Let's say I have a mic-level signal running on an XLR cable - a vocal microphone going to a mixer or preamp. I'm looking for the simplest way to add another mono audio signal to the line.

I've got a sine tone generator and want to "add" it to the microphone signal (and still hear the microphone). The sine wave is coming from a DAC and will be converted to a mic-level signal.

Attaching the DAC straight to pin 2 or 3 of the XLR connection seems to work, but there must be another way that is more proper, is there? Do I need to balance the signal and connect it to both pins 2 and 3 of the mic signal? Or somehow protect the DAC or microphone from one another? Audio quality is not super important since it's just a tone. I'm more interested in the lowest parts count solution.


1 Answer 1


You want to first put the mic signal through a mic preamp, and then mix the preamp out with the DAC output. (The DAC output is presumably unbalanced and somewhere near line level, though it may want a bit of tweaking.) Any simple audio mixer with at least one mic pre will do this for you.

EDIT: as the OP says that working at line level is not possible - it sounds like what is wanted is some sort of resistive mixing at mic level. This is likely to be fairly noisy though. There is also the issue of balanced versus unbalanced - the mic is (and really needs to remain) balanced (question: what kind of mic?) whereas the DAC output is unbalanced and much higher level. So not really possible to answer this properly without more details. And the question remains - why do you want to work at mic level?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Due to the application, it is not possible to go to the preamp first. The DAC output will be converted to mic level, though. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 2, 2019 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ ok, see my edit above. \$\endgroup\$
    – danmcb
    Oct 2, 2019 at 14:46

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