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Audio Hell

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Michael Pierre
Audio Hell
on Sep 25, 2006 at 9:49:43 pm

I've been trying to figure out the best way to monitor (and control level) audio through my Kona 3 and Final Cut for a few days now and I just keep running into problems.
There is balanced AES audio coming out of the KONA card, so there must be some relatively easy way to do this. I WAS powering my BX5 speakers from the Kona card directly via rca, but the only way I could control the volume was by getting up and manually adjusting each speaker so.

I spoke to the guys down at Mac mall and they suggested a pre-amp called the "M-Audio Firewire 410", which is being fed a signal via firewire and is in turn feeding the speakers. Somehow this seems like an extra step that I shouldn't have to take. I just spent over 2K on a damn good capture card ( that also puts out audio)... so I might as well utilize it to it's full potential.

Someone else mentioned using a Mackie 1402 mixer as an option. Apparetnly, I can come out of the Kona card into the mixer and then into the speakers... however the mac mall guys say mackie is super 'noisy' and not the best way to go.

I'm stuck in the middle here... All I want is to be able to control the damn level on my speakers (through final cut, soundtrack, itunes ect..) without coming out of the standard mac/ mini-jack and without using some extra piece that I don't really need. (I don't mind buying something that's going to work)... but this M-Audio firewire 410 seems BUGGY and backwards for this application.

Any advice ?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:15:09 pm

Is is me, or should poison be sent to this gentlemen ?

Michael writes -

I've been trying to figure out the best way to monitor (and control level) audio through my Kona 3 and Final Cut for a few days now and I just keep running into problems.
There is balanced AES audio coming out of the KONA card, so there must be some relatively easy way to do this. I WAS powering my BX5 speakers from the Kona card directly via rca, but the only way I could control the volume was by getting up and manually adjusting each speaker so.

REPLY (as we go along) - there is a new invention - its' called a MIXER. They cost less than $100, and you can keep your fat ass on the chair, and turn a simple knob. If you don't like the word "mixer", you can get a Mackie BIG KNOB which is a fancy expensive volume control for $299.


I spoke to the guys down at Mac mall and they suggested a pre-amp called the "M-Audio Firewire 410", which is being fed a signal via firewire and is in turn feeding the speakers. Somehow this seems like an extra step that I shouldn't have to take. I just spent over 2K on a damn good capture card ( that also puts out audio)... so I might as well utilize it to it's full potential.

REPLY - you spoke to the guys down at Mac Mall ? How about talking to the guys at your local music store (that sell cheap mixers), or how about talking to the guys at your local stereo store (that sell stereo receivers and preamps). This is an AUDIO ISSUE, not a COMPUTER issue. If you spend over $2000 on a DAMN good capture card, how about spending less than $100 for a mixer to control your levels.


Someone else mentioned using a Mackie 1402 mixer as an option. Apparetnly, I can come out of the Kona card into the mixer and then into the speakers... however the mac mall guys say mackie is super 'noisy' and not the best way to go.

REPLY - the Mac Mall guys are COMPLETE IDIOTS and have no idea about broadcast audio, or the professional audio industry. Why on earth are you asking people at MAC MALL about anything other than getting a new keyboard or DVI monitor ? The Mackie 1402VLZ is an EXCELLENT audio mixer, and will work perfectly for this application, but if you want to spend less money, go down to your local music store (or mail order place like B+H Photo or Musicans Friend) and get even a cheaper audio mixer. All you are doing is monitoring audio.
You own excellent M-Audio BX5 speakers (made by AVID) - a small Mackie or Behringer will work just fine for you. Just PROMISE ME that you will NEVER EVER ask a computer store about buying audio or video equipment. If you ever ask Mac Mall what Sony VTR you should buy, I will have to kill you.


I'm stuck in the middle here... All I want is to be able to control the damn level on my speakers (through final cut, soundtrack, itunes ect..) without coming out of the standard mac/ mini-jack and without using some extra piece that I don't really need. (I don't mind buying something that's going to work)... but this M-Audio firewire 410 seems BUGGY and backwards for this application

REPLY - you are not stuck. When you get the mixer, you can listen to your VTR's, your MAC G5, your Knoa, and everything else. If there is only one lesson you learned here today, it's that the MAC MALL people KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about professional audio, and you shoudl NEVER EVER EVER ask them a question ever again about pro audio gear. Now get that audio mixer, and get back to work. You will be fine. By the way, when you monitor your audio via FCP using the Kona card, ALWAYS monitor the Kona, not the MAC G5, as you will have audio sync issues that will drive you crazy.

Bob Zelin





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gary adcock
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:27:31 pm

[Bob Zelin] "If there is only one lesson you learned here today, it's that the MAC MALL people KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING"


Bob,
you crack me up, and note that I truncated your sentence to be a little more succinct.

gary



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Don Wilson
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!! to the power of 10
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:28:04 pm

Good grief. How can someone get a rockin' Kona 3 and not have a clue how to use it? Sorry to be rude but Bob is accurate, the Mac Mall people barely know computers. Get a simple Behringer 4 in mixer for 50 bucks at Guitar Center and problem solved.


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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!! to the power of 10
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:32:38 pm

Don-

"Good grief. How can someone get a rockin' Kona 3 and not have a clue how to use it?"

That's stupid. I can ask people like you on forums like this...and furthermore I don't have to pay a post facilty thousands of dollars for something I can do myself. The only requirment for gettig a "rockin Kona 3" is the MSRP.


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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!! to the power of 10
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:34:04 pm

Sorry - I can't spell today.


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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 25, 2006 at 10:40:00 pm

Bob-

Sorry, I mis-typed.
The company was actually "Melrose Mac"... and although they're not much better than "Mac Mall", they DO deal in more than just computers. They actually specialize in audio... so I figured they could answer my question.

check out there site. http://www.melrosemac.com/

M-


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Bob Zelin
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 25, 2006 at 11:52:01 pm

Melrose Mac is right in LA, in the land of the best video engineers in the country. In the land of the best video "value added resellers" in the country, like The DR Group, and ProMax. You also have The Guitar Center and Sam Ash Music on Sunset to buy your mixer from.

HOWEVER, Melrose MAC is a dealer for Mackie, and can sell you the Mackie 1402VLZ, the Mackie Big Knob, and countless other audio products. It's right on their website. The sales person you spoke to is an IDIOT, and should be fired. His comments are worthy of having Mackie Designs remove them as an authorized dealer. I find that this comment must be contained with the moron that you have dealt with, as Melrose Mac carries many fine brands, such as Genelec, and Digidesign, and it appears that they are XSan certified, which means that they must have very qualified tech's working for them. You unfortunately wound up with an idiot. If I were you, I would go back to complain, as I am sure their own management would be outraged that their own salespeople tried to talk you out of buying a Mackie 1402, which they are dealers for, and you obviously need.

We like "breaking balls" here sometimes, and you were the victim of this, but you really do need that mixer (or somehthing even cheaper). There are many people in LA that can help you, and I bet that Melrose Mac can too - if you get the right guy to speak to.

Bob Zelin


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Don Wilson
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 12:08:17 am

Melrose Mac, then I apologize. I buy from them often......worlds away fom Mac Mall. The Kona really wants a digital audio board. I bought the Behringer 3216, sorta a Yamaha 02 rip off. The Behringer little board that is a good audio monitor device is the UB802 and Guitar Center sells it for 39.95. I got it because my control room knob is too far to reach as the digital mixer is big. Be aware that the levels coming out of the analog phono jacks are not going to match the AES coming out of the Kona so do calibrate to the deck before commiting to the final master mix level.

Don Wilson



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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 1:11:15 am

Don and Bob-

Thanks and sorry at the same time. I should've been a little more clear in my writing.
It's too bad that I've got to pay a 10% restocking fee for the product that (I feel) wasn't the RIGHT product. I purchased it ONLY because I was told by the pros down at melrose mac it was the best piece of equipment for my applications. I don't know... seems like I'm paying for bad advice... but maybe it's subjective.
Anyway, thanks for helping out.

Bob, by the way- I imagine that you sound a little bit like Sam Kinison. : )

best,
Michael


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JeremyG
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 2:21:26 am

[Michael Pierre] "Bob, by the way- I imagine that you sound a little bit like Sam Kinison"

Yeah, except Bob yells "VIDY-OH-OHHHHH!" If not, you should Bob.

Jeremy


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Don Wilson
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 5:47:57 am

But Kinison was funny................had to.

The Firewire 410 is for things like Garage Band, Cubase, Pro Tools etc. Unless you mis-informed them, I'd talk to Sean who owns the Burbank store and state your case. Mention me if you want as I do a lot of business with him and my office is a block away. I've have him waive the fee for valid claims.... but no guarantees. Mention it's an "exchange" as I think they carry the Behringer. The FW410 is nice though if you'll ever do audio.

If there's anything else I can do to help without more ridicule email me and I'll send you my cell#. Bob can help you as well but I figure you want to come out in one piece. I use the Io and Kona for a lot of different things and have it pretty figured out.

Good luck,

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com



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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 6:20:41 pm

Don and Bob-

Thanks so much.
I really appreciate your offer for help with my rudimentary problem. It's funny, I actually dealt with Sean down at Melrose Mac (nice guy)... he actually switched out a Powermac that I just bought when the logic board went bad. So I know they're very reasonable people. I'll go down there are explain my sound needs with more detail, I'm sure they'll acomodate me.
Once again. Thanks guys.
Don... perhaps I will use your name too. I think I'll say that you mentioned the Berringer as a possible solution. My inclination is that it may be a bit expensive for my needs... but maybe it'll be a justification I'll have to get comfortable with.

Cheers,
Michael



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Don Wilson
Re: Audio Hell - AAAAH !!!!!
on Sep 26, 2006 at 7:38:51 pm

You're welcome Michael. But again, if sound monitoring is your only need the Behringer is 40 bucks. If a more powerful mixer is needed, Behringer makes 12-24 input mixers for under 350 dollars and they work really well. I am also a musician and they time and again pass the test...no need to spend Mackie money. As far as digital mixing goes, don't worry about it. The only issue will be getting anlog audio into the Kona which is a bit of a pain.

Best of luck,

Don


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CharlieX2
Re: Audio Hell
on Sep 26, 2006 at 8:58:19 pm

Also keep in mind... AES is a digital stream... it has the same XLR connectors as professional analog audio. So you're going to need something to turn that AES into analog audio BEFORE feeding a mixer. A lot of people using the Flying Cow from M-Audio...



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Bob Zelin
Re: Audio Hell
on Sep 26, 2006 at 10:54:13 pm

If you use the Kona 3, you get the K3-Box for $299, which give you analog outputs. They are RCA, but this goes very nicely into the Behringer or Mackie audio mixer - you are using it for monitoring only anyway. Audio from RCA's doesn't "sound better" than audio from XLR's, and just remember - the audio inputs to both the Mackie, Behringer, Soundcraft, and other cheap mixers are stereo 1/4" phone plugs - not XLR. If you go into the XLR inputs of these mixers, you will get peak distortion problems.

Bob Zelin


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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell
on Sep 28, 2006 at 4:31:29 am

Hey everyone-

Just an update.
I went ahead a got the Mackie "Big Knob" and so far I love it!!
I'm coming out of the AJA K3 RCA analog outs directly into the big knob... and from there I have all sorts of options. It's really the perfect thing for my needs.

At this point I don't really have a need for a mixer beyond what I can already do within Final Cut or Soundtrack.

So thanks everyone for your suggestions and patience!

best,
Michael


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Don Wilson
Re: Audio Hell
on Sep 28, 2006 at 4:39:48 am

Rockin'. Did you get the one at Melrose Mac that was on sale? If so, I came within half a minute of getting it as it looked very cool! I call that place the 500 Dollar Store. And, did they do you right? I'd sure hope so!

Best,

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com


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Michael Pierre
Re: Audio Hell
on Sep 28, 2006 at 6:16:53 am

I didn't! And I wish that I would've. When I returned the M-Audio 410 I took a quick look at the Big Knob @ Melrose Mac... but didn't really have the time at that moment to ask the questions I needed to. The next day I was in the vacinity of Guitar Center in Hollywood and had about 30 minutes to kill before a meeting and I ended up picking up one from them.

So... yeah, if anyone needs a Big Knob for less than MSRP (I think about 40 bucks off) then head down the Melrose Mac in Burbank.

Thanks Don.


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