M-Audio DX4

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by odinsride, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I am interested in the M-AUDIO DX4 monitors for my amateurish recording setup and general usage (music, games, etc). I was wondering for anyone who has these, how do you hook them up? I have a Macbook, and I'm going to assume these monitors don't have a 1/8" cord to plug in to the laptop. Even if they did I'm sure the MB soundcard isn't that great and wouldn't do the speakers justice. What do I need to get in order to hook these up to my MB?

    Also, is there a device I could hook these two so I could use them on both my Macbook and my PC? That way I could get rid of my cheap logitech PC speakers for good.


    Thanks!
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Why do you assume the MacBook audio out is not good? It's quite good enough for music listening, games and hobbyist recording. It will cost a fair whack to buy quality D/A conversion, so be happy...

    Here's your specs
    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/DX4-focus.html

    You can use a cable with 1/8" stereo headphone plug to 2 x RCA phono plugs; these are available from the Apple store or any stereo or electronics shop.

    In order to use both your Mac and PC on one set of speakers, you would need a simple mixer to mix both the PC and Mac outputs into one stereo pair.


    Mac===|
    ======| MIXER | ===== [speaker]
    PC====|
     
  3. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the tips - I was just under the impression that most laptops don't have that great of a soundcard. I guess the Macbook is different from PC laptops :p

    When you talk about a mixer, what do you mean? Is that just an adapter I can get at radio shack? Or is it a powered piece of hardware? Examples/recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    if you're going to be a recording, you should know what a mixer is.

    but you can accomplish what you're asking about with this.

    however, you should REALLY put a hardware volume control between your laptop and your monitors. something like this would solve all your problems.
     
  5. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #5
    900 is a little too expensive for me :p

    would something like this work: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Xenyx-502-Mixer?sku=631262
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #6
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    d'accord....
     
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #11
    The Macbook Pro (and presumably the Macbook - I haven't done as much looking into with that) is the same as most PC laptops in terms of audio - Intel HD compliant audio. E.g. the cheapest external soundcard out there, the $80 Behringer FCA202 is a bit better than the Macbook Pro analog audio I/O.

    Not bad, but not that great either. You can do better even with fairly cheap soundcards, especially in terms of divorcing 'pc noise' from the audio chain.

    On-topic however, the DX4 also actually ships with a reasonable length of 2RCA > 3.5mm cable so you wouldn't need to buy anything to get started with the MB.
     
  10. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #12
    That's awesome, thanks for the info.

    Musiciansfriend has the DX4's for $149 + free shipping. Am I going to find any better deals than that? If not I think i'll be jumping on it soon :)
     
  11. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #13
    Well I'm thinking about buying the DX4's + this mixer

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Xenyx-802?sku=631263

    So I can run both computers on the same speakers. I am confused about the cabling mentioned in this thread though. Also they don't really show what cables come with the monitors and mixer, so what exactly do I need to buy and how does it all hook up?

    It looks like I need to plug the monitors into the mixer, then get 2 cables (one for each computer) that go from 1/8" stereo (computer) to 2x1/4" stereo (mixer)

    Is this right?

    I'm not really sure what the picture of the 1/8" stereo to 2x RCA cable is for...why would I need that??
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #14
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #15
    Behringer does a great job for people who need low-cost and usable solutions.

    If you want to do it the mixer way, you'll need:

    3.5mm stereo male to 2 x RCA male (one of which comes with the DX4) x 2
    1/4" male to RCA female adapter x 4

    OR

    3.5mm stereo male to 2 x 1/4" male x 2

    AND

    1/4" male to 1/4" male cable x 2
    (I thought it was balanced, but turns out it isn't :eek:)

    A mixer is useful in some ways, but it does take up some room and can lead to confusion when you just want a simple method to switch audio.

    This is an A/V switch, but audio-only ones are around and for you, it might be simpler.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...udio+switch&kwCatId=2032057&parentPage=search
     
  14. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #16
    Could you explain what is this cable for? Is this to hook the mixer up to the monitors?


    And to zimv20 - sorry but I'm not looking to spend absurd amounts of money on something that simply allows using 2 computers on one set of speakers :)

    Edit: Also, what's the best place to buy the cables I need? Is monoprice good for this stuff?
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #17
    The mixer has a pair of unbalanced 1/4" outputs. The DX4 has unbalanced/balanced 1/4" inputs. In this configuration, it's best to use the 1/4" connectors.

    As I said though, you could just use an audio switch. That would mean you'll be using the unbalanced RCA inputs on the DX4 so you'll need a 2RCA - 2RCA cable from the switch to the monitor, and the 3.5mm stereo male - 2RCA cable going to the switch from each computer, one of which as I said ships with the DX4.

    Oh, and since I've done it a few times with various monitors I'll issue you this warning: Do be careful when taking it out of the box, as the drivers - including the tweeter - are unshielded.
     
  16. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #18
    Ok Guys...back to the drawing board. I was just at Guitar Center auditioning some stuff and talking to the guys in the recording department and am now thinking about the following equipment:

    Monitors - Yamaha HS50M
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-HS50M-5-Powered-Studio-Monitor-Each?sku=601417

    Guitar Interface - Mbox 2
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digidesign-Mbox-2-USB-Audio-Interface?sku=240479

    The guy told me I could just hook the monitors up to the Mbox for sound, but will that also play any computer sounds to them? Or would I have to somehow rig them to both the Mbox and Macbook output? I just can't really understand how all this stuff hooks up :/

    Also, they offered me a deal if I buy the monitors and Mbox2 together, so I'm seriously considering this setup. I just want to make sure I buy everything I need in one shot to avoid all the running around getting things I didn't think of.
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #19
    yes, that's right.

    no, in this case you wouldn't use the macbook audio out, because the system sounds would be routed to USB.

    if you're planning on running pro tools, then yes i say you should consider the mbox. if not, there are plenty of interfaces from which to choose.
     
  18. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #20
    well i've always heard Pro Tools is pretty popular so it might be worth learning instead of garageband...thoughts?
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #22
    they're kind of different beasts. PT excels at doing audio file stuff (recording and editing), and i really like it for mixing. it's the DAW that's most familiar to those who are used to analog recording, fwiw.

    i'm not terribly familiar w/ GB, but its drag/drop loop stuff isn't what you get w/ PT.
     
  20. scottlinux macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #23
    Yeah get a firewire mixer from alesis, or the FW mixer from M-Audio if you want to use Pro-Tools in the future.
     
  21. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #24
    So will the Mbox2 work with GarageBand at all or is it strictly PT only? It would be nice to learn and have access to both
     
  22. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #25
    should work, yes, but i've not tried it.
     

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