Whilst in isolation Dave is having a conversation with himself about the use of XLR outputs on the newer JOYO Revolution series and for recording guitar in the home studio.
Hey Dave, I noticed on some of the latest JOYO gear like the Cab box, the DRj Sparrow bass DI and the new JOYO Preamp House that they all have XLR outputs, why is that? Its not a cable you usually see on a pedal board or associated with guitars is it?.
no not historically, but JOYO are catering more and more for guitarists in the studio and for those who are recording at home, If you look at the success of our JOYO amp simulator pedals you will see that customers use these pedals because they use them to record at home or when they can't be bothered lugging an amp to a pub. JOYO just wanted to make something that is easy to plug into a PA system or mixer. Also the majority of people play guitar at home in the home studio, either for recording or just practising in headphones, so....
Yeah alright that's great Dave, but why use an xlr cable why do I need to do that, what's wrong with my guitar cable for doing all that?
First of all It can make a proven difference in the quality or noise that you record with. The difference between the normal 6.35mm guitar cable and the xlr is based on the signal level, or quality of the cable, one is okay for doing the job, the other is much better. One cable is unbalanced and one is balanced. Unbalanced cables can get noisy, especially depending on the pedals you are using. It is quite simple when you look at the wiring of a typical guitar pedal board circuit, things can get audio-messy.
Hey Dave - Which cable is unbalanced and which is balanced, I still don't really know what are you going on about, what is a balanced or unbalanced cable supposed to mean?
A guitar cable uses an unbalanced signal (mono) which uses two wires: a signal and a ground, that comes from your guitar. A big complaint from guitarists is that their rig can be noisy and there is an expectation or a focus on power supplies being the main contributing factor. Whilst that can be part of the issue, there are many other factors too, guitar cables by their naff two wire design will pick up noise as am audio signal is sent along the cable, they're best used for short distances, like connecting a guitar to a nearby amp, but are still prone to noise, no matter what power supply you use.
Balanced Cables are typically XLR connectors, they are a type of electrical connector primarily used in professional audio/visual and stage lighting equipment. XLR stands for "External Line Return" they are the way to go for long cable runs or in areas where there may be interference, like in a studio or going into a PA or in a pub, or in an area where there is a lot of radio frequencies bouncing around, pretty much everywhere now.. The high gain coping mechanisms and isolated ground make for a cleaner, noise-free signal.
If cable runs are shorter, there should be no problem with RF interference or noise on unbalanced guitar cables but to be certain balanced XLR should be used where possible if you are going into another device that may emit RF.
So are guitar cables noisy by design?
Well if you use a guitar cable and you can sometimes hear hum and some weird noises, but you can’t hear RF. RF is a big problem there is loads of it about now -phones, PCs, microwaves, radio signals, wifi boosters, the list goes on and on but I can't possibly name everything here, because if it has a plug on it, or uses electricity it will produce RF. I wear a tinfoil hat for this reason as RF can mess with your brain.... RF also gets into analog guitar pedals and messes it about, creating odd background noises, distortions and sometimes audible noise. It is not a faulty pedal, or power supply but a combination of the wiring in your guitar pedal board and a mixture of digital pedals and analog circuits. Guitar Cables do not help, but get a basic job done.
Guitar effect pedal boards are getting more and more complex and we use the most basic wiring technology there is to make it work.
Okay so I sort of understand that XLR blanced cables are less noisy than unbalanced guitar cables.
Yes you got it, that's what im getting at.. So that is why in the new studio gear we introduced XLR outputs so you can plug into your studio gear with a better lower noise signal option.
Can I use just use my regular guitar cable to plug into my recording interface though?
Yes, but if you get a noisy signal, try the XLR it is now on the new pedals that interface with the studio gear..
But should I use an XLR cable though?
I would, you might just notice a difference.
What we are doing is putting things in place to solve an issue that may arise. So if you are plugging into a direct interface this pedal board wiring design really should ground itself and do everything it can to reduce the noise in the signal. To do that use the XLR cable where you can.
Dave is currently in covid isolation running the online JOYO business from a barn, having conversations with himself, wearing a tinfoil hat and thinking of new products to make in the future.