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  1. #1
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    balanced cable question...

    Hello everyone,
    nice to be here. It appears to be a wonderful site for novice guys like me - the professionals will have to speak up for themselves...
    * * *
    In the issue of balanced cables for audio, do the noise signals at the destination end automatically cancel out as a function of the termination of the cable *OR* must the noise signals be cancelled out through a device before recording.
    For instance, if I run a cable from a sound board to a video camera with XLR inputs, does the cancelling of the noise succeed without any other devices processing the signals first?

    Thanks for any assist on this issue...

    Later... Earl J.
    Last edited by EarlJ; 27th May 2005 at 03:35. Reason: enhance clarity

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Hi Earl,
    This is a great forum, isn't it? When I came across this about 2 weeks or so ago, I thought Dave Owen et al touched all the right areas since they can relate to one another or just be an isolated subject. I'm only guilty and honest about not helping in a financial contribution to this FREE site!!!

    In regards to noise... AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE!!! Cancelling noise with balance lines has more to do with the electrical magetic fields that would be induced to the signal path of a cable specifically, hum.

    Unfortunately, noise comes in different forms (not forums ) and from different sources, so you cannot just cancel it out unless you run an audio laboratory/facility that has expensive, sophisticated equipment that can do so. In that case what would you consider as noise - the rumble of a jet; blowing of an air-conditioner; a lavalier microphone brushing against someone's clothes;a bad cable, microphone, audio head; overdriving the amount of audio into the record equipment; and there's still more but I think you get the gist of it.

    These types of noise cannot be cancelled out however (unless you got the cash to buy the equipment that can do it), since sources are limited, one should be (hopefully) able to conclude as to the culprit. Yes, you'll have to be a technical Sherlock Holmes just try not to become too geeky .

    Balance lines eliminates one form of noise but once noise is recorded, you can't do much with it. Maybe with today's audio software you can - maybe somebody else can say something about that?

    Happy hunting!
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
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    understood...

    Hello SC358,
    you're not any relation to "Wolf 459," are you? <just a little humor if you're a Star Trek fan>... Thanks for taking the time to respond. I guess you and I discovered this spot about the same time.
    I understand the value of reducing atmospheric/ambient noise during recordings at the microphone end. I also understand that balanced cable is designed to cancel out noise collected by the wire itself from other electromagnetic sources... My question referred to the noise cancellation value of the balanced cable itself. Does it reduce noise through the cancellation process at the end of the cable *OR* does the cable then have to be connected to a device that inverts one signal to help cancel out the noise collected from the atmosphere on the cable? I realize that using balanced cables will reduce the chances of picking up additional noise simply because it is built to a higher standard that simple two-conductor wire terminated with RCA plugs (unbalanced)... The question remains: in order for me to take full advantage of the noise reduction capabilities of balanced cable, do I need a separate device at the recording end? :confused:

    It's a fun spot and so very educational as well...

    Until that time... EarlJ

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    I'm ashamed to admit that I'm a Star Trek fan but I don't get the joke. Maybe it's just that I haven't had much sleep over the last few days, but can you let me in on the humour?

    Anyway, a balanced audio cable does indeed need to be plugged into a balanced input (where the appropriate voltage is re-inverted) to gain the noise-cancellation benefits. If you plug a balanced cable/signal into an unbalanced input, you will not get the noise-cancellation effect.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Oh sorry, I see the numbers relationship now. Doh. Forgive me, I have a newborn baby and I haven't been thinking clearly for days
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  6. #6
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    Wolf 459...

    Hello Dave,
    congratulations on the baby... I know the feeling; although it's in the distant past - well, 18 years - not that distant... :)
    yes, you have it... it's a simple (I like simple humor... it's so, ... well, ... easy) attempt at humor for designating proper nouns (people and places) with numbers... ;)
    * * *
    So, if I have an adapter, say the MA-300 for my Canon video camera, which is powered through the hotshoe where it connects to the camera, and has XLR connectors, can I expect that the XLR cable run is being permitted to apply its cancellation capability over the length of the cable?
    Perhaps I should go investigate the functions and capabilities of the adapter... ?
    Can it be as simple as the powered adapter - or does it have to be a more sophisticated piece of equipment?
    Let me go investigate the adapter...

    I think I'm pointed in the right direction now; but could use a definitive answer...

    Thanks for the assist... EarlJ
    Last edited by EarlJ; 27th May 2005 at 22:56. Reason: fix grammar

  7. #7
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Heheheh, no relationship but a very big fan indeed.

    I apologize (again - because I've over explained an answer in other threads) for the long, winded useless answer. As Dave mentioned also, yes, you must connect to the proper receiving equipment to take advantage of the inversion process.


    "Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all."
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

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