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#663075 - 05/04/07 12:04 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Okay, thanks for the help with monitors - I think I have a good enough feel to get something. I'll probably go with either the 6" or 8" KRKs.

I still am a bit confused about audio interfaces though. So if I get something like the Tascam US122 or EMU 0404 USB, I don't need a soundcard, right? Would either of these models be sufficient for use with external sounds (Ivory/Pianoteq/Akoustik)? I'd like to connect it to my computer so I can both record and play music on my computer. Would the latency on such a USB interface be too much for external sounds?

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#663076 - 05/04/07 01:17 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
I've just been through the interface issue, and can wholeheartedly recommend firewire over USB (at least at the low-cost end of the spectrum). The Echo AudioFire2 is about $200 and absolutely quiet. I almost got the very geeky Mackie Satellite (to go with my Mackie mixer), but after reading lots of forums (including those over at Mackie) it seems there are LOTS of issues with that product. The little Echo is simple and does exactly one thing perfectly.

Also, I'm upgrading my KRK 5s to 8s... the 5s are just too thin and even a little scratchy on hearty notes. For a while I was afraid there was something afoot with the RD-700SX, but it was clean through the headphones. I agree with packa about avoiding the subwoofer; those seem to be best suited to dance mixes and other bass-heavy sound, but they don't contribute to clarity in the near-field environment.

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Nomadic Research Labs
PX-5S aboard sailboat

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#663077 - 05/04/07 10:09 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
I still am a bit confused about audio interfaces though. So if I get something like the Tascam US122 or EMU 0404 USB, I don't need a soundcard, right? Would either of these models be sufficient for use with external sounds (Ivory/Pianoteq/Akoustik)? I'd like to connect it to my computer so I can both record and play music on my computer. Would the latency on such a USB interface be too much for external sounds? [/b]
Yes, these external interfaces completely replace your internal soundcard. To use a software piano, you need midi on your interface; to record your piano itself, you need stereo mic/line inputs. All of the devices we are talking about have both of these capabilities.

For software pianos (and for overdubbing analog recordings) the latency of the interface is a major issue. The first generation of USB interfaces often had latency issues because USB itself is so slow. Now, with USB2.0 you have real high-speed options over USB. Or you can just go firewire which is also a very fast connection. Part of the decision may hinge on what connections you have available on your PC; if you don't have firewire, for instance, you would also need to add a firewire adapter to connect a firewire external audio interface. And some older computers don't have USB2.0, of course. Also note that latency is sometimes related to the quality of the software driver supplied by the device manufacturer although USB drivers seem more prone to problems than firewire (at least that's my sense from reading a number of forum discussions).

Firewire interfaces often support a lot more channels of I/O which, for me, is overkill as I just want stereo (I have other options for dealing with multitrack stuff). I haven't tried the Echo interface Steve mentions but it looks like it would be fine for your purposes if you have firewire capability (or want to add it) and it doesn't have a lot of extra I/O that you might not use. The price is comparable to the EMU USB2.0 interface I use.
_________________________
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#663078 - 05/04/07 12:44 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
I should mention that the AudioFire2 does have other I/O - balanced line in and out (1/4" jacks for each channel), separately addressable headphones, S/PDIF, and MIDI. It also has a nice little software console with level controls and bar graph meters. The product website is over yonder at:

http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/FireWire/AudioFire2/index.php

Some other interfaces on the market have mic preamps with phantom power as well as a collection of other add-ons, but I like my hardware the way I like my software: clear, well-defined and optimized modules that don't require mode-changes or the twiddling of "knobs on the back of the set." I was very tempted for price reasons to go for a mixer with built-in audio interface, an FX section, and the bread-slicing add-on, but word on the street was that the downside of all this is a reduction in product quality unless you go for one of the high-end units that cost as much as the a la carte approach (and besides, if one thing breaks or is rendered obsolete by new tech, you're toast... so to speak).

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Nomadic Research Labs
PX-5S aboard sailboat

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#663079 - 05/05/07 10:06 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
So I finally found a place locally that has RP6s! Now I'm trying to decide between the RP6 and the RP8. I guess I'm still stuck on the size issue. If I'm really worried about the low end bass bothering my neighbors, should I go with the RP6, or would the RP8 be only marginally worse? For the life of me I can't find any good information about this... ideally I'd get both and try them and return what I like, but I can't do that.

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#663080 - 05/06/07 09:06 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
Update: I finally bought monitors! I picked up a pair of KRK RP-8s... and they only charged me $400 new! (Usually they're $500, I'm not sure why it was only $400, but they said that was the price). They sound pretty good, but a bit muddy - I need to work on setting them up.

I also bought this mixer . I was hoping it would let me independently control the main and headphone outputs so I could easily turn one or the other off. Unfortunately the main output volume also controls the headphone volume. Is there some way around this? Maybe I could just put the monitors on a separate power strip and turn them when I'm using headphones. Are there cheap, small mixers that allow independent control?

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#663081 - 06/23/07 12:10 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
It's a shame this thread died.
Ontheweb, please do continue.

Bachmaniac, Did you end up going back to the M-Audio's, or are you still on your B2031a's?
I'm pretty green to reference monitors, but 50hz:21Khz sounds pretty good @ $300 (less if on the bay)

Is there any word of spec's for the B3031A/B3030A's? I googled model numbers + "frequency response" and came up with jack.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663082 - 06/23/07 02:00 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
So I haven't bought a soundcard yet. Does anyone think the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 will eventually get Vista drivers?

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#663083 - 06/23/07 10:50 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
I think the better question is, why you have decided to make practicing your newly acquired MP8 dependent upon, yet alone invest in, Millennium Edition II, I mean Vista.

What's wrong with xpsp2?
Does it not hog enough resources?
No universal driver support?
Is it not bloated with enough digital rights management for you?
(see http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?page=2 search keyword "vista")

Regardless, you may find some solutions over here.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=m-audio+2496+%22vista%22&btnG=Search

Good luck with it.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663084 - 06/23/07 11:02 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
*please delete me* (since this forum does not allow deletion of recent accidental posts intended as edits.)
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663085 - 06/23/07 11:03 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
and me.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663086 - 06/23/07 12:07 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
myself as well.
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663087 - 06/23/07 01:11 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
AE_Charlie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 48
 Quote:
Originally posted by dk0r:
I think the better question is, why you have decided to make practicing your newly acquired MP8 dependent upon, yet alone invest in, Millennium Edition II, I mean Vista.

What's wrong with xpsp2?
Does it not hog enough resources?
No universal driver support?
Is it not bloated with enough digital rights management for you?
(see http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?page=2 search keyword "vista")

Regardless, you may find some solutions over here.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=m-audio+2496+%22vista%22&btnG=Search

Good luck with it. [/b]
Wow, thanks for your brilliant insight. I had already put XP on it. I was just wondering if anyone had a clue about this card's support in the future.

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#663088 - 06/24/07 09:43 AM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
dk0r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
 Quote:
Originally posted by AE_Charlie:
Wow, thanks for your brilliant insight.[/b]
Anytime ;\)
_________________________
"The true end of satire is the amendment of vice by correction.
And he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender, than the physician to the patient, when he prescribes harsh remedies to an inveterate disease..."
-John Dryden, 1681

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#663089 - 08/09/07 06:50 PM Re: Got my MP8... now need monitors and soundcard
speedlever Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 136
Loc: NC
Resurrecting this old thread... and sort of getting back to powered speakers, I was told by a GC today that the KRK RP-6 is being replaced by VXT-6.

Is that true? I find that hard to believe as the VXT-6 is much more expensive than the RP6... and KRK shows both as current products on their web page.
_________________________
-speedy

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