I'm pretty new to all this and I have a RODE NT 1A condenser microphone and an old Saffire PRO 24 DSP audio interface. I've connected the interface to my computer using firewire and a Pcie express card. I tried connecting the microphone to the interface using a XLR to TRS cable because it doesn't have any XLR inputs. However, that doesn't work. Is it true that a 1/4 connector can't provide phantom power? I really hope someone can show me a way to make it work.

Equipment: https://www.thomann.de/gb/rode_nt1a_complete_vocal_recording.htm?shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6NCwibGFuZ3VhZ2UiOjJ9&reload=1



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    I'm confused: The Saffire PRO seems to have two big ol' XLR inputs in the front? p8 of the pdf. Anyway, I can answer one part: no, 1/4 inch can't provide phantom power. You can get a little in-line adapter with a battery to provide it, but that's probably not the best solution here. Jan 11, 2023 at 17:16
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    @AndyBonner - I guess they're immediately recognisable as dual purpose sockets if you've seen a lot of them in your time. I remember thinking they were pretty snazzy first time I ever saw one… 20? years ago. I've still to this day never owned anything with them.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 11, 2023 at 17:50
  • (Dude the XLR is on the front! it's a "combo" one). Hold it - don't you need a lift with that Rode ?
    – Fattie
    Jan 12, 2023 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


The Rode needs phantom.
The Saffire can supply phantom, on XLR.

Nothing is built to run phantom along a TS/TRS jack, because the chances of shorting the socket or accidentally sending it to something that will be destroyed by 48v are far too high to risk it.

Therefore, phantom runs on XLR > XLR only.

All you need is the right cable [already supplied in the kit you linked]. The XLR>TRS in your separate link is of no use whatsoever.

The input sockets [1] on the Saffire will accept either jack [probably mono TS, not TRS] or XLR. Because of the voltage concerns mentioned, it will not send phantom up the jack line, only the XLR.

enter image description here

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    Thank you! I didn't know it was both a TRS AND a XLR input haha Jan 11, 2023 at 21:14
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    @FeaturingTimm At the risk of sounding like a smartass, I've owned a Saffire interface and you really need to read the manual to find some of the features. Not just the dual jack/XLR connectors.
    – Graham
    Jan 12, 2023 at 8:16
  • @Tetsujin - don't you need a lift with that Rode?? (Or does that interface have a cheap preamp built in or such ??)
    – Fattie
    Jan 12, 2023 at 19:55
  • @Fattie - these USB interfaces are all 'everything in one box'. The only mic I know that people seem to always put a lifter on is the SM7.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 13, 2023 at 6:57
  • @Tetsujin - gotchya. modern times :)
    – Fattie
    Jan 13, 2023 at 13:33

Yes it’s true that a 1/4" input will not provide phantom power. We want it this way because phantom power on 1/4" cables is dangerous for the power supply and devices. A 1/4" connector can be momentarily shorted when plugging or unplugging it.

An XLR maintains each contact at a fixed distance and cannot be plugged in incorrectly, so there’s no danger of a short on XLR cables.

As mentioned elsewhere, you can actually use XLR cables with your interface. That’s because your interface has combo connectors that can accept either 1/4" or XLR cables on the same connector. They don’t exactly look like either kind of connector, so it’s reasonable to have missed the XLR capability. Simply get and XLR cable and you should be fine.

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    +1 for giving a reason why XLR plug is that shape. I never thought about that - don’t delete! Jan 11, 2023 at 17:38
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    Thank you so much! That was exactly my issue! I didn't recognize the inputs as XLR because i was able to fit my 1/4 into it haha Jan 11, 2023 at 20:08
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    Incidentally, my RØDE NT5s even have the ground pin a little longer so it makes contact first. That helps if you plug into a channel that already has P48 applied.
    – Theodore
    Jan 11, 2023 at 23:01

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