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Old June 26th, 2015, 02:26 PM   #1
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Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Hi everyone.

I've ben thinking about purchasing a couple of JBL LSR305 monitors to replace my Logitech Z-5300 set up. The JBL's have had really good reviews online and here on the forums, so I'm sold.

I understand that connecting the speakers to the computer itself is not so great, and that a USB interface would be better. I have an older M-Audio USB Fastrack Pro.

So my plan is to somehow hook up the speakers to that, as has been suggested by the kind people on this forum.

This is where I am completely confused: Each speaker has it's own xlr and TRS balanced input, which I am guessing either will be fine.

So where on the M-Audio do I plug each speaker? I've attached an image of the back of the M-Audio.

What's throwing me for a loop is there is no left and right output from the M-Audio to connect the speakers.

Could someone explain how I make these connections?

Thank you so much.

Jonathan
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Old June 26th, 2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

The TRS Output 1 and 2 on the back are the main Left and RIght outputs from that interface.
Best would be to use TRS to TRS cables from the M-Audio box to the speakers.
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Old June 26th, 2015, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Thanks Richard!!!

A friend who is more audio savey than me informed me that the RCA jacks are (red) right and white (left).

There just happens to be two sets of outputs.

I'll go the TRS route per your sugestion. I'm sure I'll have to play around with some computer/interface settings ro make this all work.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
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Old June 27th, 2015, 12:27 PM   #4
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Hi Johnathan,

Your friend is correct about RCA being Red/right White/left. When hooking up to RCA the standard is also to use the white if using a single mono connection.

Like Richard said use TRS instead. RCA is the bottom of the food chain when connecting audio devises. Good 1/4 TRS cables will offer you a certain amount of shielding from other things on your system that could cause interference. RCA cables offer none. Don't route your 1/4 speaker cables along side a bundle of other cables to keep things tidy. Route them cleanly not touching other devices or cables.

On your fast track front side top right there is a knob call "mix" if you are using it for speakers only make sure to have it turned all the way to the right in the "PB" position. Good luck.

Steve
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Last edited by Steven Digges; June 27th, 2015 at 12:27 PM. Reason: SP
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Old June 27th, 2015, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Johnathon,

I am reading the same current threads you are. I want to add that there is also nothing wrong with using a computers line/headphone out straight to your small powered speakers IF it works. Often it does. You are on a Mac, they often work well. This is about what is best for each system, no one size fits all.

I am always pounding on the basic rules of thumb here. Adapters and other devises can make things work if you need them. The rule is do not use adapters or unnecessary devises in the signal flow chain unless you need to use it. Your M-audio Fast Track is getting old. If you do not need it as an input buss you might be better off without it. It might be a thing in your signal flow that actually introduces noise.

Steve
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Old June 27th, 2015, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Steve, don't want to get into an argument about this. I agree that if you are satisfied, then you don't need to change it. But, using a USB or Firewire interface is not "adding" anything to the delivery chain, It totally bypasses your audio processor in your computer and takes the digital audio code and converts it to an analogue signal by a dedicated processor. Noise is only one issue but for the output stage it is actually one of the smaller concerns. The biggest when mixing is having a frequency response that is not flat. That is generally what leads to poor sounding mixes.

So, again, if you are happy with your set up then don't change it. But there are a lot of advantages to using a higher quality DA converter than lower noise.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Your friend is correct about RCA being Red/right White/left.
Except for some vintage (late 1960s?) Sony cables, which used White/right. Well ... Sony always liked to make their own rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
RCA cables offer none. {no shielding}
I respectfully disagree. I have a lot of RCA cables that use shielded wire. Remember that RCA connectors were often called "phono" connectors and were used for virtually all the magnetic phono cartridges in the world, which operated at millivolt signal levels. They all used shielded cables with RCA plugs. They were quite satisfactory even at that low level, and they are quite satisfactory at the higher consumer line level.

Of course RCA connectors, like T/S connectors, are unbalanced and are used with unbalanced wiring. If you need something balanced, you've got to go to T/R/S or XLR with 2-conductor shielded wiring. But that's not the same issue as shielding.
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Old June 28th, 2015, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Garrett,

There is no argument to be had here. I understand and agree with what your saying because I DO understand it. In this case and many forum posts the difficulty lies in HOW can some of us with a deep understanding of the whole picture reply to somebody in a reasonable way when they ask what they think is a simple question that I think took me twenty years of experience to fully understand. I can not put all of my experience and knowledge down in a single reply to any forum post. So...if I think I can be helpful in some way I try to answer the question, often I don't. Sometimes my dellima is how I can I explain the answer to a single question that would require writing a book (I am not that good). How do you help that person when it is a public forum and lots of other guys are going to dispute your answer based on all of our greater knowledge and OPINIONS. I am not here to impress anyone. I am here to advance my own understanding of our craft. There is some very knowledgeable people on this forum. Being here to learn from them is far more important to me than any advise I might offer to someone. When I do reply, I try to make it at least relevant to the thread, and so do you and most everyone else here. But none of us can explain audio theory in a simple forum post.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old June 28th, 2015, 09:40 AM   #9
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Steve,

I hear you on that. One of the questions I am asked all the time is "what is the best mic I can get?"

One of the things I like about this forum is the knowledge and level of experience it's members have.

Cheers!
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Old June 28th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #10
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

I'll respond further when I can get to an actual keyboard, but many thanks for all the in advice!
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Old June 30th, 2015, 02:24 PM   #11
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Sorry for the delay.

Again, thanks for all the responses. Today I ordered two of the LSR305's. There was an option through B&H to order a kit which included two speaker pads/stands, a few xlr cables and a volume controller.

I decided that I'd just get the speakers and start there.

Steven D.- Thanks for that info about the "Mix" knob on the FTPro. I don't think I ever used that!!!

Below that knob, there is one called Output level, and I'm guessing that is what I'll be adjusting speaker volume from. Or do I use the OS's volume control, or the volume control on the back of the speakers?????? Or all three?????

Confusing. And yes, for years I've had the FTPro sitting on top of my MacPro. Got me thinking with spinning HD's and so on, that maybe I should move it away from the computer altogether.

I will connect everything with balanced TRS cables, no more than 6 feet, keep them neat and tidy away from other cables if I can.

Richard- So TRS outputs 1 and 2 are left and right. Thanks. Why the hell don't they just use R-L designations???? Man.

Steve, Garrett, and Greg- Your comments are always helpful to me and I'm sure to others just lurking. I personally think it is great that you each have differing opinions on things. I don't believe that any information gathered here by the usual sound and audio suspects is wrong, or doesn't work, or none of you would suggest doing that particular way/method/practice.

I think that having a discussion with differing views does a couple of things: I would be more inclined to try out a few different ways, methods, and so on on the advice of the people who are obviously either pros, former pros, or really advanced non-pro audio folks. If I had to make a wild guess at what to do, I'm sure I'd be disappointed and become discouraged really quickly.

Twenty years ago, I would never have thought of doing video, and then learning and tightening up my audio. I'd still be a struggling still photographer limited to the kinds of work I could get doing only that. The internet changed everything. I have learned more from forums like these from people like all of you who decided to give my silly questions some consideration. No ones paying you to do this, but yet you decided to help!

But know this: you make a difference. My hope is to become more active and help when I know what I am talking about somewhat. And to be corrected when I am wrong. To pay it forward.

So whether RCA, Line In TRS, what ever, all of this is knowledge I am devouring!

Today, I am taking on projects that I never thought I'd be able to handle (and still sometimes think that's true). Learned and got good at video technology (here) FCP X editing (FCP.Co), all things audio, right here. And some at Cow. And always with the same group around the world to help out.

My projects look and sound significantly better than they did just a year ago! This latest project I'm producing and directing are a series of three videos "Incivility in Healthcare", about nurses and healthcare people involved in some form of bullying. All dialog double system, DSLR video (great quality, but pain in the ass).

I will share these with you when they are complete sometime around September 2015. One kind of funny thing is I switched from a Shure FP33 to a Sound Devices 633 in the middle of this project, and the audio from the 633 is so much better. My clients won't notice this because it is subtle , but I do. I am awash in cables!!!

I digress.

Keep up with the great replies and responses as they are greatly appreciated by me, and I know LOTS of others.

Love and kisses. (Now teary)

Jonathan
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Old June 30th, 2015, 04:34 PM   #12
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Hey Jonathan,

It is always a pleasure responding to your posts because everyone here knows you are really trying to improve your skills.

I know your monitoring about three threads right now that are kind of similar. Several guys have brought up some very important points about monitoring for editing. The most important one of those points is editing monitors are NEVER supposed to be tweaked to your personal taste of what sounds good. They are supposed to be set up to reproduce the true (uncolored) sound of what is being fed to them. Then when you are editing you tweak YOUR MIX to sound good on them. The monitors are your yardstick. You will learn from experience with them where the marks on the stick are. It is not a perfect world because ALL speakers have their own characteristics that apply just to that pair, brand, type etc.

Gain knobs. I might be wrong about this but it is my way. First, I do not ever like ANY gain stage, pre amp, volume control, fader or whatever to be set at its maximum level. In reality it does not apply to every type. Probably just old school training but that’s me. So….I would set the computer at 50% and leave it there. Then I would set the JBLs at 50%. Then I would check the pre on the Fast Track (yes the “output” knob below mix knob, level knob is for phones level) and see where it falls to get you your normal listening volume. If it falls somewhere in the middle give or take some you’re good. If it falls to an extreme find the right combination of settings with the JBL volume and the Fast Track Pro. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

In my opinion the Fast Track Pro is just an OK device, not a really good one. You have to go to Avid now for current drivers and support. Also, I have to turn mine off AND unplug the USB cable once in a while to completely dump it and give it a clean start.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Steve
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Old June 30th, 2015, 09:20 PM   #13
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Thanks Steve! Speakers should be here Thursday. I forgot to order a couple of decent 6 foot TRS cables. Off to Guitar Center. I know my Fastrack is old but I think the new set up will be a vast improvement over my Logitech set up.

Thanks for the settings advice. Layers of gain and volume adjusters is really confusing. Kind of like the TRS OUT on the FTPro being called 1 and 2 instead of left and right. I too was thinking of setting everything at "6 o' clock" and going from there.

You know I was wondering: my old Logitech set up has a sub woofer that sits under my desk. I wonder if I could re-purpose that to play with the 305's?

Cheers.

Jonathan
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Old July 1st, 2015, 01:58 AM   #14
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

I think the outputs are labeled 1 and 2 because they can be configured. One might use multiple interfaces to create a 5.1 system where you might assign various outputs to L, R, C, Ls, Rs, or Sub.

In general, 1 is left, 2 is right.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 09:04 AM   #15
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Re: Connecting JBL LSR305 to M-Audio???

Thanks Jon. Lots of info this week!
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