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Monitoring from speakers and headphones

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by tunes, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. tunes

    tunes Active Member

    I need to find some way to switch between my powered speakers and a small portable cd player that has a line input that allows it to be used for my headphones when I am recording with a mic and can't use the speakers in my small room.

    It's really bogging me down swapping cables.

    What do you suggest for switching between sources?

    What are you using for your project studio to handle headphones. I need to get something with more outputs.

    Presonus make the Central Station which does what I need but I just thought I would ask around to see what others are using and their experiences.

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Your post is a bit confused, but from what I can make out from it, the SM Pro Audio "M-Patch 2" should work well for you. It's a passive volume control with switch choice of two stereo input sources (one balanced and one unbalanced). It has balanced outputs to connect to your active monitors and a separate headphone amplifier with level control.
  3. tunes

    tunes Active Member

    Thanks for your response Boswell. I edited my message. Hopefully it's clear now. I am not looking to switch "sources" (inputs) but instead "targets" (outputs). When I record acoustic guitar sitting in front of my system, I need to turn the speakers off and switch to headphones. Does that make sense?
  4. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of cheap speaker switchers available from consumer electronics shops. I cannot give specifics as I am not in the US. However what you are trying to do from what you have written, is switch between 2 very different outputs in terms of power. If after these outputs there are different line amplifiers then a cheap 2-line speaker switcher from Maplin or the US equivalent, will work. However don't be surprised if you blow something up. For a better solution you need to hard-decouple followed by a soft-recouple to the next output (sure Bos will correct my terminology). This isn't cheap or easy.
  5. bicasaur

    bicasaur Active Member

    +1 on the m-patch 2. This will work for youeither of two ways: 1) it has a headphone amp built in so you can plug your phones straight into it, making it perfect if you only want to switch between your mains and your phones 2) since its main signal path is 100% passive, it should pass the signal in reverse the same as it passes forward. Simply plug your source into the outputs, and each of your destinations into the various inputs. I bet the headphone amp will even work as normal (or mostly normal) in this arangement.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The M-Patch 2 will work for you the normal way round. You can separately mute the main output (to the speaker amplifiers) and the headphone amplifier.
  7. tunes

    tunes Active Member

    I took a look at it. That looks like it would work. They also had an 8 channel mic pre that I read was pretty easy to mod. It's pretty inexpensive. The M-Patch shows up on the web at around $179.00. I can probably get it for a little less. Interesting thing is that I can probably toss my current device I am using for head phones because the M-Patch already has a headphone amp. I have been using a Tascam CD-GT1
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Exactly. Not using the CD player as a headphone amp was part of the recommendation.

    The M-Patch 2 is a passive device for the signals through to the speaker amps, but you need to use the external 12V power adaptor for the times you want headphone output.

    Make sure you specify the M-Patch 2 and not the older M-Patch. You don't need the more expensive subwoofer or surround-sound versions.
  9. tunes

    tunes Active Member

    Well then, I like it even better now. The M-Patch 2 is the one I located. I didn't see the sub/surround version. Good recommendation Boswell.
  10. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    I use a Furman HA-6AB headphone amp. Switches between studio monitors and headphones with a button.
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    All you need is a 1 input 2 output passive, RCA connector switcher box. I think it's available at Radio Shaft for around $10 US?

    Then you'll need a couple of extra audio adapter patch cord thingies that they have at Radio Shaft in addition to the switcher box. Total cost might be $25 US?

    Of course all those other gizmos are far better to have. Perhaps I should suggest you just purchase yourself a small, (excuse me for saying this) $50 US Behringer mixer. It does everything you need it to do for your purposes. It's got its own headphone amplifier and other rudimentary features.

    Of course you have to supply the speakers with the amplifier to power them. The little crappy mixer can be used either as a monitor control device or as a rudimentary mixer. Those other controllers are strictly for monitoring purposes only. This device would give you similar features and be capable of other duties.

    So many flavors to choose from
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  12. tunes

    tunes Active Member

    I checked out the M-Patch and saw that they have a new model they are coming out with (or is already out) that replaces the M-Patch2. It's a little more money. Then I find the local music stores don't have any M-Patch2's. One guy at the store started suggesting the Monitor Station. Which has got some cool features which would be useful but I really wanted some time to check it out before I spend any money. So I held off on running down and picking something up.

    I don't know why I didn't think of this. I have the cables. I have the outputs. (192 i/o) I started thinking about it and remembered that I could make a cue mix by using copy to send along with a bus directed to some outputs. Duh! What was I thinking.

    I could also leave everything patched which was the main goal I was looking to achieve. I was looking at this so hard I couldn't see the forest for the trees.

    So I setup my Headphone Cue on channels 3+4 routing bus 32 to outputs 3+4 and connected my Tascam GT1 and use that for my headphones. That means I can take the money I would have spent and put it towards a cue system that can accomodate 6 headphones. (That is where I will be heading as I want to track live rhythm sections). And right now I need Microphones more than anything so that's probably where the money will go for now. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

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