Help me understand what hardware I need
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Old 26-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
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Icon5 Help me understand what hardware I need

I finally decided to get some monitor speakers after hearing one of my tracks sound terrible on a friend's stereo. I bought
these [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
.

My current setup is a windows machine with a USB midi keyboard. Onboard soundcard provides audio to my PC speakers.

Now obviously I won't be able to hook the new monitor speakers up directly to my computer, but I'm not sure what I need inbetween. Do I need an audio interface (I never record anything, no guitar, no microphone, etc), or something else? What are my options here?

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Old 26-03-2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

An audio interface with balanced XLR or 1/4" (6.3mm) TRS analog outputs is what you'd want.
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Old 26-03-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

If you don't plan on recording anything all you need is a 1/8th inch stereo headphone cable that splits into two mono 1/4 inch inpurs.

You don't "need" an interface per say.

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Old 26-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

...but, and audio interface will provide you with better sound quality and help reduce latency when playing your midi keyboard. On board sound cards are crap.

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Old 26-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
If you don't plan on recording anything all you need is a 1/8th inch stereo headphone cable that splits into two mono 1/4 inch inpurs.

You don't "need" an interface per say.
If I go that route, do I need to power the speakers somehow?
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

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If I go that route, do I need to power the speakers somehow?
Your monitors are "active" which means powered. Passive would need an amp.

I feel I should ask, what MIDI keyboard do you have? A few actually have an interface built it >.> Figure it can't hurt to ask hehe.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #7
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

I'm not opposed to getting an interface somewhere down the line, but if I can get by with some cables until I find the one I want that would be great for now.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

No those monitors are active so they power themselves.

The other guys are right an interface will help but not required to run the monitors.

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Old 26-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

You can get by with cables if needed.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

Thanks guys.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #11
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

One nice thing about having an interface that isn't mentioned is having a volume control knob that doesn't require you to use your mouse and computer. Besides all the other uses

Also easier if you are wanting to use headphones sometimes and monitors sometimes.
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Old 28-03-2013, 04:51 PM   #12
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

I'm all for the Audio interface option. Taking the strain off your computers soundcard will really help and you will definitely want one if you continue producing. Why buy one in 6 months when you can buy one now and have those 6 months with a better sounding set-up.
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Old 28-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

Take a look at the focusrite scarlet 2i4. Should be able to nab a used one for about one hundred dollars. You could get a 2i2 for less but, if not already, one day you'll want midi in/out and that one doesn't have it.

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Old 28-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #14
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

Or Native Instruments Kontrol 6

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Old 28-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #15
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

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Originally Posted by Kronecker View Post
I'm all for the Audio interface option. Taking the strain off your computers soundcard will really help and you will definitely want one if you continue producing.
Your computer has the same 'strain' on it with most ASIO cards and in some cases more if you are pushing lower latencies when comparing it to the onboard audio. I agree that getting a better card is the best option but for other reasons than cpu loads.

Any audio processing that is specifically written for the device (think UAD Apollo, Creamware Scope, MotU Cuemix etc) will operate without needing the cpu for its main calculations (although some might be needed for the GUI's etc) but it apart from those kinds of things, its the cpu thats doing the work.

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Old 28-03-2013, 09:10 PM   #16
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Re: Help me understand what hardware I need

Quote:
Originally Posted by MobileOak View Post
I finally decided to get some monitor speakers after hearing one of my tracks sound terrible on a friend's stereo. I bought [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
.

My current setup is a windows machine with a USB midi keyboard. Onboard soundcard provides audio to my PC speakers.

Now obviously I won't be able to hook the new monitor speakers up directly to my computer, but I'm not sure what I need inbetween. Do I need an audio interface (I never record anything, no guitar, no microphone, etc), or something else? What are my options here?
Lol, the link you posted has a suggestion of buying the speakers and exactly the cable you want as a bundle option. You just need a minijack TRS to twin 1/4" TR cable.

If you were having trouble with the low end in the mix you may need to add a sub woofer at some point. Theses monitors claim to go to 55hz which is is fairly low but if your into DnB, Dubstep etc you need to know whats happening down a tad lower. My mate has these monitors and I gotta be honest, I don't really like them. I'd question the 55hz claim (I even looked to see if my mate had the bass cut off somehow) but like all monitor setups, its all about 'knowing their sound'. Once your used to them they should serve you well though as they seem well made.

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