This is a supplemental page to Recording Church Sermon Audio. It is designed to help explain some of the cables and adapters you might need to get started.
If you are connecting a computer or standalone recording device to your church’s mixer or soundboard, you are going to need to know a little bit about cables and adapters.
In some cases, just a cable will work. In others, you are going to need an adapter. There are often cables that work as a cable and an adapter. This is where you might need some help from someone who knows a little bit about audio. Below are some various setups that pair your mixer to your computer or standalone device.
XLR to XLR Cables
Many soundboards and mixers will offer an XLR output. Depending on your choice of USB interface or standalone recording device, you may be able to connect XLR to XLR. This is one of the best possible setups. Without going into detail, XLR is a professional-grade connection and is much less prone to problems than other connections. Just be sure, when you are ordering your cable to get the correct male or female terminators.
XLR to 1/8″ Cables
You can plug a soundboard or mixer into a computer or a standalone recorder with a 1/8″ jack (usually stereo with an XLR to 1/8″ cable. This is not as perfect as XLR to XLR but it usually works well. Just make sure the XLR end is the correct gender to plug into your soundboard.
1/4″ Mono to 1/8″ Stereo Cables
Another common output on mixers and soundboards is the 1/4″ mono plug. There are usually two output, one for right and one for left. And adapter cable can connect to your computer or recording device and feed both signals into the one jack.
1/8″ Stereo to 1/8″ Stereo Cables
Sometimes the best option for getting audio from a soundboard or mixer is a headphone jack. These can be problematic especially if you need the headphone jack to monitor. However, it often gives you an independent level control which can help get the levels right for output to your computer or standalone recorder.
RCA Mono to 1/8″ Stereo Cables
Especially if you have a smaller consumer mixer, you may find the output that you can use is the older RCA standard. This cable will take those two channels and feed them into a computer or standalone recorder with a 1/8″ stereo input.
These are just some of the possibilities. If your connection is not covered here or you are just plain stuck, leave me a note in the comments and I will see if I can help.