"Y" stereo split cables and insert cables

The question has been asked before, on various forums, but I’ve yet to find a definitive and trustworthy answer, so I’m going to ask it here:

My mixer (a Yamaha MG10/2) has two insert jacks (on channels 1 and 2). I know that these are made for inserting an effect chain before the channel faders, and I know that I need a 1x TRS to 2x TS cable for that. I also know that a stereo split cable (from stereo signal tot individual left and right signals) has the same configuration of jacks. What I can’t find, however, and for some reason I can’t figure it out by myself, is if all stereo split cables can be used as insert cables and vice versa, and if so, if there’s a standard mapping of “left” and “right” to “effect input” and “effect output”. Anyone?

The two cables you describe are effectively the same thing.
As to whether the send is on tip or ring, i think it’s tip most of the time but can vary between brands.
I never had any problems plugging an insert cable the wrong way in a trial and error fashion.

For stereo, tip is left and ring is right.

I can’t find any standards specifying that, but it’s the common usage.


The insert specs will be in the mixer manual, but tip-left-send (to fx) and ring-right-return (from fx) seems to be the de facto standard, though we’re talking about mixers here so I would check the manual.

In fact, here it is:

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I’ve always used insert cables, from like a shop, and never really wondered if they were all compatible or not.

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Looks like your question is answered but I wanted to also say that there is some outboard gear out there that can be inserted with a single TRS to TRS cable. I use a FMR RNC with my A&H mixer this way. The RNC is routed in stereo to the mains inserts with two short TRS to TRS cables. Makes it very easy. The RNC can be routed the way you are describing with a splitter as well if you wanted to run something else in series with it.