvement of your sound included. The thing is simply that the UB502 lacks a mono switch.

    I don't think the 3dB volume loss from splitting will be a problem.
     
  11. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Probably won't damage the mixer, but may damage the outputting device.

    It is generally not advisable to hardwire two or more positive connections directly together of any outputs. That's what a mixer is for.

    You can, however, split outputs to more than one destination of inputs, with some signal strength loss.
     

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