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Author Topic: Nbox or IPA to recorder with balanced inputs  (Read 1568 times)

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Online rippleish20

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Nbox or IPA to recorder with balanced inputs
« on: December 13, 2016, 11:35:06 AM »
I am interested in potentially using my F8 or SD702 or Zoom H6 in conjunction with a Nbox and/or IPA, instead of a M10. So this would be an unbalanced output to (normally) balanced input scenario. It looks like several of you are doing this, but I have concerns about noise and levels. What cables to those of you doing this use and do you have issues with noise or low levels? Are generic dual RCA to dual 1/4 inch or dual 1/8" to dual XLR cables ok or is there a special wiring that improves things (I see Ted makes RCS to XLR cables)

F8 - do you use XLRs or 1/4" for input?
H6 - the H6 confuses me a bit since it seems to have consumer level input (thus needing the pad for pro level).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 11:20:38 AM by rippleish20 »
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Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 04:42:36 PM »
For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel
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Online rippleish20

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 11:17:33 AM »
For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel

Thanks for the answer. While you are correct for most scenarios, I think you are potentially wrong in this case. The F8 expects that you may make a connection to a device with with pro level output (+4) to it, like a soundboard,  and thus pads the level by 20 db. The output from a nbox or IFA is unbalanced and the levels are low. Going to a balanced connector potentially reduces the level even more. I think it would make sense to use the XLR connector but Im not entirely sure...
MK22's / MK41's / MK41v's / MK4v's / MK4's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers / AT853s
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (x2) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox  / SP-SPSB-11 Battery Box
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Offline larrysellers

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 11:20:01 AM »
You could buy a little nicky (aka baby nbox), which would let you go mic in on the F8, since it only powers the mics. You would save some power also since the phantom would be turned off for those channels.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 05:38:12 PM by larrysellers »

Offline Hypnocracy

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 05:34:45 PM »
For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel

Thanks for the answer. While you are correct for most scenarios, I think you are potentially wrong in this case. The F8 expects that you may make a connection to a device with with pro level output (+4) to it, like a soundboard,  and thus pads the level by 20 db. The output from a nbox or IFA is unbalanced and the levels are low. Going to a balanced connector potentially reduces the level even more. I think it would make sense to use the XLR connector but Im not entirely sure...
Yes sounds like you need to do some testing...I've brickwalled the Mic Preamp running a external pre into the XLR into my FR2LE...so my experience was to go line level in...
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2016, 02:53:37 AM »
Sorry, but what's an IFA?
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Offline jbell

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 10:03:08 AM »
I am guessing he means IPA

Sorry, but what's an IFA?
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Online rippleish20

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2016, 11:20:07 AM »
Sorry, but what's an IFA?

Sorry Ive been transposing IPA to IFA ...
MK22's / MK41's / MK41v's / MK4v's / MK4's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers / AT853s
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (x2) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox  / SP-SPSB-11 Battery Box
Zoom F8 / Sony M-10 / Mixpre-6 / Tascam DR-100mkIII

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Re: Nbox or IPA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 06:21:30 AM »
Sorry, but what's an IFA?

Sorry Ive been transposing IPA to IFA ...

Thanks! I was kinda figuring that, but just wanted to make sure there wasn't a product that I DIDN'T know about called the IFA 8)

Best of luck on finding what works best for you! IMO, it's the LITTLE things like cables and shocks and accessories that can really make a rig sweet 8)
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 09:40:57 AM »
For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel

Thanks for the answer. While you are correct for most scenarios, I think you are potentially wrong in this case. The F8 expects that you may make a connection to a device with with pro level output (+4) to it, like a soundboard,  and thus pads the level by 20 db. The output from a nbox or IFA is unbalanced and the levels are low. Going to a balanced connector potentially reduces the level even more. I think it would make sense to use the XLR connector but Im not entirely sure...

He is correct.  F8 is somewhat odd with respect to it's balanced inputs  (I didn't realize that the FR2LE was the same).  There is no selector switch for the input sensitivity range.  Mic-level balanced input is via female XLR, line-level balanced input is via female TRS at the center of each combo XLR input jack.  Both are balanced inputs.  TRS Tip = signal + (XLR pin 2), Ring = signal - (pin 3), Sleeve = signal ground (pin 1).

Okay, now that that's cleared up, here's a twist- Either of the options you mention will work, and if I was recording to a recorder with unbalanced inputs that does not provide phantom power I'd probably choose between the two options you mention.   But personally, when I'm recording to a balanced input recorder that provides phantom power and not simply connecting and powering the mics using standard balanced cables, I use Naiant PFAs.  They are powered by phantom from the recorder so there is only one device which needs your battery/power management attention and they produce a balanced output, resulting in a compact, less error-prone rig with optimal common-mode noise rejection. 


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Online rippleish20

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 12:18:32 PM »
For any line input on the F8...you go 1/4 TS...and all microphones go XLR in...it was the same way with my Fostex FR2LE...saves the room for a Line/Microphone switch on the panel

Thanks for the answer. While you are correct for most scenarios, I think you are potentially wrong in this case. The F8 expects that you may make a connection to a device with with pro level output (+4) to it, like a soundboard,  and thus pads the level by 20 db. The output from a nbox or IFA is unbalanced and the levels are low. Going to a balanced connector potentially reduces the level even more. I think it would make sense to use the XLR connector but Im not entirely sure...


To be clear, I traditionally use KCY > IPA > Sony M10 or KCY > PFA > F8. Perhaps its me but I like the recordings I get from the IPA better, and Nick is building me a nbox. I am interested in at least trying KCY > nbox or IPA > F8. I understand that both the TRS abd XLR connectors are balanced on the F8. In lieu of a mic-line control, the F8 pads input it sees when the TRS conenctors are used. I am really asking what the consequence of a nbox or IPA unbalanced to F8 balanced is. I guess Ill just have try it...



He is correct.  F8 is somewhat odd with respect to it's balanced inputs  (I didn't realize that the FR2LE was the same).  There is no selector switch for the input sensitivity range.  Mic-level balanced input is via female XLR, line-level balanced input is via female TRS at the center of each combo XLR input jack.  Both are balanced inputs.  TRS Tip = signal + (XLR pin 2), Ring = signal - (pin 3), Sleeve = signal ground (pin 1).

Okay, now that that's cleared up, here's a twist- Either of the options you mention will work, and if I was recording to a recorder with unbalanced inputs that does not provide phantom power I'd probably choose between the two options you mention.   But personally, when I'm recording to a balanced input recorder that provides phantom power and not simply connecting and powering the mics using standard balanced cables, I use Naiant PFAs.  They are powered by phantom from the recorder so there is only one device which needs your battery/power management attention and they produce a balanced output, resulting in a compact, less error-prone rig with optimal common-mode noise rejection.
MK22's / MK41's / MK41v's / MK4v's / MK4's / AKG C480Bs+ck61, ck63 / Telefunken FET M60 Cards and Hypers / AT853s
KCY 250/5 and Nbob KCY (x2) > naiant PFA or IPA or Nbox  / SP-SPSB-11 Battery Box
Zoom F8 / Sony M-10 / Mixpre-6 / Tascam DR-100mkIII

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Nbox or IFA to recorder with balanced inputs
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 04:59:05 PM »
I am really asking what the consequence of a nbox or IPA unbalanced to F8 balanced is. I guess Ill just have try it...

Yep.  I'd expect it to work fine.  The interconnect run between the Nbox and F8 will not be balanced, but use a good cable and keep the run short and I doubt you'll experience interference issues.

I'm not as up to speed with the current IPA from Naiant, but if using two of them rather than a single one in stereo mode, each probably provides a balanced output to the recorder like a PFA.
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