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what volume control are u using between your audio interface and monitors? Monitor Controllers
Old 9th September 2007
  #1
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what volume control are u using between your audio interface and monitors?

I need to get a level controller, was about to dish out on this:
SM Pro Audio - M-Patch 2

it's passive, which should mean the sound just passes through without much affecting it, but I've been hearing from a few sources that the sound quality at the output is quite bad! shame because I really liked the simplicity of it while being able to switch between 2 sets of monitors.

I've heard the Mackie Big Knob is also quite bad as it's active nature tends to colour the sound.

After these two low to moderately priced units I only know of the Presonus Central Station, highly praised, but also more money than I can spend right now.

What alternatives are there?

Please advise me!!
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
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zeljkom's Avatar
SPL 2381.
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
Do a search on GS there's another thread regarding the M Patch, and I've never seen any derogatory comments regarding the sound quality. I use the Nano Patch and haven't noticed any degradation in sound.
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
F5D
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I use SM Pro Audio Nano patch. However, I had to modify it slightly because the potentiometer caused the right channel to come up way too early compared to left channel when starting to turn the volume up from zero. What I did was an extra passive resistor attenuator before the potentiometer which gives me extra 10dB of attenuation. Now when I start turning the knob, the potentiometer has already reached the more balanced operation before the sound is audible. And I never even need to play so loud as the knob lets me to turn it. Nice little thing. Nano patch shouldn't do anything to the sound quality because it's passive. The only problem is the balance problem of (all) stereo potentiometers when you're at near zero level.

The next step for me will be a stepped attenuator but the sound quality is so good now that I am not really even thinking about building one anytime soon.
Old 24th November 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F5D View Post
I use SM Pro Audio Nano patch. However, I had to modify it slightly because the potentiometer caused the right channel to come up way too early compared to left channel when starting to turn the volume up from zero. What I did was an extra passive resistor attenuator before the potentiometer which gives me extra 10dB of attenuation. Now when I start turning the knob, the potentiometer has already reached the more balanced operation before the sound is audible. And I never even need to play so loud as the knob lets me to turn it. Nice little thing. Nano patch shouldn't do anything to the sound quality because it's passive. The only problem is the balance problem of (all) stereo potentiometers when you're at near zero level.

The next step for me will be a stepped attenuator but the sound quality is so good now that I am not really even thinking about building one anytime soon.
Hi.

I see you have the Nano patch. Do you know what type of potentiometer they use, I mean if it is a stereo or quad? Also what ohm is it?
Old 24th November 2007
  #6
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At the moment I bring the outputs of the converter into the effects return on a Mackie 1402. It's a much, much cleaner path than any of the other inputs on the board.
Old 24th November 2007
  #7
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If it makes any difference, the Central Station can be found for @ $400 new (with no shipping cost) and Presonus is currently running a rebate that gives you the remote for free. And I agree it is quite nice for the money. On the other hand, if all you want is attenuation and not speaker and input switching and a headphone source, you could go with an A-Designs ATTY or an NHTPro PVC -- both are simply high quality passive attenuators. Both are about $100 new.
Old 24th November 2007
  #8
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Using a Nano Patch here as well. I haven't noticed the sound being affected in a negative way either.
Old 24th November 2007
  #9
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runedigi's Avatar
 

apogee ensemble

im using the ensemble
Old 24th November 2007
  #10
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Any experiences with the presonus monitor station already?
Really thinking about that one, functionality is almost the same as the central station except for the DA and the passive attenuator.
Old 24th November 2007
  #11
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ATTY. Real simple monitoring setup.
Old 24th November 2007
  #12
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Save Up For The Central Station

I know it sucks. I'm an engineer on a budget as well, but if you have a little patience and invest in the Central Station you'll be much happier in the long run. I have one and it's never done me wrong! If you invest in another piece, you'll probably be looking to upgrade later. The Central Station is something you can use on any set up and it's so clean you'll always do justice to your gear.
Old 25th November 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibvee View Post
Any experiences with the presonus monitor station already?
Really thinking about that one, functionality is almost the same as the central station except for the DA and the passive attenuator.
Interesting, too bad it's no longer a passive unit. That was a large part of what made the CS attractive IMHO. I also think I would prefer it as a rack unit though. I had a CS for about two weeks and then sold it when I got a used Coleman M3PH MkII. I thought it (the CS) worked quite well, although I didn't need the talk back and DA features at all. I'm quite happy with the Coleman at this point.
Old 25th November 2007
  #14
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+1 for Central Station.

I have the unit with the remote and love it. I do all my monitor switching and mono/stereo mixing with this unit and have never had problems.
Old 25th November 2007
  #15
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beefybassandsub View Post
I need to get a level controller, was about to dish out on this:
SM Pro Audio - M-Patch 2

it's passive, which should mean the sound just passes through without much affecting it, but I've been hearing from a few sources that the sound quality at the output is quite bad! shame because I really liked the simplicity of it while being able to switch between 2 sets of monitors.

I've heard the Mackie Big Knob is also quite bad as it's active nature tends to colour the sound.

After these two low to moderately priced units I only know of the Presonus Central Station, highly praised, but also more money than I can spend right now.

What alternatives are there?

Please advise me!!
I use one. It is good and does what they say. It is so cheap you can buy two if something goes wrong

I wouldn't save for the Presonus central station 'cause this thing (Mpatch 2) works well.

Next best thing is in another price league I guess. This does nothing bad to your audio while you can switch between monitors and attenuate passively in analog domain and that's enough for me right now.
Old 25th November 2007
  #16
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Why not look into one ofthese?

A Designs ATTY | Sweetwater.com
Old 26th November 2007
  #17
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I guess this ATTY can work, too - but I just know the Mpatch 2 - it really sounds good and it also has the mono/stereo switch that I use a lot and wouldn't want to miss.
Old 26th November 2007
  #18
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M-Patch 2 it is here, too - works like a charm...

Tobias
Old 26th November 2007
  #19
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i'm using a Mackie Big Knob

for the most part it's great but i have a few gripes

talk-back goes to all outputs from the unit which is silly, can't just send it to the performers without it going to the 2 track recorder!

there's no markers on the volume dial

when you turn the volume down very low the volume in one speaker goes down faster on the one side than the other. since you don't monitor that low it should be a problem
Old 26th November 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s-cube View Post
Using a Nano Patch here as well. I haven't noticed the sound being affected in a negative way either.

Did you have to modify the unit also?


Tom
Old 26th November 2007
  #21
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SPL Volume 2.
Old 26th November 2007
  #22
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GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i'm using a Mackie Big Knob

for the most part it's great but i have a few gripes

talk-back goes to all outputs from the unit which is silly, can't just send it to the performers without it going to the 2 track recorder!

there's no markers on the volume dial

when you turn the volume down very low the volume in one speaker goes down faster on the one side than the other. since you don't monitor that low it should be a problem
I too am using a Mackie Big Knob. I know they are widely derided here on this board... but it works for me. I have read that folks have noted and heard a degradation in their monitoring chain while using the Knob, but I not noticed enough to worry about it. Maybe when I get into a better room with better monitors it will become evident.. I dunno.

For now it works great, is built like a tank, is super easy to run... and you can pick one up for cheap on eBay, now that all you other GSers who bought one are dumping them lol heh

btw macleodgrant... I have never noticed one side getting quieter on the way down at lower volumes. I have both my monitors cranked right up to the stops and do all volume control from the Knob.

Regards,
Old 26th November 2007
  #23
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RawDepth's Avatar
 

Central Station
Old 26th November 2007
  #24
JWL
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I actually use the Mackie HMX56 headphone mixer. It has several inputs, and can drive 6 outputs, designed for headphones, but the outputs also drive my powered monitors without issue or distortion.

Gives me a lot of flexibility, and the price on the unit has dropped pretty dramatically as of late, it's down to like $150.
Old 27th November 2007
  #25
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Mr. Landmark's Avatar
I love the central station. Bought it mainly for attenuation and speaker switching, but the rest of the features also come in handy all the time. I haven't compared to other units but it's really a convenient piece of gear IMO.
Old 27th November 2007
  #26
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Would a Presonus HP4 do most of this? Anyone know anything about this unit? I feel I'm in need of something that puts the volume knob(s) within reach. The monitor mute, mono and headphone outs are nice too. At the moment the volume knobs are a bit out of reach and reaching for the power button or other methods are a bit tedious when trying to answer the phone. Even if there isn't a human on the other end.

PreSonus
Old 27th November 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i'm using a Mackie Big Knob

for the most part it's great but i have a few gripes

talk-back goes to all outputs from the unit which is silly, can't just send it to the performers without it going to the 2 track recorder!

there's no markers on the volume dial

when you turn the volume down very low the volume in one speaker goes down faster on the one side than the other. since you don't monitor that low it should be a problem
I have the same problem man. i have it like 8 months now, and the last 2 month that problem came up. SOmetimes im mixing at a low volume then i get stressed if ím panning the good way or not
Old 29th November 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioeren View Post
I have the same problem man. i have it like 8 months now, and the last 2 month that problem came up. SOmetimes im mixing at a low volume then i get stressed if ím panning the good way or not
my way around it is to put the pad on and adjust the level accordingly then it's perfectly balanced
Old 29th November 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
Would a Presonus HP4 do most of this? Anyone know anything about this unit? I feel I'm in need of something that puts the volume knob(s) within reach. The monitor mute, mono and headphone outs are nice too. At the moment the volume knobs are a bit out of reach and reaching for the power button or other methods are a bit tedious when trying to answer the phone. Even if there isn't a human on the other end.

PreSonus
While I haven't compared it with any of the other units mentioned in this thread, I own the HP4 and it's a pretty handy unit with passive attenuation for your monitors plus a 4-out headphone amp.
Old 29th November 2007
  #30
Gear Addict
 

I was using an old mackie 1604, but just moved to the Big Knob.

The mixer was nice if i ever needed to just plug in a bunch of keyboards etc.

The Big Knobs still got enuf ins and outs and less things to tempt you tinker with and get in the way of the sound (no EQ, pan, etc). Only thing I'd like to add is to switch the LED meters to see the Output levels; it shows only input (I like to have a sanity check to make sure I'm not cranking it up too much)

Its not passive, but clean enuf for me
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