Stereo to mono summing - audio interface to single Behritone monitor
imd2
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#1
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
  #1
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Thread Starter
Stereo to mono summing - audio interface to single Behritone monitor

Hello all.

I have a single Behritone monitor speaker, and an M-Audio Fast Track Pro audio interface. I wish to use the Behritone as a "grotbox" to check my mixes in mono (I have a pair of near field monitors I use for the bulk of my mixing duties.) My main question is this:

I wish to accurately sum the audio from stereo to mono from the interface to the speaker. What cable/cables/cable setup/??? should I use to connect these together that won't damage my system and will offer as little dB reduction as possible? I live in the Netherlands, so any European product would be best, but am open to suggestions from the US and elsewhere, as well, if need be. Google, colleagues, and other forums have been of little help. I'm counting on you, fellow Gearslutz!

These are the outputs on the Fast Track interface:
-S/PDIF out/in (coaxial)
-Output 1/2 and 3/4 (RCA) UNBALANCED
-TRS 1/2 (1/4 inch) BALANCED/UNBALANCED

These are the inputs on the Behritone:
-(1) XLR
-(1) 1/4 inch
-(1) RCA
-from what I can gather, all inputs are BALANCED on the Behritone except the single RCA input

The only advice I've found says DO NOT use a "TRS dual to single TS" cable. Those are for splitting a source, not summing. But, these seem to be the only thing anyone makes that would fit. I am unable to make a "DIY summing box" for various reasons, the main one being lack of technical skill in that field (I don't want to fry my gear!)

Any help is greatly appreciated!!

PS - Would it work for me to run a balanced line (1/4 inch TRS) out from the Fast Track Pro's headphone jack to the Behritone? Is that safe? It seems to me this would not accurately "sum" the L and R channels, but I'm not sure...

d2

Last edited by imd2; 4th September 2013 at 01:51 PM.. Reason: new info
#2
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
  #2
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Just plug it in TRS to XLR into output 3 or 4.

Change your master output to 3/4 when you want to switch monitoring.

You should be able to toggle from stereo to mono on the master. Then the same signal is present at output 3 or 4.
imd2
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4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
"Just plug it in TRS to XLR into output 3 or 4.

Change your master output to 3/4 when you want to switch monitoring.

You should be able to toggle from stereo to mono on the master. Then the same signal is present at output 3 or 4"


Thanks for the reply! However, I am a bit confused. The 3/4 outputs on my interface are unbalanced RCA outs, not TRS or XLR. My TRS outs are labeled "1" and "2" Are you saying to run a single male TRS 1/4 inch cable (the cable would be TRS and an XLR) from TRS output 1 on the Fast Track Pro interface, to an XLR input on the Behritone speaker? Wouldn't I just get the left side of the audio if I did that?

Or are you saying "RCA 3/4 outs on interface (since my near fields are using RCA 1/2), to XLR or TRS into Behritone?"
#4
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Run unbalanced rca out 3 to your monitor rca in (this isn't balanced....not possible with RCA)....you will only get the left side of the stereo so you'll need to switch to mono in your DAW.....depending what DAW you have you may be able to set up a monitor switching arrangement that also switches to mono so you can do it with one button push.

Or if for some reason you can't switch to mono in your DAW, make up/have made an audio cable to sum to mono from the schematics here:

Why Not Wye?

As far as I know you can't buy one of these ready made.
#5
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stella645 View Post

Or if for some reason you can't switch to mono in your DAW, make up/have made an audio cable to sum to mono from the schematics here:

Why Not Wye?

As far as I know you can't buy one of these ready made.
Check this out:

http://www.fullcompass.com/search.ph...al+summing+box

All you have to do is replace the Phoenix connector with an RCA.
imd2
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#6
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the reply stella645!

So, run a single RCA from 3 on the interface to a single RCA on the Behritone, and sum to mono on the DAW, preferably getting a mono signal sent to the interface (rather than summing to mono from the interface to the monitor.) Is that correct?

It's weird, I have read a lot about "grot boxes", but no one makes a cable or connecting device to route to them efficiently. And, none of the guys who write the articles ever mention how they route to the grotbox from their interface/mixer/computer. And there are tons of discussions on forums about correctly summing within a DAW that never seem to find the best solution.

I know they make "single 1/4 inch TRS male, to single XLR male" cables. Would I be able to (using the cable mentioned) use TRS output 1 as my out from the interface, while switching to mono on my DAW? Or, would that only give me the "left side" of my mix? I think this way it would at least be a balanced signal, thought I would still have to switch to mono from within the DAW...
#7
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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stella645's Avatar
 

You can use any of the inputs with a suitable cable to connect to your RCA out. (or other out)

Yes this will give you only the left side of your mix unless you switch mono in your DAW in which case left and right are the same.

Quote:
It's weird, I have read a lot about "grot boxes", but no one makes a cable or connecting device to route to them efficiently. And, none of the guys who write the articles ever mention how they route to the grotbox from their interface/mixer/computer.
It's a very small market and maybe these guys have monitor controllers with mono switches?

Quote:
And there are tons of discussions on forums about correctly summing within a DAW that never seem to find the best solution.
Have seen some posts saying DAW x mono sum is a bit iffy but not tons of discussions. Could you be reading about DAW summing in general rather than Stereo to Mono summing?
You can always use a plugin on your master bus if you're unsure about your DAW doing it right.....BX solo for instance.
imd2
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#8
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the reply Wyllys!

Is that safe to just splice a single RCA wgere the phoenix connector was? Do you know anyone who has successfully done that?
imd2
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#9
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
Stella645, maybe not tons (probably ten or so threads on different website forums with back-and-forth discussions about getting "true mono" and so forth), but all of them say it's (summing stereo to mono) iffy, which is what I meant. Although, I might have been confused about some of the post's nature, they could've been discussing "summing in general." Still learning, as always... I wanted originally to avoid summing to mono in the DAW for that reason, but unless I make a DIY summing cable myself, I'm stuck with DAW route, which I'm familiar with but don't fully trust. I'll try experimenting with plug-ins and so forth to see what works best. Thanks again for the info!

And, yes, you're probably right about those engineer/authors having better gear
#10
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imd2 View Post
Thanks for the reply Wyllys!

Is that safe to just splice a single RCA wgere the phoenix connector was? Do you know anyone who has successfully done that?
It's just a couple of wires. I've done it, and believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!!!
imd2
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#11
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
It's just a couple of wires. I've done it, and believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!!!
I wasn't asking if it was physically possible to put the damn thing together I was asking if it was safe for the cable/speaker. For example, it won't short the speaker, or fry the cable, or something like that. I've spliced cables and power cords before, but only like-to-like as a fix, not a new connection.
#12
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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It's perfectly fine. There would have been only two wires connected to the Phoenix block. Just substitute whatever unbalanced connector you wish to use in its place.

Test for shorts before using if you're worried. Got a multi-meter or a cable tester?
imd2
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#13
4th September 2013
Old 4th September 2013
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Thread Starter
Wyllys - Haven't had a cable tester since I moved here recently. I need to get one...

I think I'm just going to give everyone's suggestions a try and see what works best, especially since all the suggestions are either very cheap or free to do

Thanks a bunch everyone!
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