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Author Topic: Cables !  (Read 8779 times)
Moon
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« on: January 07, 2008, 08:26:45 PM »

I just finished a small experiment: I had a standard 3 meter cable connecting my Motif Rack with my soundcard (Yamaha i88x connected via mlan to an 01x). The cable was laying on the ground. When recording, I noticably had a ground signal measuring at 66 dB. The music piece I was recording was rather silent music, so I had to turn up the input levels to +/- 75% instead the ussual 50% for a line input.

Replacing the cable by a home made audio cable of +/- 60 cm, reduced the noise level to less below 78 dB ! That's 4 time less noise, leaving the ground noise almost inaudible.

I knew that you shouldn't keep your cables too long, but I didn't knew it made such a big difference. So, my advice, keep the length of your audio cables to a minimum !

Moon
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Laguna Rising
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2008, 08:47:09 PM »

This is a good advice.
I must bear in mind , for when using guitars, bass, etc.
These are the most noisy stuff that I'm recording into my daw from analog  Smiley

Cheers
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folderol
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2008, 08:49:36 PM »

While, as you say, cables should always be as short as possible. It's quite likely that the routing was part of the problem. You never know what is buried in a wall or under a floor and unless you use balanced cables throughout (seldom possible) there is always the chance of some stray coupling.

P.S.
You could of course always mount your entire kit on an insulated stand in the exact electromagnetic centre of the room, inside a farady cage, with only one filtered, isolated D.C. supply  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2008, 12:22:43 AM »

Not just the length, and the routing, but using good cables helps.
 I have 25' RCA cables that are quieter than cheaper 6' ones..proved that in front of 30 people at a church gathering one night.
You don't have to break the bank on cables, as some manufacturers try to convince you.  But it's easy to see (and often hear) the difference between a cheap cable and a good cable.
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kara
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2008, 07:59:45 AM »

Good advice, and having the experience of rebuilding my studio a couple of times, I think allso it's a complicated combination of different elements to get a 'no interference' setup.
- Good cables
- As short as possible
- Routing of the cables, most important element here is not to put audio cables along power cables, crossing both is ok but not following the same route.
- Other possibible 'bad boys' are those small external power supply, keep those away from the audio circuit.
- ...

All in all, not an easy exercise and a lot of trial and error.

k
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008, 07:20:28 PM »


All in all, not an easy exercise and a lot of trial and error.

k


I think that's the real key. You have to be prepared to 'rip up and re-try' until you get it right.
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 10:41:49 PM »

AH!-a thread about cables...very cool. Cool

One thing I would like to add about cables,is that while short cables are best,there are some good alternative methods to running longer cables in situations were it is a must to do so.

The ideal set up for running cables over long distances,primarily starts with the source-as for instance,a mixer.

Specifically a mixer that has balanced outputs-via a two conducter configuration within the mixer itself.

XLR cables are best,but TRS cables(2 ring 1/4 phono plugs) work very well also.
With distances beyond say,10 or 12 feet,using a further upgraded cables is paramount for quiet operation.

More specifically, balanced cables with gold contacts,thick strands of metal with good dialectric properties that are housed in oxygen free shielding,will give you the most noise free operation.

In my personal experience,I have found the Planet Waves cables to be some of the best cables on the market that are reasonably priced.

They are used with high quality materials & what makes them unique is that they have compression rings on the ends of the cables for a snug fit that protects your audio jacks on your equipment.

They are built very solid and they have a lifetime guarantee.

I use nothing but Planet Waves cables & they have dramatically improved the overall quality of my studio & my home theatre set up-I LOVE THESE CABLES!! Grin

They are not that easy to find,as they are not as commonly carried by as many retailers as some other brands,but they are well worth tracking down,because these cables are unrivaled in quality for the price,in my opinion.

Thom
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Wyatt
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 11:03:47 AM »

Lots of great advice here.

I have gone to great lengths to get quality cables and to route the audio and electrical stuff separately.

I am set up so that I can do many different things with different combinations of components, by simply switching a couple of cables. In some instances I do get some noise in my signal chain, in spite of mastering quality A/D converters.

Even a sub-audible noise in each track can be a real bummer, because when mixed they add up..not so sub-audible then.  Smiley

So I have gotten into the habit of using noise reduction on all my tracks before mixing. In the last couple of years I have had occasion to be using N/R for 20-30 hours a week. It isn't a 'no-brainer-just-push-the-button' thing, but well worth taking a little time to learn.

If you are careful to select the correct noise profile, you can leave the original audio virtually perfect.

Wyatt

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