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Audio Cable Safari

This presentation was created as a response to the Week 1 assignment for the Introduction to Music Production course on Coursera.org.

Laurence Scotford

on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of Audio Cable Safari

Audio Cable Safari

Type and usage of important studio cables
1/4 inch cable (single conductor)
Always purchase the best quality cables you can afford. Broken and noisy cables are a common cause of problems in the studio.
Instrument cable
TS cable
A single conductor cable in which the signal is sent from tip to tip. The sleeve is connected to a braided shield that helps reduce noise in the cable.
Common uses
Top tips
Connecting instruments to amps, pre-amps and audio interfaces.
This cable is susceptible to noise, so keep it as short as possible.
1/4 inch cable (two conductor)
TRS cable
A two conductor cable with a shield. The tip and ring carry the signal, while the sleeve is connected to the shield.
Common uses
Top tips
Use as a stereo cable, e.g. headphones.
Use as a balanced instrument cable.
This cable is also susceptible to noise when used as a stereo cable.
When used in a balanced configuration it carries a single signal, but in a way that cancels noise that is picked up by the cable.
1/8 inch cable
These function in the same way as their 1/4 inch counterparts, but they have a smaller form factor.
Common uses
Top tips
Connecting headphones.
Connecting consumer grade equipment.
You can use an adaptor to convert between 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch cables or vice versa.
RCA cable
These function in the same way as the TS or Instrument cable. They have a single conductor and a sleeve.
Common uses
Top tips
Connecting consumer grade equipment.
If you are connecting consumer grade equipment to pro gear, remember to check if you need to switch between the consumer -10 dBV level and the pro +4 dBu level.

You can use an adaptor to convert from RCA to 1/4 inch and vice versa.
XLR cable
These are only ever used in a balanced configuration, to reduce noise. They have a handy locking feature so they can be secured to a microphone.
Common uses
Top tips
Connecting microphones
Because they are balanced, XLR cables are ideal for longer cable runs in the studio.
You can use a Direct Box to convert from an unbalanced cable to a balanced XLR cable.
Use the arrows below to navigate forward and back between the information on each cable.
Full transcript