DIY: XLR to T(R)S cable? Balanced or Unbalanced? (for Guitar Pedals + Sound Card)

...and how to do so...
25 posts since 29 Nov, 2020 from HellSinKey, Finland

Post Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:34 am

I have RME Fireface UCX II sound card and I just got Behringer ADA8200 audio interface which is now connected to the UCX II with Adat / Toslink cable. This gives me 8 additional audio Inputs & Outputs for the UCX II and its digital software mixer.

I would like to use the ADA8200 the same way I'm already using the UCX II, i.e. I have two guitar pedals (delay and reverb) connected to the UCX II Outputs AND Inputs simultaneously. This gives me the ability to control which of my synthesizers / drum machines will go through the pedals by using the RME / UCX II software mixer (RME TotalMix FX).

My problem is that the ADA8200 Line Outs are XLR (male) connections and I have never used these kinds of connections before... and I also want to make the needed cables for connecting my other guitar pedals to ADA8200 by myself (because it's cheaper). I already bought five Cable Mount XLR Connectors like these --> Switchcraft AAA3FZ:

Now I would need some advice on several tasks... so I'll ask few questions:

1. Should I make the cables Balanced or Unbalanced? And how is that achieved? (cable = XLR Connector + Audio Cable + Plug)

2. What kind of audio cable is suitable for this purpose? (taking into account whether I make them balanced or unbalanced and that the finished cables should be mono)

3. There are four metallic pins inside the Switchcraft Cable Mount XLR Connector. Three of them are numbered 1, 2 and 3. And one metallic pin without a number is a little longer and it has a hole in the middle. In which ways do I solder the cable to these pins?

4. And the other end... in which ways should I solder the cable to the TRS or TS plug? I'm thinking these plugs (6.3mm, 1/4") should be Mono plugs (I haven't bought any yet).

I'll stop now even though there is probably some stuff I totally forgot to mention and ask. There is just too much information to handle. I hope I get some advice that helps me pull this little DIY project through. Thank you in advance!

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13215 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:50 am

1. Unbalanced is fine, and in your case actually preferred. If you make it balanced that can cause issues. Some pedals "sense" a plug is connected because ring & sleeve get interconnected.

2. Any shielded cable should do (I use generic microphone cable, but not the most thinnest kind)

3. The longer metallic connection in the plug is the shield. It should be connected with the cable shield, which also should be on pin 1.

4. ... -mono.html
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Topic Starter

25 posts since 29 Nov, 2020 from HellSinKey, Finland

Post Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:09 am

Hey, great, that's probably all the info I needed! It seems quite clear now, thanks!

I also found this video which shows the whole process:

Soldering 1/4" TS and XLR Connectors | Making an XLR to TS Cable

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Rad Grandad
35017 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:22 am

I saw two responses, one the OP...assumed it was to say thanx and I also knew the other post would be bert...ty sir :)
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