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Moving from Consumer Audio to Professional Audio

Lloyd Stewart

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We are upgrading our audio from a home receiver/speakers to much needed powered speakers (we've chosen 2 QSC K10's and the QSC Ksub sub-woofer). Before moving to full multichannel 5.1 surround, we'd like to put together a simple 2.1 speaker arrangement using our powered speakers, but we know little about professional audio.


On P. 17 of the Watchout manual it reads, "If you need to run the computer’s line level audio signal a long distance, you should use an audio line level transformer. This converts the unbalanced signal coming from the computer to a balanced signal, thereby reducing the risk of hum and noise when connected to a professional audio amplifier."


Well, we do need to run the computer's line level audio a long distance to our new powered speakers. So, is this correct?: We would go from the display computer's 3.5 mm mini-jack audio output, using a "3.5 mm mini-jack to RCA" cable, that would plug into the line level transformer, that would convert that audio signal to an audio signal that would use XLR cables that could run the long distance to the powered speakers. Is that correct?


If that is correct, would this be a good choice for a "line level transformer", that also controls volume?




That Mpatch 2.1 is a rather pricey $229.00, so would some mixer be a better choice? Suggestions on what model mixer most appreciated!


I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or not, so any input pointing me in the right direction or pointing me toward a better product or configuration would be most appreciated.





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The ProMatch is a great box, I own a ton of them.


For less than the $229 you would have spent on the MPatch you could get an external audio card that would give you better audio processing (built in audio cards tend to lack...) and have true balanced outputs (probably TRS 1/4" jack that is super easy to adapt to XLR, its just a cable).


The ProMatch and the other unit listed above is what is typically call a DI or Direct/Device Interface (in USA at least, I don't know about other countries, names change a lot). They are often used to get things like guitar amplifier signals into high end audio mixing boards.

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Thanks Brian. I bought a DI, new powered speakers, a ton of audio cable (which I learned is call "microphone cable" by lots of people) and will be putting it all together soon. Can't wait to use it all in a show.


Once I get it all figured out, I think I'm gonna write a post called "Pro Audio for Dummies", for other slow people like me. Man, when all you know is Home Audio and you're trying to convert to Pro Audio, just understanding the terms people use can be daunting.


Any suggestions for an "external audio card" that has worked well for you?

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From this thread:




Tested by us, and found working, is:

Echo Audiofire 12 (up to 12 analog channels in XP, up to 8 in Windows 7), Firewire interface

Echo Audiofire 8 (up to 8 analog channels in XP and Windows 7), same hardware as above

ESI 1010e, (up to 8 analog channels in XP and Windows 7). PCIe interface



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