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FX Return as Aux input

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dolanpollockftw, Feb 25, 2018.


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  1. Dolanpollockftw

    Dolanpollockftw

    Aug 9, 2017
    Ontario
    I've done a bunch of searching on the forum, but can't find a thread with my exact situation.

    I recently switched from a head with an aux in to one without. The new one's a Markbass Ninja - absolutely love it. Anyway, I use a drum loop app on my phone to play along with. I used to just plug into the aux in on my old amp, but with the Ninja there isn't one. I've heard that the FX return can be used to plug in an external media source, but when I've tried it, I just get a hiss through the cab. But I am using a stereo 1/8" audio cable with a stereo 1/4" adapter to plug into the FX return. I assume that a proper aux in is stereo and an FX return is mono, so should I just use a patch cord with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to connect my phone to the FX return? Would that solve the issue? Is it safe for the amp? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    The Effect Return is, indeed, mono.

    In order to hear both your playing and the drum loop, you'll need a mixer to mix the Send Effect output and your phone output. Then the mix goes back into the Effect Return.

    BTW, the manual indicates the Send Effect is pre-EQ which means anything you send back in the Effect Return will go through the EQ.

    - John
     
    murphy likes this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    You're not going to be able to play your bass through the input and use the FX return.
     
    murphy likes this.
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    If there’s no aux in on your amp, you’ll need another device to achieve what you’re trying to do. The reason you’re not finding much in the way of search results is because it’s not something that people do. You can either buy a drum machine like a Beat Buddy, or run your app into an amp that has aux in. I wouldn’t even experiment or try to do it otherwise. You risk damaging something.
     
  5. Dolanpollockftw

    Dolanpollockftw

    Aug 9, 2017
    Ontario
    I had a Markbass Little Tube 800 that I had on loan a while ago that I wired exactly like this, though. Same phone, cables, and cab - and it worked totally fine. Don't know why it's not working for the Ninja. The video is the phone recording while sending the drum loop to the FX return on the back of the amp.
     
  6. Ampslut

    Ampslut

    May 15, 2017
    When you input to the FX return you will bypass the preamp and you will not hear your bass. Best solution would be to get a small mixer.
     
  7. Dolanpollockftw

    Dolanpollockftw

    Aug 9, 2017
    Ontario
    Actually, it's working fine now. I have no idea why it wasn't before. Drum loop is coming through from the phone to the FX return, and bass is coming through the regular input. I'll take a short video in a sec. Just using the FX return doesn't bypass the front input. Just using the send does.
     
  8. Dolanpollockftw

    Dolanpollockftw

    Aug 9, 2017
    Ontario

    I really have no idea why it wouldn't work yesterday.
     
  9. Ampslut

    Ampslut

    May 15, 2017
    hmmm, I stand corrected :meh:
     
  10. This is not true. Plenty of bassists play through the input of their amp, and use the effects loop to add effects. One does not disable the other.

    The main problem I see is the wiring mismatch. An aux send is 1/8 inch stereo; an effect return is 1/4 inch mono. You should use a combiner that sums the left and right aux signal into mono, then adapt that to a 1/4 inch plug.
     
    Roland GR 88 likes this.
  11. Hosa CMP-103 $8.99
    CMP-100_RGB_856-350x230.jpg
     
  12. Dolanpollockftw

    Dolanpollockftw

    Aug 9, 2017
    Ontario
    I have my phone's audio output set to mono, and output signal set to 100% left - so even though the cable is stereo, the sleeve doesn't have any signal running to it and it just gets sent to ground. That's my understanding, anyway.
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    We'll of course. You're talking about connecting both the FX Send and FX Return.

    OP came back and said it's working regardless.
     
  14. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Having the FX Return (Effect Return in Markbass parlance) not interrupt the signal chain would seem to be the rarity, certainly not the norm. The norm is that the FX Return interrupts the signal chain. I don't see it documented in the user manual at all how the Send Effect and Effect Return operate for the OP's amp. However, he seems to have found that it mixes.

    - John
     
  15. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I used to use my effects send/effects return loop. What happened with me was that when I plugged in the effects in, it redirected the preamp to the effects send, so no sound of my bass. I had to get a Y cord to put into my effects return and ran a cord out of my effects send into one side of it and my mp3 player (separate or from my computer) into the other side of the Y cord and then everything showed up OK. Wasn't really great, but it worked.

    You may find you need to go from a stereo plug down to a mono plug adapter to get it to work in your effects in. Otherwise you may get just one side or the other of your stereo mp3 connection.

    Now I don't mess with it. I have an audio interface and plug my bass and mic into that. That audio interface also operates as my default playback device, so I have everything in one. I personally use my Bose headphones coming out of that to practice and sing with the music from my playlists.

    Here's a link to the one I have at Amazon. It's on sale and was twice the price when I got mine.
    https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC202HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURUBE
    It's worth considering if you use your computer to listen to music.
     
  16. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Whether it will work or not depends upon how the loop is wired. Either the send or return must be switched for a series loop to function properly. Often the Return is switched but the Send is not. This allows the Send to be used as an Aux out. In contrast, if the Send is switched but the Return is not, you can use the Return as an Aux input and it will not interrupt the sound coming from the preamp. Even better if there is a Return Level control to allow volume adjustments.
     
    BooDoggie likes this.
  17. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    I found a couple threads here on TB that indicate the Markbass effects loop is a parallel setup. Some make reference to changing it to the classic serias configuration.

    - John
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    Wasnex likes this.
  18. BooDoggie

    BooDoggie Typical Dumb-ass with a degree

    Mar 29, 2014
    Sounds like you are understanding everything like I do. It should work plugged into the effect return which "signal wise" is pretty much the same 1/4" mono input. Since their website does not offer user manual downloads I could not check the full details.
    The effect return on that amp is set to 33 Kohm impedance, max. voltage 10 Vpp.
    As long as the output from your phone is compatible with that then you should have no problem.

    Technically the inputs should be either balanced (TRS or "stereo" jack.) or unbalanced (TS or mono.)
    ^^^^ This ^^^^
     
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 17, 2021

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