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Author Topic: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?  (Read 1790 times)

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Offline ideal77dlr

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Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« on: December 02, 2018, 10:17:10 AM »
Is this possible?

This speaker has an XLR output. https://martin-audio.com/products/loudspeakers/dd12

The idea is that they’re daisy chained to form an array, hence the output, with a single main audio input at the start of the chain.

So...my question is, could I run an XLR to 3.5 cable (stereo or mono?) from the speaker’s XLR output into my battery box>M10 and record from it? Would it be balanced/unbalanced and if so would I need a particular type of cable? Is this going to overload?  Would this work at all or will I just blow myself and my equipment up??
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Offline billydee

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 10:48:34 AM »
I've successfully pulled the signal from powered speakers a few times over the years. Worked well in crappy sounding small rooms with a pair of onstage mics to compliment it.

In all those cases my cable connection was XLR on both sides and I ran the feed to either a Tascam DR-70 or DR-60. Levels were never an issue or at least I was able to attenuate as much as needed with the recorder input settings.

But I'm not really sure how and XLR > 3.5 stereo plug input would work. I suspect it would be fine but hopefully some others will weigh in.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 11:02:39 AM »

I've done it for bluegrass where all the instruments were represented in the feed and it turned out okay.

Balanced or unbalanced doesn't matter in this case. If you use a balanced cable on an unbalanced feed it will still work and the same in reverse.

You don't need the battery box just plug it straight into the M10. Obviously it's going to be mono but you can duplicate the channel in your DAW and turn it into a stereo track.
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Offline ideal77dlr

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 11:21:34 AM »
Thanks guys. Very helpful.  :cheers:
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Offline jagraham

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 12:00:54 PM »
My very first recording was like this, and it didn't come out great. It was whatever speaker > 1/4" output > adapter > miniplug > JB3. It will work for sure but results will vary wildly depending on what sound is actually going through the speaker.
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Offline morst

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 06:05:03 PM »
Is this possible?

This speaker has an XLR output. https://martin-audio.com/products/loudspeakers/dd12

The idea is that they’re daisy chained to form an array, hence the output, with a single main audio input at the start of the chain.

So...my question is, could I run an XLR to 3.5 cable (stereo or mono?) from the speaker’s XLR output into my battery box>M10 and record from it? Would it be balanced/unbalanced and if so would I need a particular type of cable? Is this going to overload?  Would this work at all or will I just blow myself and my equipment up??
Won't need a battery box. M10 is a great choice for this since it can handle a hell of a hot signal.


It's balanced but you can go to unbalanced. Just consider that unbalanced signals of over 6-10 feet can lose a little juice, so if you can keep it balanced until close to the recorder, or simply use short cables, you'll be good. Honestly, with XLR line signals, you might be able to place the deck 20' away from each speaker and not get bad results via unbal.


Now the signal you get will be the signal the speakers are fed. The Martin DD12 you link to has their VU-net remote management capability and has a lot of power to tune a speaker to a room. You hope they are doing this. If the speaker is tuned to the room, then they don't have to send it a "custom" board feed for the room, just a nice balanced mix, like you would appreciate for your recorder! If the speakers are set to "flat" though (or if anyone does this on a speaker without remote management capability like this) then the signal will probably be tuned for the sound of THOSE speakers in THAT room on THAT day. Might make a good tape, or it might only sound right played back on THOSE speakers in THAT room!?


But that's board feeds for ya! Mix it with the sound of the room and you might have something!?
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Offline dgodwin

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 10:16:58 PM »
As others have said if you're taking a feed from a powered speaker, you'll be fine but the mix may be off.  Depending on the room, I may only send certain instruments to the foh speakers or use an outboard crossover, so the tops and subwoofer feeds are separate.

Offline morst

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 04:26:50 PM »
As others have said if you're taking a feed from a powered speaker, you'll be fine but the mix may be off.  Depending on the room, I may only send certain instruments to the foh speakers or use an outboard crossover, so the tops and subwoofer feeds are separate.
Excellent point. If there are subs running a separate mix, and you don't record them, or have mics in the room, the recording will sound thin.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 04:29:31 PM by morst »
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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Recording from speaker output - thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 04:45:42 PM »


I recorded a John Kadlecik solo show this summer via a monitor output (basically a speaker) and it came out great. Guitar > mixer > monitor > monitor > deck . The monitors just had 1/4 inch inputs and outputs so you could daisy chain them together..
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