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Author Topic: Monitor Attenuator  (Read 2497 times)

sansalvador

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Monitor Attenuator
« on: November 28, 2007, 10:45:28 am »

Hi,

Currently i have connected monitors to my PC directly with unbalanced connections.

I control volume with software, i think it is not very good to do.
So i think i need some hardware volume attenuator, i need minimal distortion possible, 0.0005 THD, etc.

What is better? To pass it All unbalanced or to convert to Balanced in attenuator? Monitors support only banalced conenctions, but i have unbalanced to balanced connection, with 6db loss of cause.

So maybe somebody know any good hardware model of such attenuators, unbalanced-balanced converters, etc?

Oh, and i need it to be 19' rack mountable.

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grantis

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 11:43:44 am »

i know morley makes attenuators like that.  never used one though, so it's a crapshoot

don't know if they're rack mountable either, i'm sure they make one that is.
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Grant Craig
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JDNelson

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 07:07:19 pm »

In general terms it's not a good idea to attenuate the monitor output signal "in the box".  You're losing resolution, throwing away bits.  Depending on your budget the available solutions range all the way from something like the NHT PVC, which is essentially a quality volume pot, up to a full-blown monitor controller like the Cranesong Avocet.  In the middle somewhat, there are some budget prosumer monitor controllers like the Presonus Central Station, which has a passive signal path and provides for cue mix, talkback and some other workflow enhancement features.  

MagnetoSound

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 09:39:31 pm »

JDNelson wrote on Thu, 29 November 2007 00:07

In general terms it's not a good idea to attenuate the monitor output signal "in the box".  You're losing resolution, throwing away bits.


I think the consensus has moved on a bit, regarding this issue ....

See the sticky ' Digital tracking with low levels = better...is this new???'  in Whatever Works ....

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Daniel Farris

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2007, 10:40:54 am »

JDNelson wrote on Wed, 28 November 2007 16:07

In general terms it's not a good idea to attenuate the monitor output signal "in the box".  You're losing resolution, throwing away bits.


There are good reasons not to attenuate monitors ITB, but this is definitely not one of them.

DF
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JDNelson

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 12:35:07 pm »

I agree thinking has moved on WRT tracking levels, but this is representing a signal which is already tracked, reducing the outgoing digital signal below unity.

j.hall

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 01:27:13 pm »

mackie big knob, central station are both good choices.

in the high-end arena, dangerous monitor SP looks cool.  crane song is quality stuff.

there are many solutions to this problem that get you useful features like mute, dim, mono.


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johnR

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 04:49:15 pm »

MagnetoSound wrote on Thu, 29 November 2007 02:39

JDNelson wrote on Thu, 29 November 2007 00:07

In general terms it's not a good idea to attenuate the monitor output signal "in the box".  You're losing resolution, throwing away bits.

I think the consensus has moved on a bit, regarding this issue ....

See the sticky ' Digital tracking with low levels = better...is this new???'  in Whatever Works ....


It depends where the attenuation takes place. If it's in the DAW software it's probably OK. If it's in a `prosumer' sound card's built-in hardware mixer, or a software mixer in the card's driver, it is very likely to reduce resolution.
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JDNelson

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 06:47:33 pm »

johnR wrote on Fri, 30 November 2007 13:49

It depends where the attenuation takes place. If it's in the DAW software it's probably OK. If it's in a `prosumer' sound card's built-in hardware mixer, or a software mixer in the card's driver, it is very likely to reduce resolution.


Yeah, he said he was attenuating in software so I assumed it's somewhere post DAW main out fader and pre D/A converter, some kind of software mixer like CueMix, PatchMix or whatever.

mixwell

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2007, 04:48:01 pm »

I might recommend something like the Coleman Audio M3PH MK2, which is completley passive. It sounds EXACTLY like the audio you have going through it, as it is extremely true to the source.

Check it out,
http://home.dti.net/coley/

It would also add input switching as well as speaker switching. Also, the M3PH has left/right mute switches and a mono button to check for phase cancellation.

To my ears, the Coleman line of monitor switchers and controllers are far superior to the Mackie BK, or the pre-sonus central station, with a much wider frequency response, which will allow the depth of your DAW to come through untouched.

Those units may outweigh with more features, but this also means <more electronics in the signal path>

Stay with what works, I guess,
"more signal, less noise"

But as a side note, I would leave my DAW master fader at unity for the best possible idea of what is ACTUALLY going on with the 2-buss. Turning down the master fader before (channel-fader) is all good, but if there is no real reason to turn down the master fader, don’t.  

peace
mixwell
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brett

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2007, 07:03:50 pm »

I second the Coleman Audio M3PH MK2, the headphone amp is kind of low quality compared to something like that of the crane song, or those found in the grace, lavry etc. But, the passive attenuator is in the same league less the converters and very afordable. I got mine used for $400.

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sansalvador

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 04:36:27 am »

Thanks for replies i will probably stick with something as simple as NHT PVC and taking into account i can buy it on ebay.

All i need is a passive pot. I can do anything else in software.
Sorry for stupid question, but how do i mechanically mount this device into 19'' rack? if it has 1/3 width or 19''
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Doug_H

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2007, 08:40:17 pm »

I'm just building something myself, I have the same issue.  My sound card is RCA out so I'm not going to attempt to go through the greif of trying to balance the signal for the 3 ft run to the monitors.  Getting a good stereo pot is the hard part, and the expensive part.  You can probably buy one online pretty easy though.  I'm paying no attention to impedence at different volumes, I'm just throwing a stereo pot in a box and am not going to worry about it.  Of course my moniors aren't made of gold either, some research may be required to do it properly.
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tom eaton

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Re: Monitor Attenuator
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 09:34:07 am »

Goldpoint, Goldpoint, Goldpoint.

http://www.goldpt.com/sa1x.html

Easy, simple, great sounding.

tom
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