TRS for standard Volta operation?

Discussion and support for MOTU's Volta software.

Moderators: Kent, stretta

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

TRS for standard Volta operation?

Post by Bath House » Tue May 05, 2009 4:10 pm

I can't quite find the answer to this on the official site - should one use standard 1/4" TRS cables for the Volta? I tend to only keep "patch" cables around, which are not TRS, just TS.

User avatar
Ranxerox
All the gear, no idea
Posts: 2163
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Location: UK

Post by Ranxerox » Tue May 05, 2009 4:49 pm

You should use T-S cables. As a rule all modular synth CV connections are made via two-pin connectors, be they 1/4", 1/8", banana-jack or whatever. Obviously Volta is intended with this in mind.

User avatar
1nput0utput
Common Wiggler
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:00 pm
Location: USA

Post by 1nput0utput » Tue May 05, 2009 4:59 pm

It would be better to use TRS-to-TS cables with the TRS ring left unconnected. If you use TS-to-TS cables, the interface output's ring conductor will be shorted to ground.

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Tue May 05, 2009 5:02 pm

See stretta's post on page one of Volta thread

viewtopic.php?t=4104&start=0

>These aren't the cables you should use, though. You should use 1/4" TRS to TS cables, with the ring 'floating' A normal 1/4" TS cable will short the ring. The audio interface will attempt to keep the signal balanced and with DC voltages, this isn't a great idea.

He also said that T-S to T-S will work, just not ideal.

The one thing I'd like to know is if it's just not a great idea, or whether it actually affects the voltage range. It's gonna be awhile before I can figure out how to assemble such a cable as it's not exactly off the shelf.

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Tue May 05, 2009 5:15 pm

I think I just figured out what I'm going to do. I have a little blank metal pedal box that would be perfect to make a little patch bay.

1/4 TRS jacks in, with 1/8 T-S jacks I can patch regular cords to. I can wire it to make the sleeve float.

Again, gonna take a weekend morning to get that done.

User avatar
1nput0utput
Common Wiggler
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:00 pm
Location: USA

Post by 1nput0utput » Wed May 06, 2009 10:14 am

bar|none wrote:I think I just figured out what I'm going to do. I have a little blank metal pedal box that would be perfect to make a little patch bay.

1/4 TRS jacks in, with 1/8 T-S jacks I can patch regular cords to. I can wire it to make the sleeve float.

Again, gonna take a weekend morning to get that done.
That's a great idea. Then you can use all "standard" cables.

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Fri May 08, 2009 10:30 am

I'm sorry, maybe I'm not understanding something here; are we saying that Volta requires/recommends special cables that don't really exist unless you make them by hand? What is a "floating ring" and why is this preferable? Isn't "floating the ring" the same as only plugging a TRS 1/4" in half way?

I'm sure it was tongue-in-cheek, but Stretta's "using standard cables probably won't fry the interface" line makes me do this :eek: :eek: :eek: when I just spent a whole paycheck on an 828 mkIII.

User avatar
alt-mode
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 337
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Massachusetts

Post by alt-mode » Fri May 08, 2009 11:21 am

The problem is that the MOTU audio interfaces are balanced and what you want is an unbalanced CV signal. Just using TS->TS cables will work but there is concern that this could end up blowing out the interface over time because the interface will be trying to drive current essentially to the ground from the ring connection. So, to be safe, it is recommended that you use TRS->TS cables understanding that you will need to make these.

I have been getting away with using TRS->TRS cables and hoping that the sleeve isn't getting grounded in my modular. I'm considering building some "Volta Pods" by taking some TRS->TRS snakes, cutting them in half and wiring up a box that has 1/4", 3.5mm, and banana jacks for interfacing to anything.

Eric

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Fri May 08, 2009 11:28 am

alt-mode wrote:The problem is that the MOTU audio interfaces are balanced and what you want is an unbalanced CV signal. Just using TS->TS cables will work but there is concern that this could end up blowing out the interface over time because the interface will be trying to drive current essentially to the ground from the ring connection. So, to be safe, it is recommended that you use TRS->TS cables understanding that you will need to make these.

I have been getting away with using TRS->TRS cables and hoping that the sleeve isn't getting grounded in my modular. I'm considering building some "Volta Pods" by taking some TRS->TRS snakes, cutting them in half and wiring up a box that has 1/4", 3.5mm, and banana jacks for interfacing to anything.

Eric
How bizarre! I can't imagine that MOTU would release a mainstream product that requires such a consideration. Is there a place to buy the "right" cables, or is this literally something that could only be hand-made?

I'm actually reconsidering my Volta and 828 purchase because of this, at least until there's a mainstream "off-the-shelf" solution. I'm a musician, not a cable hobbyist, and I'm not going to buy something that will damage the apparatus that I use to record with unless I take up cable-tweaking as a hobby. I can't believe there's no enormous caveat or warning about this on the Volta product page....surely there's one in the manual? This is incredibly disappointing. :mad:

Unless someone on here starts making and selling the "right" cables...

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Fri May 08, 2009 11:53 am

Well it works fine without special cables, so I think you'd be missing out by not going for it. I'm using the wrong cables. Stretta used the wrong cables the whole time he was using it.

I think honestly we are lucky MOTU released this product at all given how insanely small and weird and varied the modular world is. There is a list of audio interfaces and what cables are required in the appendix of the docs, also it is on the website.

Obviously no cable company or breakout box company is going to bother producing anything for such a small market.

User avatar
goiks
Hardest Tryer
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:04 pm
Location: bishop california

Post by goiks » Fri May 08, 2009 12:40 pm

I'm not entirely clear on the cabling issue and would like to understand better -

Would there be any problem with using a 1/4" TRS plug at the MOTU interface end, connected to a standard 1/8' mono (2-conductor) cable, but only connected to the tip and sleeve of the 1/4" plug?

Basically I'd like to chop the end off a standard 1/8" cable (because that's what I have) and put a 1/4" TRS plug on it, leaving the ring unconnected. Seems like it would be OK, since the ring wouldn't be connected to anything at all...but based on posts here I'm a little confused.
www.goike.com

"There is no right answer. Just compromises." - Dave Jones
"Intelligence is generated by communities, by cooperation of some kind." - Brian Eno

User avatar
goiks
Hardest Tryer
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:04 pm
Location: bishop california

Post by goiks » Fri May 08, 2009 12:46 pm

Bath House wrote: How bizarre! I can't imagine that MOTU would release a mainstream product that requires such a consideration. Is there a place to buy the "right" cables, or is this literally something that could only be hand-made?

I'm actually reconsidering my Volta and 828 purchase because of this, at least until there's a mainstream "off-the-shelf" solution. I'm a musician, not a cable hobbyist, and I'm not going to buy something that will damage the apparatus that I use to record with unless I take up cable-tweaking as a hobby. I can't believe there's no enormous caveat or warning about this on the Volta product page....surely there's one in the manual? This is incredibly disappointing. :mad:

Unless someone on here starts making and selling the "right" cables...
Mainstream "off the shelf" modulars??! :lol:

Respectfully, perhaps you're not the in target market for Volta if you don't rightfully claim your inner technician...
www.goike.com

"There is no right answer. Just compromises." - Dave Jones
"Intelligence is generated by communities, by cooperation of some kind." - Brian Eno

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Fri May 08, 2009 12:46 pm

Yeah, you got it, that's the ideal cable. The ring is connected to nothing.

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Fri May 08, 2009 1:15 pm

All right, I'll officially put this out there: if anyone is making a batch of 1/4" TRS to 1/4" TS with the ring-to-nowhere cables, I'll pay you for a set of five or so.

User avatar
goiks
Hardest Tryer
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:04 pm
Location: bishop california

Post by goiks » Fri May 08, 2009 1:38 pm

I bet you could get a soldering iron for less! It's really not that hard, and doesn't take that much time. I think you might think it's a bigger deal than it is; a couple of years ago I had never soldered a cable, but it was pretty empowering to do so. When my first DIY module fired right up it was even better. To each their own, however.
www.goike.com

"There is no right answer. Just compromises." - Dave Jones
"Intelligence is generated by communities, by cooperation of some kind." - Brian Eno

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Fri May 08, 2009 1:42 pm

goiks wrote:I bet you could get a soldering iron for less! It's really not that hard, and doesn't take that much time. I think you might think it's a bigger deal than it is; a couple of years ago I had never soldered a cable, but it was pretty empowering to do so. When my first DIY module fired right up it was even better. To each their own, however.
Oh, I already solder stuff and build projects and so on. This is a matter of principle for me - I have a real bee in my bonnet about being an active musician vs. being a tinkerer/hobbyist, and I draw the line at building cables. Build an x0xb0x or MFOS WSG, sure.....cut, strip, and solder cables, forget it.

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Fri May 08, 2009 1:43 pm

doble!

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Fri May 08, 2009 1:49 pm

Here's an option.

Get one of these.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/closeup/MHB350--Main

Then open it up and clip the ring wires so they float.

So you patch 1/4 TRS from your interface to it. Then 1/4 TS -> 1/8 TS to your modular.

egon77
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:24 pm

Post by egon77 » Sat May 09, 2009 1:34 pm

I sort of agree that it is kinda lame that in order to use Volta with peace of mind you have to either build your own cable or have it made by another individual. The manual could've included some resources for how or where to get your needed cable.

Anywho, I have done a little research and I found a very simple diagram for those who would like it on how to make one of these cables (TRS to TS "floating ring").

here is the link. You'll have to scroll down a bit to find it. It is number 11 on the diagram.

http://diy-central.com/HowToCreateYourO ... ables.aspx

If others out there who know a little more on this subject could check the link and verify that it is correct.

Thanks

BTW- Barnone, I am a big monome user and I just wanted to tell you I have been having loads of fun with this new release of seven up live. It is one of the sickest applications for the monome. Thanks for all the hard work.

User avatar
bar|none
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1578
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Undertucky, WA

Post by bar|none » Sat May 09, 2009 1:55 pm

Hey thanks! What is your monome.org username? Maybe post a video if you get the chance. Cheers.

User avatar
Bath House
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Post by Bath House » Sat May 09, 2009 2:09 pm

bar|none wrote:Here's an option.

Get one of these.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/closeup/MHB350--Main

Then open it up and clip the ring wires so they float.

So you patch 1/4 TRS from your interface to it. Then 1/4 TS -> 1/8 TS to your modular.
Ugh. I mean, I guess it's A solution, but the major appeal of Volta for me is the workflow and clutter factor; finally it's (well, it's pitched as) as simple as just running one cable between your interface and synth. An end to all of these extra converter boxes and cables and clutter and other workflow-impeding elements that somehow get more in the way of inspiration and creativity than you'd expect them to. Volta appeared to finally be a "one-click solution" for integrating the modular and DAW worlds, and it just really bums me out to see something like this come along at the last second. I mean if I'm going to need to build my own cables or use a patchbay that I have to do some surgery on or other hacker-level solutions, I feel like we're back to square one. :(

User avatar
1nput0utput
Common Wiggler
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:00 pm
Location: USA

Post by 1nput0utput » Sat May 09, 2009 11:06 pm

egon77 wrote:The manual could've included some resources for how or where to get your needed cable.
The manual does explain how to wire the cables you need according to which interface you're using.
egon77 wrote:Anywho, I have done a little research and I found a very simple diagram for those who would like it on how to make one of these cables (TRS to TS "floating ring").

here is the link. You'll have to scroll down a bit to find it. It is number 11 on the diagram.

http://diy-central.com/HowToCreateYourO ... ables.aspx

If others out there who know a little more on this subject could check the link and verify that it is correct.
The ring is not floating in #11. You want #9.

egon77
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:24 pm

Post by egon77 » Sun May 10, 2009 2:50 am

Thanks for the clarification. Number 9 is the correct one. I appreciate that.

as for the manual explaining how to wire the correct cable, I would love if you could point me to the page.

All I see is page 12 on cables which basically refers you to the table in Appendix B on page 47. On page 47 it clarifies which cables should be used for which output for your MOTU interface but goes no deeper than "you should use this cable"

Many of you probably already know exactly what "TRS to TS (ring floating)" means in reference to cables but I didn't. Not that a little research is so hard but myself as an example, I thought it was number #11. If you hadn't of steered me in the right direction I would've soldered it the wrong way. The manual didn't lead me anywhere other then "I better google that"

Although, this forum should be a big help to others.

ripe909
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 1:09 pm

Post by ripe909 » Wed May 13, 2009 1:11 pm

I'm not a volta user, but if you really want to avoid soldering cables you should be able to use an insert cable such as these: insert cable

You can either leave the ring plug disconnected or cut it off.

cheers
ripe

User avatar
Johnisfaster
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4218
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Town

Post by Johnisfaster » Wed May 13, 2009 1:18 pm

I've got an ultralite mk1 on the way.

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?

would that not be a good idea?

Post Reply

Return to “Volta”