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PC --> monitors. Options?

Discussion in 'Monitoring & Headphones' started by nellie, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. nellie

    nellie Guest

    Apologies for the newbieness of this question. As you will see - I'm learning!

    I'm trying to set up a small studio. I have a PC with an Audigy 5.1 soundcard, and I'll soon be looking to buy some active monitors, which mostly seem to have female XLR inputs.

    Outputs from the PC are:
    mini-jacks on the soundcard (L&R front are on a stereo mini-jack)

    How do I connect the soundcard to the monitors?
    Does it have to go via a mixer? if so, any recommendations?
    What other options do I have?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. moonz

    moonz Guest

    Your Audigy card doesn't sound like it is designed to be used with studio monitors that are set up for use with balanced cables.

    If you are determined to use this soundcard then you should probably look for a good-sounding set of multimedia speakers, instead of studio monitors.

    Of course you could probably come up with some arrangement of cabling that would allow you to split off the stereo signal and end with XLR connectors, but it would be unballanced going into balanced, and that is not really going to give you the best sound.
  3. nellie

    nellie Guest

    Thanks, moonz.
    I could upgrade the soundcard. What do people usually do? .. connect monitors directly to the soundcard, or via a mixer?
    I can't seem to find much info on this.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I run mine through a mixer.
  5. moonz

    moonz Guest

    You could use a mixer, but, if you get a multi-port soundcard, you probably don't need to involve a mixer.

    There are several advantages to going mixerless...simplicity...less resistance added to the signal path...less clutter.

    Likewise, there are probably some advantages to using a mixer..it would all depend on how you intend to use your soundcard.

    I no-longer use a mixer, since most of the time I'm just recording myself, or some other individual, playing an instrument, or singing, or creating MIDI sequences to play back virtual instruments.

    My particular soundcard has 10 ins and 10 outs ( or 5 stereo pairs), and it has a software control panel that has some mixer-type controls.

    I use inputs 1 and 2 for mics (mono-XLR...my soundcard has a couple of mic preamps built in and 48v Phantom power on these first two inputs)...inputs 3 and 4 I use as a stereo pair for a hardware synth...same for inputs 5 and 6...and I have a stereo guitar amp emulator connected to inputs 7 and 8 (these two inputs are the digital input assignments for my soundcardcard, and I connect to them from the amp emulator via an SPDIF RCA connector)...inputs 9 and 10 are used internally.

    Presently I'm only using 4 outputs..outputs 1 and 2 form a stereo pair going to a headphone amp (TRS-to-TRS), and outputs 3 and 4 are a stereo pair going to powered studio monitors (TRS-to-TRS...my studio monitors offer a choice of either TRS or XLR inputs).

  6. nellie

    nellie Guest

    Thanks - that's very clear and very helpful.

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