Even now, I can’t help but remember how overwhelming it was to choose speakers. There were so many options and so many different ways to judge them. Tower vs. bookshelf, for example, or in-ceiling vs. cabinet, for example, were some of the things I thought about.
Another thing I had to think about was whether to use active speakers or passive speakers.
So, after a lot of thought and research, I decided to go with passive speakers after all. Then I had to figure out how to connect my speakers to a mixer.
In the end, I found out how to do it.
If you want to read the short version, you can see it below!
Tips on how to connect passive speakers to a mixer in a quick way
To connect the main speakers to each other.
In order to connect passive speakers, connect their Main out jacks to the inputs of their power amplifiers
Once that is done, connect the outputs of your power amplifier to the inputs of your speakers.
Turn on the mixer and the speakers so that you can listen to music (or power amplifier).
In order to set the mixer levels to unity and fine-tune the speaker output level, you need to do this:
It’s time to turn up the Main mix fader level to 0. (unity).
Now, you can play audio through one of the channels (phone, computer playback, or guitar). Make sure to set the gain knob on the channel while the level fader is at 0 so that you can set the gain (unison).
Turn on each passive speaker’s level knob until the volume is at the level you want.
Even though what I have written above may seem simple, it can be very complicated at times. But don’t worry. If you want to know more about how this works, I’ve done my best to get to know it.
Here are some tips to help you connect your passive speakers to a mixer and understand how it works. For those of us who are in a similar situation, this is a good read.
To make it easier, I’ll talk about active speakers and passive speakers first. Then I’ll go into more technical details.
In this example, we’re going to compare active speakers and passive speakers.
As you can see, active speakers have their own amplifier built into the cabinet. Passive speakers get their power from a separate amplifier that is outside the cabinet.
Speaker wire connects the passive speakers to the amplifier, which in turn connects the passive speakers to the amplifier.
There are passive and active speakers. Active speakers are used in pro-audio for things like pa monitors and systems and consumer audio, as well as blue tooth speakers.
When it comes to which one is better, it all comes down to what you are buying the speakers for.
Passive speakers are good for me, for example, because I want to use them for myself, and some of their traits are good for me in this case.
Because the passive speakers don’t need any wires, they can be placed in any way you want.
Also, passive speakers are easier to change, and their amplifiers can be easily changed.
For example, if you want more power, all you need to do is buy a new amplifier and connect it to the speaker.
Finally, because I sometimes need speakers while I’m on the road, I found passive speakers to be the best choice.
Because they don’t have a built-in mixer, they are light and easy to move around.
If you want more information about active vs. passive subwoofers, you can click on this link.
Passive speakers can be powered with a Mixer.
Users of passive speakers, like me, often wonder if we can use a mixer to power passive speakers, like the ones I have.
Short answer: “Yes.” It is used to power passive speakers with a Powered Mixer.
In fact, not all mixers can be called “powered” just because you have to plug them in in order for them to do their job.
In this case, you will need a power amplifier to run the passive speakers.
Or, you can connect the speakers that have power.
Powered Mixers are things that can be used to mix things.
Powered mixers are mixers that have built-in power amplifiers, like the ones shown here.
This type of mixer comes with a built-in power amplifier.
There is only one connection for power because the mixer and power amplifier both need a power supply. There are less connections to make than there are with separate amplifiers.
Let’s Connect Passive Speakers to a Mixer and see how it works.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you set up this type of system with passive speakers. The most important thing is that your amp must be able to handle the amount of power your speakers can handle.
If you want to learn more about power ratings, you can read our next post! Moving forward, though!
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have these things:
One of them is a passive speaker.
An amplifier with a lot of power
There is only one mixing desk
One of them is Speakon Lead.
There are two female XLR plugs and two 1/4′′ jack leads in this case:
There is only one microphone in the whole world.
XLR Lead: 1
RCA Lead: 13.5mm Jack
To be sure, it’s important to note that the power amplifier is different, and there are some new leads that don’t exist in a passive way.
Power amplifiers power speakers, and the new leads connect the mixer to a power amplifier, and the output of the power amplifier goes into a speaker.
A mixer must be set up before you can connect the passive speakers.
Use XLR-Jack leads, like I did, but this is up to you and your mixer. Take the main out L and R from the mixer and connect them to the inputs on the power amplifier.
You’ll need to do this after you finish this. Take the speakon leads and hook them up to each speaker’s input and output. It’s a good idea to put the speakers where you think they should be, but you can use your own judgment based on how the desk looks next to them.
Make sure you know how a path will pan when it’s set up. This is important! A signal will start to pass through it soon after this is all linked together.
In a passive system, you should turn on the mixer first, then the power amp. To pack it up, turn off the power amp, then turn on the mixer, so that it doesn’t fall over,
This is to make sure that the speakers and the amplifier don’t get hurt by the water.
Think about it this way: If you think that you are running both jacks from a mixer into your speakers, then plug straight from the mixer to your speakers.
Both of the jacks on the back of the speaker would work just as well. The wire from the mixer should be plugged into the speaker that you use as a monitor.
Want to add something extra?
If you have a mixer that has built-in FX, you can add some effects to your music.
The FX built into some mixers can be used to add things like reverb and delay to your mix, as well as other things that make your mix unique.
You’ll need to send that effect to the effects bus, which is a mix of all the FX send levels.
The controls on each mixer will be different. Keep in mind that some mixers have extra controls that let you control how much of the total FX bus is sent to the Main and/or Monitor mixes.
Let’s make your own mix.
Creating a good mix means making sure that each channel has the right level in both the main and monitor mixes.
Check your sound before you go to any event.
Go one player at a time, or mix the band as you go.
You pick what works best, but make sure that each microphone is working. Then, have them play one or two songs from their set and then ask them to do the same thing.
In order to adjust the volume, have each player play or sing as loud as they will during the performance. Then, change the level of their channel to get them into the main and monitor mix.
As each performer is on stage, you can also talk to them and be on the lookout for things like too much volume, feedback, or hard to work with acoustics (boominess).
Steps to follow:
The main mix level on your mixer should be set to 0. (unison).
One at a time, turn up and adjust each channel’s volume fader in a way that makes sense.
Apply EQ, compression, and FX to the channels that match the event or performance.
Mixing tips to think about:
When you use equalization (EQ), you can change the frequency content of a sound channel. Boost (raise) good frequencies or cut bad ones.
It’s too loud. Cut down on the low frequency sounds that are coming out.
Adjust the mids to change how much body or warmth there is.
Lack of clarity? The highs should be raised.
Smooth out the movement of things by compressing them.
To use reverb, use it very carefully. Extra space will go a long way.
Things to Remember
Unbalanced and balanced lines are two of the most common ways to connect a mixer to a powered speaker.
People can run long cable runs between the mix station and the speakers without having noise or interference. The balanced line has a better noise rejection.
It’s common for speakers that are powered to have both XLR and TRS jacks that can be used for balanced sound. Most old mixers have balanced output jacks that can be connected to TRS, XLR, or both.
It’s possible, but not very often, that your mixer just gives out unbalanced sound.
These are a problem in the long run because they are more likely to pick up interference and noise.
Most of the time, a maximum length of 20 to 30 feet is recommended for these. This is because longer runs can be very noisy.
There are many ways to change unbalanced signals into balanced ones, but this article doesn’t cover them.
Other Important Conidiations
With no amplifier, how can you power passive speakers without one?
You can connect passive speakers to the headphone jack on a computer or laptop. The computer will have an amplifier built in, so you can do this if you want better sound than typical desktop PC speakers can give you.
Another good thing about passive speakers is that they can be bought for a very low price.
passive speakers with an impendence of 8 or 16 can help you keep the headphone output from being overloaded and potentially damaging. You can use these speakers.
It should come with a cable with a jack so that it can connect to something like a computer or a TV.
In the event that you don’t already have one, you can buy one to connect your speakers to your computer.
If you don’t know how to work with electronics, I don’t think you should do it yourself. You could try to do the job yourself if you can’t get an electrician to do it.
Once this is done, you should be able to connect and power your passive speakers without an amplifier by now.