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mini to XLR is ther a difference

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Legend
mini to XLR is ther a difference
on Jan 11, 2006 at 8:30:07 am

I recently purchased a lectrsonics uhf 100 reciever kit. It only has a mini out, is there any sound quality loss mini to XLR as opposed to XLR to XLR. It is for recording interviews and such.


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Matte
Re: mini to XLR is ther a difference
on Jan 11, 2006 at 12:35:34 pm

The main difference between "mini-plug" and "XLR" connections is not "quality of the audio"... but it has to do with NOISE PICKUP.

With UN-balanced cables (2 pins/wires), of which mini-phone plugs and RCA phono plugs are a part, there is SINGLE inner conductor wire, wrapped (encased) by a shield wire. In UN-balanced cables, the conductor AND the shield both help carry the "signal".

If the cable is used in an area that contains stray audio interference (radio & cellphone transmitters, AC power radiation), each wire (conductor and/or shield) can pick up a slightly different amount of the "noise" and THAT causes the a potential for the noise to get amplified and recorded along WITH the audio that the cable is carrying. (Noise = BAD).

The (BALANCED) XLR cable has 3 pins/wires (for mic and audio use, anyway).
There are TWO inner "conductor" wires, wrapped (encased) by a third "shield" wire.
With BALANCED cable, the shield does NOT carry any of the audio signal.

If the 2 conductors DO pick up any stray audio interference (radio & cellphone transmitters, AC power radiation), they are BOTH at the same "potential" in relation to the shield (both conductors INSIDE the shield) the interference tends to "null-out" to "zero" between the two, and not "get into" (become a part of) the audio that the cable is carrying. (No Noise = GOOD).

This is VERY important with longer cable runs from mics to mixers or camcorders.
(There can also be a small loss of high-frequencies with longer runs of UN-balanced cables as well).

HOWEVER...
In the case of a very short cable length of under 10 feet, or so (like the short link from a wireless mic receiver mounted to a camcorder) it most-likely will NOT cause any quality problems if you are using an UN-balanced link from mic to camcorder.

But, always (ALWAYS) wear good headphones and monitor your audio (listen for any NOISE pickup) every time you're recording audio you intend to use.


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Legend
Re: mini to XLR is ther a difference
on Jan 11, 2006 at 9:05:25 pm

Thanks, it sounds like you really know your audio.


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Ty Ford
Re: mini to XLR is ther a difference
on Jan 12, 2006 at 12:57:59 am

Mini jacks and plugs can be balanced or unbalanced.

I would guess that Lectro uses balanced outs. Check with them to be sure. If it is a balanced (3-conductor) output it really makes no difference whether its an XLR ot a TRS.


Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Matte
Re: mini to XLR is ther a difference
on Jan 12, 2006 at 1:17:05 am

Yes, the Lectrosonics UCR100 has a TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) mini-jack output and it is a BALANCED output.


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