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I'm looking at setting up something like the Behringer RX1602 in front of my current mixer to add more stereo inputs to it. These stereo inputs are chiefly regular consumer audio devices such as an old cassette deck with an RCA output - all unbalanced stereo which it seems the mixer should deal with easily enough.

I then need to split the output of this mixer into two separate stereo outputs, one of which will be fed to a line in on a PC and the other to a further mixer (ultimately for listening with headphones; I already have this final mixer set up). I'm looking at something like the MX882 splitter/mixer for splitting, the mixer part giving slight additional flexibility if i need to change this configuration in the future.

The problem I have is that the splitter/mixer only has balanced XLR connectors, while all inputs and one output from it are going to be unbalanced signals over RCA or 1/4" TS connectors. Can I simply get (or solder) cables with the inverted and ground wires connected normally on the XLR side but both connected to ground on the unbalanced mono connector side? Will this work for outputs? If not, what kind of a device or setup would be advisable in between?

  • I don't think simply making some custom TS/XLR cables is likely to work well due to mismatched impedance. The unbalanced signals coming from your audio sources will be high impedance, while the mixer expects low impedance inputs. The usual solution for this problem is a a DI box. – Alex Basson Aug 15 at 11:03
  • Alex Basson's suggestion is probably the best idea, although it's quite feasible to connect differing impedance mics, etc., hi into low, low into hi, but it can introduce noise, and the volume/trim pots may not be able to compensate. – Tim Aug 15 at 12:11
  • I suppose that's about what I expected, though I was mostly worried about what happened if you connected the inverted signal on the output to ground instead of impedance. I didn't even think to think of impedance, honestly, but it's worth considering since I'm not completely sure how much wiggle room I have with the gain. – user10186512 Aug 15 at 12:26
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    ...but even if I do have enough gain to compensate for whatever attenuation there is, I probably should at least put in some kind of balun ("passive DI") in, right? – user10186512 Aug 15 at 12:43
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Before spending money or making custom cables, try the headphone output of the RX1602 as your second output. With its level control initially set way down of course. Don't argue why it won't work, just try! You may have a nice surprise.

  • That does seem like an acceptable solution to the specific problem of needing a splitter, though I think I'll be getting the splitter/mixer I'm looking at anyway at some point because it allows for some interesting configurations (looking at the documentation it looks like it allows you to pass main in through one output while mixing additional inputs to main out) - in which case I'll still need to figure out how to deal with it. I've drawn some potential topologies, I'll have to see how this meshes with what I have. – user10186512 Aug 15 at 12:52

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