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Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing

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Jeff Wright
Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 9, 2011 at 5:52:26 pm

Hi! I just purchased new M Audio BX5a monitor speakers. I'm an independent contractor editing content for an action sports cable network. I'm running a Macpro with FCP 7. It has a Kona LHe card installed but I currently don't have the need for a deck and I don't have a broadcast monitor so I don't have it hooked up. Before anybody jumps on me for this I do my critical color correction on another system.

The current setup uses a mini adapter to duel stereo 1/4 out of the macpro with 6ft 1/4 stereo cables running to each speaker.

I am getting audio out of the speakers but it definitely doesn't sound "true". My FCP levels are "correct" but my dialogue is getting lost in the bed track.

I'm thinking my mini jack doesn't have enough "juice" to pump through the 1/4 cable to each speaker. I tried running a mini cable out of a L/R splitter to a mini to xlr adapter I had lying around and things sounded much better. Should I just do this?

I'm trying to avoid buying a mixer because I really don't have anything I need to "mix" anything. I can hook up my Kona and use its XLR outs if necessary but would rather not deal with the frame lags and I also like to edit with headphones some of the time.

Any advice on the most simple "true" setup

much appreciated!

Jeff


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Eric Toline
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 9, 2011 at 8:55:54 pm

Don't be locked in to a set level on the speakers. Turn up the the level in the speakers until it sounds "true." You can run those speakers to ear shattering levels from a HP output.

Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 10, 2011 at 12:16:36 pm

Hello Jeff and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Take a mini TRS splitter cable out of the Mac and go from that to a pair of 1/4" TS to the monitors.

The only other thing you might need is a ebtec HE2. http://www.ebtechaudio.com/hedes.html
Run unbalanced from the Mac to the HE2, and balanced from the HE2 to the monitors. The balancing circuit in the HE2 will scrape off a lot of noise and give you a better signal. I have one of these on each of my Mac rigs.

If you're dialog is getting buried, that's a mix problem you need to address in FCP on the audio timeline. It has nothing to do with monitor levels.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 10, 2011 at 9:14:42 pm

Ty, this sounds interesting. Why does their product description say it is not intended for powered speaker runs? Or I they referring to outputs from powered speakers?

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:59:54 pm

Craig,

An excellent question for which the only answer I have is that I've been running one on each of my Macs for over 5 years. The unbalanced audio out from my G5 was extremely trashy until I put one of these between the Mac and my Digi 002R and then 003R.

The Mac Pro wasn't quite as bad, but it got the same treatment. I eventually put in a Mackie Big Knob and put the EB2 between the Mac and the Mackie.

I have emailed Ebtech for clarification.

Please stand by, your call is important to us,..la ..lala, la, lalalala, la...looooo

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader

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


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Eric Toline
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 10, 2011 at 11:03:05 pm

They are referring to not feeding the BX5a from a power amplifier or any power amp output to feed a passive speaker. You could drive the BX5a from your ipod HP out with no problem. It's pretty good system but really needs a small subwoofer to make it rock.


Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 12, 2011 at 8:18:46 pm

Craig,

Just got off the phone with Scott at ebtech. Powered speaker lines, as Eric surmised, means you don't want to put one of these between a power amp and speakers.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 14, 2011 at 5:01:20 pm

powered amp and powered speaker? or any speaker? Which port are you going out the mac pro and power book?

Thanks Ty.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 14, 2011 at 5:41:40 pm

Craig,

I'll try this once again.

You can't put the thing between a power amp and passive speakers. Everything else is OK.

Ty Ford

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 14, 2011 at 5:52:42 pm

Got it. M Audio BX5a are powered so just wanted to be crystal.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 14, 2011 at 10:11:32 pm

Craig,

Crystal is better than POOF!

The best move is to come out of your Mac which is unbalanced, and go to the box with 1/4" TS plugs, then come out of the box balanced with 1/4" TRS plugs and go to your monitors with XLR or 1/4" TRS.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Craig Alan
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 15, 2011 at 12:34:45 am

Thanks.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jeff Wright
Re: Setting up new M Audio BX5a Monitor speakers without a mixer for FCP editing
on Aug 18, 2011 at 4:15:00 pm

Hi guys, thanks for all of your great advice. I ended up buying a cheap mixer from B&H and going through my Kona card. I'm very happy with the sound of the system and the convenience of the mixer. Eventually I'm probably going to buy some kind of broadcast monitor so it will save me a step Dow the road. Thanks again!!


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