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Thread: question about plugging into mxing board from DJ mixer

  1. #1
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    question about plugging into mxing board from DJ mixer

    My Rane DJ mixer features balanced XLR outputs. Can I connect these XLR inputs to a mixing desk into the mixer's XLR inputs? The XLR inputs on the mixing board say they are mic level. Below the XLR inputs on the channel are TRS 1/4 inch inputs that say line level. I'd rather use the XLR inputs. Is that an option?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by DJSF20; 02-05-2020 at 08:31 AM.

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    No don't connect to the XLR mic inputs they will be overdriven, use 1/4" cables to connect to the line inputs or better yet connect to a stereo line input channel.

    What mixing desk is this?
    Paul O'Brien
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    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    If there's a short distance (<10'), there's no difference between an unbalanced cable with RCAs (or TS 1/4") and a balanced cable with XLRs (or TRS 1/4"). The sound quality is the same. Balanced cables are resistant to noise being picked up on long cable runs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by conanski View Post
    No don't connect to the XLR mic inputs they will be overdriven, use 1/4" cables to connect to the line inputs or better yet connect to a stereo line input channel.

    What mixing desk is this?
    It's the Mackie 1402VLZ4. It has channel strips with gain that I can turn down to -20db. I'm confused because I had a sound engineer take my mixer outputs at a club recently and he plugged them in to XLR strips on his board and it sounded good. Thanks for your help.

  5. #5
    Junior Member BDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSF20 View Post
    It's the Mackie 1402VLZ4. It has channel strips with gain that I can turn down to -20db. I'm confused because I had a sound engineer take my mixer outputs at a club recently and he plugged them in to XLR strips on his board and it sounded good. Thanks for your help.
    I plug my Rane mixer (MP44) into a Mackie 1604 utilizing two channel strips (L/R) via XLR. Your mixing board can accommodate any balanced mic or line level from most sources including your pro mixer.
    Unforgiving, unrelenting, unrecoverable double beats!

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  6. #6
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    Use the 1/4 inch balanced. Its not like they are gonna get knocked out easily on that mixer, and saves you any hassle of worrying about connection converters or mic/line levels.
    If 1/4 inch is good enough for touring bands, its good enough for your mixer.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
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    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DJSF20 View Post
    It's the Mackie 1402VLZ4. It has channel strips with gain that I can turn down to -20db. I'm confused because I had a sound engineer take my mixer outputs at a club recently and he plugged them in to XLR strips on his board and it sounded good. Thanks for your help.
    Pro mixing consoles (some, but not all), can take anything from mic level up to professional (+4dB) line level through their XLR inputs. Smaller mixers like your Mackie don't, so that's why it worked for them and not for you. -20 dB is not nearly good enough for this, you need to use the TRS input. Your mixer most likely outputs a nominal level somewhere between 0 and 4 dBu, so at least 20 dB too high for the mixer XLR input.

    So, per conanski.. you need a pair of female XLR to male TRS cables for this.
    Or, as KLH pointed out, you can just use RCA to 1/4 inch TS cable if it is a short run. It will work just fine in most cases.

    But if for whatever reason you really prefer to use the XLR inputs on your mixer, the solution would be to get a stereo DI box with a pad switch on it, which is made to take the unbalanced line level output of your mixer and connect it to a balanced mic input. This is exactly what a lot of professional venues will do in your situation where they are mixing mic and line inputs to their console. But it makes more sense when you have got a large console located a distance from the stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSF20 View Post
    It's the Mackie 1402VLZ4. It has channel strips with gain that I can turn down to -20db. I'm confused because I had a sound engineer take my mixer outputs at a club recently and he plugged them in to XLR strips on his board and it sounded good.

    There are lots of sound guys out there using really bad practices, as you have seen sometimes you get away with it but other times you won't.
    Paul O'Brien
    Old Tech Guy
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for all your help. I have learned a lot. From my Rane DJ mixer I will now use a female XLR to male TRS cable to plug into the line inputs. This will work anywhere with any mixer even with longer cable runs.

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