Unbanlanced inputs soundboard

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by felipefre, May 26, 2005.

  1. felipefre

    felipefre Guest

    Hi everybody,
    Just started with the recording thing and have a simple question. I bought an E-mu 0404 soundboard and so far, have had some ok results. The problem is that this board doesn't have balanced inputs, which makes me wonder if it's worth spending money upgrading my cheap preamp (presonus), or should I go for a better soundcard first with the balanced inputs to start with.
    What are the disadvantages of an unbalanced input besides the noise rate?
    Thanks in advance

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    For the most part, this should not present a problem for you. Almost all balanced sources (preamps, eq's, processers) are capible of driving a balanced input and vice versa ...

    There are a few rare cases like the Speck 5.0 preamp that will not drive an unbalanced input but they are far and few between.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Even with it's unbalanced I/O, the E-MU 0404 is capable of professional results. Your not going to to get better quality sound just because you are using unbalanced I/O unless you have a specific problem related to unbalanced I/O such as noise or some sort of interference (EMI/RFI.ect...)

    Better mic's and preamps would would be a much wiser way to go for now.

    If you are going to upgrade, upgrade to the E-MU 1212M and you get balanced I/O, the mastering grade converters and ADAT I/O for adding an external 8-ch preamp.
  4. vpoulos

    vpoulos Guest

    Kurt, were did you get that idea. Our MicPre 5.0 will interface and operate with an unbalanced inputs just fine. The MP5.0's transformer-output can be unbalanced and connected to any unbalanced input without a problem. We just recommend that the low (-) of the MP5.0's 1/4" TRS "active-balanced output" doesn't get connected to ground in the process of interfacing to the unbalanced input. Floating the low side of an active-balanced output when interfacing to a unbalanced input is more common among manufacturers than you might think. Other companies like Avalon, Manley, Grace recommend the same thing on some of their gear.


    Vince Poulos
    Speck Electronics
  5. felipefre

    felipefre Guest

    Than you all for the comments.
    I'll go for the preamp/mic upgrade!
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    Felipe, that's a good choice to upgrade your pre's. There's nothing wrong with unbalanced connections. Upgrading your pre's will give you a better signal up front and you may even find yourself doing more mono tracking than stereo tracking anyway. Quality, unblanced cables help too.

    Let us know what you bought and how you're using it and what you think of it...please.

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