Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

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Kawouddd
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Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

A boredbrain patchulator has suddenly - and hugely - opened my eyes to the wonders of patch bays. I have a couple of initial questions, though.

Use balanced cables for everything - but balanced *for mono*, right? It’s when the cable is carrying identical signals on its two halves that noise cancelling can happen, and so balanced for stereo is as much use as unbalanced for mono. Right? One stereo device, two balanced cables in, two balanced cables out? Not a y splitter, one balanced to two unbalanced.

I think that’s it, really 😂

Oh, one more, what are the normalled and half normalled switches doing on the Samsung s patch plus, which seems to be widely rated? Normalled or half normalled, to what?

I was a bit shocked to realise one stereo device takes up four patch points, which made the 16 Jack patchulator suddenly seem very small!

Cheers!
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chupanebre
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by chupanebre »

So I am still learning how all this work flow works and reading it is one thing but actually patching with it really helps wrap your mind around all of it. Here is link to the manual http://www.samsontech.com/site_media/le ... _OM_v1.pdf
In my own words heres an example: (in normalized mode) lets say you plug in a mono synth in the top rear of patch jack #1 the signal is routed out to the rear bottom jack by default so you can say connect that output (rear bottom jack) to your audio interface. Now lets say you want to run this mono synth through a rack mounted mono delay one way of doing that would be have the delay input plugged in to top rear of patch jack #2 then have the output plugged in to the top rear of patch jack #3 then the bottom rear jack of #3 (your delay output) would be running to another input of your audio interface. Now all we have to do is plug in a patch cable from #1 in the front to break the connection and plug into #2 which now will run our synth through the delay. This is just one example as a patchbay opens up tons of possibilities and now you don't have to fumble around trying to plug stuff in and out of your audio interface cause you can have everything running through the patchbay easy to access.
HN or half normalized will split the signal and not break the connection.
Thru just send the signal straight through from top to top and bottom to bottom.
As far as balanced and unbalance I'm going to let someone else answer that. Remember there are so many ways to patch gear. I hope this helps.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

Blimey.

Mind blown. So both an established signal path, and one that can be interrupted at will. Interesting!

Appreciate the manual link, the pictures really helped!
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rurs
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by rurs »

I think you're conflating two possible uses for TRS. It can either be used to send unbalanced stereo or balanced mono.
A balanced stereo out will necessarily need two balanced mono cables. If it's a headphone out, use a TRS to 2xTS, often described as an insert cable.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Stice »

Kawouddd wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:44 pm One stereo device, two balanced cables in, two balanced cables out?
Yes (assuming the device has balanced in and outs of course).

The signals on hot and cold of a balanced cable/connection are not *quite* identical, one is inverted; when re-inverted and combined with the signal on the other conductor, any common noise is cancelled out (thus, ‘common mode rejection’). That combining of two signals is also why balanced gives you a ‘free’ 6dB over unbalanced.
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Whatisvalis
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Whatisvalis »

You would use TS from the S-patch to any unbalanced gear and TRS to balanced gear.

Just plan ahead before you take the leap - patch bays require a lot of additional cabling - they're an expensive and time consuming adventure.
Kawouddd
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

Whatisvalis wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:08 am You would use TS from the S-patch to any unbalanced gear and TRS to balanced gear.

Just plan ahead before you take the leap - patch bays require a lot of additional cabling - they're an expensive and time consuming adventure.
I think that where I get stuck - in my pre-planning and thinking the theory through - is in connecting mono to stereo. Which I probably don't want to do anyway. Or, well. I do want to do. But I should just google 'stereo to mono' and 'mono to stereo' instead of constantly going round in thought circles of 'OH MY GOD BUT WHAT IF THE STEREO TAKES TWO BALANCED CABLES AND WHAT IF IT ONLY TAKES ONE AND HOW DO I THEN PATCH A SINGLE UNBALANCED Mono signal into it in a way that continues to whatever.' I have a tendency to upfuck my signal path atm and end up losing half of the signal, until I work out where I've gone stupid.

Errrr... where specifically does this frustrate me in practice / theory atm... E.g. the wing pinger and Ciat stuff, in particular. So the wing pinger has two unbalanced ins and two unbalanced outs. I guess what I really want to do is patch a duplicated mono single in to the wing pinger's two ins (though do I?) but that then leaves me wondering whether I should patch the two ins with two unbalanced cables to two patch points, or if I should use a balanced to unbalanced splitter to patch them and then patch each half separately, but if I do this and I patch other TRS cable stereo ins to the patch bay then I... have to use a splitter to patch to the... and... god. It soon just becomes something I don't want to think about. I think I've managed this on my pedal board patchulator (which has a mix of unbalanced mono, unbalanced / twin stereo, and single TRS stereo), but it's probably more likely that I just haven't found out where I've upfucked yet.

This probably isn't helped by my current approach. Do I need a 48 jack patch bay? Probably not tbh. But I've consequently gone about this in what is probably quite a stupid way, by buying a second patchulator (bc I can see how this will work for my Ciat gear, I think - I even have a spreadsheet, and I've reserved desk space for it). So I then have a smaller subset of connectors to work it out with, and using additional patch points for stereo etc comes at a real estate cost.
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Whatisvalis
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Whatisvalis »

If you don't have a load of external gear and audio interface inputs/outs then a couple of patchalators might be perfect.

Also don't think about balanced and unbalanced in terms of mono / stereo.

Balanced and unbalanced refers to how the cable is wired. A TS jack only has the hot and ground, while an XLR / TRS has hot, cold, and ground. They are both mono cables. You use two of them if you want stereo.

When working with balanced and unbalanced connections just keep it basic. Balanced cables for balanced gear and unbalanced cables for unbalanced gear, even if for example you are sending a signal from a balanced patchbay. Unbalanced connections to balanced gear is a safe bet. Balanced connection to unbalanced gear has the potential to get funky.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

Whatisvalis wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:47 pm Balanced and unbalanced refers to how the cable is wired. A TS jack only has the hot and ground, while an XLR / TRS has hot, cold, and ground. They are both mono cables. You use two of them if you want stereo.
So think of (& approach) all single Jack trs stereo ins and outs as mono, and use splitters?
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Whatisvalis
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Whatisvalis »

Kawouddd wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:51 pm
Whatisvalis wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:47 pm Balanced and unbalanced refers to how the cable is wired. A TS jack only has the hot and ground, while an XLR / TRS has hot, cold, and ground. They are both mono cables. You use two of them if you want stereo.
So think of (& approach) all single Jack trs stereo ins and outs as mono, and use splitters?
If you have a stereo out that you want to split to two mono connections then it would be TRS to 2 x TS - the Tip from the TRS would go to one side and the Ring to the other, and the ground to both. That would be unbalanced, but it doesn't matter as long as you are not running huge cable lengths.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

Whatisvalis wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:59 pm
If you have a stereo out that you want to split to two mono connections then it would be TRS to 2 x TS - the Tip from the TRS would go to one side and the Ring to the other, and the ground to both. That would be unbalanced, but it doesn't matter as long as you are not running huge cable lengths.
But do I want to do that? It’s where my planning begins to fall down, along with my TS / TRS / balanced / unbalanced / mono / stereo signal path planning 😂
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by andybizarre »

Many devices with stereo capability have built-in normalisation in their stereo inputs - if you use just the left input of a stereo channel with a mono sound and leave the right input unpatched, the signal is patched internally to the right input. A lot of mixers and effect processors work this way.

If you need another way to split mono sources to stereo inputs, the Samson S-Patch patchbay can act as a splitter in "Half Normalled Mode" - backside top in -> backside botton out plus frontside top out.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by ear ear »

Stice wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:43 pm The signals on hot and cold of a balanced cable/connection are not *quite* identical, one is inverted; when re-inverted and combined with the signal on the other conductor, any common noise is cancelled out (thus, ‘common mode rejection’). That combining of two signals is also why balanced gives you a ‘free’ 6dB over unbalanced.
Alternative point-of-view here.
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Stice »

ear ear wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:01 pm
Stice wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:43 pm The signals on hot and cold of a balanced cable/connection are not *quite* identical, one is inverted; when re-inverted and combined with the signal on the other conductor, any common noise is cancelled out (thus, ‘common mode rejection’). That combining of two signals is also why balanced gives you a ‘free’ 6dB over unbalanced.
Alternative point-of-view here.
Okay fair enough, that may well be correct, I’m not an EE. It’s very interesting!

Although I’d also argue that in most use cases for most people it doesn’t make much difference, you still end up with noise being removed. But being correct and precise is always good, so thanks for pointing that thread out.

Apparently you don’t necessarily get a free 6dB either, which is interesting as I feel like I’ve seen level differences with balanced vs unbalanced. This is part of why audio stuff is so interesting, there’s always more to learn
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

andybizarre wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:59 pm Many devices with stereo capability have built-in normalisation in their stereo inputs - if you use just the left input of a stereo channel with a mono sound and leave the right input unpatched, the signal is patched internally to the right input. A lot of mixers and effect processors work this way.

If you need another way to split mono sources to stereo inputs, the Samson S-Patch patchbay can act as a splitter in "Half Normalled Mode" - backside top in -> backside botton out plus frontside top out.
Thank you. I think this is one I’ll probably need practical experience of, in order to fully get it. I can see that the building blocks are there, and the half normalled makes instinctive sense; my brain just hasn’t quite made the leap to fully understanding it yet.

I think it’s very likely that I’ll put my big six in a rack along with a Samson. Patchulators have been great as an introduction to what a patch bay is, but I can see they have limitations!
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Re: Balanced, unbalanced, stereo, mono, noise & patch bays.

Post by Kawouddd »

andybizarre wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:59 pm Many devices with stereo capability have built-in normalisation in their stereo inputs - if you use just the left input of a stereo channel with a mono sound and leave the right input unpatched, the signal is patched internally to the right input. A lot of mixers and effect processors work this way.

If you need another way to split mono sources to stereo inputs, the Samson S-Patch patchbay can act as a splitter in "Half Normalled Mode" - backside top in -> backside botton out plus frontside top out.
Cheers, Andy.

And if anyone else is considering using a patchulator for a complex signal flow involving at least two devices that you want to always go to your mixer and several sound sources with no 'ins' and at least one that would continue to the mixer irrespective of whether or not it was also used within other signal flows let me save you the time: just don't 😂

I very definitely do need a patch bay with normalling and semi-normalling and now entirely see the point. Learning through pain!
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