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What is the best solution for this

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Srdjan, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Below the word Output on your keyboard !
    you need 2 x 1/4 TR cables (like guitar cables)
    you connect them to the line input of your interface (some have combo jack xlr and 1/4)
    This will be explained in details in the owner manual.
     
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  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    If it's essential to you that you can switch on just the keyboard and the monitors and hear what you are performing, then the best solution is to get something like a passive mixer box, so that you need not worry whether the PC and interface are powered. If you set it up that way, it means you can go for a simple (e.g. 2-in 2-out) audio interface for the PC, and forget about the complications about whether the interface will pass analogue input through to analogue output without being first set up by a driver. Note that this would behave in a similar manner to the keyboard's internal USB interface and output mixer, but with much higher quality for the signals sent through the interface.

    If that seems to meet your requirements, we (or you) can rummage around the web looking for suitable passive mixers and appropriate cables, bearing in mind that the outputs from the keyboard are unbalanced, whereas those from the interface will be balanced. You don't give the make and model of your monitors, but it's likely that, if they are professional quality, they will be able to accept balanced or unbalanced inputs.
     
  3. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Ok, so I got it - if somewhere at my keyboards says "Output", than it's an output :)
    No joke, I was somehow thinking that those "holes" are meant for speakers only, so I was constantly looking for some other kind of output. Now that is clear, this passive mixer thing seems to me like more elegant idea, than to look at bunch of cables interlaced mingled etc..

    Just to mention, I didn't buy anything yet, but I want to. The sooner the better :) Since I'm almost begginer in those things I'd like to have some simple (maybe upgradable) solution, not to expensive but not some cheap toys either. Also, it would be perfect to have it all set up in a way that I don't have to do work with cables, disconecting them and conecting them every time I want to do semething.

    This is my setup as it is right now
    20160817011121692.jpg
    (so everything is ready. If I want to play piano, here it is. If I want to play the guitar, i have some long cable plugged in behind in "Instrument in" input so I basicaly just grab a guitar and engage Reaper or some vst amp simulations. There is always ready microphone too) So you understand, I'm kind of used to plug and play situations . All this new things are little bit scarry (as it is everything that is unfamilliar, but I hope that with some upgrade I can achieve better sound, less noise and maybe manage to keep it simple as it is now :)

    I do read lots of reviews on audio-intefeaces, speakers, microphones, preamps and so on.
    Anyway, a couple of decent small room speakers, conndeser mic (with dedicated preamp, or integrated in audio-interface, not sure yet..) maybe that passive mixer, some good cables and that'll be about it.
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Look for studio monitors, they are ment to have a flatter frequency response which helps get better mixes.
    Now a condenser mic is what all beginners rave about but in an untreated room, it's rarely the best choice.
    Condersers are more sensitive and will capture the noises in the room (computer fan and others) and will also capture the reflections on the walls.
    So unless the room has some kind of acoustic treatment, the best choice is a dynamic mic.
    Check the Shure SM58 or the Rode M1.
     
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  5. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    That one you see at the picture is Shure Sm58, and it's fine, but I never had a condenser one and would like to give it a try. Especialy for recording voice at quiet volume.
    Probably, with better audio-interface, this Shure will work better too..I hope
     
  6. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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  8. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Ah ok, I'm close then :)
    I'was trying first to figure out what exactly is passive mixer box. It seems that it's named differently so there is no much info on Google..
     
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    A passive mixer is one that has no active components (amplifiers etc) and so needs no external power supply. It's only useful for mixing line-level sugnals.

    The stereo mixer I linked earlier would work from an electrical point of view, but the cabling would be a little tricky.
     
  10. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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  11. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    The one I linked in post #16 in this thread is the Rolls MX41b. It's similar to the MX42 that you referenced, but has 1/4" paralleled with 1/8" stereo jacks for all its I/O instead of phono (RCA) sockets. As I mentioned previously, it's unbalanced, so you would have to be careful how you connected the balanced outputs of the audio interface, but for the keyboard input and (presumably) the monitor outputs, standard 1/4" jack insert leads (1 x TRS to 2 x TS) would be OK. You still haven't mentioned the monitor you have or intend to have and its input arrangements.

    There may well be other mixers that meet the spec more exactly, but it would take a little more detailed search to unearth those.
     
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  13. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Sure, I saw that pdf-link about the Rolls MX41b, but somehow later I've distracted it from my mind, now I see what you mean.
    As for the speakers, I'm still in confusion whether to buy studio-monitors, or some HiFi bookshelfves for PC. What I do know is that they are going to be active speakers.
    I don't know much about mixing and stuff, but I'd like to have decent sound of whenever I play trough PC (acoustic, electric, bass guitar, or piano and microphone/voice too..)
    Of course, speakers are the whole another field of discussion, and it'll be fine if there are some "both of worlds"speakers (for making music, and for listening) but right now I'm more keen on studio-monitors, because I've never had one. My favorites are JBL LSR 305, FOCAL Alpha 50 and maybe Presonus Eris E5.
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    It's important to note Marco's (@pcrecord ) mentioning dynamic vs condenser mics.
    If you're in a room that is untreated ( no acoustic treatment), the dynamic mic (SM58) might be your best bet, as it will be far less sensitive to picking up the sound of the room, computer fan noise, etc.
    The other thing to mention, is that just because a mic is a condenser type, doesn't automatically mean that it's a good mic. There are more than a few cheap condenser mics on the market that don't sound very good - harsh upper mids, brittle top end, and ill-defined lows. Also, Mic manufacturers have become pretty adept at making their condensers look very similar to classic, beautiful sounding condenser mics; things like the shape, color, grill, and other physical attributes... but just because a cheap mic has a similar appearance to an expensive one, doesn't mean it will sound like the classic mics they are trying to aesthetically clone.
    I'm not suggesting that you not buy a condenser, they are nice to have... I'm saying that just because a mic that you find is a condenser, doesn't automatically make it a good sounding mic. Just be cautious, and check here with us before you spend any money on a condenser mic. ;)
     
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  15. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Thank you Donny, you are all great here, and I have impression that I don't have to look for answers anywhere else. So much detailed and thoughtful advices :)

    You're right about condensers, and I'm aware of all those marketing traps.

    Now I'am using SM58 as I've mentioned, but the idea for some condenser microphone came to me because the lack of gain. I've found out that if I want to achieve some nice "Sintara like" voice ;) I have to turn on the gain knob pretty much and to engage a bunch of vst's (compressor, reverb, noise gate, maybe some delay etc..).

    My room is not acustically treated, so I have to sing pretty quiet (neighbours)
    So I thought that if I get some omnidirectional condenser microphone and the preamp with good gain, I won't have to strain myself in order to get volume I want. As I understand, condenser microphones are more sensitive, they pick up everything etc..

    Also, I saw some guitarists having great sound combining one condenser with one dynamic, so I thought to give it a try too..
    Some option was Rode NT1, The t.bone SC 1100, SE Electronics X1S maybe Audio-Technica AT2020..not sure yet.

    As for microphone preamps, I saw that Golden Age Project Pre-73 DLX
     
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    I would avoid the cheaper hi-fi speakers, as they tend to have a scooped frequency response: a boomy low end and a tizzy top end. In addition, I don't know of any powered hi-fi bookshelf speakers in the lower price bracket, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any.

    Bear in mind also that a passive mixer will cause a reduction in signal level (typically 12dB). Tbis would be fine with the output from a professional audio interface, but may be a problem with the domestic level output from the keyboard.
     
  17. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    As for hi-fi speakers, I've thought something like this. People are confused whether they are monitors, or hi-hi speakers, near field or something else..so I thought they must be something in between :)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011ABT8ZK/?tag=r06fa-20

    Don't know about proffesional audio interface..
    I saw a guy who's selling Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 for the price of 300 euros, and it's ok price for me, but when I saw how many connections and holes it has I was affraid I don't need that much :)
    Or maybe even that isn't a proffesional gear..I wouldn' know..
     
  18. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to equipment that uses the professional standard for audio signal levels (nominally +4dBu balanced) rather than implying any quality or price bracket.

    I would advise you against getting an audio interface that is functionally way over the top of your requirements, as they can throw up unexpected problems, such as finding out your computer does not have a Firewire port. Something like the USB-interfaced Focusrite Scarlett that was mentioned earlier is the sort of product to aim for.
     
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  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    When I mentioned acoustic treatment I wasn't referring to isolation treatment - which is to sound-proof the room so that others - like your neighbors - won't hear you as much... I was referring to the way your room "sounds"; in terms of reflection, upper frequency ringing, glitter echo, etc.
    if your room is un-treated, a condenser mic - especially an Omni model, is going to pick up all kinds of room reflections, including extraneous noises such as computer fans, etc. far more than your 58 dynamic will.
    I think you should hold off on the condenser mic until you get the new preamp; as it likely has a lot more gain than your current workflow does, and that you won't need to gain up the 58 to nearly as high levels as you are doing now.
    My hunch is that you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good your 58 will sound through a dedicated external pre such as the Focusrite or Presonus.
    IMHO of course.
     
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  20. Srdjan

    Srdjan Active Member

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    Ok Boswell, so to sum up briefly: I need some USB interface that has direct monitoring of incoming signals and 4 analogue inputs ; a passive mixer and 1 x TRS to 2 x TS cable - for a start (just to see at first if it's going to work out) ?
     
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