XLR Cables

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The Video Gallery of XLR Cables is appended below:

 

1. Are Expensive XLR Cables Worth It? (FAQ Series)

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Are Expensive XLR Cables Worth It? (FAQ Series)

greetings earthlings today I'm back with another edition of what the FAQ it's FAQ FAQ frequently I'm answering a question today I'll be addressing the question of do those expensive XLR cables really make a difference or can you buy an affordable eight dollar XLR cable and be perfectly fine to quickly answer that question if you're concerned about the $8 cable affecting the tone of your recording it really doesn't do that but if you are concerned about electromagnetic interference or radio frequency interference there is a huge difference between the affordable and the more expensive but if you want to know more and hear the actual tests that I run on the cables feel free to keep watching but if not thanks for stopping by hope that helped and for this video I will be comparing four different microphone cables at different price points I'll discuss the build quality the shielding if they affect the tone of the recording and V warranty so without further rambling let's go to the actual content first let's talk about the build quality of these cables we have the amazonbasics which costs around eight dollars we have the Xhosa which costs around thirteen dollars we have the Audio Technica which is around $15 and the Mogami which is about fifty bucks when looking at the quality of the actual cabling the amazonbasics and the audio technica feel very thin and flimsy and unreliable as if you were to rip them a little bit too hard the cable would actually break I'm sure that's not the case but that is how they feel when we look at the hosel on the other hand if that cable is incredibly thick and durable and robust the Mogami cabling is a tiny bit thinner than the Xhosa but it still feels very robust and durable and I would trust that in any gig that I have then when we look at the connectors there is quite a big difference in my opinion between the more affordable options and the NOI trick connector on the Mogami the release button on all of the more affordable options is very sticky and it clicks a little bit and it mine's a little bit and it doesn't feel very well designed the Mogami cable and the nitrate connector just has a smooth motion and it feels incredibly reliable so just remember that when you're looking at the quality of cables you shouldn't just be paying attention to the durability of the actual cabling you need to pay attention to the connectors because that is what you're connecting to your really expensive gear next let's go ahead and test how well these different cables perform at rejecting radio frequency interference RFI and electromagnetic interference EMI okay so here I have all four cables lined up directly next to each other and this is an absolute nightmare I have a wireless charger here I have a wall wart for my preamp and I have a wall wart for my macbook and I will go ahead and run these over those devices which all output EMI or electromagnetic interference to see how it does at rejecting that kind of noise and just in case the phone needs to be on and charging to get that EMI out of the wireless charger I have now done that all right so now I have all of that nightmare fuel recorded in my DAW and we're going to analyze what kind of noise is picked up by each of the cables we'll go ahead and start with the Amazon basics so you can tell that there is a lot of electromagnetic interference being picked up by the cable which tells us that the shielding on the amazonbasics isn't that great let's go ahead and jump to the hose and see how that performed in comparison so at the beginning of that test we heard a similar amount of EMI being picked up but towards the end where we heard that consistent hum and Buzz on the amazonbasics we don't hear that on the Xhosa so the hose that does a slightly better job at rejecting EMI than the amazonbasics for double the price let's go ahead and jump to the Audio Technica and it's the exact same story with the audio-technica at the beginning it sounds as though it's going to perform similarly to the amazonbasics but then when we would or should have heard that consistent hum and Buzz it's not there so the audio technica does a better job than the amazonbasics as well now let's jump to the most expensive one the Mogami so there you have it that was the Mogami at the exact same time and there is almost no EMI being picked up the shielding on the Mogami just does a much better job at rejecting that EMI and RFI compared to the more affordable options that I compared it against and now I want to do a very quick comparison of the noise floor for all of the cables using the exact same 150 ohm resistor with the exact same gain setting so let's see if there is any difference or if the cable actually affects the noise floor we'll start with the amazon basics okay so with the Amazon basics we're hovering around negative 58 to negative 59 dB let's jump to the Xhosa same story there we're hovering around negative 58 to negative 59 DB no big difference there let's jump to the Audio Technica the audio-technica also hovers around negative 58 to negative 59 DB and lastly let's listen to the Mogami exact same story around negative 58 negative 59 dB so in my testing the more affordable cables perform exactly the same as a more expensive Mogami next we're gonna go ahead and see if the cable that we use has any effect on the tone of the recording the way I am going to do this is I have my OC eight one eight and the box of doom I have a looper pedal I will go ahead and record a riff loop it over and over and over again and switch the cable between the microphone and the interface and see if there is any change in the tone and just so you're able to listen without having a price tag attached to that sound I have it blind at first and then after I conclude it I will tell you what cables were what now to tell you what the cables were cable one was the Mogami cable two was the amazonbasics cable three was the Xhosa and cable four was the audio technica he may also be wondering why I didn't line up the tracks in my DAW and invert the phase to see what information is missing I tried to do that but I wasn't able to get granular enough to get the last fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a millisecond out so the information that it was giving us was a false positive so instead I went ahead and measured the frequency response of all the different cables and all of them are within one tenth of a decibel of each other so there is no real noticeable difference in tone between any of them if we rely on that data and one last thing that I want to make you aware of is the warranty of different priced cables make sure you check that because when we look at the warranty of these cables they are very different amazonbasics has a one-year warranty hoser has a lifetime of the original purchaser warranty which is amazing Audio Technica is two years and Mogami is lifetime of the original purchaser so when you're looking at the price of the cable make sure you're also checking the support that you get for that cable are they going to replace it when it breaks or are they going to tell you to buy a new one just keep that in mind when you're researching what you're gonna buy so in conclusion in my testing with these four cables I found that there was no real noticeable tonal difference when you go from an eight dollar cable to a $50 cable so what are you getting for that additional price you're getting better build quality better durability better shielding and in most cases a better warranty as well so what can you do with this information if you are on a budget and you need to buy some new cables and you're in a room that isn't rich with EMI or RFI and you don't plan on wrapping and unwrapping your cables non-stop I think that you can get by with an affordable cable I used an Amazon basics cable for about four years just to test it out every single time I was finished recording I wrapped it up when I needed it again I unwrapped it it lasted me for for years before it failed the Mogami cable that I had the exact same amount of time no issues whatsoever but with that being said if you are getting an XLR cable for a more expensive piece of gear I think you would be much better off getting a higher quality cable the reason I'm saying that is I've read some horror stories of people buying more affordable cables they connect it to their higher-end piece of gear and the XLR connector gets stuck in it the cable manufacturer does not cover that kind of issue so they have to send their higher-end piece of gear back to the manufacturer to get that cable removed and repaired so if you're somebody used maybe picking up a higher-end microphone or a new preamp it may be time to upgrade the cabling as well because you don't want to damage the gear that you're buying with some cheap cabling also if you're somebody who records in the field quite a lot I think that a higher-end cable would be much better suited for you mainly due to the durability and the shielding because if you're wrapping and unwrapping you don't want a cable to fail on you and if you don't know the environment you're recording in and what the EMI and RFI are going to be like you don't want to have to worry about the cable picking up all that extra noise and the last thing that I want to say is make sure to check the availability of the cabling that you're buying for instance I believe that Mogami and hose at cables are carried at Guitar Center what that means is if you're on tour and your cable goes bad you can walk into Guitar Center and them the broken cable they give you a replacement you get back to your show you have no issues with an amazonbasics cable on the other hand if the cable breaks while you're on tour you can't go to Guitar Center and hand it to them and say give me a new one you would have to go buy a new one or order one on Amazon have it shipped to you so depending on the urgency of your recordings or your live shows it may be very beneficial to get a cable that you can drive down the road and get a replacement for all right I think that's going to wrap up for today I hope that sufficiently answered the question of is a $50 XLR cable really worth it or not let me know what you think in the comments down below do you think that you will be buying a $50 cable or are you sticking with an Amazon basics for eight bucks if you found this video fun interesting or helpful go ahead and give me a thumbs up if you hate it give me a big ol thumbs down if you want more video subscribe below go down there you want to hang out in the discord server podcasted comm slash discord and if you want to support the channel and become one of these amazing people over here you can do so by clicking that join button and joining it the $5 tier or higher it really does help me continue to bring you these videos until next time thank you so much for watching thank you so much for listening I'll talk to you then bye

 

2. What is XLR?

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: What is XLR?

in this video we'll learn why we use xlr as the standard connector for recording and how to denubify your cable rolling technique you can find xlr cables and connectors on many professional audio devices including all types of microphones for recording and stage use when someone asks why you should use an xlr two things immediately come to mind they're capable of delivering the 48 volt phantom power that's needed to power condenser microphones and the second thing that comes to mind is that they're so-called balanced cables this balanced wiring allows us to cancel out interference that's being picked up along the way let's check out how that works here we have an instrument cable that you can use let's say to connect your guitar to a guitar amp it's the perfect example of an unbalanced cable each wire inside the cable has its own contact point one is for the signal and one is for ground in the case of an unbalanced instrument cable it's the tip and the sleeve that's why we call them ts cables any interference picked up along the signal path will stay in the signal an xlr cable is a so-called balanced cable a balanced cable has three wires and contact points pin one is the ground wire and pin two and three are for the signal two and three both carry a copy of the signal but with reversed polarity why now here comes the cool thing what happens when you sum two signals with reversed polarity the signals are cancelled out and just like if you would combine plus one and minus one it would equal zero that's exactly what happens but only to the interference that's introduced via the cable along the way the audio gear on the receiving end flips the polarity in order to leave the original signal intact canceling out any electrical interference and that's the great thing about xlr cables but xlr connectors have another advantage they have a nifty little latch the latch on the xlr connector is great it prevents accidental unplugging we constantly receive messages from people asking us what makes a good xlr cable well a good cable is one that fits your purpose and there are three easy things that you should keep in mind perhaps when choosing an xlr cable first we can't stress this enough make sure that the connectors are of good quality and not the cheapest you can find you can have great cable but if the connectors suck you won't have a reliable relationship with your xlr cable and we all want something to rely on second make sure that your cable length is suitable for your recording purpose if you're recording at home you'll most likely need 3 meters maximum trust me if your cables are too long things might get messy quickly lastly you don't have to buy the most expensive cable in the store they won't sound better you could even say that some cable products are a total scam it's true if you want proof get your friend to set up a blind test and let us know if you can actually consistently hear a difference you might have noticed that xlr looks a bit like an abbreviation but what does it stand for well here's a thread from reddit on the subject it's something i've never thought about before i was just involved in a conversation where two were disagreeing so i turned to google to solve it but google doesn't seem clear on it either here are some of the contenders external line return cannon x series latch rubber x latching resilient rubber x ground lr left right what's serious in my opinion some of these answers really make sense especially the last one but according to the audio engineering society it's actually a registered trademark of canon from 1958. the original model number series for canon's three pin circular connectors invented by them is now an industry generic term the problem was that it had no latch canon rearranged the pins and added a latch and the xlx series with latch was born later canon modified the female connector and to put the contacts in a resilient rubber bound and they called this version the xlr series now that's a great pickup plan or i'm going to show you a little trick now it will help you to gain the respect of professional sound engineers not only that but you'll actually feel better about yourself as a person i'm going to show you how to roll your cables correctly how you roll your cables tells a lot about who you are as a person too so do it right and here's how it's actually done you hold your cable here like this you define the length of your circumference and you bring it up to meet your hand with each iteration you twist the cable to make sure that any slack is not occurring continue until the end and hopefully you should have a perfectly circle as such thanks for watching we hope you had fun hit like and subscribe if there's anything that you would like us to cover in the future please let us know below until next time! Make yourself heard.

 

3. How to Solder XLR Connections to make a new XLR cable

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: How to Solder XLR Connections to make a new XLR cable

hi john hess here a filmmaker iq.com we want to show you a neat little trick of how to make your own XLR cables we're out of solder your own XLR cables this is great if you need to make a new cable or if you want to repair that cable that just got broken maybe got run over by a truck the heads got crushed or it got snapped in half or a dog chewed through it all this is the same technique you would use to fix it and a broken XLR as it is to make a new one so let's get started let's go through the parts we're going to need we're going to need a soldering iron which is right here this is what's called a extra hands and it's actually very useful for holding things while you're working here I need solder this is 60/40 rosin core solder you're going to need something to cut the wires with or strip the wires like a string you're going to need some new XLR heads which you can purchase on eBay very easy to purchase now this is the female end right here and this is the male end you can kind of think of in terms of Anatomy males have a little thing that projects and female has things I take and then we've got a little cable tester here you don't need this but if you're going to do a lot of cables you really want to get one because if you don't have it perfectly wired you can damage equipment so let's put that aside first I'm gonna go ahead and plug in my soldering iron so that I can get hot let's take a look at our pieces right here let's go ahead and disassemble them there we go and the way the male side comes out is it actually just falls right out in the front notice how the male side has no notches and knows the female side and putting the screws safely away has a little notch right here on the outside let's take a look at the actual connections themselves so an XLR is a three pin connection and if you look very closely on so you and get this on a camera here on XLR you see you have three numbers a one two and three one is always going to be your ground fire 2 & 3 are your hot and cold wires now you keep that mind because they actually swap depending on the male/female side see the female version has the one on the on the right and the male if you can barely see that as the one on the left okay let's get our cable ready front and to cut the cable now we're going to strip the ends of the cable and we're going to tin the wires strip the cable we use our wire cutters they have a little stripping I'm going to just take off Oh about a little bit more than half an inch roughly two centimetres if you're metric here I'm just going to take off about half an inch worth of the rubber insulation on the outside and remove the rubber unstable yourself you will see a lot of little thin wires this is the insulation this is the shielding I mean grounding what you want to do is you want to push it all to the side like that and then twist it so that makes its own little wire then you want to take the paper and cloth insulation around these two smaller wires take that take some scissors and just remove that with some scissors now we want to strip the remaining black and white wire strip through black and white wire just go ahead and again very we don't really need that much here just maybe a quarter of an inch and that right there is a properly stripped XLR end so I'll do the exact same thing to the other end of the cable now that we have all the wires stripped it's time to tin each individual wire and by tuning what we mean is we want to put a little bit of solder on the end of the wire to help facilitate connecting all the the wires together so I'm going to start with this black wire I've got my soldering iron here sitting on a stand it's been sitting on it for a while I think it's pretty hot by now and it's going to touch the red wire to it till it gets kind of hot and try to melt some solder right on the red wire there we go and you see how that just sucks up the solder like that you don't need very much solder there we go now this shield here just really need the tip I'm just going to get the tips nice and hot and add a little bit of solder to it okay and that is a a properly tin tip go ahead and do the other end while we're here insulation wire and I tend red and black wire what I'm going to do now is put a little bit of solder in each one of these little pockets be careful where you hold the connector at this point because you these these are very good at connector at distributing heat and you can hurt yourself so I'm holding it on the side here where the plastic sort of is okay so just put a little bit of solder in each one of the little hole little pockets do the same thing with this one this one need to be very careful because you don't want to hold it with at the prongs you want to hold it right here on the plastic point now we need to connect the wire to the pin let's go ladies first now this is very important it's very easy to screw this part up always put on the end cap before you would try to solder the parts together I've done this I made this mistake many times you get to tear the whole thing apart and start all over so it's good just start this right in the first place the D side with the notch is the female side so we want to slide that put the cable through there through the rubber housing slide it down and now we've got one on the right side two on left three at the top so let's track that back so one will be one will be this right here this this connector threes is the middle connector and then two is is connect over here I'm going to go ahead and put this into my thread hands clip you can also use like a paper clip to hold it and you don't want to hold you don't want to be holding this thing is it will get pretty darn hot so let's put the wire so one will be on this side will make two red and will make black three doesn't matter which one is with - which one is three it just matters that you stay consistent as long as you're consistent if red is two then always then the other side that means red needs to be two don't mix and match this is not a mixing match kind of a thing and then since we've already tinned the connections it's really just a matter of melting the solder and getting it and then letting it sit there until it cools down and usually takes about a second or two to cool so go ahead and push down on number two here go ahead and melt solder a couple seconds and we've got a connection now there are number three the top black cable to note the top number three going get down position melt a nice strong connection and it's melted got connection there and then our final 1 number 2 number 1 which is the shielding and just hold it till we melt get both wires hot let's go ahead and clamp down this little clamp right here you want to kind of have it holding on to the rubber insulation did that just going to use my cutters here and just squeeze it down so it's holding onto the rubber that way there's not the tensions really on the rubber part and not on our soldering work they turn it to the right property that you get the proper notching and line it up in place go ahead and drop your screw back into the and we will tighten the screw we won't go crazy like we did like the guy did when he first sold to me okay so the female end is done now we're going to do the same thing now with the other end of the cable don't forget put the the cover on first if you don't do that you have to take the whole thing apart and start over this one the male side is a little bit trickier because you don't want to touch the prongs on this side remember I said earlier we got to make sure we get a which you figure out which ones are one two and three in this case the one is going to be on the side closest to me and on the other and it was ended up being on the side furthest away from me and applying heat double-checking now it's again it's okay that the grins lading touches the metal part of the connector that's all fine and dandy go ahead line up the holes there's a little tiny notch you see right there that you want to that helps you line up this sleeve the end of the male one let's go ahead and pull it back until the holes line up and go ahead and plop it into the hole give it a tightening and now it's time to check to make sure what we've done is correct this is a microphone cable tester capable of testing all kinds of cables the reason I got this thing was because he was trying to test the cables fixing and I basically wired it in properly and it destroyed part of my audio recorder so I had to take that and get it repaired so I vowed to never have that happen again so I bought cable tester you can do it with the camera you can do it with all you know a microphone or or a mixer again if you don't have it properly wired you could be in trouble so I don't I just don't recommend it if you're going to do is often buy one of these and they're good because thing with DIY cables is they tend sometimes to go bad because our soldering maybe isn't up to par you know it's always good to have these so you don't have a big giant scare and your shoot way you test this is you plug the microphone check in how am I not doing both ends like that and then you flip the switch the cable test and what these numbers do I want to hold it to a camera that's not going to go crazy okay now the way to read this particular chart is you've got this light right up here means that the ground is connected so we did that right each of these button lights here the LED lights here correspond to so if you've got pin three on this going this way is connected to pin3 going this way so that means we hooked it up right pin two connected to pin two that means it's that's right pin one to pin one so we've got this little diagonal line that's perfect and we up and down like that means that all the connections are made and when you turn off and on again that's what you want to see if you wiggle it you're not seeing any blinking lights as far as these guys are concerned that's what we want and that's how you do it so you can take that process make a brand new XLR cable or fix an XLR cable at your broke that you may have already been broken just do the same thing just cut off the old one and install a new one that's all there is simple as that go ahead and make some XLR cables

 

4. How To Solder XLR Microphone Cables [Step-By-Step Tutorial]

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: How To Solder XLR Microphone Cables [Step-By-Step Tutorial]

Whether you work in a recording studio or in live production, XLR microphone cables will be a part of your everyday life. They tend to break over time and they're overpriced, so it's important to know how to repair them yourself and how to make your own cables. In this video, I'm teaching you how to do just that, but if you're new to this channel my name is Kyle. You can learn audio production online by checking out the weekly videos I post to the Audio University YouTube channel. For more information, check out the website at AudioUniversityOnline.com. In order to repair and make your own XLR cables, you'll need a few materials and tools. If you've got everything you need, feel free to skip to the next section using the shortcut links in the description below. Or, you can go to AudioUniversityOnline.com/DIY-XLR-Microphone-Cables/ for the full tutorial and the full list of things you'll need. Let's start with the components of the microphone cable itself. You'll need two XLR connectors - one male and one female. This is the most important part of your cable, so I recommend getting a high quality set of connectors. The industry standard and my recommendation is a Neutrik XLR connector. Avoid connectors like this one at all costs. They get loose over time and are much less rugged than Neutrik-style connectors like this one. You'll also want to pick up a spool of high quality production-style microphone cable. You can find my recommendations in the description below. There are a few tools that you'll absolutely need for this process and a few that will make it a hundred times easier but aren't necessarily required. In this section, I'll go over that list of tools. The first tool is a soldering iron. The one I'm using is great because it offers a temperature adjustment. You can find a link to this one in the description. However, if you're on a budget, check out the other link in the description that will take you to the soldering iron I used when I was just getting started. You'll also need some solder. There are many types of solder available. I recommend a 60/40 blend because it's easier to work with than lead free solder. Choose a solder with close to the same diameter as the wire you're working with. You don't necessarily need to use wire strippers, but trust me they'll make this process a hundred times easier. These wire strippers allow me to easily remove the jacket from the cable without damaging the components of the cable. If you don't have wire strippers, you can probably get by with a pair of scissors or a razor blade, but you just may need to do it a few times in order to make sure that you remove the jacket without accidentally nicking or cutting the components of the cable. If you're using scissors or a razor blade, try to score the jacket of the cable rather than cutting all the way through. Once the jacket is lightly scored, you'll be able to tear along those lines to strip away that outer jacket. The last thing you'll need is something to hold the connector in place while you're working on it. Both of your hands will be occupied - one by the soldering iron and the other by the solder itself. You can use a clamp like this one, which is made specifically for this process, but I prefer to use an XLR jack to hold it in place. Don't use something valuable because the heat that you'll be applying to the XLR jack could cause damage to the circuitry of the device. Luckily for me, this transformer is already broken, so I don't need to worry about that. The number one mistake that beginners make is forgetting to put the strain relief sleeve on from the beginning. I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again. But make sure you follow step number one to avoid having to redo the entire process once you've reached the end. The second step is to remove a bit of the outer jacket from the end of the cable. Aim to remove about a half inch off of the end of the cable. As I mentioned in the previous section, this is really easy with a good pair of wire strippers like these. You can also do it by lightly scoring the rubber jacket with a razor blade and then tearing the jacket away. The shield is an outer layer of copper that surrounds the two signal conductors. It's an important component of the cable's construction that helps to protect against unwanted noise. The shield of your cable may be strands of copper braided copper or in some cases foil. In either case consolidate the wire strands to one side and twist them into a single group like this. If your cable consists of any other materials such as this rope, you can simply cut it away with scissors. You'll need to strip away about an eighth inch of the insulator that surrounds each conductor. This is where the wire strippers become really really useful. Be really sure not to accidentally cut the conductor itself, or else you'll have to trim it back and redo it. In order to get the best connection possible between the cable and the connector, you should tin each conductor first with a bit of solder. This simply means that you'll apply some solder to the tip of each conductor. I recommend tinning along the entire length of the exposed shield as well. These connectors have small metal cups for establishing strong connections to the wires. Before making the connection, you should also tin the cups with some solder as well. Be sure not to apply too much solder, especially on the female end of the connector, because the solder could actually drip down into the connector itself. Finally, it's time to make the connection between the tinned conductors of the cable and the tinned cups of the connector. The standard is to connect the shield to Pin 1, the positive wire to Pin 2, and the negative wire to Pin 3. I like to apply the soldering iron to the cup while holding the conductor to the solder within the cup. When the solder in the cup reaches its melting point, the conductor will slide right in. Then just hold the conductor in place until the solder hardens. The last step is to complete the assembly of the connector. Slide the collar onto the cable and line it up with the grooves on either side of the connector. Then slide on the end of the connector over that assembly, tighten the strain relief collar to the end of the connector, and you've got your first side completed. Now it's time to go back to step number one and complete that process on the second side. If you got value out of this video hit the "Like" button and check out one of these videos that's coming up next.

 

5. XLR – It’s all about Balanced Cable – Some of The Best to some of the most Worthless XLR Connectors

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: XLR - It's all about Balanced Cable - Some of The Best to some of the most Worthless XLR Connectors

hi there robin here in today's video i'm going to share everything i know about xlr cables with you i'm not just somebody who well you know sells xlr cables and has learned a lot about it i'm also a big customer of xlr cables all the equipment that we have in this showroom runs off of well xlr cables very important especially when you have tons of gear that all have to be hooked up at the same time and all you want to do is push a button to make things work so we're going to talk about all of this in this video now very important is what i'm sitting on right here xlr cables good xlr cables are actually reasonably priced compared to how much money you're going to spend on all your other equipment this is a reasonably priced product for everything it does for you so don't feel bad that you spent a couple of bucks we're not going to talk about tons of money because you got to feel comfortable with what you're buying but more importantly what's in this box right here this is also an xlr cable and we're going to talk about this too this is a 300 pound cable it's an xlr cable a lot of people use it amazingly enough it's out there all the time we're gonna also talk about what's in this box all of that is part of this video today we're talking about all of this right here which are xlr cables lots of people have talked about xlr cables all the conversations i've watched online are pretty good conversation about xlr cables but we're going to look at it slightly different everybody talks about why they're important and there's lots of good reasons other people test them to see how good they actually are and what we're going to talk about is how you go about picking an xlr cable i mean because you look at it and if you just go by price you could spend too much money and get a really cheap xlr cable by accident or sometimes you can get a really great bargain on a super high-end cable and you might miss it so today we're going to talk about the differences between the xlrs which are really the connectors this is what we're talking about here and we're going to talk about the actual cable this is a balanced cable so it's it's an audio cable it's a way to get signal from one end to the other it's this guy right here we're going to talk about this what this is all about because that's the magic and we'll also talk a little bit about shielding but i'm not a super fan on the big conversation because that's why we're getting xlr cables and i'll explain that in this video so when we're talking about xlr cables what we're really talking about are these guys right here a connector that's what it's all about this happens to be from blast king it allows you to get an unbalanced signal to your wire and then from your wire well to the other end of this cable this is what we're talking about the better the quality here the better the quality is going to be regardless of the wire that we have wire is going to definitely make a difference in how good it is and how long the runs can be but this ultimately is your everyday connecting piece now i don't tend to find problems with the male connectors when it comes to longevity the female connectors those are the ones that can run into problems so we're going to open up one here so here is a good quality female xlr connector or three pins what makes this good is what's actually going on in here the copper the copper is thick enough and wrapped around thick enough so when we plug a male end of the connector into here we're going to get a nice solid connection not just today but every time i mean this should be smooth and straight in we don't want to see play so now if i again put this guy in here and line it up get it in there this is not going anywhere this is very important because the more wiggle room you have here the more likely you're going to open up these holes inside of here and that's what we're trying to prevent so we want to have a nice tight fit here straight and we'll see what happens when we put a loose one in so this is a free cable it comes in a box with a microphone and it's the worst part the microphone is great the cable is horrible and why you've seen these connectors all the time don't pay money for this connector i mean really it's not a very good connector and i'm going to show you why this cover portion here when people talk about you know a connector breaking inside of something that's what's happened is this sleeve here is just on here just barely on here yes there's a screw holding it here but this whole thing can pop off when that pops off it's going to get stuck inside of your microphone or your mixer or anything you plugged it into so what you don't want to see happen is when you plug your two cables together or you plug it in your mixing board look at the amount of play on that connector that connector is just rocking around look at the gap opening up there if i give that a good pull i will tear this whole thing apart pretty easily that's a cheap connector and you know i don't even think it should be free in a box i think they should just stop making this connector because it's again this is built to make whoever's selling it a lot of money in this case it's basically the manufacturer saying well we're gonna we're gonna throw in a free cable for you if so every customer buys your microphone they're gonna find a free cable in the box and that's too bad because the first thing i tell people to do with the cables in the box is get rid of it try and buy a new one you don't have to spend a ton of money just spend something instead of using the free one in the box now don't get me wrong there's companies who do put a half decent cable in the box sometimes it looks like this and you know again this would be a good free cable not bad when it comes to how well it connects and how little there's actually movement in it because it does have a rubber ring on it so we pull that off again rub a ring and we don't have all this little tin going on all around with all these slots which is really what's making it so weak they put that there to make sure that it lines up but it doesn't help at all here we have a solid piece of aluminum again very thin though but solid and it allows it to line up now they use the aluminum instead of metal in that portion so this way it can it can squeeze and it'll give a little bit and it'll make it in there nice part is it does connect properly and that's what really counts but again if you're getting this as a free cable don't throw it out hang on to it it's not going to be bad until well you know one day it's not going to stop working what you're really going to have is this in your microphone so here's a pga 48 great talking microphone and here's our connector what's going to happen over time is that it's not the cable that's going to stop working if you take care of it the cable will be just fine what's going to happen is this gets playing it and the more play this gets the more likely those pins are going to open up inside the xlr connector and when that happens and someone's holding the microphone and they're moving it back and forth it'll start cutting in and cutting out or you'll get a scratchy noise out of it and people have heard that i mean that's just horribly brutal there's nothing wrong with the microphone what's happened is these connectors have opened up inside of here and that's what you know long term what's going to happen to it and it's not a question of if but when so that's that's important to know there's three types of good connectors there's an original good connector that you know some people like about and and i'll be honest you know i'll tell you what the one big problem with this particular connector so here it is this is where you kind of start these screws are problematic for a lot of folks over time especially if you're driving around with a you know a milk crate full of cables these screws for some reason will get loose and you can't over tighten them or you will strip something most likely in the actual system it does give you quick and easy access and this was the original way of crimping everything down and keeping it solid this end here though i think this could have been better but these tend to be about this good so eventually this top will break loose because it is screwed down there and it's fastened and clipped into there so eventually that will go so this would be your bare minimum if you have these use them until either they start making noise and in which case either keep the cable and get rid of the connectors or just replace them all together but that's where you start that would be at the bottom end of where you want to spend your money this should be your most affordable cable you're going to buy now for cables that are made overseas in china you're going to find this connector here this black one is probably currently the best connector that's coming out of china when it comes to an overseas brand uh it's really good quality connector and it's as good right now that i think you can find now it is made for both the generic market so everybody can use this connector no worries there manufacturers like in this case blasting have a choice they can use the regular connector which internally quality grade everything's the same it's just gonna have their name printed on it which is fine i think this is a really good cable we sell lots of them and this is this is my go-to cable and i'll explain to you why this is in a minute but right now we're just talking about connectors so here's your connector that's connector number one now it doesn't have to say blast king though i would appreciate it if you bought cables that we sold and they said blasting on it but i'm sure blaskin would be very happy about that the other cable that looks similar to it i still have it in the package this happens to be digiflex which is a canadian company and sometimes you get like you might see one of these in the states but this cable is their chinese reasonably priced product so very good because the brand is very particular about the quality of cables and this cable happens to be very good but we're talking about the cable connector right now so that's this connector here both the male and female of these connectors these are actually labeled and manufactured for newtrix which happens to be the brand they're the brand of brands if you're going to put a brand on your cable or if you're making your own cables that's going to be the brand of connectors you're going to want to buy you can buy a generic one and there's nothing wrong as long as you know who you're buying from and you've used them before like here if we make our cables we always use blasting connectors because we know exactly what we've got and how it works and if we're replacing a connector we're going to use the blaskins those are the ones we buy i'm very very happy to use those if you don't have access to that and you're like well i got to pick something on amazon if new tricks is available no problem this is a genuine nutrix because i know this company and i know their standards they're not going to make a knockoff connector brand choice to put on their actual products they're going to use new tricks now new tricks when the cable is made in china they'll always be black connectors and they'll always be of this great in quality that being said when the cable is not made in china and people choose to use nutrix connectors they are going to go with this connector right here now that being said a company who makes their cables in north america or anywhere else but china can still choose to use a black connector i mean that's that's choice so they just want to save themselves a little bit of money it's like a buck cheaper or a dollar cheaper to buy one of these versus one of these but most people usually as a manufacturing company or a custom company are going to choose this from nutrix and the reason why they choose this one is because well it's the rolls royce of connectors now this happens to be from the same company i was talking about earlier digiflex if you actually go to their website they now offer custom cables for their customers so here this happens to have purple and green rings in it they made this up as a sample for us because we were thinking about having all our cables run in our color scheme for the storage just kind of made something a little signature but you can have this any way you want if you're going to have custom cables made to a specific length and you're going to have let's say 20 cables that are six feet long you might choose all your six foot cables to have this color scheme on it you might choose you know a different color for your 10 foot cables or whatever you want to do but that's the idea you're going to get this connector what makes this connector better than your average connector again they've increased the thickness of the copper around the wraps here they've increased the outer wall the actual cylinder everything's been beefed up in here even the way and how tightly it squeezes the actual cable inside all of that's been beefed up on this connector even the thumb trigger has been beefed up so this way it's a perfect slide easy off easy on and even spring loads off to the sides i mean they've really put all they've got into it and there's even a rubber washer around the outside this way to stop it from wobbling and remember when i'm saying wobbling is the killer of your microphone cable connection because eventually this is you know you can constantly work this the rubber acts as a pack seal to it so this way it's not going to bend on you so that's what makes a really good cable now these aren't more expensive these are you know yes okay a cable made in canada probably will a cable made in north america probably costs 50 or twice the price of a cable made in china now for the cable itself the cable itself is pretty important but most companies are pretty good at maintaining it you're going to see mostly i think on the majority of the cables you're going out to buy you're going to see anywhere between 20 and 22 gauge wires for the actual positive negative on the balance connection and then you're going to have a certain amount of shielding on it so at this point let's talk about the different size of cable we you know this is always an issue people always say oh you know well this one's beefier than this one if you're actually using it in studios and at home or anywhere where you're not really going to be you know unloading the cable and rewrapping it and setting it up all the time these cables are great there's nothing wrong with this the other one is going to be a chunkier cable now you would think that the chunkier cable in this case is stiffer than the thinner cable but actually it's the opposite this one here has more flexibility the tension or the pressure put on the actual cables inside is lighter if a forklift or something really bad rolled over this the odds are you're not going to break the cables inside it would just crush flat as a pancake and still work i probably still want to replace it because i'm being a little worried about it or maybe re-solder the connector on to a shorter length but the odds are this cable take a much bigger hit when it comes to abuse and over time it's just better wear and tear again the the actual spring load how much tension we can put in this cable twisting it it's very relaxed cable this one is a little stiffer in that sense because the actual outer rubber is tighter around the actual inner case wires internally the wires tend to be consistent some manufacturers will have a braided casing over this some manufacturers will do a wrap i think for the fact that it's running as a neutral wire all the time when it's running when it's running in balance mode i think this is probably the more appropriate way to get it done again though it does give for maximum flexibility because we're not trying to achieve 100 shielding here we're trying to minimize the amount of rf going through the system so the table's starting to get pretty cleared off here we just have three more packs and this to show you the variety of things you can get when you're buying an xlr cable you can buy it in a snake which is what's going on here in here this happens to be a straight xlr male to female 8-pack when we look at an actual snake we notice that these cables are always just the cables themselves in case in a smaller rubber plastic casing on it we're just protecting the individual cables at this point we're not worried about people walking on it this allows all eight of these cables eight to eight male to female to be packaged in here one cable brings all eight xlrs from end to end and you're going to get the performance and the biggest part is much better value when you invest in a snake in this case this happens to be 25 feet this is literally half the price usually of eight individual 25 foot cables the important thing is sound quality is going to be the same convenience is you're going to unroll this now most people are not going to they're still going to need a bunch of short cables on stage of course to make all this happen but it certainly beats having to run eight individual cables which would probably be a variation of lengths anywhere between 30 to 50 feet to replace this one part of the your cable so you can either run eight of these guys individually which unless you label all your cables you're gonna have to figure out what you got or you use an actual snake package like this and it's going to be pre-marketed with all the different colors on it so the first one we've looked at happens to be a straight line xlr so they're all male at one end they're all female at the other end so you can also buy your snake extension packages like this which happens to be at one end a combination of all your xls this probably is going to go into your mixing board and in this case this happens to be eight female four male so if this was on our stage i would be able to plug in up to eight microphones or any combination of equipment into this particular package and then on bottom end we'd have all the signals coming back to the stage so maybe we have two stage monitors and our two main speakers hooked up here these guys go the extra distance all the actual returning signals so everything going back to the mixing board those are all your mic channels let's say or line channels those are all numbered one through eight in this case and the actual signals that are going from the actual mixing board back to the stage so again your monitors not they're run through a b c d in this case they use the alphabet to actually make it happen so to make sure that your cables don't get all snagged up blasting in this particular case happens to give you this right here which is basically you know it's a flower with a bunch of holes in it and it keeps your actual harness from getting all tangled up so you're not trying to unweave everything if you keep it properly it'll always stay all untangled and easier to manage i mean that's just a cool little trick they put on there now there's one more cable we happen to have on the table today and that's this one right here this is great for djs if you're or anybody who's doing main pa setups where you're just hooking up some speakers and you need to get your power from the speakers back to the board or wherever you're going to this happens to combine both a power cord and your xlr cable into one package so this one you only drop one cable it's very clean it's very convenient you don't have to have an extension cord or anything like that this is going to do all of that for you and at the other end of course you have your plug-in xlr so all i need if i'm going to use this on a controller get a six foot xlr cable so i can plug this in on the back your speaker you're just going to plug these two guys in right there this this is really a clean way to go and again because they're balanced cables i'm not worried about noise transfer between the power cord and the xlr cable that's all going to get canceled out so let me give a shot at trying to explain what a balanced signal is because that's the most important thing once you understand a balanced signal you'll understand why xlr cables can be packaged in all these different ways shapes and forms for the best way for me to show you how it is i'm going to use my hand as a reference this is the signal this is what's going to go through the pipe this is going to go down the wire come out on the mixing board how do we stop this from getting any interference so what we'll do is we need to make a mirror copy this is why there's three pins on an xlr connector and why we have two main wires going down an xlr cable we need to take this signal and we're going to create a mirror image of it so before we send it out we're going to flip it upside down so in this case this is going to be my mirror image take the signal make a mirror image of it so now we have two of them and they're opposite they're both going down the wire at the same time but this one is opposite from this one if anything hits it on the right side it'll hit it on the right side on both so in this case that's my thumb on this side and on this case it's going to be my pinky so if we get a strike on the same side so we're going to say that the right side is a positive strike the left side is a negative strike so it's going to happen the same on both wires so if i get a positive strike that's going to be on the side of my thumb here that let's say at 12 kilohertz 12 kilohertz positive strike right through the wire on this side same thing is going to happen here whoosh i'm going to get a 12 kilohertz strike on this side of the wire at exactly the same place it's happening at the same place same time this is the actual music here opposite regular when it gets to the other end and we can have strikes all the way down by the way it could be on the positive side could be on the negative side it'll always strike both wires when we get to the other end what we're going to do is we're going to put it through an analog processor which is going to put that signal back together again when it does that notice this is my right side this is my right side thumb on this side pinky on this side when i bring that together the actual signals have gone apart away from each other so that 12 kilohertz signal which was originally positive and positive because i flipped this upside down again it turned into a negative and when it merged i ended up with a negative 1200 and a positive 1200 those two signals cancel themselves out to a big fat zero and that's about as easy as i can explain it it's more important to understand that i kind of get the gist of what it is and why all this is actually working you can feel confident that buying a balanced cable an xlr cable is going to do all the magic it needs to do because at the end of the day that's all it is it's it's a great analog system that just works it's not filtering anything out it's not gonna it's not gonna chop out any of your music it's literally just going to get rid of interference now of course there's always a certain amount of background noise because depending on the purity of the cable and that's always hard to tell there's always going to be some residual or if you have too much shielding sometimes you can end up with a bouncing signal inside which is going to lay down a little bit of background noise if it's constant and it seems that it's picked up at the beginning it creates a wave in the cable that too can stay but what we're really doing is getting rid of the general noise the big heavy noise that normally would pollute a cable creating buzzing and humming sounds things you don't want at really high volume levels all that all of it gone not to worry about so here we are back in the box again 300 pounds that's why this guy comes with wheels on it and it is an xlr cable it's a hybrid xlr because they've also added network cables now what is it well it's a snake we've covered snakes already but this is very impressive this has a big door that opens up on one side here this is where we're going to get to connect all of our equipment to so this is it it's a full rolling rate 150 feet in this particular case and it also features 12 inputs and eight outputs so this way we can well we can either have this at the stage or we can have this at our actual recording suite it's going to decide on where we want our xlr cables to be in this case if i wanted to have a full stage set up with 12 actual microphones or combination of instruments and microphones i would have this right next to this stage or on the back of the stage it's going to allow me to pull out the actual cable and then connect everything to it when you've actually connected everything to this so i've got all my xlrs running in here i can then close the door and not worry about it why because when we turn this guy to its side when we go here we have another door and there we go we've got a tray that holds our connection this is everything that we're going to be putting on our mixer so in this bag is all the actual xlr connections for our mixer so if we do that we can pull this take that out of there and then we basically would pull this out of the actual box now the amazing part is is that because this is so heavy and the cable is huge i mean monstrous i'm not going to pull this whole cable out of the box i'm going to set this up right on the floor let's say next to the actual mixer and then on the flat part of the floor i'm going to just start pushing this down the entire length of let's say the church or the hall or wherever i need to go and when i get to the other end guess what i'm going to have this all enrolled that's probably and then by the way it's a lot easier once you've taken all the cable out of it to get it on the stage because you've left let's say 150 pounds of cable or 250 pounds of cable on the floor and all you have to deal with is picking up what's left so a lot easier to handle so definitely you want to just push it down and as you're going pull that cable out and you'll be all set with that that's what's going on here that's why it's on wheels that's why it's in a case look at the size systems it's a behemoth i mean you'd have to lay like this thing altogether has 20 cables 20 xlr cables right here plus because so many speakers require a network connection on them now or maybe you have other switching control boxes that you need to connect for wireless systems or for just network connections all of that is done here too as well they'd be a whole separate package just for that so that's awesome so again if you have speakers that have a controller for them so this way you can adjust and set that all up on your computer but you require a network cable to make that happen this is going to do it for you and this by the way will run any type of connection so if i did have to put a router up there or router in the back for some other connections you can still use these cables to make that full connection back and forth i really like the little extra trim they didn't just go with a heat shrink there's so many cables here that they actually have a proper steel metal casing here that allows for a proper transfer without pulling on anything all their cables happen to have individual cable protection on it so it has each one besides being that rubber finish inside externally it has a braided finish on it as well all the cables are labeled letters and numbers again for depending on if it's going to be used as a send or a return signal that sort of thing it's all taken care of for you and that's it that's that's what happens when you buy really good cable and you get the right cable for the right job is cheap absolutely not these things are absolutely worth what you pay for them it is a bargain though when you consider everything that you get in one package the transport case all the cabling everything's pre-done and labeled for you the length of the whole cable to take that into consideration as well all of that makes these much more economical than just buying cables after and after and after every time you need more kids to buy more cables if you invest in a harness like this because you need a harness this is going to save you a lot of time and a lot of grief and it can make this happen by the way this is just as good as buying individual cables one of these cables sounds just as good as having all of these cables again that's the whole secret behind having a balanced system it's going to allow you to get away with all of this without adding any problems to your actual system when you're done with your equipment you just basically open up the door make sure you have nothing connected anymore and just start winding it all back up again and there you go it's as simple as that you're going to put this back away we're going to put this back into the bag put all your cables back in the pouch just protect the ends so this way no damage during shipping we're going to throw that back in here we're going to take the network connection grab the velcro strap put our network box right back where it came from in the nice little holder make sure we pick up the slack and there we go we put that all away a couple extra little points on it on the back side there is a wheel that allows you to lock the actual roller inside so it doesn't you know unroll itself and when you are hooking up xlr cables to it on the stage you don't leave this door open you don't just run your cables through this door and leave them open here this way we're not going to do that what we're going to do is we're going to have this door open instead and this is only when you get to the stage so once you're on the stage to keep everything nice and clean you take your cables pass them through this door plug yourself in to where you want and before the show starts make sure you close that door and all your cables will be coming out the actual smaller side door panel just keeps everything clean gives you a nice look to the system this is what everybody will see if it's on stage in the back corner all the cables will come out of the side of the unit just like that much cleaner way to have your stage set up just like that and this is of course this would be the cable that we plug into our microphone job's done and that's your hybrid snake package now this is again this from blast king that's available from us and it's available of course if you're in the us from blast king so we'll have links to this plus all the other products that we've featured in today's video find them down below that's what supports this channel remember to hit the thumbs up button i really appreciate it so does youtube for some particular reason that's how they do their matrix and measuring of all these things uh if you haven't subscribed please do i'm sure there's a you know palm tree sitting on the screen at this point and we also have our other channel where we just review the products we don't get into all the details but we do review and show how the overall features of the product are so at this point let's say thanks for watching we'll see you in the next video and bye for now this looks like a lot of fun oh

 

6. XLR & DMX cables | What’s the Difference?

 

7. Beginner’s guide to connecting audio cables (XLR, TRS, Hi-Z)

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Beginner’s guide to connecting audio cables (XLR, TRS, Hi-Z)

are you a musician or a music creator just getting into home studio recording and you're starting to hear terms like XLR and TRS and mic level and line level and Heisey inputs and you're wondering what the heck all this means well in this video I'm gonna break down these terms and give you my basic guide to connecting things to other things let's go hi my name is Pete this is studio life today where I help you create record and release your best music and if you are starting to do that creating and recording then one of the things that you've probably started looking at or you may already own is an audio interface and when you start connecting things to your audio interface you're gonna start coming across all these different terms and advice and information about the different connections so I wanted to break it down and give you my beginners or intermediate guide to connecting things to things and when I talk about things I'm talking about analog devices I'm talking about connecting up microphones guitars keyboards your own phone into this because what this is this is the USB audio interface and you know I've talked about these before in fact I've got a whole video which I'll link up there and down there where you can actually go where I go through my whole collection of USB audio interfaces and I give you a bit of an idea of picking one up but what these do is that they take an analog signal so they take your guitar your microphone your whatever they turn it into a digital signal and then they output that digital signal via USB and that sends it over to your Mac your PC your iPad your iPhone using a lightning to USB connector and don't worry I've got links to videos about all of this stuff down below which you can check out after this video but that's the basic premise so we need to connect our device to the front of our USB interface and then we need to send it out via USB but when we go to start connecting at there's different things we have to keep in mind there's two main types of cables that we're looking at here there's what we call the XLR cable and there's a quarter inch cable which is a TS or a TRS cable so you've probably heard those terms or you're probably wondering what's the difference in what are we use for what so let's dive in now and take a look at the different types of cables and different types of connections and what you use for what here in the home studio okay you know things are getting serious when we zoom in this far but I wanted to show you this a little bit more detail here is my focusrite scarlett 2i2 interface and you can see here that this has two what we call combo jacks which is an XLR that goes around the outside here and then a quarter inch or a TRS that we can put into the middle here so this supports both different cable types that we're going to talk about just a moment and it's got two inputs for these I'll also show you from down here my Steinberg you are 12 because this has a slightly different arrangement this has a standalone XLR connector here and then it has a quarter inch jack on its second channel and it's labeled here as high Z or high Z and that is our instrument connection and our XLR goes here so I'm gonna throw these on the bench here and then I'll show you some of the cables and the connections and explain what different connections type we need for what different types of things that we're plugging in okay let's start with microphones now a microphone you will need an XLR cable which is one of these you can see it's got a three pin male connection on one end and a 3 pin female connection so these are called XLR go and Google if you want to know what that means there's actually been a conjecture around that anyway that's not what we're here for one of these ends plugs into our microphone so like so there's our SM at 57 our shure sm57 and the other end plugs even to our combo jack like so so on the focusrite scarlett 2i2 it's going to plug in to that and then the same thing if we're using a connection like this on the Steinberg you are 12 it'll plug directly into there now these are going through the preamp so a preamp is a preamplifier so if you've got a microphone you need a preamp because the microphone level of any microphone this is a dynamic microphone but even a condenser microphone which needs power we'll talk about that in a moment they're not going to be strong enough the sound is not going to be loud enough to go into your digital audio workstation and give you a decent level so the preamplifier turns up the volume so we drive up here we drive up here we turn up the gain which is the volume of our input and that sends a better signal through to our D aw so that is how we connect up a microphone now some people get a little bit confused here because some micro you can get cables that could change an XLR connection to a quarter-inch connection so you could think well couldn't I then get a microphone and plug it into the center of here or into this Heisey instrument plug and the answer is no because it's not gonna then go through the preamp you're not going to get anywhere near enough level through the high Z or the high Z instrument input which is stands for high impedance so you think you'd get enough but no microphones are so quiet that they need the preamp so that's something that I see folks making a mistake that folks some folks make is that they might connect a microphone into the quarter-inch connection and it's just simply not going to work you need even if it's a microphone that has a quarter-inch connection at the end you need to find a way to convert that to an XLR connection to get it into your interface and get a decent level so the next most common thing that you're going to be connecting is something that has a quarter-inch connection so this is what's called a TS cable this is a standard quarter-inch guitar cable that many people would be very familiar with so with these all we need to do is plug one end into our instrument or our guitar or a keyboard and then the other end just clicks into our interface like that in this case or in this one or you can't really go far wrong because it's only that one socket there so that's called a high Z or high Z or an instrument input and then in these two these are actually instrument or line level so there is a difference between what we would order it's a high Z or a high impedance input and then a line level input a high impedance is good for instruments like in AK electric guitar or even an acoustic guitar that's got a pickup on it so anything that's not amplified you want to make sure you're plugging into a high Z or high Zed or an instrument input if it's just a line input then that's going to be good for things like if you plug your phone in or you plug in and synthesizers it's already got amplification or even some pianos and keyboards they will be ok with a line level signal because they're already sending an amplified signal they don't need that boost that high impedance boost that you're going to get from a device like this so the key message to remember is if you're plugging in something that is not amplified that needs additional sound make sure it's into a high 0z or an instrument input and most of your devices like this are going to have that so the Steinberg you r12 has that by standard on the Focusrite you may not be able to see it but there are little switches here that's a line and instruments so we actually switch these over so if we are playing in instruments we click these across and we make sure that they're an instrument level and that's going to turn these into a high impedance input if we're plugging in a line level then we flip them over to line and other interfaces like I've got a you are 44 back here actually have two inputs than a line level and to that a high impedance so just make sure that you're checking that and once again for most people plugging most devices especially guitars you want your high zero your high Z or your instrument input you don't want those going into a line level or you're just not gonna get enough volume from your guitars and there's one final concept that I want to talk about here and that is around a balanced versus an unbalanced signals so with our XLR this is a three pin connection which means one of these is out ground and that means we have a balanced connection so we're not going to go into detail and don't have enough time of this video but balanced is better balance gives you a better quality give you less interference with the signal and it's going to be a better quality signal so XLR is good for that purpose and XLR use not only for microphones but for other things because it provides that balanced signal your standard quarter-inch TS cable is unbalanced so it doesn't matter for guitars because especially electric guitars you're not getting sort of a pristine quality and it gets electric guitar is not going to actually support a balanced signal most of the time so you don't have to worry about that just use your standard guitar cables but if you are exporting from another device that does have balanced outputs and you'll probably know it if you do then you probably want something like this which is a t RS cable so the TS sense for tip sleeve TRS stands for tip ring sleeve so again this has three connections it's a sort of like a three pin but they're just sort of been in a row there so this is similar to an XLR and it actually provides almost an identical signal and I think it actually is it identical I'm not an electrical engineer so I don't know for sure but it's it's a high quality signal because it's balanced so if you can and something like this focus right and support that so if we plug this in and we put these over to the line level then we could get a balanced signal into here so if we've got a piece of like a synth that's got two quarter inch outputs than a balance we could get two balanced cables and we're gonna send a higher quality output into our interface here the same thing actually applies on the back here so these here are lieing outputs left and right and these are also balanced so if you are connecting these there - a pair of speakers like these KRK Rokit falls you'll want to be using a trrs cable don't describe a guitar cable and hook them up to this because you're not going to get a very good quality output into your monitor speakers so keep that in mind when you're using this if you won't if you're a normal home studio user like myself I rarely use these because to be honest I'm usually plugging guitars in and I don't really have a need for a balance sing like this apart from going out to my monitor speakers a majority of what I plug in is just using your standard TS cable or using your XLR for your microphones and one final thing I did mention it condenser microphones and I've talked about these before and I've got a whole other video all about microphones which once again I'll link up and down below but you'll notice here that we've got a little switch here which has 48v underneath it you probably can't see that there that is to turn on our standard power so a microphone like this one will not need phantom power this is a dynamic microphone but if you're using a condenser microphone I've got an M XL 550 that I'm actually talking into right now or a samson co one that i also use that i've reviewed in the past then you are going to need phantom power and most interfaces will support that you just need to make sure it's turned on and the Steinberg you are 12 has the same thing but it's on the back here you flip that switch to turn on your phantom power so that's just something else to keep in mind that if you're connected up via XLR and you've got your microphone you're not getting any signal through check for your phantom power because that's likely going to be what you need to put and in there and what you need to turn on before you actually going to get your signal through so there you go I hope this helped you understand some of these terms how to connect your things to your other things and you can get past all of that and just start creating music if you've got any other comments questions or suggestions you can leave those down in the description and I'll see you on the next video hey thanks for sticking around I've got two more videos linked down below about how to connect things to other things you can also subscribe to the channel by clicking on the studio life today icon that's up there in the top right corner or you can head on over to studio live today comm for more audio goodness

 

8. XLR cable BUYERS GUIDE (Guide and History of XLR Cables)

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: XLR cable BUYERS GUIDE (Guide and History of XLR Cables)

what's up everybody I'm back yes it's been a couple weeks I've been moving around and doing stuff helping out family and things like that but I'm back now and what we are going to go over today is basically something that an audio person needs to keep in mind every time they buy this item and as you can probably imagine from the title of this video it is XLR cables before we get started if you have any questions comments or anything about gear cables anything just leave it down in the comment section down below if you want to ask me more directly I stream on Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday twitch.tv slash ghetto happy is the link and you will find that in the description down below also if you find this video helpful please leave like and consider subscribing joining our very small but building community of gearheads and techies got to find a name for us maybe you guys figure it out so trying to find cables nowadays is very difficult as far as like finding quality cables yeah sure you could buy plenty of expensive things but you don't want to break the bank when it comes to certain peripherals like sure you want to buy quality equipment but you don't want to break the bank why would you want to spend a hundred dollars on an XLR cable I can't imagine any situation in my life at least where I would spend a hundred dollars on one cable there are plenty of peripherals for gear that can be cost efficient and quality efficient you just kind of go and do your research and find out where you need to go so when we're talking about transmission of audio from one place to another you're gonna have to have some type of cable with it's been used for a better part of the last hundred years but it really changed when when people started actually seriously recording and seriously thinking about how can we make this better back in the 50s you went from a time where it was just like let's just slap something together with the equipment that we tried to put together usually it was military use eventually came to the public and they used it for their use but in the 50s they started making audio recording and really media recordings much more professional and they more recognizable to what we see today so in the mid 50's canon no not that canon invented the type o-series cable basically it's a version of the XLR cable but it wasn't called an XLR cable at the time we'll get into that a little bit and that's what they used for broadcast they used for some recordings and everything like that it had three prongs a locking mechanism and it looked like an oval like kind of like if you took a XLR cable and you flattened it basically what they did was build the foundation of a cable that we know today the foundation is three connectors with a housing that can lock in not turn that you just could plug and play and easy in and out now these cables they became obsolete fairly quickly because through time things evolved and cables change so right around the 60s that's when they started to be a little bit less prominent in the audio world next we have the type P connector series basically it's it's an XLR cable essentially it's just the next iteration of it as opposed to the O from what you see in these pictures is zinc cable clamp basically to hold the wire into place steel barrel to hold the housing which is the housing actually rubber bushing spring on the latch lock insert the Bower insert on the barrel basically where the prongs go in and there's a ton of different styles over the years but it all derives back to this they all look the same but they just were like manipulated and molded to what we know today and they're probably gonna change again but this what we know today moving on we had the you a series which is basically just a XLR cable what a crew-cut it really gave it a unique shape but still the same functionality from what you see in these pictures they kind of made it a little more simple less moving parts less less components but it's same construction more sturdy and more efficient and this is you probably saw probably in the mid 60's going into the 70s that they started manipulating through these two decades really really progressed a lot now finally we get to the X series now the X series connector was just the first iteration of what we know today as an XLR cable and from what I knew what I from what I thought I knew about XLR cables I was always told the layman's way of thinking of it xlr8 and right I couldn't be more far from the truth it really is more complicated and very interesting way of looking at it especially when you go through the years and through the series as they progressed so let's get into that this first X series was your typical XLR cable but the problem was it didn't have a locking mechanism I don't know why because there was locking mechanisms in the past and why wouldn't they have them now but that's the way it was so this X series I guess was maybe just a prototype and from what I can see what I've seen in research and things like that but it's the first iteration of this cable now very soon after that they went into the L XL series the L literally stands for a latch which is something they knew before but they didn't bring it back and then they brought it back don't know understand why nowadays is it kind of a little weird but I guess at the time made sense as you can see from the diagram basically it has a full construction of how its put together you got the nut on the end on the closed end to the cable followed by a spring a washer of bushing if you don't know what a bushing is basically a fat washer that something most of the time shaped differently to conform to whatever washers are either metal or rubber or whatever but basically that's how it is then we have the shelled housing with the thread and then finally the insert assembly so when you talk about the insert you're talking about the actual plug itself everything else is just housed around it and putting it together now the major things about the Excel series is they basically took it to a point where they didn't have any buzzing they pushed it in far enough that you don't have to worry about a loose connection especially yeah especially that locking mechanism which was really cool because if you think about it back then it was it was new technology it was something that was not used before it was something that it might be obvious just hearing about it but it wasn't it wasn't done and finally we have the XLR cable I could guarantee you don't know what the R stands for me I didn't know till I started doing research for this to be honest I'd never really had a reason to I was always told cross between left and right I was couldn't like I said it couldn't be more wrong so just so you know R stands for rubber so X series latching rubber cable in a way it kind of sounds like a sex toy but but let's get past that I really was confused when I when I read that it's not something that's very common to people's knowledge but eight now you know that it can't stands for that which is probably something you'll never need to know but if you're on Jeopardy one day maybe you'll get it right or maybe they'll even have a question on that that'd be cool so if you want to read into that article I'll leave it down in the description it's pretty cool article going into the brief history of XLR cables and what they became they had to change their name from canon with two N's because of obvious reasons and yeah that that's really cool learning about history everyone should definitely do more research on history of stuff that they use in regular day life because it gives them a bit of a foundation of where they came from chances are you probably not even gonna bring it up but it's nice to know or maybe I'm just one in a million and I'm just gonna be babbling all about history and all alone I've narrowed this down to five key factors of figuring out if your XLR cable you want to buy or what you want to get is proper for use and the quality that you need to make it work properly or make anything work properly so number one is a metal housing or metal chassis as it's called to the ends of these cables basically if it's made out of metal it's gonna be more sturdy and it's gonna be more helpful to moving around it stepped on it's not gonna break next you want a screw on bit to hold the housing to the wire which is very crucial it can be made at a placard and plastic that's fine but as long as it screws on and holds it together that's what you need I've seen a lot of them that were pressed on and they don't work very well because I get behind very easily next number three we're gonna go inside yes sexy I know but hey we're gonna need something inside if you unscrew it to have hold it holding together this can be made out of plastic because it's on the inside it shouldn't be obstructed in any way but it needs to hold together some type of teeth something to hold the wires intact so that it doesn't like pull apart obviously if you pull hard enough anything's gonna go but basically that's what I'm looking for next number four locking mechanism on the female side and the male side the male side will have a little notch for a lot of locking parts if you plug it into like a professional style thing but on the female and it needs to have that locking mechanism if it doesn't have that locking mechanism then it is not an XLR cable so they are liars so if you know your history you will know that if it doesn't have a locking mechanism they have falsely informed you there you go and number five you need Oh whirring on the female end this is crucial because if you don't have that Oh ring on the end you are more susceptible to crackling and missing like connections and just a bad connection all together so that bushing that that connector needs to have an o-ring or washer or some type of rubber washer to hold it together Oh rings are probably more standard so if you do have XLR cables you can buy a rings slip on it might not be perfect but if they work hey it will help you out a lot in the end so now that you know all those components that need to be in your cable the next thing is the price there are plenty of price ranges and different styles and different brands and everything like that but if you go back to those five key points as long as they have them it really is up to you on how much you want to spend sure static electricity interference other frequency interferences there is plenty to be going into this but as far as the hardware is concerned to keep to those things the the the rubber that's holding the and the plastic that's holding the wire together will come into play so that could increase your price depending on how sting stingy but how this particular you are with what you're doing if you're in a place where you don't have much interference cool if you're in a place like in a professional setting you probably want something that has less interference so you don't have to worry about any like well like kind of staticky kind of things so just keep that in mind I learned this a long time ago from a mentor of mine they're very well respected person I learned one is none it's an excellent quote because if you have one of something and it goes bad you've got nothing so one is none so buy more than one if it's XLR cables if it's cables in general by five by ten if you want but make sure they're good quality I have some recommendations they're going to be in the description [Music] related but if you want you could go to a guitar center musician's friend Sam ash that's the other one too more research don't just take my opinion on this take multiple opinions and one person isn't right or wrong one person has one opinion that cast some right aspects another person has another couple or right aspects and put them together to make your own individual opinion and then when you have your experiences from these researching experiences then you have your own opinion just don't don't just go what don't go half-cocked into a situation do research in any aspect of life that really is a good lesson thank you all for watching hope you all enjoyed it if you like that video please hit the like button down below and consider subscribing for more videos in the future ring the bell so you are notified when the videos coming out and also just please leave a comment just start a conversation with me I'd be really happy to answer questions and everything like that also I stream on Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday if you want to ask me more directly hang out watch me play some games and maybe even I'll play some games with people if you guys are interested - yeah that's pretty much it and just be kind be safe be kind and I'll see you next time oh my god that was a brute all a checkpoint we get down

 

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