S2 MK3 Audio output to Studio monitor (mono and/or balanced)

DJDancinDave Member Posts: 21 Member

Hi all,

I'm trying to confirm if the RCA outputs on the S2 Mk3 are balanced or unbalanced, and the best way to connect to my monitor. I just picked up a Presonus Eris E5 that has unbalanced RCA, and balanced 1/4" and XLR inputs. I'm using a single monitor for now so will all be in mono.

The "cleanest" connection sounds like a single RCA cable from the left output on the S2 to the speaker, and then set Traktor audio routing to mono. But can I also use the aux / 3.5mm output on my S2 when it's in Mono mode with the same quality / result? In mono does Traktor put the entire signal on the left channel, or does a mixed signal go thru both left and right channels?

I am wanting to minimize interference/noise. I have an external display with power pass thru powering my MacBook that's giving a buzz / noise whenever the external display is plugged in.

Is there any way to do a balanced mono output from the S2, or do a need another audio controller if I want that? Or would using an RCA to XLR or 1/4" cable be any better, or even using the 3.5mm output on the S2?

I have two 3.5mm Y spltters (3.5mm aux to RCA or 1/4" TS) but I'm guessing that having a dangling RCA or 1/4" cable is not ideal...




  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,788 Expert

    RCA is always only unballanced. Ballanced needs, beside others, three wires. I do not have this controller, but from what I have found, it does not have ballanced output. Generally it should be about the same if you use RCA or stereo TRS jack.

    To get ballanced feed to your speakers you might buy audio interface that has ballanced output. Maybe that feeding RCA outputs to DI boxes would also do the trick. But I am not sure about it.

    Concerning mono output in Traktor, the both chanels (L and R) do get the same signal, that is sum of L and R signals of stereo source.

  • DJDancinDave
    DJDancinDave Member Posts: 21 Member
    edited April 2023

    Thanks for the info! Good to know the Traktor mono outputs the same summed signal on both L + R channels. I was hoping there was a "hack" where I could get Traktor software (or my Macbook's Audio MIDI Setup) to invert one channel and send a balanced signal that way. Sounds like the only easy way is with a DI box!

    I'd like to get a 3.5mm jack on one end so I can use it for my laptop as well as the S2, so I think the best option is a cable with a 3.5mm TRS plug to RCA plug on the monitor (that way there's no grounds / shorts, but also no signal cancelling, I think). Or is it better to go 3.5mm TR to RCA or 1/4" so I'm just sending 1 channel from the S2? I'm not clear what mistakes to avoid with the mix/match!

    Or I could try something like this and I don't even need to put it in mono mode it sounds like?https://www.thomann.de/gb/pro_snake_km_1010.htm

    I'll see what the local shop has — feedback welcome!

  • DJDancinDave
    DJDancinDave Member Posts: 21 Member

    Follow-up for any future mono Traktor users:

    I found a TRS 3.5mm to TRS 1/4" cable that seems to be PERFECT. Traktor routing settings are:

    1) Output master --> Mono

    2) Output master L --> Main left

    3) Output master R --> - not connected -

    Mono combines both L/R into each channel. Disconnecting the R channel prevents any output that would be cancelled out by the balanced receiver (jack) on the monitor. Keeping both L and R output would cancel out most of the signal or require panning all decks to either L or R.

    I THINK this also lets the dead output master R wire serve as an extra ground, it doesn't exactly balance the signal but I have less noise than with other cables I tried. Using a Y-Splitter I thought I could kill the R and plug in just the left 1/4" plug into the monitor, but there was still a lot of noise, not sure what from as the cable is higher quality than the one I'm using. Same issue with 3.5mm stereo TRS to either RCA or 1/4" mono jacks (TR).

    Other options that SHOULD work based on what I've learned:

    • 3.5mm TR or TRS to 1/4" TR, still output in mono, then it shouldn't matter if both channels are active or not (but it might)
    • RCA to RCA, output in mono, doesn't matter if both channels are live or not (since RCA is a 2-wire receiver)
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