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Studio monitors acting weird.

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Ultimate_PIMP, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Ultimate_PIMP

    Ultimate_PIMP Member

    Hello everyone. First post and i'm a sound newb.

    So i recently bought "Gemini sr-8's". I bought 2.
    I'm not making music i just love listening too it. And I know, I really dont need 8 inch studio monitors just for listening to music but i got a very good deal on them.

    Now, the speakers are Bi-amplified, so i just assumed i could plug them strait into my computer and they would work flawlessly. So when they came in i plugged them in vie TRS to 3.5mm jack and they are acting real weird.
    I went to play a song and only one of the speakers would play. (This i believe is because i wasn't using a jack that brings both connections to one.)
    Not only this but the speaker that was funtioning was only playing certain parts of the song, like i couldnt hear the singers voice, and i could barely hear the choir and certain instruments. (But nearly all the instrumentals were there.)
    I know that neither of them are broken. ive tested both seperatly. But they both are doing the same thing. Only playing half of what they should be playing.

    Is this because im using the wrong cables? I'm thinkin about buying 2 XLR to 3.5mm cables and running them that way.

    Whats your guys' thoughts?
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's your connection. Maybe a ground, causing phase issues and cancellation. Check to make sure all your connections are good. I'd start at that TRS to mini jack adapter as your most likely suspect..
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You are using the wrong type of cable. The speakers have balanced inputs and you are feeding those from the unbalanced L and R output from your computer, so what you are hearing is the difference between the L and R channels. Since the vocals, kick drum etc are centred in the acoustic image and are present equally in L and R channels, these will disappear in your setup.

    What you need is a cable or an adaptor that will split the L and the R out to two separate TS (mono) jacks. I suggest using an insert cable along with a 1/8" to 1/4" TRS adaptor to fit your computer headphone output. The speakers will be quite happy receiving the unbalanced signals via TS jack plugs on the cable, although you may have to extend one or both if the insert cable is short.

    Doing it this way begs the question of whether the computer's sound card is pleasant to listen to through quality monitors such as the ones you have. You really should be considering getting an external D-A converter box that connects to your computer via USB or FireWire and produces balanced outputs to feed your two speakers directly. If you are thinking of going this way, come back to us with a budget and we can make some recommendations as to the type of D-A unit you should be looking for.
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    What Boswell said.
  5. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks for the response

    Ok well what kind of splitter cable would I need? Can you link me one that would work? And also, you mentioned getting an external d-a converter box. If baught a quality sound card would that cancel out the need of a d-a converter?
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    This one doesn't even need the 1/8"-1/4" adapter: Hosa 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4" TS Stereo Breakout (10') | Sweetwater.com

    You might want to consider buying a USB recording interface. It is a sound card, A/D converter etc. all in one, with better sound quality and better connection options than what's on your computer. Other options would be a pro grade PCI card or maybe a higher quality home theater sound card. The adapter above should work but there are better quality options than the stock sound card.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I don't know where you are located, but assuming it's in the US, this is an insert cable that has a 1/8" TRS plug on one end and 1/4" TS plugs on the other. It's not particularly high quality so might not survive the first unintentional tug, but then it's not expensive either.

    A "sound card" is normally thought of as a device built-in to the motherboard of a computer suitable for gaming, skype and other non-professional applications. For high-quality audio, you need a box that sits outside the computer chassis so it is not polluted by all the digital ground currents and power supply switching spikes that are present inside the chassis. To distinguish these boxes from the internal devices, they are usually called "audio interfaces" rather than "sound cards". You would need a pair of TRS jack leads instead of an insert cable to take the audio out of most types of audio interface.

    A separate D-A converter unit could take a number of forms. For example, there are specific stereo D-A converter units that have a USB or FireWire interface, or there are audio interface boxes that include analog outputs in their list of features. The Focusrite 2i2 is a good-quality unit in the latter category. You haven't given a budget, so I'm rather shooting in the dark here.

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