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TRS for standard Volta operation?
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Author TRS for standard Volta operation?
alt-mode
Johnisfaster wrote:
I'm confused on the matter of the cables like probably a few others around here. why would cutting the ring out of a trs cable be any different than using a trs 1/4'' to 1/8'' adapter with an 1/8'' patch cable going to the modular?


This *might* work depending on the adapter used. You can check this with a meter by checking if there is a connection between the ring of the 1/4" TRS plug and the Ground(Sleeve) of the 1/8" plug. If there is a connection, then the ring has been connected to the sleeve and it is not "floating".

To understand the restriction on TS->TS cables, you need to understand that Volta is using a computer audio interface for a purpose it really wasn't designed to serve. Until someone comes out with a nice DC coupled interface (hint, hint boutique manufacturers), we have to work with the interfaces that happen to pass DC. These interfaces are designed to have balanced outputs that drive a differential signal down two wires. For millivolt audio signals, differential signals are a big win that keep noise down. For driving DC, it isn't such a good thing. So, the interface is driving voltage down two wires, that come out as a tip and sleeve on the jack. If the ring is connected to the ground as it would be with TS->TS cables, the interface is driving current from the sleeve to the ground, effectively shorting the output. Audio interfaces are pretty tough and can be used for audio signals on TS cables so it isn't going to break it right away but there is some concern that over time, the extra current driven to the ground could cause harm to the hardware.

I hope that helps and I hope I haven't screwed up the engineering explanation too much.

Eric
bar|none
ripe909's idea is genius.

I have a bunch of those insert cables around and can use them to patch to my patch bay, then simple use 1/4 TS to 1/8 TS to my modular. Simple and no soldering needed.
Johnisfaster
alt-mode wrote:
Johnisfaster wrote:
I'm confused on the matter of the cables like probably a few others around here. why would cutting the ring out of a trs cable be any different than using a trs 1/4'' to 1/8'' adapter with an 1/8'' patch cable going to the modular?


This *might* work depending on the adapter used. You can check this with a meter by checking if there is a connection between the ring of the 1/4" TRS plug and the Ground(Sleeve) of the 1/8" plug. If there is a connection, then the ring has been connected to the sleeve and it is not "floating".

To understand the restriction on TS->TS cables, you need to understand that Volta is using a computer audio interface for a purpose it really wasn't designed to serve. Until someone comes out with a nice DC coupled interface (hint, hint boutique manufacturers), we have to work with the interfaces that happen to pass DC. These interfaces are designed to have balanced outputs that drive a differential signal down two wires. For millivolt audio signals, differential signals are a big win that keep noise down. For driving DC, it isn't such a good thing. So, the interface is driving voltage down two wires, that come out as a tip and sleeve on the jack. If the ring is connected to the ground as it would be with TS->TS cables, the interface is driving current from the sleeve to the ground, effectively shorting the output. Audio interfaces are pretty tough and can be used for audio signals on TS cables so it isn't going to break it right away but there is some concern that over time, the extra current driven to the ground could cause harm to the hardware.

I hope that helps and I hope I haven't screwed up the engineering explanation too much.

Eric


excellent help, thanks. I think I'll just cross my fingers then smile
my thinking here is that motu was aware of any risk there might be involved and if they haven't made an official statement nor recommended particular cables nor created an interface specifically designed for this type of work then I'm assuming they have determined the risk is minimal enough not to lose sleep over.
bar|none
Yeah, I am currently using TS to TS and no smoke has come out of my interface yet.
1nput0utput
Johnisfaster wrote:
excellent help, thanks. I think I'll just cross my fingers then smile
my thinking here is that motu was aware of any risk there might be involved and if they haven't made an official statement nor recommended particular cables nor created an interface specifically designed for this type of work then I'm assuming they have determined the risk is minimal enough not to lose sleep over.

They explain in the manual which type of cables to use depending upon the interface you have.
Johnisfaster
1nput0utput wrote:
Johnisfaster wrote:
excellent help, thanks. I think I'll just cross my fingers then smile
my thinking here is that motu was aware of any risk there might be involved and if they haven't made an official statement nor recommended particular cables nor created an interface specifically designed for this type of work then I'm assuming they have determined the risk is minimal enough not to lose sleep over.

They explain in the manual which type of cables to use depending upon the interface you have.


I'm not a volta user though, I just plan on sending cv with ableton
Bath House
alt-mode wrote:
Johnisfaster wrote:
I'm confused on the matter of the cables like probably a few others around here. why would cutting the ring out of a trs cable be any different than using a trs 1/4'' to 1/8'' adapter with an 1/8'' patch cable going to the modular?


This *might* work depending on the adapter used. You can check this with a meter by checking if there is a connection between the ring of the 1/4" TRS plug and the Ground(Sleeve) of the 1/8" plug. If there is a connection, then the ring has been connected to the sleeve and it is not "floating".

To understand the restriction on TS->TS cables, you need to understand that Volta is using a computer audio interface for a purpose it really wasn't designed to serve. Until someone comes out with a nice DC coupled interface (hint, hint boutique manufacturers), we have to work with the interfaces that happen to pass DC. These interfaces are designed to have balanced outputs that drive a differential signal down two wires. For millivolt audio signals, differential signals are a big win that keep noise down. For driving DC, it isn't such a good thing. So, the interface is driving voltage down two wires, that come out as a tip and sleeve on the jack. If the ring is connected to the ground as it would be with TS->TS cables, the interface is driving current from the sleeve to the ground, effectively shorting the output. Audio interfaces are pretty tough and can be used for audio signals on TS cables so it isn't going to break it right away but there is some concern that over time, the extra current driven to the ground could cause harm to the hardware.

I hope that helps and I hope I haven't screwed up the engineering explanation too much.

Eric


This is the first time it's made sense to me. Thanks for typing it up.

Now, if you (or someone else) can - what's the harm in running a TRS-TRS from Volta to your modular, with the 1/4" TRS terminating in your modular?
Johnisfaster
I don't suppose the Make Noise Format Jumbler could help this situation at all?
alt-mode
Bath House wrote:

This is the first time it's made sense to me. Thanks for typing it up.

Now, if you (or someone else) can - what's the harm in running a TRS-TRS from Volta to your modular, with the 1/4" TRS terminating in your modular?

I'm glad it was helpful.

If the jacks in your modular leaves the ring floating, then there is no problem. It might be vary depending on what kind of switching jacks are used in your modular. Again you can test this by plugging a TRS cable into your modular and checking to see if there is a connection between the ring and the sleeve of the cable. Try a meter and touch the probes to the ring and sleeve of the plug of the cable plugged into any jack on your modular. If there is 0 or little resistance, the jack is connecting the ring and the sleeve. You might want to try this on both switched and unswitched jacks in your modular and on modules from different manufacturers.

Eric
Bath House
I picked up a few patch cables this weekend that are the 1/4" TRS to two different 1/4" TS - one labeled "ring" and the other labeled "tip" (like the guy linked to above) I figure I can use that for now and just leave the ring one hanging out there in space. If I were to physically cut off the "ring" cable and then solder the cut end to a TRS jack but not connect anything to the jack's ring, that would be the same thing, right? I was thinking I could fairly easily turn these two y-cables into four TRS-TS cables....
alt-mode
Bath House wrote:
If I were to physically cut off the "ring" cable and then solder the cut end to a TRS jack but not connect anything to the jack's ring, that would be the same thing, right? I was thinking I could fairly easily turn these two y-cables into four TRS-TS cables....


Yes, you have the right idea.

Eric
1nput0utput
Bath House wrote:
I picked up a few patch cables this weekend that are the 1/4" TRS to two different 1/4" TS - one labeled "ring" and the other labeled "tip" (like the guy linked to above) I figure I can use that for now and just leave the ring one hanging out there in space. If I were to physically cut off the "ring" cable and then solder the cut end to a TRS jack but not connect anything to the jack's ring, that would be the same thing, right? I was thinking I could fairly easily turn these two y-cables into four TRS-TS cables....

Or you could use the ring portion of that y-cable as an inverse of the tip. A balanced output (to which the TRS end of the y-cable will be connected) produces the original signal on the tip and the same signal phase-inverted on the ring.
Bath House
After all of this hand-wringing on my part, it turns out that DotCom jacks all leave the ring just hanging in the breeze to begin with, so I could just go TRS-to-TRS and not worry about anything. Thumbs-up for easy solutions!
richardm123uk
So I have just come home with Volta and I am 100% confused on this cable issue (to the point were I installed and did not use it for fear of breaking something).

I am using a Ultralite MK3 and Eurorack gear. Can anyone post a pic of what the cable ends should look like or a link to purchase them.

Thanks so much in advance.

Richard
1nput0utput
richardm123uk wrote:
So I have just come home with Volta and I am 100% confused on this cable issue (to the point were I installed and did not use it for fear of breaking something).

I am using a Ultralite MK3 and Eurorack gear. Can anyone post a pic of what the cable ends should look like or a link to purchase them.

Thanks so much in advance.

Richard

The cable that you need depends upon the input to which you're connecting it. If you're connecting to 1/8" or 1/4" TS inputs, then you need a TRS-to-TS cable where the TRS ring is disconnected.
egon77
Yes it is a little confusing. I have the same setup as you and I decided to build my own cables. I have never made cables before but it was a pretty satisfying experience. If you want to make your own go to this link and scroll down to the diagram showing the various types of connections and use number 9 as your guide.

http://diy-central.com/HowToCreateYourOwnDIYCablesXLRTRSStudioCables.a spx

If you don't feel brave enough to give that a go I think Bath House has a good plan. He wrote this:

Quote:
I picked up a few patch cables this weekend that are the 1/4" TRS to two different 1/4" TS - one labeled "ring" and the other labeled "tip" (like the guy linked to above) I figure I can use that for now and just leave the ring one hanging out there in space.


You can pick these cables up at Guitar center and get going right away.[/quote]
bar|none
Ok, I have finally committed to a solution, which as it turns out would be ideal even if it wasn't recommended to float the ring on the TRS.

I have a nice metal pedal box. Bought a bunch of 1/8 jacks (See Components thread https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5218&highlight=)

Also bought a DB-25 connector and a Db-25 to 8x 1/4" TRS snake.

So basically the 8 TRS jacks plugin to the audio outs on my interface and I can also reserve 2 for audio In.

The Db-25 on the snake connects to the pedal box and the db-25 is wired to float the ring and connected to 8 sets of 1/8 jacks mounted on the box. I might mult these as well especially for using them with LFOs and such.

This is killer because it is super clean and I can mount the breakout box right next to my rack and patch Volta as well as my audio ins using standard 1/8 ts patch cords.
richardm123uk
I had problems finding cables when I first got Volta. I had them custom made from a guy in Vancouver (Canada) and they are fantastic.

Website here http://www.theslygoose.com/
jneilnyc
I just finished building a bunch of cables - it's not that hard once you get going.

My setup is a MOTM modular with a MOTU 24i/o handling the Volta chores. I bought 24 short TS patch cables and 48 TRS plugs, and then cut the TS cables into two pieces, and soldered a TRS plug onto the cut ends, giving me enough cables to bring all the ins and outs from the 24i/o to a Samson patchbay sitting above it. From there it will be easy enough to patch everything with standard TS cabling.

In addition to giving me lots of Volta channels to play with, I figure this setup will also make it super easy to send audio from the computer to the modular for processing and back again.
patchdub
i saw this at radioshack the other day and thought it might be a cheap easy option for those who don't want to make their own cables.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062464

my solution was to get a multiple kit from bridechamber and instead of wiring it like a mult i wired it like a patchbay. i run trs cables from my ultra light into the bottom row and take ts out of the jack above.
sine
It seems like that Radio Shack adapter would not allow the ring to float.
doctorvague
patchdub wrote:
i saw this at radioshack the other day and thought it might be a cheap easy option for those who don't want to make their own cables.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062464


NOTE: Those will short the ring and tip together - that's worse still than shorting ring to ground. Those will not work and could damage your interface outputs.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I really don't understand why you non-DIY guys who want an easy cable solution aren't just buying TRS > TRS cables and snipping the ring wire on one end. Dead simple.
patchdub
oops, i guess that won't work! just trying to put ideas out there for folks that don't want to make cables.

i think my little diy volta patch bay is sweet though!
sine
http://66.92.94.107/misc/voltage_worksheet.pdf
From the above pdf, I have a question about the following cable wiring notes:

"cable type A = TRS to TS with ring floating"
"cable type B = XLR to TS (pin 2 = tip, pin 1 sleeve, pin 3 sleeve)"

My question: In the XLR cable, why is it ok for pin 1 and pin 3 to be connected together, but in the TRS the ring should float? I don't know much about electronics, but I thought both types are for balanced outputs with just different connectors. Just curious and would like to understand.
doctorvague
sine wrote:
http://66.92.94.107/misc/voltage_worksheet.pdf
From the above pdf, I have a question about the following cable wiring notes:

"cable type A = TRS to TS with ring floating"
"cable type B = XLR to TS (pin 2 = tip, pin 1 sleeve, pin 3 sleeve)"

My question: In the XLR cable, why is it ok for pin 1 and pin 3 to be connected together, but in the TRS the ring should float? I don't know much about electronics, but I thought both types are for balanced outputs with just different connectors. Just curious and would like to understand.


I agree - this doesn't make sense from what I know. Pin 3 is electrically the same as the ring of a TRS, just a different connector as you said. Ask MOTU I guess, maybe it's a misprint. If you contact them, please post back the explanation.
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