Equipment Madlibs



  •  I have constructed the following illustration:


     

    I hope it's clear.

    I'd like some help on filling in the question mark, because I don't know jack (lol!) about that type of apparatus.





  •  ...this?

    @dabean said:

    http://www.amazon.com/HDE-S1-B9-3-5mm-Splitter/dp/B001E3ZM8M

    Mine's more aerodynamic and clearly far superior

     



  •  


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Key question: Are both amps at the same ground potential? (In a home, you can assume that everything plugged into the same electrical circuit is at the same ground potential (In THEORY everything on the same electrical panel should be at the same potential but this is rarely actually the case due to variations in cable length, gauge, connection quality, contractors being fuckasses and not actually connecting the grounds etc. etc. etc.)

    For that matter, is the computer on the same ground potential?

     

    If the answer to either question is "no" you're going to want to use optical links between the PC and the amps - if your amps don't have optical inputs, you're going to have interesting noise issues at best and one or more pieces of equipment is going to end up with an electrical charge on the chassis at worst (ZAP).

     If one or more of your devices lacks an optical TOSlink connector, but has a coaxial/RCA digital connector, you can use these media converters:

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=2947&seq=1&format=2
    (note that these are unidirectional - one goes FROM optical TO coax, and the other in the opposite direction.

     And since you probably only have one digital output on the PC, you'll need one of these:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=966&seq=1&format=2

    And since I'm pasting a wall of monoprice links, here are your optical cables:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229

    And if you need to use any RCA coax cables for one of more segments:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10236

     If your amps don't have any form of digital input, they're shit and should be replaced, because you're only asking for crap or disaster by using analog without fancy isolation equipment or mixers or whatnot (and that will get expensive)

     

    If the answer is yes, you could just use whatever chain of analog audio cables and adapters and splitters it takes to make the connectors meet.

    Probably something like this:
    1x http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021804&p_id=666&seq=1&format=2 (at the back of the computer)
    to:
    2x http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021803&p_id=663&seq=1&format=2 (one for each channel to split out to each of the amps)
    to:
    2x appropriate length 2RCA-to-2RCA cables http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=1021

     

    Just a plug for Monoprice - yes, those prices are legit, yes the cables are EXTREMELY high quality and yes, you will get them in short order - retail cable sales are just full of shit.



  • Do you want the sound to be heard on both amps simultaneously or to rapidly switch between them? If you want to switch, a second sound card for the PC will give best quality/price ratio. If simultaneous:

    Check the outputs on the sound card in the computer. If it's a
    5.1 card and you want to connect 2 stereo amps, you can connect one to
    the FRONT output, the other one to the REAR output and configure the
    card to send stereo signal on both.

    If it's not 5.1 or you want to connect 2 5.1 amps, you'll need splitters as described above. Ground potential is a big problem in PA installations, but for home audio just be sure to use grounded outlets - powering the whole system from one outlet is recommended.

     



  •  Thanks for the replies, folks.

     @dstozek said:

    If it's a
    5.1 card and you want to connect 2 stereo amps, you can connect one to
    the FRONT output, the other one to the REAR output and configure the
    card to send stereo signal on both.

    That's an interesting hack.

    @dstozek said:

    If you want to switch, a second sound card for the PC will give best quality/price ratio.

    After talking about same with a friend, I currently have the idea that the most cost-effective is a simple analog switch. It's also more immediate than going to Foobar's preferences and setting the output device.

    I'm a little :( that I apparently have the options of EITHER driving both amps, controlling their sound with the respective amp's power, OR one at a time. My original vision based on relative folly was a two-channel mixer with volume controls of some sort where I could turn on sound to either amp at will. Kind of like a teeny tiny version of Nyquist's joke. :)

    My main objection to driving both amps at the same time is that I'd have to walk to the living room constantly to check whether it's on and I'm accidentally annoying people while I have my headphones on.(that grey bar in my HD professional illustration is a wall)

    I'll have to check the grounds, but from memory, none of my outlets are grounded.

    All in all, it appears that switching from multiple input to a single output (the DJ way) is trivial and gives me many many options for mixing boards, but the other way around is a lot trickier. I'm not sure why.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dhromed said:

     

    I'm a little :( that I apparently have the options of EITHER driving both amps, controlling their sound with the respective amp's power, OR one at a time. My original vision based on relative folly was a two-channel mixer with volume controls of some sort where I could turn on sound to either amp at will. Kind of like a teeny tiny version of Nyquist's joke. :)

    You could do that too, it just doesn't cost peanuts.

     

    ... And actually, mixing boards aren't nearly as expensive as they're made out to be. I've used this particular unit (or one JUST LIKE IT) for almost a decade:

    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002.aspx

    The trick is that it only has one "Main" output, but it also has a few tape level outputs (which are at fixed levels - you can't shut them off or adjust them) and it also has control room output - which is volume controlled independently. Not bad for $99 - and if you hit secondhand music shops, stuff like this is commonplace.



  • @Weng said:

    ... And actually, mixing boards aren't nearly as expensive as they're made out to be. I've used this particular unit (or one JUST LIKE IT) for almost a decade:

    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002.aspx

     

    Yep. I was only slightly being sarcastic (I could have linked this)... but you don't need a top of the range one or anywhere near as many channels. I got the predecessor to the one I linked for about £99 ten years ago.

    Then again my not day job is being a musician. I'm currently drooling over the idea of getting a Torq Xponent.



  • @Weng said:

     

    ... And actually, mixing boards aren't nearly as expensive as they're made out to be. I've used this particular unit (or one JUST LIKE IT) for almost a decade:

    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002.aspx

    The trick is that it only has one "Main" output, but it also has a few tape level outputs (which are at fixed levels - you can't shut them off or adjust them) and it also has control room output - which is volume controlled independently. Not bad for $99 - and if you hit secondhand music shops, stuff like this is commonplace.

     

     I havew the FX version. Fun for a bored(no pun) person. I especially like #79, the 2 octave, because I get to be Darth Vader. Anyways, I use my mixer for 2 speaker systems too, 1 5.1 for the pc and another 2.1 for music and such. I use the mixer to downmix channels because I don't trust the VLC media player's JACK plugin. It works beautifully, for $89.



  • @whatthefrak said:

    use the mixer to downmix channels because JACK has too steep a learning curve for me.
     

     

    FTFY.

    Not trusting the JACK plugin? What, you think its in ur puter steeling ur loginz? Or do you really mean that its easier to use the presets on your mixing desk than learn something about DSP?



  • @Nyquist said:

    Not trusting the JACK plugin? What, you think its in ur puter steeling ur loginz? Or do you really mean that its easier to use the presets on your mixing desk than learn something about DSP?

     

    No, its just hax0ring teh gibson.
    Actually JACK does have a fairly high learning curve, much less than ALSA, or even OSS for that matter.



  • @Indrora said:

    Actually JACK does have a fairly high learning curve, much less than ALSA, or even OSS for that matter
     

    True, although there is qjackctl. Plus ALSA tends to install out of the box with most distros thesedays. 



  •  @Nyquist said:

    @Indrora said:

    Actually JACK does have a fairly high learning curve, much less than ALSA, or even OSS for that matter
     

    True, although there is qjackctl. Plus ALSA tends to install out of the box with most distros thesedays. 

    Plus alsa tends to have all of no configuration required. Modprobe the appropriate modules and you're good. Alsaconf tends to come in handy (even though its "depreciated")



  • @Indrora said:

    Plus alsa tends to have all of no configuration required. Modprobe the appropriate modules and you're good. Alsaconf tends to come in handy (even though its "depreciated")
     

    Wow, alsaconf, yeah those were the days. I remember when ALSA was hell to configure unless you had just the right soundcard - and I'd just managed to get the one soundcard whose driver developer went awol. That was my introduction to the world of Linux, and I was hooked (seriously, I was.... after the 6 months it took to get the damned thing working).



  • @Nyquist said:

    FTFY.

    Not trusting the JACK plugin? What, you think its in ur puter steeling ur loginz? Or do you really mean that its easier to use the presets on your mixing desk than learn something about DSP?

     

    I messed around with JACK for a while. Well, it wouldn't do what I wanted it to (with my age-limited skillset), which was output a 5.1 signal on 3 jacks, and a 2.0 signal on the main (green) one. I got it to do two seperate 2ch outs though, with George-Bush-esque reliability(YMMV). I have a via VTSsomething that doesn't like to cooperate even if I know it has 4 Independent 2ch D/As. I might try using AC3 output on the HDMI port through ATI drivers with a little soldering, but I will have to use an adapter for the HDMI connected TV goodness. This means saying goodbye to whatever hope I have held in the back of my mind for playing Blu-Rays in Linux (my DVI doesn't have HDCP), which was a long shot (maybe even impossible) anyways.



  • @whatthefrak said:

    this means saying goodbye to whatever hope I have held in the back of my mind for playing Blu-Rays in Linux (my DVI doesn't have HDCP), which was a long shot (maybe even impossible) anyways.

     

    Your card nor your display should need this junk because Linux wont have support for HDCP anyway (why should it? If I cant read the bytes going to my video card, its not mine, if I cant read the signals going from video card to display, its not mine). ~>thats for another discussion~> but have you tried Ubuntu recently? it uses PULSE, which should be able to pick up on things a lot better than JACK. Really. Ubuntu does things right for once :V



  • @Indrora said:

    Your card nor your display should need this junk because Linux wont have support for HDCP anyway (why should it? If I cant read the bytes going to my video card, its not mine, if I cant read the signals going from video card to display, its not mine). ~>thats for another discussion~> but have you tried Ubuntu recently? it uses PULSE, which should be able to pick up on things a lot better than JACK. Really. Ubuntu does things right for once :V

     

    First off, sorry about the offtopicness.

    You're right of course about the HDCP, I hate it personally, but it is indeed a necessary evil if the scum at the MPAA continue to exist. I would rather buy a $70 Blu-Ray drive and put up with locked-down software (and optional locked-down hardware) than shell out 2 benjamins for completely non-optional locked-down hardware. Its better with the PC because I have an option to not use HDCP, but with the Blu-Ray player, there's no option at all, you have to use the firmware that came with the device (if you don't feel like wading through MBs of hex and soldering on an expensive device). Anyways, I use Xubuntu 9.10. I initially tried JACK because Pulse wouldn't let me have 7.1 or independent D/A. This is one of those instances that contradicts the norm, especially with this completely screwed-up-designed-by-people-on-crack chip.



  • libdvdcss is illegal in 34 countries. Yet its a neccesary evil.

    @whatthefrak said:

    First off, sorry about the offtopicness.
     

    You really are new here arent you?@whatthefrak said:

    You're right of course about the HDCP, I hate it personally, but it is indeed a necessary evil if the scum at the MPAA continue to exist. I would rather buy a $70 Blu-Ray drive and put up with locked-down software (and optional locked-down hardware) than shell out 2 benjamins for completely non-optional locked-down hardware. Its better with the PC because I have an option to not use HDCP, but with the Blu-Ray player, there's no option at all, you have to use the firmware that came with the device (if you don't feel like wading through MBs of hex and soldering on an expensive device).

    1.  the MPAA is not neccesary; it exists only for the financial benefit of american mega-corperations. They have claimed that the cracking of DVD players has made it easier to pirate movies (not true!) and that anyone who uses craked DVD players is a pirate (not true either.)
    2. If I cant open it and inspect it and understand it, its NOT MINE
    3. Just wait until you have to use HDCP. Give you a hint: if it makes money for corprate america, its gonna be required some day. They'd tax us on breathing in the USSA if they could.



  • @Indrora said:

    They'd tax us on breathing in the USSA if they could.

    Yeah, they just tax you for making money, spending money, or dying and giving it away.



  • @Indrora said:

    1.  the MPAA is not neccesary; it exists only for the financial benefit of american mega-corperations. They have claimed that the cracking of DVD players has made it easier to pirate movies (not true!) and that anyone who uses craked DVD players is a pirate (not true either.)
    2. If I cant open it and inspect it and understand it, its NOT MINE
    3. Just wait until you have to use HDCP. Give you a hint: if it makes money for corprate america, its gonna be required some day. They'd tax us on breathing in the USSA if they could.

     

    extreme cynicism

    <div class="soapbox"><em>

    Basically all the MPAA has done since their inception and introduction of (evil! analog! picture-fuzzying!) MacroVision to their introduction of HDCP (the latency inducing enemy of console gamers everywhere) is be a complete pain in the ass. MacroVision needed a video resync device, DVDs needed libdvdcss, And now, blu-rays need cracking software. PAIN in the ass!!!! I want to just play my movies on my damn portable whatever or pc without them expiring or bricking my device (see the twitch whitepaper). I want the movies to be MINE no less. I want to stop hiding from the MPAA in the depths of isohunt and rtorrent. My parents regressed to "u"verse , the CLOSED, encrypted, bandwidth hogging, traffic shaping, monopolizing, pocket siphoning, blockiness-inducing spawn of the devil. Welcome to the US of A. They love it.

    </div></em>

     As soon as we take manifest destiny to the extreme, and colonize Mars, oxygen will become a recognized and legitimate commodity. There's nothing we can do to stop them either. And on a more recent note, Obama has passed a bill that will give the E"P"A the ability to control CO2 like a hazard. Guess what produces CO2? YOU.



  • @whatthefrak said:

    <div class="soapbox"><em>

    ..snip...

    </div></em>


    I do hope you don't write HTML...



  • @PJH said:

    @whatthefrak said:
    <div class="soapbox"><em>

    ..snip...

    </div></em>


    I do hope you don't write HTML...

    HTML is just a corporate conspiracy the MPAA and Micro$oft use to keep down the blacks and Linux.



  • @PJH said:

    @whatthefrak said:
    <div class="soapbox"><em>

    ..snip...

    </div></em>


    I do hope you don't write HTML...
     

    First off, I'm more of a hardware person. I was forced into the world of software by microcontrollers. I wanted a VFD hit counter for my blog. I got it at great expense to my mental stability. Hell, now I have assembly-running PICs and ARMs in everything from my christmas lights to my personal coffee maker. Unfortunately, I do write HTML. I am my own source of WTFs. At least I'm man enough to admit I am exceptionally bad at programming in most languages. My coding style is basically hit whatever the problem is with lots of fors and repetitive ifs. I throw more code at something until it works. I have freaking gigahertz under the hood, why should I care how innefficient my code is?(rhetorical) I'm working on making less planetary-huge (global :) ) WTFs though. Just be glad I didn't write the code for your country's nuclear defense system. If you want examples, my site is tyjohnson.ath.cx. No, I don't live in the Christmas Islands, but at least I have a free domain.


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