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> Some Gear Upgrades For Home Sound System, I need some advice on USB interface & speakers
zraw
post May 10 2012, 11:38 AM
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Hey GMC,

I'm planning to buy a USB interface and speakers for home use (listening to music, live processing/effects in DAW, recording... )

I already bought a used Technics SE-HD 51 amplifier (only amp), it's said to be very good quality, it was made in Japan cool.gif

Now I'm thinking about this M-Audio Fast Track MKII, seems to be good at a reasonable price.

As for the speakers, I'm not so sure... it should not be too big (around 20-30 cm high), but should give good, full sound. Maybe a Magnat Monitor Supreme 100 ? Should be ~6 ohm

The signal chain would be: guitar -> interface -> notebook through USB -> DAW -> interface -> amp through RCA -> speakers

Is this a good setup? Does anyone have some advice?
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Dieterle
post May 10 2012, 12:45 PM
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ever looked here http://www.teufel.de

i myself use Concept B 200 USB



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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 10 2012, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE (zraw @ May 10 2012, 11:38 AM) *
...

As for the speakers, I'm not so sure... it should not be too big (around 20-30 cm high), but should give good, full sound. Maybe a Magnat Monitor Supreme 100 ? Should be ~6 ohm

The signal chain would be: guitar -> interface -> notebook through USB -> DAW -> interface -> amp through RCA -> speakers

Is this a good setup? Does anyone have some advice?


Those speakers will not produce a lot of bass end. To be honest a hifi amp and speakers won't be a good choice for recording and mixing, fine for listening to music but not making it.

I don't know what your budget is but you may be better off looking at active monitors linked to a USB interface that has XLR speakers out:
guitar>interface>notebook -DAW>interface>speakers


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Todd Simpson
post May 10 2012, 05:02 PM
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Mr. Miro has a really good point here. If at all possible, getting a pair of powered studio monitors would be a better approach for home mixing/recording. But budgets being what they are, sometimes you have to just make do. I've got a home theatre power amp driving some passive alesis monitors (my first home setup) and added a pair of powered KRK monitors that are fed directly from my audio interface. I've done quite a bit of A/B testing and the powered set are more like a microscope (more precise, clearer audio picture) while the home theatre powered set are more like a really loud boombox (bit more volume and boomier bass). Many home theatre amps do internal tone shaping or frequency clipping (for example shutting off anything below 120 hz and letting the sub woofer channel handle all low frequency info) and so don't make idea mixing solutions as they sometimes color the sound too much. Not in every case of course, though.

Both my monitor sets are near field and have small diameter woofers (the big speaker at the bottom) so I was missing lots of Bass info. So I added a sub woofer and it helped a TON. If you get really nice speakers with good low frequency response, you can skip the sub. But if you buy smaller desktop size speakers, your only hearing 3/4 of your actual mix.

As for the interface itself, it will vary wildly depending on cost so back to budget smile.gif

Try to get one that has...
*USB 2.0 (Many cheaper interfaces still use USB 1.1)
*48k (Minimum I'd say) Sampling rate as that the max for MP3 encoding which is your likely distribution format.
*Multiple inputs/simultaneous recording (you may want to record more than one mic or guitar at a time)

Just some thoughts wink.gif

Todd
QUOTE (tonymiro @ May 10 2012, 07:57 AM) *
Those speakers will not produce a lot of bass end. To be honest a hifi amp and speakers won't be a good choice for recording and mixing, fine for listening to music but not making it.

I don't know what your budget is but you may be better off looking at active monitors linked to a USB interface that has XLR speakers out:
guitar>interface>notebook -DAW>interface>speakers


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 10 2012, 05:03 PM


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zraw
post May 12 2012, 12:19 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

Well, I'm not that much into recording, mixing and making music, so having "proper" studio equipment is not necessary for me smile.gif

I only record for myself, or maybe to upload to youtube, show it to friends... nothing serious.

QUOTE
*USB 2.0 (Many cheaper interfaces still use USB 1.1)
*48k (Minimum I'd say) Sampling rate as that the max for MP3 encoding which is your likely distribution format.
*Multiple inputs/simultaneous recording (you may want to record more than one mic or guitar at a time)


The M-Audio Fast Track MKII meets all those, so I guess that would be a good choice.

As for the speakers, I simply couldn't put a subwoofer anywhere, not enough room... plus my neighbors would kill me biggrin.gif

One question: What exactly is the difference between a 'studio monitor' and a regular speaker? Better (linear) freq. response?
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The Uncreator
post May 12 2012, 01:04 AM
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Tony could give you the technical side, but they are also called "Reference Monitors". Its basically a speaker designed for the analysis of music. To give you the most accurate representation of the lows, highs, mids, etc as they really are. Where as normal speakers might have a sound just going for a big cinematic experience, or something similar.
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Alex Feather
post May 12 2012, 06:18 AM
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QUOTE (zraw @ May 10 2012, 10:38 AM) *
Hey GMC,

I'm planning to buy a USB interface and speakers for home use (listening to music, live processing/effects in DAW, recording... )

I already bought a used Technics SE-HD 51 amplifier (only amp), it's said to be very good quality, it was made in Japan cool.gif

Now I'm thinking about this M-Audio Fast Track MKII, seems to be good at a reasonable price.

As for the speakers, I'm not so sure... it should not be too big (around 20-30 cm high), but should give good, full sound. Maybe a Magnat Monitor Supreme 100 ? Should be ~6 ohm

The signal chain would be: guitar -> interface -> notebook through USB -> DAW -> interface -> amp through RCA -> speakers

Is this a good setup? Does anyone have some advice?

As always I am suggesting Apogee! The best sounding interfaces you can get!!!! Use them with Logic and you will never have a problem! You will have a great sound even on the cheap audio interface they make! Great choice!


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Todd Simpson
post May 12 2012, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ May 12 2012, 01:18 AM) *
As always I am suggesting Apogee! The best sounding interfaces you can get!!!! Use them with Logic and you will never have a problem! You will have a great sound even on the cheap audio interface they make! Great choice!


The Apogeee products are a great choice. But as the MAudio Fast Track was the unit mentioned, I"m guessing the Apogee parts are beyond the budget?

As for speakers/monitors, "Reference Monitors" are a more linear/flat ideally smile.gif But yeah, if your just recording yourself and sharing a bit here and there honestly as long as you can get something to sound decent on your playback system and your buddies playback system, your probably fine smile.gif So that little home stereo you already bought will do that much. Get a pair of decent headphones and bingo smile.gif

Add the Fasttrack and computer and your ready.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 12 2012, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (zraw @ May 12 2012, 12:19 AM) *
Thanks for the replies!

Well, I'm not that much into recording, mixing and making music, so having "proper" studio equipment is not necessary for me smile.gif

I only record for myself, or maybe to upload to youtube, show it to friends... nothing serious.



The M-Audio Fast Track MKII meets all those, so I guess that would be a good choice.

As for the speakers, I simply couldn't put a subwoofer anywhere, not enough room... plus my neighbors would kill me biggrin.gif

One question: What exactly is the difference between a 'studio monitor' and a regular speaker? Better (linear) freq. response?


As Uncreator says they are closer to providing an accurate reference. No speaker is flat all the way from 0-20k but studio monitors are better than hi-fi speakers here simply because hi-fi speakers are designed to be 'musical' so they deliberately try to boost and attenuate certain frequencies. If you're recording or mixing or mastering that 'musicality' gets in the way as it means you don't really hear an accurate picture.

QUOTE (Alex Feather @ May 12 2012, 06:18 AM) *
As always I am suggesting Apogee! The best sounding interfaces you can get!!!! Use them with Logic and you will never have a problem! You will have a great sound even on the cheap audio interface they make! Great choice!


Apogee are good particularly if you're on a Mac. A bit expensive for what they are as to some extent you are paying a bit extra for their build quality. Best sounding - maybe in their price range as a prosumer device but at the pro end there are other, much better, alternatives like Lavry, Forsell, Mytek, Cranesong, Prism. Those however cost $thousands.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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zraw
post May 12 2012, 11:28 AM
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Apogee products are indeed beyond my budget biggrin.gif

Then I guess I'm better off with a pair of HiFi speakers, I don't need it to sound accurate and true, I need it to sound good and pleasant smile.gif

QUOTE
Get a pair of decent headphones and bingo


Actually I already have one, I just want to play louder sometimes, it's so much better... so I need the speakers biggrin.gif


Thanks for the replies guys, I think I'll look around on the used market, there must be some better choices for my low budget!
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