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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Mixers and Firewire Audiophile

Craigdna

In the Firewire wire Audiophile manual, it mentions that in using the RCA line inputs, that you should plug in a Cassette Deck or CD player, and does not mention mixers, or anything that might have amplification to it. I am trying to record into a Protools audio track from the Firewire Audiphile and I don't want to damage it. I plug instruments into the Alesis Multimix, and I have the intention of directing the control room out to the inputs of the Firewire Audiophile, but want to make sure this won't damage anything. Has anyone done this with the Audiophile?
June 23, 2013 @05:26pm
TimOBrien

You never want to plug anything amplified into an interface.
Only line-outs to the line-ins of the interface.
June 24, 2013 @02:38am
willqen

In the Firewire wire Audiophile manual, it mentions that in using the RCA line inputs, that you should plug in a Cassette Deck or CD player, and does not mention mixers, or anything that might have amplification to it. I am trying to record into a Protools audio track from the Firewire Audiphile and I don't want to damage it. I plug instruments into the Alesis Multimix, and I have the intention of directing the control room out to the inputs of the Firewire Audiophile, but want to make sure this won't damage anything. Has anyone done this with the Audiophile?

Hi,
I think what you want to know is this:
You can use most line devices. However there are a few things you should know;
There are two formats for line in type inputs and outputs.
1) the professional format is at 1 volt RMS or above, and often described as +4.
2) the consumer format is below 1/2 volt RMS and often described as -10.
This seems a little confusing but it really isn't. Most pro devices like mixers and keyboards use the pro format. Usually a 1/4" phone plug/jack type of connection.
Most consumer devices, like cassette decks, VCR's, DVD players, etc., use the consumer format and almost always use RCA type connections.
Due to the differences in amplitude level between the two formats you don't want to throw on some adapters and try and plug a pro device, like a mixer output, into a consumer type (RCA jacks) input. It is too hot for the type of input (consumer RCA) and will distort, and also may damage your device.
You can however (with adapters for the different type of jacks), input a consumer device into a pro piece. Like a cassette deck into a mixer for example. You might need a couple of female RCA to male 1/4" adapters.
Sometimes the level, being much lower, will be noisy though, but usually it works ok. You just have to turn up the gain or volume.
There is one MAJOR exception though, and that is a turntable.
Turntables have an extremely low level of amplitude, much like a microphone (incidentally that is another exception, for the same reasons as a turntable). Turntables require a turntable pre-amp. Some are built in, some are external.
Plug the turntable, into a turntable input, one clearly marked as so, with RCA jacks, on your device, if it has one,
ONLY use this input for a turntable without a pre-amp.
Or plug it into a turntable pre-amp and then plug the pre-amp into your line level input (like your mixer).
DO NOT plug the output from a turntable pre-amp into a turntable input (with RCA jacks) on a consumer (-10) device!!! Like a receiver. That will cause Armageddon!!! Just kidding. It will make horrible noises however and probably damage your device!
Mixing turntables and line inputs can be problematic, unless you have the appropriate pre-amp between them.
Another exception would be microphones, and other low impedance devices. These usually require XLR plugs and jacks and are easy to spot, but sometimes they use 1/4" tip, ring, and sleeve plugs, and jacks, that are identical to headphone jacks. Obviously these don't mix, and you want to look out for them.
That's all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully I haven't left anything out ..................
Good Luck with your project. I hope all goes well .................
Will
November 30, 2013 @10:18pm