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Old January 29th, 2016, 09:54 PM   #1
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SD302 to PCM-D50

I bought a used Sound Devices 302 mixer and I love the quality coming out of this thing.

The D50 only has a 3.5" in jack(both mic and line in optical). I'm using a Hosa xlr (single) F to 3.5" out of the R output channel from the 302.

I'd like to use a something ike a Dual XLR Female to 3.5" jack. Does such a beast exist? I can't find one on BH Photo and Video's website.

The guy threw in a TA3F to 3.5" (handmade) cable but I've noticed a lot of hiss coming out of that. I don't know if that is a problem with the 302 or the handmade cable.

Any suggestions?
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Old January 30th, 2016, 07:08 AM   #2
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Remote Audio (and others) make the dual XLR Female to Stereo Mini Male cable you are looking for.

B&H has it here:
Remote Audio Unbalanced Stereo Breakout Cable, 2 CA2X3F1/8S B&H

You need to set the output level (Mic or Line) on the mixer to match the recorder's input to get the best signal without noise or overpowering the input.

You may need an attenuator or two or an attenuating cable depending on which outputs you are using and other devices you need to feed simultaneously.

I don't have a 302 or a D50, but others here are very familiar with them and they get discussed a lot.

You might even want to get a stereo optical converter, they aren't as expensive now for one with reasonable quality.

If you also add a pair of Male to Male XLR gender changers, you can use the Remote Audio cable above to go the other direction and feed the output from a Stereo Mini jack to two XLR inputs.
Just make absolutely certain you never plug this modified cable into XLR inputs that have Phantom Power on them! (Don't ask how I already knew this but forgot to click the phantom switch to off because I got distracted...)
So on second thought, buy those gender changers at your own risk!
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Old January 30th, 2016, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

The 302 has user adjustable attenuation on the main out XLRs, which can go down from the factory default line level down to mic level in approx. 2dB incrementss. See "Set-up" section in manual.
Otherwise the Tape Out / Mix Out (fixed @ 15dB) is suitable tor feeding unbalanced line inputs, assuming the D50 has an unbalanced line-in. You will need a TA3-F to 3.5mm TRS plug (stereo) custom cable. This config. would allow feeding two devices.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 03:23 PM   #4
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Nice find on the dual xlr female, thanks. Yeah I'll avoid the gender changing, heh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
Remote Audio (and others) make the dual XLR Female to Stereo Mini Male cable you are looking for.

B&H has it here:
Remote Audio Unbalanced Stereo Breakout Cable, 2 CA2X3F1/8S B&H

You need to set the output level (Mic or Line) on the mixer to match the recorder's input to get the best signal without noise or overpowering the input.

You may need an attenuator or two or an attenuating cable depending on which outputs you are using and other devices you need to feed simultaneously.

I don't have a 302 or a D50, but others here are very familiar with them and they get discussed a lot.

You might even want to get a stereo optical converter, they aren't as expensive now for one with reasonable quality.

If you also add a pair of Male to Male XLR gender changers, you can use the Remote Audio cable above to go the other direction and feed the output from a Stereo Mini jack to two XLR inputs.
Just make absolutely certain you never plug this modified cable into XLR inputs that have Phantom Power on them! (Don't ask how I already knew this but forgot to click the phantom switch to off because I got distracted...)
So on second thought, buy those gender changers at your own risk!
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Old January 30th, 2016, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Right, I will take a look at attenuation again. I saw a video on this on YouTube by 'Roland Comfort 302' and IIRC attenuation is in the first settings slot. Limiting is the second slot.

I haven't had luck going from the Tape Out(via a custom TA3F to the 3.5 mini cable) LINE on the D50. Only if I crank the gain to 10 on the D50 will I get a very low signal, like around 40db. Using the MIC in result in the background hiss I was mentioning before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
The 302 has user adjustable attenuation on the main out XLRs, which can go down from the factory default line level down to mic level in approx. 2dB incrementss. See "Set-up" section in manual.
Otherwise the Tape Out / Mix Out (fixed @ 15dB) is suitable tor feeding unbalanced line inputs, assuming the D50 has an unbalanced line-in. You will need a TA3-F to 3.5mm TRS plug (stereo) custom cable. This config. would allow feeding two devices.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Right, I will take a look at attenuation again. I saw a video on this on YouTube by 'Roland Comfort 302' and IIRC attenuation is in the first settings slot. Limiting is the second slot. Works like a charm.

I haven't had luck going from the Tape Out(via a custom TA3F to the 3.5 mini cable) LINE on the D50. Only if I crank the gain to 10 on the D50 will I get a very low signal, like around -40db. Using the MIC in result in the background hiss I was mentioning before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
The 302 has user adjustable attenuation on the main out XLRs, which can go down from the factory default line level down to mic level in approx. 2dB incrementss. See "Set-up" section in manual.
Otherwise the Tape Out / Mix Out (fixed @ –15dB) is suitable tor feeding unbalanced line inputs, assuming the D50 has an unbalanced line-in. You will need a TA3-F to 3.5mm TRS plug (stereo) custom cable. This config. would allow feeding two devices.

Last edited by Michael Hanna; January 30th, 2016 at 04:07 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #7
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

I bought a Hosa cable from B&H to connect my mixpre-d to my Sony PCM-D50. Works fine. Line in and out.
Hosa Technology Stereo Mini Angled Male to 2 XLR Female CYX-401F
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Old January 31st, 2016, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hanna View Post
Right, I will take a look at attenuation again. I saw a video on this on YouTube by 'Roland Comfort 302' and IIRC attenuation is in the first settings slot. Limiting is the second slot.

I haven't had luck going from the Tape Out(via a custom TA3F to the 3.5 mini cable) LINE on the D50. Only if I crank the gain to 10 on the D50 will I get a very low signal, like around 40db. Using the MIC in result in the background hiss I was mentioning before.
Don't have a D50 so take my observation with a grain of salt but glancing at the specs online it appears the line level input sensitivity is closer to the +4dBu pro line level of the 302's main outputs than it is to the -10dBv consumer line level of the 302's tape out. The D-50 manual's spec says the rated level of the line input is 2 volts, which is roughly +8dBu. The stated minimum input level is 450mV, about -6dBv and the 302 tape outs are lower than that. That would account for the low recording level you experienced feeding the 302 tape out to the D-50 line in.

The 302 has a tone generator that outputs a 0dBVU signal on the mains. Connect the main out to the recorder line in with your dual XLR to stereo 3.5 cable and turn on the tone. Adjust the recorder's input level so the D-50 meters read -20dBFS and lock it down so you make all further recording level adjustments on the 302. Set up this way voice sources that hover around 0 on the 302 meters will show around -12 on the D-50's, giving an adequate average level with 12-14 dB headroom before clipping to accommodate peaks..
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Last edited by Steve House; January 31st, 2016 at 10:40 AM.
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Old January 31st, 2016, 01:59 PM   #9
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Hi from Grimsby! Thanks, that was pretty educational, will look up on a comparison between pro line levels vs. consumer line levels .. didn't know about that before.

From what you're saying it looks like I can't use the tape out on the D50, which is too bad. I also have a Sony PCM-M10(from my research Sony has the quietest consumer preamps). I'll see if there is anything different with the M10 specs. Would be nice to have something useful at the other end of the Tape Out.

Yeah and you're right; best to lockdown the output device and keep the manual adjustments at the mixer level.
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Old February 1st, 2016, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

'Pro' line level is a nominal +4dBu, referenced to 0dBu = 0.775 volts RMS. 0 VU = 1.228 volts RMS
'Consumer' line level is a nominal -10 dBv, referenced to 0dBv = 1.0 volt RMS. 0 VU = 0.316 volts RMS
Note the difference in reference voltage and the dBu versus dBv units. Because of this, 'consumer' line is about 12 dB lower than 'pro' line level, not 14dB as you might expect. Still feeding a consumer level signal to an input expecting a pro level signal is going to result in very low recording levels.

The SD specs say its 'Tape Out' is even lower than to regular consumer level, set to -15 dBu (-17 dBv). To make things even worse.Sony specs call for a nominal 2 volts on the line input of the D-50. This is close to the old 'studio' line level of +8dBm. (Yet another unit! For this discussion dBm == dBu.) So the difference between what the Tape Out on the 302 delivers and what the D-50 wants on its line-in is close to 25 dB!
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Old February 1st, 2016, 09:45 AM   #11
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Re: SD302 to PCM-D50

Another option is to use an attenuation cable on the SD's 'Tape out' and feed the recorder mic level. I haven't seen the Sony schematic, but like most others in that class, the line-in just goes through the mic preamp anyway. Below is a SD tech note with pad values.
Adding a tape out/mic level output to the 302
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