Short question:

I have a microphone signal coming out of a male 1/8" (3.5mm) which I want to send into a female XLR low impedance input.

Long version:

I have a microphone's output signal, 3.5mm male TS plug (from a Wireless microphone receiver). I wish to send this signal into a female XLR (low impedance) input (of a TC Helicon Harmonizer stomp box).

The Harmonizer's signal goes via XLR cable to a PA with no trouble.

The trouble is somewhere (from mic into harmonizer) between the 1/8" to XLR connection/conversion.

When I connect up, I get noise. Higher pitched than a 60 cycle hum, but lower pitch than what I would call a "whistle". Not regular static, though.

I have tried several different adapters, but cannot tell what sort of adapter or conversion I need to take a signal from a 1/8" TS male plug to XLR female input of the Harmonizer. The adapter format would be 1/8" female to male XLR. Do I need to convert the TS to TRS before the 1/8" on the adapter? Do I need impedance conversion? How can I tell?

  • 2
    What's the mic? Anything presenting with a ⅛" jack is probably high impedance, so you're going to have to get a DI box for starters, or preferably a better mic.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


I agree that a DI is your best bet.

I'm assuming the wireless receiver plugs into power with a small external transformer ("wall wart"). If this is the case, then I suggest a passive, transformer-coupled DI like a Radial JDI or Whirlwind IMP-2. Those types of DIs have good common-mode rejection so if the noise is coming from nearby EMF that might make a big difference. The other DI feature that might help is a ground lift switch, which would help if you've got a ground loop.

Then you'll want a high-quality cable with a 1/8" TS connector on one side and a 1/4" TS connector on the other side. And of course you'll need a standard XLR cable to go from the DI box to the harmonizer.

It is possible that the output of the receiver is just noisy - strange for a receiver to have an 1/8" output. If this is the case, nothing is likely to help that much.

If you edit in the exact make and model of the wireless receiver and the harmonizer pedal, we might be able to give more targeted advice.

  • 1
    I'm guessing it's a camera-ready structure, designed for DSLR recording etc. They do use high impedance mics, usually on TRS ⅛ jacks. The other way is just as much 'fun' too, trying to squeeze a pro lav mic into a camera jack so you don't have to carry a separate sound rig & use clapper-sync. I'm assuming it's something like this lot - gear4music.com/Microphones/Video.html?page=1
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 9:45
  • @Tetsujin Yeah good point Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 14:41

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