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Old December 11th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #1
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optical out to amplified monitors

Both the Mac Pro and the JBL 4326 have S/PDIF optical, but how would you feel R/L channels from the Mac to the speakers?

Or would you have go to through an external device or internal card?
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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Both the Mac Pro and the JBL 4326 have S/PDIF optical, but how would you feel R/L channels from the Mac to the speakers?

Or would you have go to through an external device or internal card?
The JBLs have S/PDIF and AES digital inputs but they're not optical. S/PDIF is on RCA's and AES digital is on XLR. Staring right at a pair of 4328's on my desk as we speak.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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Are your JBLs connected to a Mac?

I was thinking of using a mini-stereo to 2-XLR cable. Is there a digital option that wouldn't be too expensive?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #4
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I would get an optical to AES converter and run to the left loudspeaker as AES - The loudspeaker has an AES output which you then link to the input of the right loudspeaker.

Theer should be a switches to set which channel the loudspeaker "listens" to as you are sending both left and right to both loudspeakers.

I think you can do the same in S-DIF by the looks of it, if you prefer.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:00 AM   #5
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John, would this be a good choice?

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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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Philip, I know from your other thread that you are searching for a pair of monitors.
And I can see by this thread, that you are a bit green on the subject.

Let me ask a few questions that might help you in the long run.

Were you planning to just somehow just hook-up your new monitors to the digital/optical output of your Mac, or do you in fact have a professional style sound card or input/output device?

How were you intending to control the volume of the monitors?
Do you have a mixing console or Master section?

Have you set a budget for this project, which factors in things like monitor stands, xlr cable, volume control device and such, as well as the price of the monitors?

Are you trying to match the mix sound from another already established room?

Be weary about some of the answers you might get on internet boards.
While there are many people out there like Steve House, who are pros & know what they are doing, there are also just as many 14 year olds without the experience who post like they are pros.

Good Luck!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #7
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David,

Good questions. I have about 4 years of experience doing independent video projects (corporate and documentary). Until now, I have gotten by with a good pair of headphones. They're plugged directly into the computer, and I don't have other audio equipment. There's really nothing to connect. Audio tracks, music I might add, etc. are all on the Mac and combined in Final Cut.

My main reason for considering any investment is that I find it very difficult to anticipate results from speakers by using headphones.

If the cost of decent speakers is really just the "down payment" on what I'd need, I'll drop the idea and bungle along as best I can.

BTW, I could only wish for the hearing of a 14 y.o. instead of someone in his mid-50s!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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Are your JBLs connected to a Mac?

I was thinking of using a mini-stereo to 2-XLR cable. Is there a digital option that wouldn't be too expensive?

Nope - I take an analog out from my interface and send it to a Mackie 1642 Aux input. The speakers are connected to the control room outputs of the Mackie desk.

The speakers have both XLR and 1/4" analog inputs. A "Y" cable taking a stereo mini and sending it to a pair of 1/4" TS L&R channels would work fine.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #9
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Steve, any reason to prefer 1/4 over XLR?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #10
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Steve, any reason to prefer 1/4 over XLR?
Not really, just easier to find the cables. My own setup uses a pair of TRS to XLR cables because the control room outs of the board are balanced TRS and I happened to have a pair of balanced TRS to XLR cables already handy when I bought the monitors. Stereo mini to dual 1/4 for L&R are commonplace, stereo mini to dual XLR aren't.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #11
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John, would this be a good choice?

Hosa ODL312 | Sweetwater.com
Looks OK to me.

David Jones, in his post after your one I quoted above, says some very sensible things there.

The main problem with sending digits to the loudspeakers is setting the volume level, as many units have the level control on the back.

Although I do have monitors with digital inputs (K+H O110D) I tend to send an analogue signal to them and control via my Grace m902b.

(PS - I'm not 14 and have almost 40 years recording experience) ;-)
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #12
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Is this an unusual problem? I find it especially difficult with headphones to judge the levels of voice vs background or transitional music. I really speakers to know if the relative sound volumes seem right.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #13
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Is this an unusual problem? I find it especially difficult with headphones to judge the levels of voice vs background or transitional music. I really speakers to know if the relative sound volumes seem right.
You also should calibrate the monitors to a standard level for the final mix. The norm is to send pink noise at -20dBFS to each speaker one at a time in turn. Using an inexpensive sound pressure meter, adjust each speaker's level to produce 82 dBSPL at your listening position. Theatrical mixes should be a bit hotter, 85 dBSPL.

Getting it right can be a problem. Was watching Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" Columbia episode last night on the Discovery Channel and it was virtually unwatchable because the sound mix was so screwed up - dialog and VO totally lost in the music and FX tracks.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #14
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OK, but is it a common to have more trouble getting the levels right with headphones than speakers?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:32 AM   #15
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OK, but is it a common to have more trouble getting the levels right with headphones than speakers?
Cans are fine for editing, listening for noises and glitches, etc. But it's virtually impossible to do a proper final mix on them. Levels and equalization are completely different with phones versus monitors while some problems such as phase issues can be masked completely on them.
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