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Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers

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Patrick Simpson
Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 18, 2009 at 7:38:53 pm

I have a pair of Adam A5 speakers for my home studio. The A5s have both XLR and RCA inputs.

My question is this: can I have cables plugged in to both inputs at the same time? For example, I'd like to use the XLR inputs for my Pro Tools interface, and then use the RCA inputs to monitor the computer's audio.

Theoretically, I wouldn't be using both inputs at the same time - if it would make a difference.

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 18, 2009 at 9:24:30 pm

Hello Patrick and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

No.

http://www.adam-audio.de/studio/nearfield/a5_data.htm

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Patrick Simpson
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 19, 2009 at 9:54:27 pm

Thanks for the response but perhaps I don't understand. Will it hurt the speaker or will it just not work? I didn't see anything on the A5 technical data page that seemed to say.

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Patrick Simpson
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 22, 2009 at 6:06:05 pm

Will it hurt my speakers to try?

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Sam Mallery
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 22, 2009 at 9:52:53 pm

I just read through the product description and I didn't see anything that stated that this would not work. I would give it a try. You won't be damaging the speakers.

If it doesn't work, there are products made for controlling the sound sent to monitors.

Cheap:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/422072-REG/Behringer_MON800_MON800_St...

Better:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/526345-REG/PreSonus_MONITOR_STATION_M...





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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 22, 2009 at 9:46:15 pm

With all due respect, Sam, doing this will directly connect the outputs of the Pro Tools hardware with the outputs of the computer's audio out. Those outs are not designed to be connected.

As for the manual not saying anything about NOT doing it, it probably also doesn't say anything about not licking the power outlet.

I wouldn't do it. But hey, go ahead, smoke test 'em. If you smoke either or both, my guess is the mfgrs will say you voided the warranty by doing something with the gear that was never intended to be done. I'd agree.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS. Did I mention DON'T DO IT?

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Patrick Simpson
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 23, 2009 at 2:52:51 am

Thanks guys for the input.

I'm really not looking to smoke my two new monitors - that's why I'm asking around before trying anything.

I e-mailed Adam (twice) and haven't heard anything back. So I won't be trying anything until I get some more definitive info.

I've thought of buying an inexpensive monitor controller, but I don't like the idea of putting lower-quality circuitry between the signal and my ears. And it's not crucial enough to spring for a more expensive unit.

Thanks again.

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Sam Mallery
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 23, 2009 at 9:04:32 pm

I'm curious what Adam suggests.

I see what you're saying, Ty. I'm not an electrician. I guess there is some danger in connecting cables from device to device to device. The fact that these are modern day nearfield monitors with RCA inputs on them would lead me to believe that the designers likely foresaw that the user may plug multiple things into them, and therefore have some kind of functionality in place to handle this scenario.

Patrick, are you aware that you can use your Digi interface as your computer's default soundcard? Click on the Apple and go into System Preferences > Audio > and then select the Digi hardware as the output. This way you can listen to iTunes through your monitors as well as your DAW.



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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 23, 2009 at 11:50:20 pm

"The fact that these are modern day nearfield monitors with RCA inputs on them would lead me to believe that the designers likely foresaw that the user may plug multiple things into them, and therefore have some kind of functionality in place to handle this scenario. "

I totally disagree with that. The added functionality serves the market in which the mfgr doesn't know which of two commonly used outputs might be available to feed the monitors.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Patrick Simpson
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:38:26 am

Maybe I'll try running system audio through the digi hardware.

While we're at it... will I get better sounding audio going from my digi hardware (1/4" outputs) into the XLR inputs rather than the RCA inputs?

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 10:29:54 am

Patrick,

1/4" should be better if you use TRS 1/4" to XLR cables. If you only use TS 1/4" to XLR cables, the level will be 6 dB lower and because the signal is unbalanced, you might get some buzz.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Sam Mallery
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:13:57 pm

It's obvious that they put both XLR and RCA to give the user more input options. I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with.



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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:37:58 pm

Sam,

Perhaps if you read the entire string you'd understand. The question was whether or not it was advisable to plug a Mac output into the unbalanced inputs and Pro Tools into the balanced inputs....at the same time.

That's not why powered speaker mfgrs put multiple input jacks on gear.

lets close this one out. To the OP, please contact the mfgr. and ask them the question. If they have provided the proper circuit protection, they'll tell you and you're good to go.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Patrick Simpson
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:10:23 pm

Thank you both for your input, it's been helpful!

Patrick

20" Intel iMac, 2.66 GHz, 4GB ram
View my reel - http://www.youtube.com/patrickdsimpson



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Sam Mallery
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 4:48:04 pm

Gee whiz. I did read the entire string. I offered my two cents because your advice was simply NO with a link that did not provide any information as to why you said it can't be done.





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Ty Ford
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 24, 2009 at 5:48:00 pm

Sorry Sam,

This didn't do that for you?

Ty

--------
With all due respect, Sam, doing this will directly connect the outputs of the Pro Tools hardware with the outputs of the computer's audio out. Those outs are not designed to be connected.

As for the manual not saying anything about NOT doing it, it probably also doesn't say anything about not licking the power outlet.

I wouldn't do it. But hey, go ahead, smoke test 'em. If you smoke either or both, my guess is the mfgrs will say you voided the warranty by doing something with the gear that was never intended to be done. I'd agree.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS. Did I mention DON'T DO IT?

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Plugging in multiple inputs to speakers
on Apr 25, 2009 at 5:16:15 pm

Having read this entire thread and considered everyone's questions and answers, I would have to agree with Ty's warning. Neither set of monitors that I have, whether they be the Event Opals or the Tannoy Reveal, are intended to create an arcing circuit as Ty warns.

I sure wouldn't do it and while some have argued that Ty's response was a tad too direct, I think that he saw that he needed to make it quite clear that this could blow out a system by creating an electrical arcing circuit that the manufacturers never intended.

From many years of supporting users online, I would agree with Ty that there are times when you have to be direct and if people take offense at it, then so be it. The fact is, if you do not put a foot down and say what's what, people may do something unintentionally stupid and destroy their equipment and void their warranty and be left without recourse.

Once again, I have to say that I agree with Ty, which should come as no surprise -- he is the Master.

Ron Lindeboom
CreativeCOW.net
Creative COW Magazine


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