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  1. a man. a plan. a canal. panama

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    Default Where/what exactly do studio monitors hook up to?

    Let's say I have a very high end pc, but nothing really special for a soundcard, just 3.5mm outputs on the back.

    Do I hook studio monitors up to my PC, mixer, or what, and if so, how?

    If I was to hook my monitors up to my pc, would I have to get 1/4" to 3.5 adapters...or is there some way to hook them up to an interface

    BTW, I'm getting a PreSonus Firestudio, combined with a Peavey PV6 mixer, for firewire recording into my PC.
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  2. Swollen Member

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    Main Outs, and a mixer is not needed for a firestudio.

    EDIT: In fact, a mixer will actually be detrimental to your sound because it's an unnecessary low quality component in your signal chain. The firestudio (like other firewire interfaces) REPLACEs your sound card. Your existing sound card will have nothing to do with recording at all.
    Last edited by dubsnack; 11-08-2007 at 04:59 PM.

  3. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renalen
    Let's say I have a very high end pc, but nothing really special for a soundcard, just 3.5mm outputs on the back.

    Do I hook studio monitors up to my PC, mixer, or what, and if so, how?

    If I was to hook my monitors up to my pc, would I have to get 1/4" to 3.5 adapters...or is there some way to hook them up to an interface

    BTW, I'm getting a PreSonus Firestudio, combined with a Peavey PV6 mixer, for firewire recording into my PC.
    heya dubsnack, how YOU doin?

    Renalen,
    Bottom line is this. A monitor needs to be hooked up to an amplifier (amp). Put another way, an amp drives a monitor, same as an amp drives a speaker. So, in short, you need to feed your 3.5mm (I call it a stereo mini plug) out to an amp, and then from the amp to the monitor.

    In a typical band setup, all the mics and instruments are mic/instrument cabled to a mixer, and the mixer then sends a pair of cables to a PA Amp that then feeds both sides of the PA (Left/Right), and the mixer ALSO sends a single cable (called mono) to an amp that then feeds a monitor. Often, the mixer sends 3-4 mono cables to 3-4 amps, that in turn feed 3-4 monitors.

    It is important to understand that a monitor typically does not play (you don't hear from it) a stereo signal (because it is only one speaker). Instead you send a monitor a "mix" of both left and right channels. We call this "mixed mono". This way, the monitor at your feet is playing (through its one speaker) a mix of the whole sound.

    Now, if you have a high end PC, and you just want to hear it, you can feed it to a powered speaker system (even your home stereo), or you can feed it to an amp that in turn is hooked up to speakers (a PA system). Moving up higher end, you can feed your PC out to a mixer, that in-turn feeds a PA, but if you think about it, its an already mixed, two channel only signal, so mixer is kind of pointless, except it would enable you to split your PC out to maybe 3 or 5 unique "sends", each with their own volumes.

    But as dubsnack pointed out, that way overkill for no gain. Now, RECORDING to your PC... that's a different story.

    Hope this helps,

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  4. Moderator

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    Many of the higher end studio monitors are powered, so an amp is not nessecary.

    Reposted from another thread i made...

    I am very obsessive about sound. I wanted the best possible sound for listening to CD's so i pieced together a setup that works for playing CD's and for monitoring from the drum room.

    There is a Tascam CDA500 that runs through a Sonic Maximizer (882i) then through a PreSonus Central Station where i split the signals. I can run the CD audio through the studio monitors, through a 5 channel headphone amp for others in the studio or run it through a snake to the drum riser to use for play along tracks.

    The Central Station also has an input from my drum mic mixer so i can listen to my kit through my studio monitors in isolation since my drum room is soundpoof.

    Lastly, my computer has a sound card with Digital outputs that is a third source for audio to play through my studio monitors or back through the snake to the drum riser where i can add a click to any track or mix guitar or bass only tracks over my drum tracks.

    The monitors themsleves are KRK Rockit 8's with a KRK RP10S 10" Powered subwoofer. All the power for my gear runs through a dedicated panel with an isolated ground and then it runs through a Monster Power conditioner. The Monster unit alone took out a huge amount of hum, well worth the price.

    The rack on the lower left is compressors, gates, crossovers, amps, DM5 (Monitors) and a Dynamic Processor that is all for my drum mics and drum monitor system for my throne shakers/in ears.
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  5. Do not feed the trolls.

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  6. a man. a plan. a canal. panama

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    Well, I still didn't get an answer.

    Do the monitors hook up to say, the firestudio I'm gonna get, or say, the outputs on the back of my PC?
    Also, are monitors meant for use in real-time recording, or post recording and listening/mixing?
    Quote Originally Posted by HHXplorer View Post
    I believe it has these measurements:
    Depth : Chuck Norris
    Diameter : John Petrucci

    John Petrucci = Chuck Norris²
    Chuck Norris x John Petrucci = Chuck Norris x Chuck Norris² = Chuck Norris³


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  7. conqistador de pollo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renalen
    Well, I still didn't get an answer.

    Do the monitors hook up to say, the firestudio I'm gonna get, or say, the outputs on the back of my PC?
    Also, are monitors meant for use in real-time recording, or post recording and listening/mixing?
    EDIT:
    they hook up to the firestudio....the remote control for the unit allows you to access different monitoring modes. "track" mode should let you listen to the input of any record enabled track while monitoring the output of the previously recorded tracks.
    the "mix" mode plays you the output of everything.
    Official Recording Tip of the month for November:

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  8. *Explosion*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renalen
    Also, are monitors meant for use in real-time recording, or post recording and listening/mixing?
    Both, but it leans more towards post-recording.
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  9. Swollen Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renalen
    Well, I still didn't get an answer.
    Holy crap, you are dense.

    I told you in the first post that they go in the MAIN OUTS and that the firestudio replaces your soundcard. Therefore, nothing comes out of your sound card.
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  10. a man. a plan. a canal. panama

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubsnack
    Holy crap, you are dense.

    I told you in the first post that they go in the MAIN OUTS and that the firestudio replaces your soundcard. Therefore, nothing comes out of your sound card.
    Sorry :[

    Just a bit stressed honestly, probably missed it.

    Really trying to get a nice studio setup together.




    Well, in that case, thanks alot.

    Also, in that case, if this is my primary home pc, along with my dedicated recording setup (which is very diesel, 2gb 1066mhz ram, intel dual core xtreme 2 duo, geforce 8800gtx, 500gb hd, etc), would the studio monitors become my new speakers for general listening purposes as well?

    Or,

    Could I unplug and plug in the firestudio as I please and make normal use of my PC when not recording, and thusly, use my logitech speakers for normal listening purposes when not recording?


    Only reason I ask, is because my new room in a few months will be my completely finished attic which used to be my brothers room, and it's gonna be a very sexy and ambient studio/room, with amazing acoustics, etc etc... and I'm going to have my pc up there naturally..so I'm wondering about that^^^
    Last edited by Renalen; 11-09-2007 at 06:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by HHXplorer View Post
    I believe it has these measurements:
    Depth : Chuck Norris
    Diameter : John Petrucci

    John Petrucci = Chuck Norris²
    Chuck Norris x John Petrucci = Chuck Norris x Chuck Norris² = Chuck Norris³


    My YouTube


  11. Gumbercules

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    Monitors don't sound good. I want to get this across to you guys right now. THEY DO NOT SOUND GOOD. Monitors are linear devices that have no excess frequencies, meaning the frequency response is a straight line. The reason I have to stress this point is because if you want to have a really good mix, you need to make sure that you are listening on a linear system. Speakers are NOT monitors. Not even close. The reason studio mixes sound good on speakers is because they are made to sound good on monitors.

    Now, to answer your question... If you have a PC you want to use for recording purposes.... that is it's only purpose. If you hook it up to the internet, it will have nothing but problems. Basically, install Windows, install your recording software and NEVER touch it again. Just leave it as it is and use it for recording. It is not to say that you can't use it for other things, but you will have nothing but problems if you do.

  12. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord The Drummer
    Monitors don't sound good. I want to get this across to you guys right now. THEY DO NOT SOUND GOOD.
    this is subjective i think. what "sounds good" to one person might not sound good to another... so claiming that monitors don't sound good isn't 100% correct, because I personally love the way my monitors sound. i know exactly what you mean though, but i just mean that i love hearing that extra little bit of detail in a mix that you don't hear on speakers. and i love hearing that "flat line" sound that you talk about, knowing that nothing else is being added than the artists/engineers didn't want. although, i think it might be a psychological thing with me, because i think when i hear a CD on monitors, i'm hearing exactly what the artist and engineer said "there... that's perfect" as opposed to hearing it on speakers that round out the bass and scoop the mids a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gord The Drummer
    Now, to answer your question... If you have a PC you want to use for recording purposes.... that is it's only purpose. If you hook it up to the internet, it will have nothing but problems. Basically, install Windows, install your recording software and NEVER touch it again. Just leave it as it is and use it for recording. It is not to say that you can't use it for other things, but you will have nothing but problems if you do.
    i agree with you here though. i agree... yet my studio computer is hooked up to the internet.

    its different for me, and some others, because not everyone has the privilege and finances for 2 computers - 1 to record and 1 to do everything else. but if you're say going out and spending thousands upon thousands on studio gear, what's an extra $1000 for a computer solely for recording?

    one thing i like about your idea of getting a computer, installing Pro Tools (or whatever) all your plugins and whatnot, and then never touching it again is this: it will always work. if you were to get a G5 now or like a Core 2 Quad PC now, it will record flawlessly. with a system like that with proper hard drives and ram, it will record flawlessly. and the thing is, audio software doesn't really have increasing requirements like PC games and stuff do. having a new computer will not make your audio sound better, like a new computer would make a game look better and smoother. so when you buy a computer for recording, if it works one day, it WILL WORK for the exact same purpose 25 years in the future.


    i realize i went pretty off topic, so... yeah... "main outs".
    Last edited by Chief Pronto; 11-10-2007 at 09:13 AM.
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