Connect laptop directly to studio monitors?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by atljogger, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    How do I connect my MB Pro directly to two studio monitors, without going through a recording interface? I want to split the digital signal into two older monitors whose only inputs are XLR and TRS/1/4" jack (no RCA digital).

    This is for listening to music when I don't have recording gear set up.
  2. Moderator emeritus


    You'll need some way of controlling the volume other than the volume control in the Mac I'm afraid, the amps are expecting the level from a pre-amp.

    You can simply get a stereo 1/8" jack to twin 1/4" jack cable, most electrical stores will have them, but as i said, that means you have the speaker amps running without a pre-amp to buffer them, and things could get very loud.

    Griffin do a neat USB volume thingy that might work.

    This I meant, has a line level output:
  3. macrumors member

    Thanks for the reply. What's the benefit of going through the iMic instead of a stereo 1/8" to twin 1/4" cable? Does it have volume control or act as a preamp? Also, how do I connect from the iMic into the two 1/4 jacks on the monitors?

    - J
  4. Moderator emeritus


    its essentially a USB preamp, but it doesn't have a built in control, you can go directly, but make sure your Mac's volume is turned all the way down before you turn the speakers on!!!

    Then bring the Mac volume up slowly and see what kind of level you get.

    The signal to noise ratio out of the Mac will be a bit crap, there's a lot of noise in the line out, the iMic would solve this problem.

    The iMic comes with a stereo cable to Phono plugs, so you could just get some adaptors to the 1/4" jacks.
  5. macrumors 604


    Some other options include:

    Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1: small footprint, four outputs, USB powered, cool little wheel and it records in like 192khz or something ridic like that and phantom powered

    Alesis MultiMix USB - many more inputs and outputs.

    What monitors do you have - this might change the need since both pieces of equipment I listed run about $200. I have my KRK Exposé(s), V88s and V12s hooked up to the Native Instruments thingy.

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