I need to make a cable that goes from XLR to 1/4". How should I wire it?
There are many different configurations that can be made between an XLR to 1/4" adapter. The XLR connector is pretty straight forward. It has 3 wire terminals and is standard. The 1/4" connector, on the other hand, can have 2 or 3 wire terminals and is not standard.
The two terminal 1/4" connector is commonly referred to as the TS, or Tip-Sleeve, version. The three terminal 1/4" connector is commonly referred to as the TRS, or Tip-Ring-Sleeve, version. The TS connector is an unbalanced connector. The TRS connector can be used for many things, including balanced audio, send/return for insert points, and left/right stereo, just to name a few.
XLR to TS 1/4"
Connecting a balanced XLR connector to an unbalanced 1/4" connector. Note that this will unbalance the connection between the two pieces of equipment.
XLR TS 1/4" Pin 1 Sleeve Pin 2 Tip Pin 3 Sleeve
XLR to Balanced TRS 1/4"
Keeping a balanced connection between devices is always recommended. Note that an adapter designed for XLR to TRS 1/4" will work in both a TRS 1/4" jack and TS 1/4" jack.
XLR TRS 1/4" Pin 1 Sleeve Pin 2 Tip Pin 3 Ring
Left/Right Stereo TRS 1/4"
Stereo 1/4" connectors are typically only used for headphone outputs. Thus, there is almost never a use for an XLR to Stereo 1/4" adapter.
1/4" Insert Jacks
The 1/4" insert jacks on mixers are wired differently depending on the manufacturer. Contact the manufacturer of the mixer to determine how your mixer is wired.