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Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer

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Patrick Simpson
Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:33:45 pm

Here's what I'd like to be able to do: I want to be able to monitor the computer's audio output and the Digi 003's output.

I know this is possible with using Coreaudio; but I've found it to be a hassle to switch between the two (I think they recommend you restart the computer when switching between monitoring from protools and the computer) - plus, I don't want to have to turn on the Digi interface if I'm only monitoring computer audio.

I've thought of buying a small cheap audio mixer to do the trick (like the $50 Behringer 502). That seems like the only solution under $100, besides a cheap AV switcher.

I don't love the idea of sending my audio through a cheap mixer's circuitry, but at least I wouldn't be using it's preamps. What would you all recommend?


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Ty Ford
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 25, 2009 at 3:30:36 am

Hello Patrick and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

Do you want to monitor the 003 output and the computer at the same time?

If switching from one to the other is OK, leave the 003 on and run the system audio into the 003 alternate input. You can switch by the front panel button. I do it all the time.

You may need to put an in-line transformer box in the computer audio lines to stop hum.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Patrick Simpson
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 25, 2009 at 4:21:31 am

That's an idea.

I'm avoiding having the 003 on all the time; maybe it's silly but I'd rather not have it sitting on more than it needs to be - less heat and wear and tear. I'm also a little skittish with firewire devices particularly because I've had several firewire ports on hard drives and DV video decks go bad on me.

Also, a side question: if I have my iMac's line out connected to something (mixer or 003) is there a way to switch the computer's output from internal speakers to line out without unplugging the cable? I have family members who use this computer sometimes and I'd rather them not be trying to mess with the 003 or monitors. I wish there was a little menu bar app that let me switch between the two outputs.

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



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Ty Ford
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 25, 2009 at 11:47:07 am

Patrick,

While all situations are different. I have an 002 and an 003 and frequently leave one of them on with no problems. I don't use external drives. My Macs each have two internals, one for system/apps and one for media.

My experience is that allowing family members (kids) to use the same computer your sessions are on is not a good idea. I have had friends call, in a panic, that they can't find their files. We found them, but one of the kids had moved some things.

I don't know of any switch that will do what you want, sorry.

Regards,

Ty

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






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JC Boulay
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 25, 2009 at 4:10:26 pm

Hi Patrick,

In my experience, there is no real downside to having your audio interface on at all times. They're made for that. Our Digi interfaces haven't been shut down in at least two years and are all humming along nicely.

as Ty suggested, plugging your computer's output to a free input on your audio interface puts everything in the same place and is the universally accepted way of working with Digi gear on the Mac.

For switching between Mac audio devices, Rogue Amoeba make a great little free app called SoundSource (http://rogueamoeba.com/freebies/), which lets you switch from one device to another on the fly. It may not do what you want, though, as Mac OS sees the internal speaker and line out as one and the same device, as of Tiger. Not sure how that's handled in Leopard or the upcoming Snow Leopard. Still, SoundSource gives super-fast access to Sound Prefs and AMS for reconfigurations.

As for the kids using the same computer, while it's not super-kosher, it's pretty easy to keep a handle on things with two different OS Users and file/folder permissions. Plenty of parents do that to protect their... erm... "sensitive data".

JC Boulay
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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John Fishback
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 26, 2009 at 9:41:08 pm

In Leopard in the System Prefs>Sound you can select the computer output to go to internal speakers or line out.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 2 (FCP 6.0.5, Comp 3.0.5, DVDSP 4.2.1, Color 1.0.3)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Patrick Simpson
Re: Monitor audio from ProTools interface and computer
on Aug 27, 2009 at 4:25:49 am

Here's a solution someone recommended on a different forum:

Use a Griffin iMic (or another simple usb audio interface) and connect it to my mixer or whatever. Then using a program like Sound Source, I can switch between the Griffin iMic's output and the iMac's internal speakers (because the iMac's headphone out isn't being used).

The only issue here is the added cost; the iMic costs $30-$50

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



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