Do I need an audio/sound interface?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by DJ88, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. DJ88 macrumors regular

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    Downtown Miami
    #1
    I took a MIDI class in the fall and we used logic on macs with an M-audio keyboard. The keyboard was hooked up to an audio interface who's only purpose was to plug our headphones into.

    I'm looking at the m-audio keyboards and they all have built in midi interfaces so all you need to do is connect it via USB. My question is when I get my MacBook pro, hook up the keyboard with USB, will I need the same thing we used in class to get sound? Or can I just plug my headphones into the headphone jack on the MacBook pro and I'm good to go?

    If this works, will hooking up some high quality headphones by using a 1/4 inch to mini jack adapter lower the quality all?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gallick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    #2
    You should be fine simply with MIDI to USB. I'm not sure why they used the interfaces for audio output if all you were doing was MIDI.

    The signal quality will degrade ever so slightly from using the converter but nothing you'll even come close to noticing.
     
  3. DJ88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks for replying.

    So does it have to be MIDI to USB? Or can it be the USB to USB? Just to make sure haha, if I hook it up with out an audio interface, when I strike a key on the MIDI keyboard hooked up via USB to my MBP with Logic Studio running, with my headphones pluged into the laptop, I should hear the sound I have chosen right? :D
     
  4. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #4
    Not entirely sure what you mean by this. The M-Audio keyboard can output MIDI via a MIDI connection or a USB connection. Either will work with your Mac, however using the MIDI connection on the M-Audio would require a MIDI interface to be hooked up to the Mac. In other words, using the USB port on the M-Audio to connect to your Mac is totally fine for MIDI. The standard MIDI cable/connector is almost obsolete now.
    If all of your settings are correct, then yes.
     
  5. DJ88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thats good to know haha, I was worried if I would need to spend the cash for an audio interface on top of all the other things i'll be spending my money on.

    And the reason I was asking that in the last post was because the poster above me said that MIDI to USB would work so I thought he may have meant I would need a cable with MIDI connectors on one end for the keyboard and USB on the other end to go to the computer. I wanted to be sure I could just use a regular USB cable from the port on the keyboard to the port on the mac.

    But in this picture for an m-audio keyboard setup it says I need a sound module. Is that something else other than an audio interface?

    Sorry about all the questions, I just want to be sure that this all works when I get it.


    [​IMG]



    Also I've been curious about the app caled Airfoil. Has anyone tried this app with Logic pro? Is there any lag from the key strike to hearing the sound out the speakers?
     
  6. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #6
    Totally fine. I have taught electronic music classes before, and thus I tend to err on the side of too much info/more technical info for the sake of clarity.
    The sound module is something like a rack-mount MIDI device, which would contain sound samples that are triggered via the MIDI keyboard. Such devices can also contain audio samples that can be triggered. If you are using a synth/sampler in Logic or another audio program it would take the place of the sound module in the picture (and would eliminate the MIDI cables needed to connect to the sound module).

    And no worries about the questions as we all have to learn!
    I have not tried Airfoil, but I assume it would work like an audio output. It looks like the trial is a full version, so it is worth downloading and trying. As for lag (latency) I assume it could be an issue depending on what you are doing. Latency is even possible on simple wired systems (i.e. MIDI keyboard to Computer) although it is typically an easy fix.
     
  7. DJ88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks for the answers! Now I finally am sure about what I need haha.
     

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