Ipad With Tracks Into The Pa Question?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by griggsterr, May 18, 2015.

  1. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    What is the best sounding way to get tracks from an ipad into my console?
    One of the bands I run sound for, uses tracks about half the time and I need to get a better sound quality and signal.
    right now he has a cable that comes out of the headphone jack, 3.5mm to XLR, into a small mixer. which he uses to mix a click track, I get the output from that.
    I would like to see if I can come out of his lightning connector, and avoid the rather lame headphone output. What is the most cost effective way to make this better.
     
  2. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I have the same situation. My XR18 mixer only accepts 1/4 or XLR inputs. I bought a Hosa adapter that splits out the 1/8 stereo to two mono 1/4 males, but it's already popping and crackling when I move it at the source end.
     
  3. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    Not sure about using the lightning connector but Radial makes a "Pro AV" DI box which is wicked. Way hipper then running straight 1/8 to adapters... lower noise, more bandwith, better sound yada yada. There's two models, one is stereo through the other sums stereo to mono.

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProAV1

    Absolutely mandatory in any self respecting audio cats toolbox. Couple other companies build similar things, think Whirlwind makes one, ProCo etc.
     
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  4. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Yup the Radial one is kick ass. The whirlwind PCDI is great too. Best method, IMO.

    You might be OK with the headphone out as-is if you were running it stereo and not trying to sum to mono incorrectly on a single XLR (at least that's how it sounds...).
     
  5. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    If there are sound quality issues, I'd suspect the mixer he's running into rather than the headphone output. Try running direct fro the headphone to the main mixer and see if it sounds better.
     
  6. Rockerduck

    Rockerduck Member

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    I use an 1/8 inch to a 1/4 inch adaptor and have not had any problems.
     
  7. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    I have some Radial direct boxes, along with other good ones. As good as they are you are still limited to the bandwidth of their transformers. He has a cable that is hard wired from the 3.5 mm to the XLR male jack. I could just go into my mixer and pad it down, it would be better signal to noise and going through one less transformer is always good.
    What I am also limited by is the dynamic range of the headphone amplifier on the ipad. IF I could come out of the lightning connector, and harvest it there, and boost it if necessary with something decent. Then I would be doing something.
     
  8. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    What I really wish, is that he had good quality wav files, on a computer then I could could come out of that USB (still digital) Then do the D/A conversion on something with really good D/A converters to get it up to mic level, then I could take it from there.
     
  9. speakerjones

    speakerjones Member

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    Not arguing that going with a digital interface is the best solution, but you've got the wrong adapter. You can't hardwire a stereo 1/8" to an XLR male and expect it to sound good. You can't sum to mono that way. You need to either split it out to stereo, or use a device with transformers like the ones we suggested to sum to mono. You might want to try using the correct adapter first to see how that treats you. Of course a good interface with high quality converters is going to sound better. But are you going to hear that much difference in the mix? Are you playing through line-array systems in concert halls, or music store speakers in a pub?

    This is mostly useless:
    [​IMG]

    This is what you should be using:
    [​IMG]

    These are even better:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    I'll second the SonicPort or a comparable audio interface for the iPad. If you're willing to pay more, something like the Apogee One/Duet with iOS compatibility and some nicer DA conversion is worth considering.
     
  11. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    In the case of iPods, summing the outputs w/a Y-cord can actually damage the iPod. Not sure if the iPads are the same.

    I built one of these, works great:

    http://www.rane.com/note109.html

    [​IMG]

    I used an 1/8" stereo mini on one end, and built this circuit into the barrel of a speaker cable size 1/4" plug.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    The 2nd one is what I'm using, You kind of made an assumption on the summing mono, I know that you can't really do that. and I have radial direct boxes. It will use a decent trasformer to convert it to low impedence -20db I think.
    Even the best transformers still loose some signal. I am hoping to get at it as early as possible.
     
  13. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    In this instance I am running fairly high spl level sound in nightclubs from 100-500 people. However the whole track thing from an apple device is becoming more common, at least here.
     
  14. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    Money is not really the object, What is unclear to me is, on the Apogee Duet, is there an audio output back out of the device? for monitoring, or when monitoring do you listen back through the Ipad's headphone out? if so, that does me almost no good. I was hoping 1 thing, avoid the somewhat limited headphone amplifier in the ipad.
     
  15. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    Yah. I'm of the opinion that XLR should never ever be mixed with 1/4 & 1/8 inputs anyway. Recall one show a few years ago where the local yokel sound idiots plugged someones iPhone into the desk with XLRs, phantom on and let all the magic smoke out instantly! Smooth.

    The Radial DI box I linked above isn't a standard DI box... its transformer is specifically designed for the impedance & output level of a headphone amp or similar connection. It has RCA & 1/8 inputs and throughputs on board... the XLR output is summed mono, properly through resistive mixing.

    It really is the best solution for plugging an iThingy or Zune or whatever player into a PA system. You get a high quality output at FOH and they can continue to use whatever kludged together system they're used to.

    Sure a dedicated interface & converter is arguably "better" but what... are you seriously going to take the time to install the drivers into everyone single artists iBox and then reassign the outputs of whatever programs they're using so it points to Apogee or whatever?!? Really?
     
  16. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    Thanks for the input, I my current situation I will be the only yokel plugging anything into the console. and like I said a couple times I own those Radial DI boxes, and know how to use them. Radials have good transformers in them. All transformers tend to rob some frequency response. Jensen transformers are known to be even more linear, that's why Radial and others use them or offer them as options ( I know i"m being picky here) and in my current situation I am looking for an answer for one my biggest clients. 2/3 of my work is coming from them at this time, and it's always the same guy with the same Ipad. I am also using a digital snake box at the stage and my snake box is parked about 3 feet from him, so I'm not too concerned about a short run of unbalanced cable into my snake, I guess what I'm looking for here is the very best option almost regardless of cost. The client is willing to pay extra for the best solution.
     
  17. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    The Duet has 4 outs (2 balanced TRS line outs typically run together in stereo and a pair of outs from a headphone TRS jack). Depending on the app you're using and with the Apogee Maestro app, you can configure what audio is coming out of what output. So as a use scenario, a DJ is using outputs 1-2 for the stereo out to the PA and outputs 3-4 to their headphones so they can cue and preview the next song privately.
     
  18. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    Thanks a lot, the various websites say it has outputs even shows the breakout cable. but the XLR jacks are the wrong gender to use a typical XLR, so I will have to use a gender change adapter I guess.
     
  19. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    From the Duet's breakout cable, the inputs are of the combo XLR/TRS type, but its outputs are only TRS. You would need a TRS male to XLR adapter if you're mixer only has XLR inputs.

    [​IMG]

    Another option is the additional purchase of the Duet breakout box, which does provide XLR out connections.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

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