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  1. #1

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    I use a Fostex FR2LE hard-disk recorder which I've had for ten years. Works great with a Rode NT4 mic.

    But now I want to get from the XLR output on my amp: (excuse the bad photo - it's in an awkward place!)

    Recording help required-img-0900-jpg

    to the Fostex:

    Recording help required-img-0895-jpg

    Please tell me how I can connect these things, if at all possible. What cable do I need?


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I’m not sure how those inputs work but my understanding (based on the gear I’ve got) is as follows:

    XLR output from the amp is a line-level output.

    XLR inputs on interfaces etc. are usually dedicated for mic-level signals.

    So you may need an XLR to standard 1/4 inch guitar plug cable. If those XLR inputs are ‘combi’ type then they will accept a 1/4 inch plug and (hopefully) treat it as a line-level input. That is how my audio interface works.

    I don’t think you should feed an XLR to XLR cable into those inputs from your amp, in case it may overload them.

    But to be sure you should find the specs or a manual for the Fostex, to check its inputs conform to the above.

  4. #3

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    Thanks, Graham. The Fostex will take a 1/4” guitar-like cable. I think if you have just one jack you should put it in the left socket, but I’m worried that might just have sound on the left channel, though hopefully it will produce a full mono track, which I don’t mind.

  5. #4

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    Found a manual online, it appears to bear out what I said:

    Recording help required-d4b5b8a7-ddda-4342-bdd7-bc48d10a826c-jpeg

  6. #5

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    Should I try an XLR to double 1/4” jacks? Or just single?

  7. #6

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    On my DV Little Jazz line out I just use an XLR to single mono 1/4” jack.

    The jack goes into either combi input on my Focusrite 2i2 interface and produces a mono signal.

    Presumably the amp line out is mono so I don’t think double jacks or stereo plugs would serve any purpose? Certainly not on mine.

  8. #7

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    That’s what I was wondering. I’ll get an XLR to single jack. Thanks for your help, Graham. If I die in the process, it’s all your fault

  9. #8

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    No problem Rob, just alter your will before you start and leave me some guitars...

  10. #9

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    Will do!

  11. #10

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    Be careful!!!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Will do!
    ok great! Here are some revised instructions. First you need to find this input...

    Recording help required-bdcb2811-39c5-4b99-911e-072614808df2-jpeg

  13. #12

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    Now you’re on my level!

  14. #13

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    well you plug the thingy in the thingy and then there should be a flash and a big bang!

  15. #14

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    I would think the XLR line in inputs on the recorder could handle the XLR line-out level from the amp. You’d need to start with the gain control on the recorder turned all the way down, then bring it up as you’re playing. It will be set much lower than for a microphone input.

    So for that you’d simply need an XLR male to XLR female cable (i.e., standard mic cable). I do that all the time with various amps and mixers or recorders and never have had a problem. You’ll be more likely to have noise issues with a 1/4 inch jack.

    Edit: Since your recorder can provide phantom power, there’s a chance the amp could be damaged if phantom power is turned on when connected to to XLR mic inputs. Your amp might be designed to have no problem with phantom power, but we shouldn’t count on it. If you don’t want the risk of accidentally turning on phantom power, the 1/4 jack might be preferable after all.

    Can Phantom Power Damage Equipment? Here’s The Truth – Stamp Sound

    Lots more here:
    How to Connect a Guitar Amp to a Mixer - Virtuoso Central
    Last edited by KirkP; 10-15-2021 at 08:15 PM.

  16. #15

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    Isn't the big black knob in the middle of Rob's picture a level control for the XLR output? Start low and bring it up until the meters are looking right.

    Not that I record much, but I use a standard mike cord to go from Quilter to Focusrite. The inputs on the Fostex look the same as the combination jack on the FosusRite and should accept both 1/4" and XLR input.

  17. #16

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    Okay, now I’m nervous…but I just need to be careful, have levels at zero to start with. We shall see. If you never hear from me again…

  18. #17

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    Dammit!! I forgot about Phantom Power! Please don't play any opera music to start.

    From an online manual I found:

    The "P48" item in the quick setup mode allows you to select on or off for the phantom power (the default is "Off").

    <Tip>: You can also make phantom power on/off setting using the "Phantom" item on the "Setup" menu in the MENU mode (see page 95).

    This only applies to XLR mic cord connections. Sorry, no Phantom Power for you!

  19. #18

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    This is why I am 95% an acoustic player! I’m a complete technophobe…

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    Not that I record much, but I use a standard mike cord to go from Quilter to Focusrite. The inputs on the Fostex look the same as the combination jack on the FosusRite and should accept both 1/4" and XLR input.
    You need to be careful about this though. On my Focusrite, inserting an XLR plug automatically sets the gain levels for a mic signal, not a line signal.

    Recording help required-203e76d0-6765-48a0-a4e9-4994d6208174-jpeg

    I guess Rob could try a mic cable first (with input gain set low) and see how it sounds.

  21. #20

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    Good point Graham. Fortunately for me Quilter has idiot-proofed the ToneBlock 202. The XLR out on the back is meant to mimic a mic in front of the amp, so it's mic level and just goes into the house board by the same route. The TRS out on the front of the amp is line level. They were smart to make the type of socket match the type of output.

    "Dammit Jim! I'm a guitar player, not a recording engineer. The amp takes a mic cable and so does this thingy. Guess what? That's how I'm gonna hook 'em up!"

    Looks like they changed it up a bit on the newer amps. More like the Fender TM's. The XLR out has level control so you can set it for whatever you're doing with the signal. If you actually know what you're doing :-)

    I'd say the best advice is to read the manual and understand how you're supposed to use the stuff.

  22. #21

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    A volume control on the line out is a great feature. My cheapo amps (DV mark little jazz and Roland cube 80) don’t have one, it means that to get a strong line out signal for recording, I have to crank the amp to an unacceptably loud level for home use.

    So on the DV mark I turn the speaker off, while on the Roland I use the headphone output (which defeats the speaker).

    Which means I have to monitor the guitar sound another way, it gets a bit complicated.

  23. #22

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    1 Turn off the phantom power anyway
    (Note it would HUGELY negligent of Fender if they designed
    the XLR DI out so that it could be hurt by phantom power .....
    After all the XLR outputs reason d'etra is to be connected to a mixing board
    with a mic cable)

    2 connect it up using a normal XLR mic cable

    3 adjust the gains to suit

    4 you're good to go

  24. #23

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    Well I got a mic cable with a 1/4 jack. Tried various level adjustments, and I did get a recording but with hiss.

    I’m also debating whether I do actually want to record this way. It might be my mainly acoustic background, but I often think direct as opposed to room recordings gain in some areas but lose in others. I quite like all those little squeaks, clicks and low-level grunts that make a recording seem real, organic. I suppose my ideal would be a blend of the two. But I don’t want something so complex it takes me ages to set up and then edit. More research and thought lies ahead…

  25. #24

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    The input on the Fostex is capable of receiving both a guitar jack and an xlr. Your best solution would be to use an female to male xlr cable, as it would be a balanced signal (and would probably cut down on the noise) vs unbalanced signal when using a mono 1/4 guitar type jack. Just don't turn on the phantom power (which theoretically can damage some mics).

    If you can find the manual online it would probably mention the best solution, but it generally is the XLR way. If the cable is many meters long you need a DI in between, but if it's only 3-5 meters etc no problem.

  26. #25

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    The mic cable I currently use successfully with the Fostex has these connectors:

    Mic end: 5 holes:

    Recording help required-front1-jpg

    Fostex: (it's a stereo mic)

    Recording help required-front-jpg

    While the amp has:

    Recording help required-front2-jpg

    The mic connector cannot be used from the amp, so I've been trying to find a cable that has a three-hole female XLR at one end, and two male XLRs at the other end. Does such a thing exist?