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How to connect my home stereos amp to Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 please
Old 28th July 2015
  #1
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How to connect my home stereos amp to Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 please

I would please like to know what leads I need exactly to connect my home stereo to my audio interface and where to plug them, all I have on my home stereo amp are 1 red and 1 white phono socket so there is not much choice there!
But the 18i20 has lots of inputs/outputs and so far every lead everyone has told me has not worked including the shop that I bought it from! ..but when people have given me info I am sometimes not understanding what they are trying to tell me, I really am a complete noob!

I have already put a post up, but was a bit long winded, so tried again!

Thanks in advance
Old 29th July 2015
  #2
You should just be able to use a pair of 1/4" to RCA ("phono") adapters. If that's not working then your problem probably lies elsewhere, like in your output routing on your DAW or your input selection on your stereo.
Old 29th July 2015
  #3
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OK, you'll need two 1/4" TS to RCA cables of a suitable length. Something similar to a pair of these:

Hosa Technology HPR-005 Unbalanced 1/4" TS Male to HPR-005

Alternatively, you could buy a dual-cable arrangement to do the same thing. Something similar to this:

Hosa Technology HPR-005X2 Dual 1/4" TS Male to HPR-005X2

Finally, as Bender412 suggested, you could just get a pair of 1/4" to RCA adapters and use normal RCA cables. For example:

Hosa Technology GPR101 Male Phone to Female RCA Adapter GPR-101

and

Pearstone 2 RCA Male to 2 RCA Male Audio Cable (6') ARSC-106 B&H

(Please note, I'm not necessarily recommending any of those specific brands, they're just there to show you what you're looking for.)

Anyway, having got your pair of cables (or dual cable, or cables and adapters or whatever), the 1/4" jacks go into two of your Scarlett's outputs. I would suggest outputs 1 and 2 (the ones with the white surround on the back of your interface). I'm suggesting those because they should be the default outputs and, assuming you've installed everything correctly on your computer, they should be the ones that have some kind of audio coming out of them.

Now, connect the other end of your cables (the RCA/phono plugs) to your hi-fi. Output 1 should be connected to the left channel (labelled L or white on the hi-fi) and output 2 should be connected to the right channel (labelled R or red on the hi-fi). Select the appropriate input on your hi-fi (aux or whichever input you've plugged the RCAs into) and play something through your interface. The sound should be coming out of your hi-fi. If it isn't, there are a couple of things to check:

1. Is any sound getting to your interface in the first place? You can check this by plugging in a set of headphones to the Scarlett and seeing if you can hear anything. If you can hear something, then there is a problem with your cabling, a problem with the input/settings on your hi-fi or a problem with the output routing in your interface. If it's the output routing, then it's time to get your head around the Scarlett MixControl software and work out where your various inputs and outputs are going.

2. Are some sounds getting to the interface, but not all? Check this by trying different bits of software on your PC and seeing if you can hear anything from any of them. Particularly, check whether you're hearing things from your DAW (ProTools, Cubase, Logic, whatever) but not from your standard PC/Mac software (iTunes, Windows Media Player, YouTube in a web browser, etc.) If the sound from your DAW program is coming through, but nothing from your other software, then it's a matter of checking the sound settings on your computer to make sure that it's using the Scarlett as its default output device and not trying to send all your normal system sounds through an onboard sound card or speaker instead.

Between those two, that should cover most of it as far as getting sound out of your interface is concerned. In any case, the first step is to make sure that you have the right cables and/or adapters and they're connected to the right places. Once you have that covered and if you're still getting no sound, then it's time to come back - maybe with some screenshots of the way you have things set up on your computer (MixControl settings, Windows/Mac OSX audio settings, etc.) so that folks here can take a look-see and see what might be amiss.
Old 29th July 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarestar View Post
...all I have on my home stereo amp are 1 red and 1 white phono socket ...
If that's a phono socket that's a 47k-ohm input expecting the tiny signal from a turntable phono cartridge, then that's NOT the input that you should be driving from your Scarlett.

If it's a -10dBV line level input marked for a CD, tape player, or DVD input, then you're safe.
Old 29th July 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
If that's a phono socket that's a 47k-ohm input expecting the tiny signal from a turntable phono cartridge, then that's NOT the input that you should be driving from your Scarlett.

If it's a -10dBV line level input marked for a CD, tape player, or DVD input, then you're safe.
And that's a very good point - the one phono/RCA input that you don't want to use on your stereo is the turntable input! Use the CD/aux/tape input (or whatever you happen to have available on there).
Old 29th July 2015
  #6
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Thanks Adrian, yes have been using Aux, I did at least know that much
Old 29th July 2015
  #7
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Thanks Adrian, for some reason my brain was able to grasp a bit more what you are explaining! And the pics all helped a great deal, I am more a visual learner so it made it a lot easier to comprehend, thanks for your time and effort I have had sound come through a couple of times now, and I think the scarlett mixer control routes everything internally for you, as I didn't need to do anything either time with software mixer control other than plug in cables, but the problem was it sounded ok to my friend, but to my trained ears that know what my stereo should sound like, I knew the sound must be in mono or something, and today I got the correct sound to come through, but only playing though one speaker. I couldn't figure out why when plugging new lead I bought from amps rca to scarletts monitor, using this lead.. Stagg Twin Jack to Phono Cable, 0.6m at Gear4music.com no sound at all.. in my mind the amp and speakers would sort have been like or the equivalent of active monitors, but no, nothing at all, it only worked when plugging the 1/4 inch jacks into 3rd and 4th line output of the scarlett..but I guess thats where trs come in? Anyway I have a little sound I am happy with untill I order the male phone to female rca adapters you and bender mentioned, only as this will be my cheapest option for the minute! Thanks again, and will let you know when I have complete success!
Old 29th July 2015
  #8
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Thanks so much Bender am just about to order them!!! This will be my 3rd order!
Old 29th July 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarestar View Post
Thanks Adrian, yes have been using Aux, I did at least know that much
You're welcome - I figured that you probably weren't trying to use a turntable input, but you never know round here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarestar View Post
Thanks Adrian, for some reason my brain was able to grasp a bit more what you are explaining! And the pics all helped a great deal, I am more a visual learner so it made it a lot easier to comprehend, thanks for your time and effort I have had sound come through a couple of times now, and I think the scarlett mixer control routes everything internally for you, as I didn't need to do anything either time with software mixer control other than plug in cables, but the problem was it sounded ok to my friend, but to my trained ears that know what my stereo should sound like, I knew the sound must be in mono or something, and today I got the correct sound to come through, but only playing though one speaker. I couldn't figure out why when plugging new lead I bought from amps rca to scarletts monitor, using this lead.. Stagg Twin Jack to Phono Cable, 0.6m at Gear4music.com no sound at all.. in my mind the amp and speakers would sort have been like or the equivalent of active monitors, but no, nothing at all, it only worked when plugging the 1/4 inch jacks into 3rd and 4th line output of the scarlett..but I guess thats where trs come in? Anyway I have a little sound I am happy with untill I order the male phone to female rca adapters you and bender mentioned, only as this will be my cheapest option for the minute! Thanks again, and will let you know when I have complete success!
Unless it's faulty, that cable should work fine and be all that you need. Just plug the two 1/4" jacks into an adjacent pair of the Scarlett's outputs (1&2 or 3&4, etc.) and then plug the corresponding RCAs into the hi-fi's aux inputs (odd numbered Scarlett output = Left channel and even numbered Scarlett output = Right channel) and you should be good to go.

You shouldn't need any adapters unless you happen to have an RCA to RCA cable that you would prefer to use instead and so need to adapt one end of it for the Scarlett.

As for the output routing, I'm not familiar with the default routing that is set up in Scarlett Mix Control (I run a Saffire so I'd have thought it would be similar, but...) The fact that you could get sound out of outputs 3&4 but not 1&2 could just be some quirk of the way that the software set itself up when you installed it. MixControl is a pretty flexible sort of beastie and can take a little while to get your head around, but is incredibly useful once you've got the hang of it.

The TRS vs TS thing isn't really related to any of this though. All of the Scarlett's outputs will work with either a 1/4" TRS jack (in which case they provide a balanced line-level output) or with a 1/4" TS jack (providing an unbalanced line-level output). In your case, there's no point using a cable with TRS jacks since you're going into RCA/phono connectors at the other end and they are always unbalanced. Using a TRS to RCA cable should still work (in theory) although, in some cases, you might find that you got a quieter signal. It shouldn't actually change or harm the signal though - just possibly reduce its level. (Having said that - and just to confirm - the cable that you mentioned is TS to RCA anyway and should be fine.)

Just had one other thought - just to check something here. When you say that you were getting a mono sound or sound out of only one speaker, you were playing a real stereo track right? Sorry if it sounds like I'm treating you like a numpty here, but I have known people think that something has been collapsed to mono when they've simply forgotten that they're actually listening to a mono track (e.g. a solo vocal mic track) either panned centrally or hard over to one side or the other. Just checking!

Last edited by adrianww; 29th July 2015 at 04:38 PM..
Old 31st July 2015
  #10
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Just to quote you again.. 'Unless it's faulty, that cable should work fine and be all that you need. Just plug the two 1/4" jacks into an adjacent pair of the Scarlett's outputs (1&2 or 3&4, etc.) and then plug the corresponding RCAs into the hi-fi's aux inputs (odd numbered Scarlett output = Left channel and even numbered Scarlett output = Right channel) and you should be good to go' -Off the top of my head the 1 and 2 output are the monitor outputs-this was where no sound came out at all, which I still don't understand and sound came out only 1 speaker when the two 1/4 inch jacks were plugged into the next line outputs 3 and 4, maybe the new rcas to jacks leads is faulty..I have also now learned that odd number = left and even=right, Thanks Well the good thing is with all these complications, I am actually learning more, where usually I just muddle on through gettting things to eventually work, but not really fully understanding why or how
Also yes, I was using stereo tracks to go through, such as mp3 through laptop, videos through internet and just playing sound samples through my DAW, with everything I have been doing I try all routes and options to be sure I am not being simple and missing something, and yes fine to treat me as a numpty, I realise its easier to teach that way sometimes
Old 31st July 2015
  #11
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OK, I guess it's possible that the cable is faulty, but assuming it isn't...

First of all, it's worth checking that the aux input on your hi-fi amp/receiver isn't faulty. If you've got something else (a CD player or whatever) that you can plug into it and test it, that would rule out that possibility (or confirm it).

Second, and most likely I suspect, is a routing problem in MixControl or in your DAW. Most likely MixControl, since you said that you still only get sound through one speaker with YouTube, MP3s from your laptop, etc. If you haven't already taken a dive into the manual for your interface, now is the time. Particularly check your input routings, which channels are included in your mix and where the outputs are going. A screenshot of your current settings would help, but failing that, it'll be down to you looking at your MixControl settings and spotting anything that looks like it might be goofy. Focusrite have a (very) short tutorial in their Answerbase about Scarlett MixControl - it doesn't really tell you anything other than what you should be able to find in the manual but it's handy for a quick check. You can find it:

Right here

If everything looks OK in MixControl, then I'm a bit stumped...
Old 31st July 2015
  #12
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Oh - also, the odd=Left, even=Right thing isn't set in stone or hard wired or anything. It's just a common convention that lots of folks use for their inputs and outputs (when dealing with stereo) and it's the default routing that you tend to find for stereo channels in MixControl. You could set things up any way around you like if you wanted.
Old 1st August 2015
  #13
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OK, thanks Adrian
Well after all that..so my other half who really knows absolutely nothing about my gear, though he is a musical genius with instruments, decides to have a look after I have spent yet another wasteless hour with the 18i20 and bunch of cables, this time not even getting sound through 1 speaker, really trying everything and anything, and convinced my cabelling really is right..decides to have a look and within 5 minutes has sound through both speakers, I look at the set up and nothing has changed!!!! I mean nothing..my cabelling still as was, he tries a mic, straight away sound, then tries a utube vid and perfect, I said 'well what did you do?' he replies, well I saw that cable and wondered why you were using it and pulled it out and then ended up plugging it back in. This was the definitely needed, vital USB connecting laptop and 18i20!!! It must have rebooted it and got it working, but the annoying thing is well of course I have tried this before, with my old soundblaster soundcard that was part of the daily routine, sometimes unplugging and replugging 4 or 5 times, till it rebooted correctly and sound came out. But I only tried this rebooting once, really not thinking this new interface could possibly have the same buggy, issue! Oh and my other half just fixed his friends gear box cable in just 5 minutes too, even though a garage quoted £160 to fix the issue, like he says..some of us have just got it!!! Well, thanks all for all of your time, energy and brains! So appreciated the kindness and so nice to connect with some others too
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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monsieurjoko's Avatar
 

Ok I have a smilar question for a different setup :

A very normal ampli-tuner called Yamaha CRX-E300 connected to my computer right now using a 3,5 mm stereo to RCA cable. The RCA is, of course, connected to the AUX of the ampli.

The speakers are very small Bose tweeters coupled with a sub, this whole thing called Acoustimas System 3 Series V.

For now it works fine.

I have this idea to buy a USB interface like Focusrite Scarlett to plug later on a microphone in. My question being this :

Is connecting the output of the USB interface to the Yamaha ampli with TRS to RCA cables a good idea? Will I loose quality somewhere? Is this to far away from a good set up?

Thank you in advance!

Yamaha : https://www.manualslib.com/manual/19...00.html#manual
Speakers : https://www.manualslib.com/manual/11...Series-Iv.html
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Nope, no problems with that setup. In fact, if you want to get sound out of your interface and play it through your amp and speakers, that’s exactly the setup that you’ll need.

Don’t need to use TRS connectors on the interface end though - you’re going into RCA connectors on the amp anyway and they’re unbalanced. Might as well just use TS connectors.

Last edited by adrianww; 3 weeks ago at 06:55 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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monsieurjoko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianww View Post
Nope, no problems with that setup. In fact, if you want to get sound out of your interface and play it through your amp and speakers, that’s exactly the setup that you’ll need.

Don’t need to use TRS connectors on the interface end though - you’re going into RCA connectors on the amp anyway and they’re unbalanced. Might as well just use TS connectors.
Thank you! I'll do that then.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
If that's a phono socket that's a 47k-ohm input expecting the tiny signal from a turntable phono cartridge, then that's NOT the input that you should be driving from your Scarlett.

If it's a -10dBV line level input marked for a CD, tape player, or DVD input, then you're safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianww View Post
And that's a very good point - the one phono/RCA input that you don't want to use on your stereo is the turntable input! Use the CD/aux/tape input (or whatever you happen to have available on there).
That's the confusing difference between American English and English English. In England, we refer to those kind of plugs as "phono" plugs (I guess they were, originally, for "phinograph"), and no one ever uses "RCA". Most Brits would have no idea what that meant; I've always assumed that the Recording Company of America was so ubiquitous, that the leads got called that - which, then, means that they too were probably associated with turntables, at first.

In England, every working bamf and studio will routinely refer to "kettle leads", as the standard power lead for most studio equipment is the same shape as the lead that fits the standard English electric kettle. Pretty sure that would get some puzzled looks in the US if someone said "is there a spare kettle lead"!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
That's the confusing difference between American English and English English. In England, we refer to those kind of plugs as "phono" plugs (I guess they were, originally, for "phinograph"), and no one ever uses "RCA". Most Brits would have no idea what that meant; I've always assumed that the Recording Company of America was so ubiquitous, that the leads got called that - which, then, means that they too were probably associated with turntables, at first.

In England, every working bamf and studio will routinely refer to "kettle leads", as the standard power lead for most studio equipment is the same shape as the lead that fits the standard English electric kettle. Pretty sure that would get some puzzled looks in the US if someone said "is there a spare kettle lead"!
Yep, you're bang on the money. I'm probably an odd one out in that I'm British but still call them RCA plugs/sockets rather than phono. I only tend to say phono when I mean an actual turntable input.

Mind you, that's probably got something to do with me coming from a general computer science and electronic/electrical engineering background (non-audio). Once I first went to college, they became RCA plugs in my head and have remained so ever since.

Meanwhile, the phrase "kettle lead" usually causes the pernickety detail/awkward bugger circuit in my brain to glitch. The power cord that most people refer to as a kettle lead tends to be a C13, which is for low temperature applications. A proper kettle lead would actually be a C15, which has a cut-out at the bottom, or a C15A, which has a cut-out at the bottom and a raised lump at the top. (Manufacturers that try to use a standard C13 lead with the matching C14 socket on things like kettles, tea urns, hotplates, etc. are probably heading for a big "FAIL" notice from electrical certification bodies.)

And, as you rightly say, "kettle lead" might not translate too well across the Atlantic anyway!
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