Connecting monitors up?

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#1
Basically im really unsure how i would go about connecting monitors up to my laptop, would it go laptop to usb audio interface to monitors or like add a mixer into the setup? or could i miss out the usb audio interface? If an usb audio interface is needed what connections would i definatley need in the audio interface like 1/4" jacks or xlr outputs?

safe

sorry for all the questions at the moment, just never really used any of this equipment before
 

qnzy

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#2
Hi,

USB to audio interface to monitors sounds right to me. I guess you have active
monitors, otherwise you would need an amp as well. I think a mixer might
be usefeul if you

a) want to listen to other things than just your laptop on your monitors
b) want to record and you don't have enough channels on your audio interface
c) need microphone preamps

I'd recommend an audio interface mainly for the low latency. You'll note the difference
when you play with a midi keyboard. Jacks should be enough, XLR are mainly for
connecting mics.

hth.
 

qnzy

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#4
The M-Audio interface has two mic preamps with phantom power, so you can connect any microphone directly to it. These are hybrid connectors, so you can connect XLR and 1/4" mics. You should be able to connect it directly to your monitors with a 1/4" cable (eg two of these http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_sssnake_sk3613_kabel.htm). But check your monitors first ;).

The mixer doubles as an audio interface. If I understand correctly, the mixer will give you only 1 audio channel in your DAW. So while it allows you to connect serveral sources, only the mix get's sent over the USB. This is only an issue if you want to record two mics at once (the M-Audio gives you 4 inputs and 4 outputs (?) simulatneously).
 

qnzy

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#8
Well they're not *that* different. Personally I'd prefer the M-Audio. If nothing else it's certainly smaller and newer (2006 vs 2004). The Lexicon gives you 8 inputs (only 4 at a time!) and 2 outputs while the M-Audio has 4 inputs and 4 outputs. Please note that all of these are mono channels, so on the M-Audio you get 2 stereo outputs.

The left and right output on the Lexicon correspond to the 1 and 2 outputs on the M-Audio, no difference there.
 
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