Maschine+ TRS Line outputs balanced or unbalanced ? DI-Box or not ?

boogie01
boogie01 Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
edited January 6 in Maschine

Hi,

I want to connect maschine+ to a console in a live setup, so the question is : do I need a DI-Box just like keyboards do ...?

The manual says under 'Connecting Maschine+'-> Connecting active monitor speakers' :

Connect the LINE OUT L/R sockets on the rear panel of Maschine+ to your active speakers using balanced cables with 1/4" TRS jack plugs.

The question is :

Do the maschine+ outputs just accept balanced TRS cables but are unbalanced

( i.e. like on standard keyboards or drum-maschines )

and therefore need a DI-Box if connected to a Mic-Channel on a console ...

or are the maschine+ outputs real balanced outputs and therefore do not

need a DI-Box if connected to a console ?

Or should it be connected via headphone output using a DI-Box ?

Best Answer

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 555 Guru
    edited January 7 Answer ✓

    I'm almost certain the Maschine+ outputs are impedance balanced, not true differentially balanced, line outs.

    This means that using them will give you the improved CMRR of a balanced interconnection, but not the amplitude boost of a true differential balanced interconnection. If you want a true differential balanced interconnection, you need to use a DI box and go into mic preamps.

    At the end of the day, this disctinction might be relevant to any given scenario, or it might not, depending on the mixer / system you are connecting into

    If you are anxious about 48V phantom creeping into yoour beloved M+, always use TRS - TRS cables for interconnecting (48V is only passed through XLR connectors) or use a DI box which will transformer isolate things

Answers

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 6

    Oh, I thought if the specs listed TRS then it's always balanced. Not sure tbh, the official specs only say TRS but many media outlets like CDM or GetInTheMix claimed it was balanced in their initial news articles.

    On my live gigs I often use a DI-Box even when I am 100% sure the output is balanced (for my mixer), it's just something that should be in your rider, I leave it to the audio engineers to decide if they want to use it or not, sometimes they do only for some kind of insurance or for attenuation.

    BTW, why would you connect a line-level out to a Mic Channel? That has me a little confused.

    Pretty sure using the headphone output is not a great idea unless it's a last resort or if you want to feed the metronome to a band mate or something.

  • boogie01
    boogie01 Member Posts: 3 Newcomer

    Thanks or your answer -

    I think you are right, Di-Box is the way to go.

    regarding line level to Mic-channel :

    i wouldn't want do it but

    they say, the outputs on maschine+ are line level -

    stage boxes have XLR-Inputs which go to the Mic-Inputs on the consoles ...

    therefore in this case : Line level to Mic-channel ... ?

    regarding Headphone output :

    The manual says under connetcing Headphones :

    'The headphones output of your Maschine+ is an additional stereo output, distinct from the main output pair, and perfectly tailored for the Cue channel of Maschine+.'

  • red_nick
    red_nick Member Posts: 91 Member

    It's balanced. You don't need a DI box. Just get it set as line level at the console.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 6

    Oh, OK.

    The manual says under connetcing Headphones :

    'The headphones output of your Maschine+ is an additional stereo output, distinct from the main output pair, and perfectly tailored for the Cue channel of Maschine+.'

    Hum... Yeah but usually the headphone output is quite different from the Line Out but now that I think about it a DI might fix the impedance issues that headphone-outs usually have when connected to a mixer/PA... (?) Maybe you just need some gain matching in case you want it to have 2 stereo outs.

    I am not really qualified to speak too much on those complicated electrical shenanigans. I'll let someone else chime in on this one.

  • Vic Angelo
    Vic Angelo Member Posts: 103 Advisor
    edited January 6

    This guy knows.👍

    Maschine is the same as any other Keyboard, a yamaha, nord whatever. It has a Line Level Out Control so you can always back off from the level if needed. Stereo DI-Box is a good tool to have in your bag or case but unnecessary as many many mixers have plenty of options like Line level 1/4" inputs, Mic/Line level switches, and as I said earlier Maschine has a Line Level Knob, just dial it back if you need to,

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod

    This was my impression aswell, hence why I was confused about the whole line to mic thing.

    Is there a way to easily test if an output is really balanced or not? I had never heard of TRS unbalanced before.

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 1,230 Expert
    edited January 6

    TRS are balanced. Some can be passive or fake balanced but they still are balanced and can use a balanced cable. (I‘m currently too drunk to remember the technical details)

    However, most TRS can also be used with an unbalanced (TS) cable which connects the second signal line to ground and then work like an unbalanced socket.

    Also, lots of live consoles can switch each or a certain amount of their channels from line to mic (mic needs an additional preamp, therefore more expensive, therefore not on every channel), which generally means any channel can accept line level. Balanced has nothing to do with mic level. But be aware of phantom power on mic channels… could fry your beloved gear.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,750 Expert

    And some consols do not have separate On/Off phantom power for each Mic input, instead they have On/Off for group of inputs.... So, the danger might be even higher in this case....

    Concerning using phone socket for console. Generally it may be possible, but it is for sure unbalanced. And if it is usable also depends on quality of phone socket output. For example, RME writes in manual that in case of their interfaces it is good way to do, if one needs two more outputs. They even describe the recomended wiring of the cable.

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 555 Guru
    edited January 7 Answer ✓

    I'm almost certain the Maschine+ outputs are impedance balanced, not true differentially balanced, line outs.

    This means that using them will give you the improved CMRR of a balanced interconnection, but not the amplitude boost of a true differential balanced interconnection. If you want a true differential balanced interconnection, you need to use a DI box and go into mic preamps.

    At the end of the day, this disctinction might be relevant to any given scenario, or it might not, depending on the mixer / system you are connecting into

    If you are anxious about 48V phantom creeping into yoour beloved M+, always use TRS - TRS cables for interconnecting (48V is only passed through XLR connectors) or use a DI box which will transformer isolate things

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