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Okay, thank you for the two responses, each begins clearing my cobwebs. Rather than go into all that I don't quite understand yet (e.g., the whole plus/minus db stuff), I will ask a simplified question or two which might help me get that.

1) If I use the Eclipse in my Mesa effects loop (mono send, mono return), do I use the 1/4" analog in & out or the XLR analog in & out? (I saw "you should use your XLRs for loop send AND return" but all the db stuff has me very confused, so I'm re-asking to be double sure.)

a. if 1/4" – a normal TS instrument cable? or a TRS cable?

b. if XLR – how do I convert the XLR to 1/4"? Pre-made cable somewhere available? What pins to T and S? Or T, R and S if required?

2) And then the question of In/Out settings, how to set what.

3) And then my question about sending a 2-channel (left & right) signal to my line level PCI interface inputs while at the same time sending the one channel to the Mesa loop return.

a. If, then, I have one XLR out to the loop return, can I at the same time send the 2 channels of 1/4" analog outs to the interface?

b. And if so, how do I do all of the I/O settings?

c. Oh, and what 1/4" cables? TS or TRS? I read that my interface jacks are 1/4" TRS and are compatible with 1/4" TRS (balanced) or TS (unbalanced) connections.

4) Dang it! Then I see in my interface manual the same talk about +/-db (analog I/O configurable for +4dBu, and -10dBV signal levels).

But still, I think if I get these basic mechanics down, I will be equipped to think through the db, etc., theory.

Thank you, Jam