XLR to pedals back to XLR

UrbanHymns

Silver Supporting Member
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2,442
I'm new to the keys / home studio environment, so forgive my elementary questions. But I'm looking to run vocal mics and keyboard (with XLR out) through guitar pedals. Is there some sort of simple conversion box from XLR to 1/4" that would allow me to do this?
 

Gibs210

Member
Messages
9,092
Cusack makes a pedal that does this for you in the form of an effects loop, I think it also converts high to low impedence like a DI box
 

zeffbeff

Member
Messages
2,336
I do this all the time.

XLR goes into a Radial reamper box. Signal is now ready for guitar pedals.

In my case, I then send the signal into a DI box (I use active DI, but a nice passive would be fine too), which goes into my rack system.

But if you want, you can just take the signal from the guitar pedals and send it into a guitar amp or whatever.
 

UrbanHymns

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,442
I do this all the time.

XLR goes into a Radial reamper box. Signal is now ready for guitar pedals.

In my case, I then send the signal into a DI box (I use active DI, but a nice passive would be fine too), which goes into my rack system.

But if you want, you can just take the signal from the guitar pedals and send it into a guitar amp or whatever.

I would either send it to my recording interface (vocals) or to my studio monitors (keys).
 

zeffbeff

Member
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2,336
I would either send it to my recording interface (vocals) or to my studio monitors (keys).
Easy enough.

- XLR into Reamp box
- Guitar cable goes into guitar pedals
- Guitar cable goes into DI box
- XLR cable goes into recording interface or monitors (watch out for ground loops! use your ground lift switch on the DI box or Reamp box, depending)
 

UrbanHymns

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,442
Is there a problem with the cheapest option?

Monoprice 104768 3-Feet Premier Series XLR Female to 1/4-Inch TRS Male 16AWG Cable
 

denmalley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
676
Is there a problem with the cheapest option?

Monoprice 104768 3-Feet Premier Series XLR Female to 1/4-Inch TRS Male 16AWG Cable

You need to deal with impedance mismatches. Also need to amplify the signal (especially mic) to instrument level.

A cheapish option I use to send my mic through my boomerang is the behringer MIC100. Has a tube preamp and a 1/4" out. Take that into boomerang and then out to a DI.

 

zeffbeff

Member
Messages
2,336
Is there a problem with the cheapest option?

Monoprice 104768 3-Feet Premier Series XLR Female to 1/4-Inch TRS Male 16AWG Cable

I've gone down this rabbithole extensively.

Yes, there are cheaper routes.

Yes, there is a difference in audio quality. You get what you pay for.

I did extensive testing, and I was stunned at how much better of signal the Radial equipment captured, compared to the cheaper options. It's like comparing a super-budget import pickup from 1995 to a high quality pickup. The difference is undeniable.
 

bratch

Member
Messages
853
It's not just the connector you have to worry about - it's the levels and impedance. Follow the above advice by getting a cheap mic pre for your mic and a reamp box after that (for best results). What keyboard are you using? Which mic?
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
30,242
The two situations you mention are actually quite different:
1. Vocals-unless you've got an old Shure 545 with the TS output, ALL mics are low impedance. Plugging them into the very high impedance input of a guitar pedal is going to result in just not enough level to work with. The signal will also be pretty bright, but that's not usually a problem with guitar pedals rolling off treble. So, how do you get them up to the right volume level? Either by running them thru a preamp with a line level output or by using an impedance matcher (usually transformer based-can be as simple as running a passive direct box backwards to the Pigtronix or Red Eye Labs or Radial reamp/matching pedals). If you use a preamp, make sure it has a pad to lower output so you don't overdrive your pedals.

2. Keys-usually these are a moderate impedance, line level output. They'll sound find thru guitar pedals, they just may be a bit hot for the inputs. If that's true, a simple pot in a box or volume pedal afterwards will allow you to drop output to match what you need. Impedance will be fine out of the box.
 




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