Mixing link hiss, DI, and line-level

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    • #114450
      mistercharlie
      Participant

      I just got a new Mixing Link. I’m using it to take a feed from my guitar’s pedalboard to a mixer, then into an iPad. Here are the connections:

      Guitar to INST IN
      TO AMP to my amp
      DI/LINE OUT to a USB mixer (Mackie BlackJack) via XLR
      Mixer connected to iPad via USB
      GAIN button set to low (otherwise it overpowers the guitar amp)

      When I set the DI/LINE dip switch to DI, my recordings have quite a hiss to them (detectable when I normalize the recorded track). I have to crank up the gain on the mixer to get a usable level.

      If I set it to LINE level, I get a much more sensible level at the mixer, and there is no noise.

      My question is this. The mixer is expecting a microphone, and so thought that the Mixing Link should be set to DI. Is it normal for a mic XLR input to take line level?

      Thanks!

    • #147604
      JWaltz
      Participant

      Hi Charlie, 

      Not sure why the Mackie BlackJack Mic input works best with your setup when the XLR out is set for LINE level.

      If the MXLNK pre-amp gain is set on the 'lower side' (ie. not peaking) it might explain this lower level at the MXLNK XLR out.

      I'll take a look at the BlackJack user guide and chk their input specs.

      thanks,

      joe – eventide

      • #147605
        mistercharlie
        Participant
        jwaltz wrote:

        Hi Charlie, 

        Not sure why the Mackie BlackJack Mic input works best with your setup when the XLR out is set for LINE level.

        If the MXLNK pre-amp gain is set on the 'lower side' (ie. not peaking) it might explain this lower level at the MXLNK XLR out.

        I'll take a look at the BlackJack user guide and chk their input specs.

        thanks,

        joe – eventide

        That’s great, thanks! The MXLNK pre-amp gain is set at 12 o’clock, which I guess is unity gain. I shall try again, tweaking the settings with the amp disconnected to see if I can find a good mic level that way.

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        C

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    • #147609
      mistercharlie
      Participant
      I have done lots of further testing, running various pairs of outputs into the two channels of the BlacKJack, and using a metering app to match them. I have a lot of annotated screenshots if you’re interested, but the summary is thus:

      I tested the following outputs (the input was the same guitar loop, into the INT IN jack).

       

       

      – DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (Line level)

      – DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (DI Level)

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      – DI/LINE OUT XLR > TRS  (Line level)

      – TO AMP > 1/4-in jack (Hi-Z set on BlackJack)

      – TO FX > /4-in jack (Line level set on BlackJack) 

       

      I paired these up in several combinations, and used the levels app on the iPad, and the gain knobs on the BlackJack to make levels of both channels equal. Then I recorded the pairs to seperate tracks, and normalized each recording. All the knobs on the Mixing Link were at 20 o-clock, except the mix, which was set to give a 100% wet signal to the TO FX output.

       

      RESULT:

      Once the levels were balanced at the mixer, the recordings all sound identical (and good), except the DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (DI Level). This one has a lot of hiss, largely because I had to crank the BlackJack’s input gain to +35dB to get the level to match the Hi-Z guitar (TO AMP > 1/4-in jack).

       

      Oddly, there seems to be no difference at the BlackJack end if I send a Line level signal into its XLR, or if I spend the same Line Level signal to its 1/4-in jack input. It doesn’t seem to mind.

       

      In the end, then, I decided to just keep the Mixing Link’s output selector dip-switch on LINE LEVEL, and connect it to the mixer via XLR. It sounds great, the levels are good, there’s no noise, and it’s convenient. And it sounds as good as plugging the guitar in direct to the mixer.

       

      Not sure if this will help anyone else, but here it is!

      Show Less...
      • #154231
        CBUtone
        Member
        mistercharlie wrote:
        I have done lots of further testing, running various pairs of outputs into the two channels of the BlacKJack, and using a metering app to match them. I have a lot of annotated screenshots if you’re interested, but the summary is thus:

        I tested the following outputs (the input was the same guitar loop, into the INT IN jack).

         

         

        – DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (Line level)

        Show More...
        – DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (DI Level)

        – DI/LINE OUT XLR > TRS  (Line level)

        – TO AMP > 1/4-in jack (Hi-Z set on BlackJack)

        – TO FX > /4-in jack (Line level set on BlackJack) 

         

        I paired these up in several combinations, and used the levels app on the iPad, and the gain knobs on the BlackJack to make levels of both channels equal. Then I recorded the pairs to seperate tracks, and normalized each recording. All the knobs on the Mixing Link were at 20 o-clock, except the mix, which was set to give a 100% wet signal to the TO FX output.

         

        RESULT:

        Once the levels were balanced at the mixer, the recordings all sound identical (and good), except the DI/LINE OUT XLR > XLR (DI Level). This one has a lot of hiss, largely because I had to crank the BlackJack’s input gain to +35dB to get the level to match the Hi-Z guitar (TO AMP > 1/4-in jack).

         

        Oddly, there seems to be no difference at the BlackJack end if I send a Line level signal into its XLR, or if I spend the same Line Level signal to its 1/4-in jack input. It doesn’t seem to mind.

         

        In the end, then, I decided to just keep the Mixing Link’s output selector dip-switch on LINE LEVEL, and connect it to the mixer via XLR. It sounds great, the levels are good, there’s no noise, and it’s convenient. And it sounds as good as plugging the guitar in direct to the mixer.

         

        Not sure if this will help anyone else, but here it is!

        Thank you! Great job! This helped me!

        I was wondering what is the deal with the hiss. Even with no mic and everything at zero there is that hiss??? I had not tried the dip switch solution. The ”amp out” gave me cleaner signal and was using so far that one.

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    • #154235
      CBUtone
      Member

      I’m using audient ID14 interface. So it’s not just the Blackjack + mixing link combination.

    • #154851
      guarsh
      Participant

      I’ve got the exact same issue here.  Mixing link at DI (mic level) XLR output has a ton of hiss.  You can turn the knobs all you want, even disconnect all the input cables, and switch the unit into bypass, and the hiss continues at the same loud level.  Makes all my recordings un-useable unless I put them through a denoiser to save the really inspired takes, but who wants to do that all the time.  Agreed that the ¼” amp out is much quieter.  The link below is a link to an interleaved stereo file – the left side is the XLR (mic level output) DI ouput, the right side is the ¼” amp out through a radio shack 274-017C “DI”. I set my USB Pre2 interface so that the levels are the same.  Also, there is no microphone plugged in, and the FX loop is bypassed. Amp out knob is set to 12 o’clock, as that seemed to get the same level on both outputs when I spoke into a mic before I unplugged it.  The noise level difference on the meter snapshot is 17db … 

      http://www.guarsh.com/mixinglinknoise.wav

      Eventide, any fix for this? Thanks!

      Jason

    • #154857
      CBUtone
      Member

      I got another unit from the seller so that I can have a reference. That one had the same “feature”. Since they don’t sell radial voco-loco, I could not swap it to that. If I had known this issue from the start I would not have bought the mixing link.

      The best sound I get is when I route the signal from the effects via a separate DI-box to a mixer/audio interface. That is quiet ok.

      chain: mic – mixigin ling in – fx out – effects – di box – audient id 14/mixer

       

    • #154861
      JWaltz
      Participant

      Hi Folks,

      Sorry to hear you are having issues with ‘hiss’ on DI out of the MixingLink. I am not sure why this is the case unless there is a mfg issue as I can’t seem to reproduce this.

      Please verify the ‘input gain switch’ is pushed ‘in’. If this switch is in the ‘out’ position, it will add 20dB of gain, which could raise the noise floor depending on the input.

      joe waltz

      eventide

    • #154878
      CBUtone
      Member

      My serial is MX-03880, so, I quess 03880, if that is the right number (it’s under the model number).

      Not near that other posted serial.

      Gain knob as it should be in this setup.

      I hope you guys at eventide check some units and hear the possible di out hiss/noise yourself. If you don’t get any noise or difference between an external di box vs. Mixing links di out, there are bad unit out.

      Let us know,

      – Sebastian

    • #154858
      CBUtone
      Member
      guarsh wrote:

      I’ve got the exact same issue here.  Mixing link at DI (mic level) XLR output has a ton of hiss.  You can turn the knobs all you want, even disconnect all the input cables, and switch the unit into bypass, and the hiss continues at the same loud level.  Makes all my recordings un-useable unless I put them through a denoiser to save the really inspired takes, but who wants to do that all the time.  Agreed that the ¼” amp out is much quieter.  The link below is a link to an interleaved stereo file – the left side is the XLR (mic level output) DI ouput, the right side is the ¼” amp out through a radio shack 274-017C “DI”. I set my USB Pre2 interface so that the levels are the same.  Also, there is no microphone plugged in, and the FX loop is bypassed. Amp out knob is set to 12 o’clock, as that seemed to get the same level on both outputs when I spoke into a mic before I unplugged it.  The noise level difference on the meter snapshot is 17db … 

      http://www.guarsh.com/mixinglinknoise.wav

      Eventide, any fix for this? Thanks!

      Jason

       

      What is the serial of your unit? I’ll post mine later. Maybe there have been faulty parts in the production?

      I once bought an ibanez chorus and got some ticking noise out of it. Showd it to the seller. Result: every unit of the whole world with certain cerial numbers where sent back to the factory. One bad part inside.

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    • #154870
      guarsh
      Participant

      CBUtone, I’ve got 01768.

      Looks like your setup is just using the box as a preamp …

      J

      CBUtone wrote:

      guarsh wrote:

      I’ve got the exact same issue here.  Mixing link at DI (mic level) XLR output has a ton of hiss.  You can turn the knobs all you want, even disconnect all the input cables, and switch the unit into bypass, and the hiss continues at the same loud level.  Makes all my recordings un-useable unless I put them through a denoiser to save the really inspired takes, but who wants to do that all the time.  Agreed that the ¼” amp out is much quieter.  The link below is a link to an interleaved stereo file – the left side is the XLR (mic level output) DI ouput, the right side is the ¼” amp out through a radio shack 274-017C “DI”. I set my USB Pre2 interface so that the levels are the same.  Also, there is no microphone plugged in, and the FX loop is bypassed. Amp out knob is set to 12 o’clock, as that seemed to get the same level on both outputs when I spoke into a mic before I unplugged it.  The noise level difference on the meter snapshot is 17db … 

      Show More...

      http://www.guarsh.com/mixinglinknoise.wav

      Eventide, any fix for this? Thanks!

      Jason

       

      What is the serial of your unit? I’ll post mine later. Maybe there have been faulty parts in the production?

      I once bought an ibanez chorus and got some ticking noise out of it. Showd it to the seller. Result: every unit of the whole world with certain cerial numbers where sent back to the factory. One bad part inside.

      Show Less...
    • #154871
      guarsh
      Participant

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for responding.

      Yep, gain is pushed in to “Low”.

      What else can we do to remedy the situation?

      Thanks,

      Jason

       

      JWaltz wrote:

      Hi Folks,

      Sorry to hear you are having issues with ‘hiss’ on DI out of the MixingLink. I am not sure why this is the case unless there is a mfg issue as I can’t seem to reproduce this.

      Show More...

      Please verify the ‘input gain switch’ is pushed ‘in’. If this switch is in the ‘out’ position, it will add 20dB of gain, which could raise the noise floor depending on the input.

      joe waltz

      eventide

      Show Less...
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