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Tapping in with a 2nd audio channel at a comedy club through mic cable not mixer

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by kilerb, May 26, 2012.

  1. kilerb

    kilerb Active Member

    Hi, I do stand up comedy. Just got home from guitar center where I asked the guys there if this was possible. They sent me home with a Y cable that did not work. The idea is to tap in my iPad's sound through the club's microphone cable on stage while at the same time being able to talk and have them hear me as well. The Y cable they constructed for me consisted of XLR's on all 3 ends... 2 to 1. 1 went to the mic, 1 went to the iPad's 1/8" audio output, and the last one went to the mic cable which goes to the house audio. Got home and tested this on my mixer. Only one source would work at a time it seemed. Noise when it moved too. Is what I want to do possible? I don't want anything I'd have to plug into A/C power. Battery operated would be okay. Even if there is a microphone I could buy that I could extend a wire from my iPad to would be fine. Does anyone have a solution to solve this quest? Would be most appreciated!

  2. bouldersound

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

    Whoever made that cable has no idea what he's doing. You can't just connect a bunch of sources together with wires. At the very least you need some isolation, which could be as simple as the right combination of resistors. But you will need some sort of level control to balance the mic with the iPod. There are battery powered mixers (from Behringer and others) that would get the job done. A mixer would send line level signal so you'd have to compensate, either by running the mixer's output very low or having the person running the sound make an adjustment at the house mixer. You would need a TRS-XLRM cable to get it into the house mic cable.

    Better yet, get a stereo DI for the iPod and arrange ahead of time with the house audio person to feed it to the system separately from the mic. If you want to do it cheaply get two Radio Shack 274-017C impedance matchers, one 15-2473 1/8" stereo to two RCA plugs cable and two 274-320 RCA-1/4" adapters. That would take two extra XLRs (in addition to your mic) to get it into the house system.
  3. kilerb

    kilerb Active Member

    Thanks Boulder... With idea 1, someone had suggested something like that but to use a "pad?" So the levels aren't too high? I'm not in communication with that person and I don't know what a pad is. Would that eliminate the need for the person running the sound to have to adjust? Can I do this all from the stage?

    Would solution 2 work if I'm very far from the mixing board? In some scenarios they're on the other side of the comedy club. Or in some instances on another floor. Just want the most convenient thing so the people at these places don't have to do anything if possible. Sometimes these shows are in bars and there's not a real DJ working. Wish there was some wireless device that could hook to the mixer's input and receive the sound from my ipad. Or just tap right into the 1 mic cable on stage... When there are 2 cables it will be easier I'm sure. Not always the case though.
  4. bouldersound

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

    There are wireless transmitters that work with any 1/8" headphone output. That may be your best bet.

    A pad would only solve part of the problem. You would still have to sum to mono and convert to low impedance balanced output and sum with the mic's output. You would still need someone at the board to mute the mic while you made your connections.

    You could run the iPad signal down very long cables using a stereo DI or impedance matching adapters. A decent stereo DI would have a summing network built in so you could use one mic cable for the iPad. Come to think of it a stereo DI plus a passive summing box would get it done, but you'd still need to mute the mic when you patch it in (or do it before the show and leave it until the end).

    Here's an off the shelf solution:
    pcDI® - Catalog - Whirlwind
    Galaxy Audio JIB C Mic Combiner (XLR 2 to 1) | Full Compass
  5. kilerb

    kilerb Active Member

    Thanks! What about something like these 2 items?

    Rolls Corporation Rolls MX54s Promix Plus 3-Channel Mic Mixer Passive Audio Mixers at Markertek.com

    Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Hosa XVM-110M Right Angle 3.5mm TRS to XLR3M 10 Ft
  6. bouldersound

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

    If that cable has a summing network in it, which nothing I can find confirms, then it would probably work with either the Rolls 3-channel mixer or the Galaxy mic combiner. With the Galaxy you'd have to use the iPad's volume to balance things, but the Rolls would be more flexible other than requiring a battery. But why not keep the iPad stereo into the Rolls? Then you could go mono when necessary and stereo when possible.

  7. kilerb

    kilerb Active Member

    Sorry about my lack of audio knowledge... What is a summing network? And does the Galaxy mic combiner take batteries? Are there any pro's or con's to either of these solutions quality-wise?
  8. bouldersound

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

    A summing network is several resistors arranged to allow two or more signals to be summed without the problems that a simple Y-cable can cause. See Why Not Wye?.

    The Galaxy is a passive summing box so it doesn't take batteries. But it also doesn't have any control of levels. It just sums and the output is only mono. The Rolls has the advantage of active circuitry to combine the signals and allow some level control plus pan control (sort of like a left-right balance control) for each input. It really gives you a lot of options and the only downside that I see is having to use batteries.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This is an application where you have to be careful to avoid damage, for example, if the mixing engineer engages phantom power on the microphone channels. To avoid that, you need an isolation box where phantom power can pass from the output XLR through to the mic input XLR, but the auxilliary input is isolated. There is also the need to consider reducing a stereo channel from the iPad to mono, and maybe attenuating it.

    One unit worth looking at is the Rolls MS20c, which does what you need except for the stereo-to-mono combining. Using this unit plus an input jack lead wired with 3 resistors to combine and reduce would give you a workable solution, as it is transparent to the installed sound system and also does not need batteries.

    If this MS20c combiner looks possible from an operational point of view, come back here and we can suggest resistor values and also show you how to wire the jack lead.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think this guy is just pulling our leg? He says he's a comedian. A comedian my eye. So dude, this is the running joke. There is no simple or nice way to split your microphone on stage to your iPAD. It would require as much skill as George Carlin had. So, what you need to ask the guy at Guitar Center is for a 1 in & 2 out, transformer isolated microphone splitter. From the output of the splitter, you could then go into a crappy $59 Behringer, 2 input microphone mixer. Then you could take the output of that crappy mixer into the crappy input on your iPAD. Otherwise, I'm going to have to use the seven words you can't say on the radio on you. And you don't want to have the Phantom power on, on the crappy little Behringer two input microphone mixer.

    Life's a bitch and then you become one, like me.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    The fine folks at Whirlwind have anticipated your problem and built this little interface just for your situation.

    Rapco LTI Blox

    It has it's own passive volume control and I'd recommend this one with a ground lift since you're hooking into unknown systems.

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