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Getting Sound out of a PC

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Tony Connoly
Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 9, 2010 at 2:23:57 pm

How do you get clean sound out of a PC and into headphones or self-powered speakers (or an amp)? Do you need a dedicated sound card (rather than a consumer one) just for this purpose?


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Ty Ford
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 9, 2010 at 2:35:46 pm

Tony,

Depends on how good the sound card in the PC is. The cards in my Macs a re very good.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 9, 2010 at 4:54:39 pm

Any PC motherboard worth its salt has an onboard audio controller, with multi-coloured mini-jack outputs on the back. These have at least a mic input (red jack), line in (blue plug) and stereo out (green jack) as standard. Quality greatly depends on which controller your motherboard is equipped with, and varies from good to truly-ear-splittingly-horrible. Headphones are plugged into the stereo out.

For best results and flexibility, an aftermarket audio interface is dearly recommended. Internal audio cards are almost dead these days. Most models are external USB or FW interfaces. For simple input and output, I'd suggest looking into M-Audio's lower range, which gives great quality for very affordable prices.

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


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Eric Toline
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 10, 2010 at 12:07:27 am

You could use the PC headphone jack to feed your down stream equipment. I've done it for years.

Eric


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Tony Connoly
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 10, 2010 at 2:27:10 am

My computer has a line out as well as a headphone output.

I'm using Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones (64 impedance).

I assume the headphone output is the way to go? It sounds pretty good.

Are there any reference sound files that I can listen to to determine whether my the sound is being conducted optimally?


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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 10, 2010 at 2:32:52 pm

The best test file is your favorite song. You've probably heard it a gazillion times on many different systems so you have a good reference. Most mixers I know dial themselves into a new environment this way. I've always got my favorites CD's (well, thumb drives, these days) in my gig bag.

If you have both line and headphone outputs, use the headphone out.

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


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Tony Connoly
Re: Getting Sound out of a PC
on Nov 17, 2010 at 12:16:27 pm

Thank you.


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