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#1569051 - 04/14/18 01:41 PM Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
Last night I was given an HHB Radius 10 preamp (4 channel) and TC Helicon Voice Works vocal processor. It's my understanding that it's very important to get the chain correct before going into the 2480 to avoid possible damage to the 2480 pre's, and also for a superior signal.

I looked through Franks stuff and didn't find any advice on this process, and was hoping someone might educate me on the proper way to chain these new pieces.

The HHB is pretty cut and dry with all inputs and outputs being XLR. The TC Helicon has an XLR mic input, and has 2 quarter inch (L&R) outputs.

Thanks in advance.

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#1569055 - 04/14/18 04:04 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
uptildawn Offline
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Posts: 7941
Loc: Iowa
the hhb manual says the 1/4" outputs are balanced (trs) - I would assume they're line level and not mic level. don't know if you have a choice of output level standard on the machine, but certainly must have some control of output volume, if it's too hot so you could back it off.

chain is - tc goes between instrument/mic and hhb preamp. hhb preamp goes into 2480 line inputs (trs to trs cable is what I'm assuming). Not much else to it.

Turn the input gain on the 2480 as far down (to the left) as you can and still get a healthy meter reading without clipping.
The preamp is sending a line level, so you don't want the 2480 gain to be set for a mic level input.

Just experiment. if it's not loud enough to damage your speakers or headphones and not sustained pulverizing thundering blasts or feedback that's clipping the crap out of the 2480's input, then you have no fear of damaging the 2480 preamp input stage.
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1569062 - 04/14/18 05:01 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: uptildawn]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
The HHB I have has input and output levels, however it doesn't have any TRS outputs. It has XLR balanced, and unbalanced quarter inch X4.

The TC Helicon may be an issue though since it only has a left and right quarter inch output. The HHB doesn't have any quarter inch inputs so I'm looking for my best option to connect the two. Any suggestions?

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#1569074 - 04/14/18 06:00 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 7941
Loc: Iowa
are the TC outputs balanced or unbalanced jacks?..... can you find out, or do you know?
If you want to keep everything balanced (not necessarily a must, if the two units live in the same rack space, or are stacked or right near each other.), the you want a pair of cables that have xlr on one end for the inputs and TRS 1/4" on the other end for the TC outputs - if they're balanced... do you know for sure?

If they're not balanced, then the 1/4" side of your cable pair could be mono (like a guitar cable) - TS.... I'm not all here right now, with a gig to go to, so I have to think on whether or not TRS 1/4" plugs will work with unbalanced (TS) jacks).... hmmm. I know it can work the other way around.

At any rate, the HHB is a given - has to be XLR at the input.
I think it would be good for you to know if the TC has balanced or unbalanced output jacks.

I take it you're good with figuring out the HHB to VS side of things...

If you need a cable pair put together and don't think you have the skills, or just want something made, shoot me a PM and we can figure out what to do.
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1569088 - 04/14/18 07:16 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: uptildawn]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
Yeah, they are balanced for sure. I thought about using two mono cables and running them into two channels of the HHB, but really don't want to use up two tracks to do that... Sounds like a cable solution? Maybe two TS cables into an XLR?

Good luck with the gig tonight!

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#1569107 - 04/14/18 11:40 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 7941
Loc: Iowa
Oh yeah - could do that, if you don't want two channels - you won't have the benefit of any stereo processing, which I would think might be key to the successful use of the TC's intended uses... Could lose a lot of fidelity.


The gig went good enough - I did good at one job, but messed up another...... sigh.



Edited by uptildawn (04/14/18 11:40 PM)
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1569145 - 04/15/18 02:11 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: uptildawn]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
Good point... Was really thinking about that song I posted last week where I'm running out of tracks, but it would make a decent difference having the vocals in stereo. Will still need a couple of TS to XLR cable. Not the end of the world though.

Glad the gig went well. We all screw up live at times.

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#1569685 - 04/23/18 12:33 AM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
Cantsleep Offline
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Registered: 02/09/17
Posts: 35
I always use balanced cables for my outboard pres (AEA. P-SOLO. Focusrite.) Like uptildawn said, leave the VS input volumes all the way down. I also make sure the pads are off. My old HD VS has noisy preamps but with the outboards I get real clean recordings.
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#1569730 - 04/23/18 06:04 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: Cantsleep]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
Ok. So I've researched without luck to find the answer to this, but can't find it. The back of the TC Helicon has an outlined box on the analogue output that says, "balanced left and right". Both are 1/4 inch outputs. Does that mean we are talking two TRS cables into an XLR (modified)?

A left and right mono signal using two TS cables to an XLR should be stereo. Right?

While I understand the principle of a TS versus a TRS, this has me confused a little.

In the end I need to purchase a cable that has two 1/4 inch tips and goes to one XLR. What I'm not sure about is do I need to get the TRS or the TS?

And thanks Cantsleep. You got me thinking about this again.


Edited by powermac (04/23/18 06:09 PM)

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#1569741 - 04/23/18 09:38 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 7941
Loc: Iowa
No matter how you connect it, if you send both outputs of the TC into only one input of the HHB, then it will NOT be stereo and you will not benefit from whatever stereo imaging the TC brings to the table. If you don't care about stereo processing from the TC, then fine - but make sure that whatever effects you're setting up will not be dependent on stereo imaging to be effective to the character of the sound.

This unit and its effects are optimized to output stereo, but there is a setting you can make to run mono out of either single output jack - see pg 12 of this manual - https://www.manualslib.com/manual/640024/Tc-Helicon-Voiceworks.html?page=10#manual

Pg 10 of the manual describes and illustrates the different connector types - nicely written manual.

Personally, I would want to set it up so that I use both left and right outputs running into TWO channels of the HHB for full stereo capability. You can always choose to sum the inputs to the VS as mono, or to pan the recorded track pair center - but recording stereo gives you loads of panning/stereo imaging flexibility.

__________

But back to your question about TRS vs TS and wiring up special cables to go into a single xlr (I assume you might be trying to maximize your available HHB inputs, maybe?, by only using one channel for the TC?>>>)

The TC's outputs are balanced - this means that each output jack is wired Tip, Ring, Sleeve (TRS) and outputs only one side of the stereo image (Left and Right) on a balanced line. If you want mono output, then set up the TC's controls for mono, as described in your manual. There's no need to specially wire an XLR plug with a TS Y pair coming out of both TC output jacks.

If you want to (or only have access to) use TS plugs, then the TC manual says the machine is fine with this. You could wire up a couple of TS-to-XLR cables as easily as you could wire up a couple of TRS-to-XLR cables, I suppose....... use whatever is handy. But if wiring fresh, then why not use TRS plugs to maintain the balanced signal?

In the end - unless you absolutely MUST only use one HHB channel for the TC - you do not want two 1/4" TS/TRS tips going to one xlr. You want two separate TS or TRS plugs going to two XLRs.

I think you are overthinking the whole L/R mono signal using two TS cables to a single XLR should be stereo thing.....
That would only be a stereo outcome, IF IF IF the XLR was going to a stereo input - a stereo mixer channel on the upper channels of some mixers, for instance, that gang two channels to a single fader to save space, maybe.

The XLR input of the HHB is NOT stereo. It is mono.
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1569792 - 04/24/18 04:33 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: uptildawn]
powermac Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 225
Thanks, man... I actually looked at page 10 in the TC Manual before I posted, but wanted to make sure I understood it right. Thanks for the clarification.

As far as the cables. I was hoping not to use 2 tracks on the 2480 and needed clarification on what I needed for mono versus stereo. I did find both a TRS and TS (L & R) connected to an male XLR and thought I had a winner. Thanks to you I don't. LOL! Especially seeing that the TC is designed for stereo.

It was given to me by a friend and I don't have the actual manual to study. Just did a quick google search and found page 10. Went a little further, but not much.

Sooo, in the end, your saying I'm going to have a lot more benefit going 2 out of the TC, to 2 in on the HHB, and then 2 out of the HHB into 2 tracks on the 2480?


Edited by powermac (04/24/18 04:36 PM)

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#1569799 - 04/24/18 05:04 PM Re: Connecting external preamp and vocal effects unit to 2480 [Re: powermac]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 7941
Loc: Iowa
You can always sum to mono in the VS and regain your extra track (by bouncing to mono, or by simply routing both L/R inputs to one track for recording) - but I would suggest maximizing your options by running stereo all the way up to the VS at least.

If it were me, I'd send it to the VS into a stereo pair (9/10 for instance) and before recording anything, I'd play with the pan - stereo/mono - settings to hear it in stereo, mono and any blend in between. If I liked it in mono better (for the purpose at hand), then I'd set the input mixer in the VS to record the mono blend, rather than use special y-cables before the VS.

Or, if mono was preferred, I'd maybe set up the TC to send a mono mix to the HHB, but leave it hooked up in stereo for future use.

That, to me, gives the best options.



Edited by uptildawn (04/24/18 05:06 PM)
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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