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advice on PC controller to powered speakers


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Hey Blueroom.


Im soon going to be running a PC controller running mixing software. (Pioneer WeGo). It outputs in RCA and I want to take the signal into my powered speakers.

Im thinking about running it through an active DI box (such as the Behringer DI20)


Is this the right/best thing to do or is there a better option? Any advice would me much appreciated.




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If the powered speakers have a mic input, and you are running a large distance, then a DI box is a must (especially if there is lighting involved).

If the distances are short with no lighting, then you MAY get away with using the line in on the speakers.



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How are you going to power your DI box? I doubt if your speakers will provide phantom power (assuming they've got mic inputs) and changing batteries if this is a regular setup is a bit of a pain!


There are plenty of phono - balanced line interface out there, including (but not limited to) the Canford Pro Interface. There are probably cheaper options, but it gives you line out, which I reckon your speakers will be more likely to have.

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I would just plug them in using decent cable (not that skinny shiny rubbish we see all too often wrapped in plastic with your new dvd player) ..... and crank it up with nothing playing,


if it hums then I would borrow a di or a ground loop isolator which often come fitted with rca in and out so ideal in this instance, to see if it cured it (likely it will) then buy one.


if it didnt I would look at going balanced, with a decent usb balanced audio output from the computer, which may still need a di box.


I would never use a mic I/p (unless its a dedicated dual purpose I/p) to send rca line level audio in to a powered speaker. that may well hum like a turkey on acid.


line o/p to line I/p never line out to mic I/p


if its a latop and it hums, try removing the power cord and run on battery, no hum?... then yes you need a half decent di, but try to borrow one first, passive or active di, thats the question, I often get away using a £10 ground loop isolator designed for incar stereos from maplin when I am running out unbalanced rca plug audio across the stage. works today hums tomorrow ... nightmare sometimes.


enough already :)



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Plenty of people use active monitors run from unbalanced mixer outputs, and if the speakers and mixer are all on the same mains feed, hum is probably not going to be an issue. You won't know until you try it - but loads of people feed their unbalanced mains operated kit straight in. Reducing a perfectly fine line level output down to mic level, and then using extra gain in the speakers introduces more noise, so I'd avoid it if I could. If it is a problem, and the speakers have balanced inputs, then why not just feed the screen of the unbalanced cable to pin 2 and the centre core to pin 3? Ignore the XLR screen altogether - the differential inputs will treat it as a balanced input, and the earth isn't needed.


Me? I'd connect the RCA output from the PC (I assume you have some kind of output device that has the phono sockets on it?) to the speakers and try it. If it hums, change the speaker end connector wiring as above. Forget DI boxes and going down to mic level and back up again. I'd be very surprised if you have problems. As long, of course, as the PC isn't a Dell - which after owning 3 is proof enough to me that their power supplies are pathetic things that squirt all sorts of nasties out of the computer! I'd forgotten how dreadful some PCs are compared to Macs - which just make you forget things like noisy PC outputs with the hums buzzes and warbles!

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