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Old April 19th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #1
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studio monitors and my pc

What do I need to hook up two Mackie HR824 and a Mackie HRS120 to my computer for mixing?

What I mean is what do I need as far as sound card goes...do I need a small mixer? I have not a clue..that's why I come you the gurus!!

Thanks

PS - I need as much detail as possible as I am in the dark when it comes to audio...and only a little better when it comes to the insides of a computer.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #2
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Nice choice indeed - you have some core components of a great monitoring system.

A mixer is nice but not neccessary for monitoring. When it comes to bringing in a little voiceover, or dubbing a tape, or listening to other sources it becomes essential. But if you're doing all your mixing in the computer, an external mixer functions only as a convenient volume control for the monitors. But you can use a software control that comes with your sound card for that.

What you need now is a good sound card. This can be an internal PCI or PCI-X card, depending on what slots you have, or, an external USB or Firewire device.

Mac or PC? It makes a difference, because some manufacturers are a little slow in developing drivers to match new operating systems. Going to stay stereo or thinking about adding 5.1 monitoring in the future? Buy a card with the outputs you'll need.

On the PC side, I like products from M-Audio and Echo Audio. The M-Audio Firewire 410 (4-in, 10-out for surround) is a box a lot of people like. I have an Echo Mia (nice stereo pci card, line in and line out), and an M-Audio Delta 1010 (8-in, 8-out, line level). If you might occasionally want to use a mic make sure you get something with a mic preamp (Firewire 410).

You'll want to get some more reccs for Mac cards, although I think people like the M-Audio as well as MOTU for Mac.

Then you'll want cables out from your sound card/interface to XLR-Male for connection to the sub, then XLR Female to Male for connecting the sub to the satellites.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #3
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Great! Looks like the one for me! So...(and hoping I don't sound too stupid)...when installing the 410...do I have to uninstall and remove the current audio card? Or, will the installation of the 410 automatically override the old card? ......told you I wasn't to bright on the computer side of things :o)

thanks for your help
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Old April 20th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeremiah McLamb View Post
Great! Looks like the one for me! So...(and hoping I don't sound too stupid)...when installing the 410...do I have to uninstall and remove the current audio card? Or, will the installation of the 410 automatically override the old card? ......told you I wasn't to bright on the computer side of things :o)

thanks for your help
I can't speak for the 410 but I have an Echo AudioFire 8 8-channel firewire interface and it coexists with an older Sound Blaster Audigy card in the PC without any problems. Multiple internal PCI cards are often a different issue and may not play together well. Your mileage may vary.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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Hold on Jerimiah,

In a lot of setups, you don't need ANY kind of sound card at all.

If you're using this for firewire based video post, all you need to do is take the audio outputs from your video deck and run THEM to your powered speakers. You can certainly insert a mixer if you want easier control over your levels, but nearly every NLE software has internal audio output controls built in - so this is optional.

The path is computer to VTR via FIREWIRE - VTR feeds the speakers via standard RCA cables. Audio gets tapped off the VTR which in all the modern DV decks does the digital to analog transcoding that the card would have done if you didn't have a VTR.

And if you're really on a budget - a simple camcorder can be used as a deck in a pinch and will do the audio transcoding just fine. As long as it has a firewire port - you don't need an audio card AT ALL.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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To follow up on Bill's suggestion, are you on a PC or Mac? What editing software do you use?

If you are using FCP, what Bill suggests is worth considering, though it would put a lot of hours on your camera or deck. I know Vegas does not output audio thru FW.

Regardless, it may be simpler to use a good sound card, internal or external.

Agreeing with Steve, on PCs usually multiple sound cards can co-exist with no trouble. Usually. Lot's of people don't like the invasive nature of Creative Labs soundcards' drivers, and will uninstall when they get a better sound card.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
To follow up on Bill's suggestion, are you on a PC or Mac? What editing software do you use?

If you are using FCP, what Bill suggests is worth considering, though it would put a lot of hours on your camera or deck. I know Vegas does not output audio thru FW.

Regardless, it may be simpler to use a good sound card, internal or external.

Agreeing with Steve, on PCs usually multiple sound cards can co-exist with no trouble. Usually. Lot's of people don't like the invasive nature of Creative Labs soundcards' drivers, and will uninstall when they get a better sound card.
Agreed - I think I'm just lucky that there's no apparent conflict and actually plan to pull the Blaster when I locate a firewire card with an internal port that I can connect to the firewire port on the PC's from panel.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #8
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i'm using vegas 7 on a pc...

so seth...the firewire 410 wouldn't work with vegas because vegas doesn't output audio through firewire? If thats the case..what do i do now?

As for the VTR setup...well..i don't have one right now..(i know i know...i need one) but right now i just use the camera...and I don't want to have to keep my camera out and powered on all the time.

More suggestions?

Thanks for your quick responses!!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #9
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i'm using vegas 7 on a pc...
Good, a familiar environment, lots of good sound capabilities.

Quote:
so seth...the firewire 410 wouldn't work with vegas because vegas doesn't output audio through firewire? If thats the case..what do i do now?
Whoops, that's not right. Vegas will work with any windows-compatible sound card, which the FW410 is. Yes, it will work.

What Bill was raising was a different possibility, previewing audio sent by an NLE in the DV-over-firewire stream that most NLEs use for preview to an external video monitor. Vegas doesn't do that, it sends video only on that stream, it depends on the sound card for such previews, which is fine, no worries.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #10
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Good, a familiar environment, lots of good sound capabilities.


Whoops, that's not right. Vegas will work with any windows-compatible sound card, which the FW410 is. Yes, it will work.

What Bill was raising was a different possibility, previewing audio sent by an NLE in the DV-over-firewire stream that most NLEs use for preview to an external video monitor. Vegas doesn't do that, it sends video only on that stream, it depends on the sound card for such previews, which is fine, no worries.
Gotcha! So...here's my plan...setup my two Mackie HR824s (the Mackie HRS120 will have to wait a bit) and just simply hook up the 410 into a firewire port...voila!!! Sound right?

Thanks again for all the quick and clear responses! Geez..who needs 800 tech numbers anymore?!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #11
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Gotcha! So...here's my plan...setup my two Mackie HR824s (the Mackie HRS120 will have to wait a bit) and just simply hook up the 410 into a firewire port...voila!!! Sound right?

Thanks again for all the quick and clear responses! Geez..who needs 800 tech numbers anymore?!
I like having a mixing desktop with real moving faders and that serves also to give me level controls on the monitors as well. Another option you might find convenient is a dedicated monitor controller such as Mackie's "Big Knob."
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Old April 20th, 2007, 03:37 PM   #12
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Gotcha! So...here's my plan...setup my two Mackie HR824s (the Mackie HRS120 will have to wait a bit) and just simply hook up the 410 into a firewire port...voila!!! Sound right?
Well yes! Although at that point you are two wires and 10 minutes away from having the sub working too.

No-one I know has accused the HR824 of lacking bass response, though.

Steve likes a mixer on his desk - so do I (Mackie 1202VLZ). But unless you're bringing in more sources it does make things quite a bit more complicated and does take up more space just to provide a volume control...
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Old April 20th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #13
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Well yes! Although at that point you are two wires and 10 minutes away from having the sub working too.
...two wires...10 minutes....and $1000.... :o)

yeah..right now i think i'm ok without the mixer...just decided its time to step up to some real monitors and drop these old $70 creative lab speakers....
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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #14
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Well yes! Although at that point you are two wires and 10 minutes away from having the sub working too.

No-one I know has accused the HR824 of lacking bass response, though.

Steve likes a mixer on his desk - so do I (Mackie 1202VLZ). But unless you're bringing in more sources it does make things quite a bit more complicated and does take up more space just to provide a volume control...
Mackie 1642 here ... bringing in the audio interface's outputs that I usually use into the Aux 4 input works really well as I can send them straight to the control room outs to the monitors without involving the main mix. Some financial reverses in the fall means I'm still stuck for the next few months with my vanilla "multimedia speakers" (which actually aren't too bad) but I think when I get the $$ to upgrade to real monitors (going to JBL LSR4326's) I'll get a Presonus 'Central Station' controller at the same time, and shortly after (when I'm feeling flush and get over the sticker shock of the monitors) add a set of Dorro meters.
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