RCA vs Digital
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Thread: RCA vs Digital

  1. #1

    Default RCA vs Digital

    Curious if anyone has ever noticed a difference on a major PA. Normally, I work/DJ small/medium raves and everyone just uses digital. I'm assuming it's cause it's easier and sounds better (duh) but now I'm working a major festival with a very nice PA. The back line guy was using RCA and when I asked why, he said it doesn't really make a difference. I figured, of all places, a major festival would have used digital. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Holy crap. It can make a huge difference. Think about feedback alone with using a data signal vs. analog signal. Digital outs are also balanced as opposed to the unbalanced RCA alternative. This just hurt my brain. What festival was it?
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    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    I think he means connection between the CDJ's and the mixer, not mixer-FOH. I can easily imagine the difference is not audible, even on a festival PA.
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    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    I think he means connection between the CDJ's and the mixer, not mixer-FOH. I can easily imagine the difference is not audible, even on a festival PA.
    That I can agree with.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    I think he means connection between the CDJ's and the mixer, not mixer-FOH. I can easily imagine the difference is not audible, even on a festival PA.
    Correct. And interesting... I'm currently working Outside Lands

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    RCA is a plug format, not a type of audio.

    You can transfer digital over RCA plugs.

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    Back when I first put together a full CDJ-2000NXS and DJM-900NXS setup I plugged both the regular Line RCA and Digital to the mixer and to my ears there was a tiny difference in which the Digital sounded a bit more pronounce on the highs but hey those were my ears and not a RTA. I haven't done any comparisson on my new NXS2 setup but I have both line and digital hooked up in my coffin at all times.

    But to agree with others above, regular Line output can be susceptible to noise as it is an unbalanced signal. Digital can still be susceptible to ground loops and RF interferance but the odds of it happening are very very slim.

  8. #8

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    Good info to know. Thanks guys

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    If you use the digital, you lower latency also as you're cutting out two conversions - D>A out of the CDJ and A>D on the mixer
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    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djchriswoods.co.uk View Post
    If you use the digital, you lower latency also as you're cutting out two conversions - D>A out of the CDJ and A>D on the mixer
    That is a very good point as well. Especially with the already heavy load on the DSP inside of DJM series mixers. It's not a huge difference, but still a cool observance. :-)
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