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Plugging into my mixer...correctly

Ive had some good results just plugging stuff in like I know what i'm doing.

I'm ready to do it right. I got a large mixer, and patchbays, so everything will be user friendly, and ready to go.

I have a 32 channel analog yamaha monitor mixer.  It makes 10 monitor mixes. Im going to use 8 busses to sent whatever I need to my interface, and the 9/10 buss as my main stereo out.

Confused about cables and diffs. between Hi Z/Lo Z

I've just begun to record outside of the virtual realm and now that I've started to work with outboard gear such as pre's, mics and guitars I'm unsure of which cables to use for which applications. Please, indulge me:

-Are all TRS 1/4 cables suitable for balanced inputs/outputs? What are the differences between balanced & unbalanced?