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Outboard EQ routing issue
Old 4 days ago
Here for the gear

Outboard EQ routing issue


I'm trying to link for the first time my first outboard EQ but i don't get what's wrong, the current routing is:

1) signal start from Ableton Live via USB to analog output 5/6 of my RME Fireface UFX with 2 x 1/4" unbalanced TS/TS customized twin cable that end to a 1/4" balanced TRS linked to my API 5500 Dual Equalizer TRS balanced input port.

2) then from the 5500 XLR output port pass with a XLR customized twin cable that ends to 2 x 1/4" TS-TS unbalanced cables linked to analog input 5/6 of the Fireface.

The problem is that when i create a dedicated channel strip on Ableton Live and set the I/O input to 5/6 there's very low signal (almost no signal tbh), even if i try to gain the channel strip at the limit.

The API 5500 as 2 input ports, a balanced 1/4" TRS (that works even with unbalanced signal as i've read on user's manual) and an XLR-(F) port and only 1 XLR-(M) output port. I've read that if using the 1/4" TRS port it cuts off the signal of the XLR input. Is possible that using the TRS port instead of the XLR cuts off even the output signal? Is the only thing i've thought it can lead to this issue even if i think it doesn't make much sense.... Maybe the problem is that i'm using twin cables?

The Fireface UFX has a plugin software that manage everything called RME TotalMix FX, even up there seems to be everything ok. The channel strips i'm trying to use are not muted or pitched down.

Any thoughts?

Old 3 days ago
Lives for gear

If I were to guess simply based on what you described, the problem is running an XLR to 1/4" cable. That's not the way you're supposed to connect balanced outputs to unbalanced.

You either need to run unbalanced on both ends or you'll need a transformer to convert balanced to unbalanced so you don't wind up with a huge gain loss due to miss matched impedances.

Cost wise the least expensive option while still providing excellent fidelity is to use a dual DI box.
I picked up one of these for feeding a stereo drum machine at line level into balanced mic inputs. In my case I used the attenuator switches to drop the level down so the mic input wouldn't distort with a line input. This box can be used in forward or reverse directions so theirs no problem converting balanced to unbalanced, and even though it uses cheaper Chinese transformers I'm unable to detect any fidelity losses at all.

The best thing is the price which is only $14. I was going to buy separate transformers I usually use for this kind of thing, but the best buy on those are $10 now so the DI box winds up being cheaper. Don't forget the extra cables you'll need too. You'll need to use XLR in from the EQ then use 1/4" out to feed your interface.
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