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Volume nob for monitors?
Old 16th February 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

Volume nob for monitors?

OK, please forgive me if I sound very noobish. I am actually.

Here's my dilemma:
I just built my small home studio DAW set up. I am running NS10's with a Bryston 3b. There is no volume or level nob on the amp, so naturally they are loud as hell...waay too loud. I can create a master fader in HD, but I don't want to always been playing with it. I would rather leave the master fader at 0 and figure out some sort of physical volume nob. Do they make such a thing? If so, does it effect the quality of sound? Is there any other solution to this problem without having a console/mixer?

I hope this makes sense, and I'm not the only one with this problem.

Thanks

Jordan
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Old 16th February 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
NF Audio's Avatar
It's called a monitor controller. Happy hunting!
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Old 16th February 2012
  #3
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hasbeen's Avatar
Check this out

TC Electronic | Level Pilot

I think I saw one right here in the classified section for a good price.

By the way, it is a knob.
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Old 16th February 2012
  #4
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jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

Will the cheap ones change the quality of audio?
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Old 16th February 2012
  #5
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NF Audio's Avatar
The main concern with cheaper one's is the L/R balance drift, especially at low levels. Cheaper controllers use cheap potentiometers which perform worse in this regards.
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Old 16th February 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

All I want is a KNOB for volume for two NS10s that is cheap but doesn't change the quality... not sure what to get... hmmmm
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Old 16th February 2012
  #7
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eoats's Avatar
google is your friend:
Monitor Management | Sweetwater.com

I used a Mackie mixer (1402), or a consumer Yamaha preamp as my controller before I got a Studio Technologies controller.
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Old 16th February 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbarnett View Post
Will the cheap ones change the quality of audio?
Yes. I bought and returned a Mackie Big Knob the same day I bought it because it sounded so bad compared with a $99 Soundcraft 4 channel mixer. It was amazing. It sounded brittle and thin. I actually exchanged it once until I realized the unit wasn't malfunctioning, it just sounded bad.
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Old 16th February 2012
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I use - A Designs - "ATTY" to do exactly what you are asking.

It has an on/off button, volume control, and it's only around $100.0

Also, It will not alter your signal...

http://www.adesignsaudio.com/atty.html
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Last edited by KnukleHead; 16th February 2012 at 05:10 AM.. Reason: Link
Old 16th February 2012
  #10
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

Seriously...Thank you all for the suggestions and information. I thought I had everything I needed for my home setup and then BAM, i realized..how the heck do I controll the volume without moving my master fader all the time. I am checking out all of these suggestions. I would like to be below 300$ and not have it effect the quality of sound.

Thanks again, I am always thoroughly impressed at the quick responses and help given to noobs like me

jordan
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Old 16th February 2012
  #12
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hasbeen's Avatar
Great deal right here on GS! Better hurry!

TC Electronic Level Pilot Recording Studio Volume Knob
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Old 16th February 2012
  #13
I use a mixer but I'd probably give some real thought to the passive TC knob if I didn't.

Mind you, it's certainly true that double ganged cheap potentiometers typically have somewhat uneven fade rates (as you turn the overall volume down, a mono sound that should be in the center will drift back and forth) -- but that shouldn't be too surprising, the kind of cheap pots in consumer gear probably cost well under a buck a piece. A dedicated unit costing over 50 or 60 bucks certainly should be able to deliver a precisely made pot that will minimize such issues.
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Old 17th February 2012
  #14
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

got the Pilot too and like it
i don´t have to power the desk all day if i don´t need it
the Pilot has some problems with low levels (left side on, right side off), but i lower the DA level and just put the Pilot higher
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

The Level Pilot is perfect for what you're up to. The suggestion to keep your levels from the D/A low so you can keep the Pilot in its 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock sweet spot is good advice.

Ideally you'll use the Level Pilot's own cabling and nothing else, that way they're short enough that you won't lose any significant HF energy from loading/capacitance. Besides, if NS-10's are your only monitors you won't notice the rolloff up there anyway. Longer cable runs create issues for passive volume controllers, and they always shave a little off the top under the best of circumstances, but unless every other piece of your chain is dialed (including the room's acoustics) I wouldn't sweat it.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Longer cable runs create issues for passive volume controllers, and they always shave a little off the top under the best of circumstances, but unless every other piece of your chain is dialed (including the room's acoustics) I wouldn't sweat it.
No noticeable HF rolloff issues here using passive volume control in treated room. 2m balanced cable going to the volume knob, 3m balanced cable out of it.
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
No noticeable HF rolloff issues here using passive volume control in treated room. 2m balanced cable going to the volume knob, 3m balanced cable out of it.

The key word being 'noticeable'. At 5m total length my guess is you're rolling off starting at 10k and are about .3dB down at 20k, maybe .4dB. Not a lot, but definitely not 'flat', and the degree of rolloff will generally vary depending on where the pot is set.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
The key word being 'noticeable'. At 5m total length my guess is you're rolling off starting at 10k and are about .3dB down at 20k, maybe .4dB. Not a lot, but definitely not 'flat', and the degree of rolloff will generally vary depending on where the pot is set.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Why would the rolloff change depending on where the pot is set?

I'm using the SA1X, with 10K impedance rating (with monitors who's input is also rated at 10K). It uses a stepped attenuator and the impedance remains a constant 10K at any position due to the nature of its design.
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Old 17th February 2012
  #19
Here for the gear
 

I've had the tc electronic level pilot for a couple of years. Seems pretty transparent to me. Only problem is sometimes it gets a little scratchy. Just work it back and forth a few times and its all good though.
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Old 17th February 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbarnett View Post
OK, please forgive me if I sound very noobish. I am actually.

Here's my dilemma:
I just built my small home studio DAW set up. I am running NS10's with a Bryston 3b. There is no volume or level nob on the amp, so naturally they are loud as hell...waay too loud. I can create a master fader in HD, but I don't want to always been playing with it. I would rather leave the master fader at 0 and figure out some sort of physical volume nob. Do they make such a thing? If so, does it effect the quality of sound? Is there any other solution to this problem without having a console/mixer?

I hope this makes sense, and I'm not the only one with this problem.

Thanks

Jordan
I would consider a MACKIE 1604 vlz or anything in that 1604 series.
I have Barefoot MM27s and I plug them into a 1604 vlz. To my ears the monitor section in the 1604 sounds as good as my Control24 .
check it out for $300 used cant go wrong 8pres 8 direct outs monitor section auxinput 4 buss $300 used ill never sell mine and I wont cry if I spill coffee on it like I did my Control24 this morrning. anybody got a hanky
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Old 17th February 2012
  #21
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

I am looking at a Radial MC3... would this work?
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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Granny Gremlin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbarnett View Post
All I want is a KNOB for volume for two NS10s that is cheap but doesn't change the quality... not sure what to get... hmmmm

NS10s require an external power amp - no level control on yours?

The best thing (audio quality wise) is a stereo stepped attenuator (prefab or DIY). The next best thing is a dual gang (or quad if balanced) LINEAR pot/fader with a tapering resistor (one for each pot element - so 2 or 4 depending if balanced) to make the response log-ish. Log (aka Audio taper) pots do not track well (as in the L vs R thing someone else mentioned re the Level Pilot), even the expensive ones; linear pots have much better tolerances all along their travel.
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Old 17th February 2012
  #23
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

I have a bryston 3b (no volume knob)
ns10s
ptools hd
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Old 17th February 2012
  #24
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Boschen's Avatar
 

I needed just the same item, and didn't like what I saw on the market. I opted for a DIY stepped attenuator design. I had the chassis and a nice chickenfoot laying around already. I made another with a high quality dual gang pot instead of the steps, but I like the step design better, even though there was very little noticeable drift with the dual pot. I got the dual pot from my local electronics shop (a very good one, rare as hen's teeth...) on the cheap, as well as the stepped one, which cost me 15$ without the resistors soldered on. I have coarse steps on my knob, cause that's what I use, but I could have gone finer...total DIY cost was about 20$, not counting my own time. In that sense, I would have saved $ by simply buying a box from my wholesale supplier, but I like doing this kind of thing for fun.
EDIT: I concur with Granny G, above...

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Old 17th February 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

That aint pretty....but I'm sure it works... .:-)
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbarnett View Post
I am looking at a Radial MC3... would this work?
Yes. It was made for setups like yours. I did a review of it in the Review section.
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Old 17th February 2012
  #27
That ain't pretty? That little box is badass! It makes me wanna build one instead of buy the TC one. I have a slightly similar dilemma as the OP. I'm running my HS80s through my 002 as my main monitors, but I also have a set of NS10s I wanna use as reference. I just purchased a crown d-45 for them, but the downside is that there are seperate volumes for left and right on the crown. Even though they are step pots, I would love a single volume knob for them.

Here's the actual dilemma, do I leave the crown fully cranked and use the TC level pilot (or something else) do I leave the crown at half? Whats the rule of thumb here?
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Old 17th February 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
That ain't pretty? That little box is badass! It makes me wanna build one instead of buy the TC one. I have a slightly similar dilemma as the OP. I'm running my HS80s through my 002 as my main monitors, but I also have a set of NS10s I wanna use as reference. I just purchased a crown d-45 for them, but the downside is that there are seperate volumes for left and right on the crown. Even though they are step pots, I would love a single volume knob for them.

Here's the actual dilemma, do I leave the crown fully cranked and use the TC level pilot (or something else) do I leave the crown at half? Whats the rule of thumb here?
Don't work the dials of a power amp for level control.

You need a monitor switcher and attenuator. This goes between your mix out and the monitor power. This will allow you to switch between sets of monitors. Then leave your power amps (Crown and HS80) at some setting that are level matched at a comfortable level with the attenuator up about 60%. This is so you don't get huge volume jumps when you switch monitors.

There are lots of monitor switchers ranging from $100 to $thousands. KuSH Main Gain and Function Junction combo is a great mid-priced solution at about $1000, and the Radial MC3 is about the best economy priced solution at about $250. Presonus makes the popular Central Station and Mackie makes the Big Knob. These are between $300 and $600.

For your setup, I'd look at the Radial MC3 as a good starter kit. If you want to upgrade to get more ins and out and other features, you can just swap it out.
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Old 18th February 2012
  #29
Gear Head
 
jordanbarnett's Avatar
 

Ok, now to be named as the biggest noob of all for asking this next question. I play and teach guitar and piano, and know nothing of the gear I own. SO this is gonna sound really really noobish...but here goes..

The outs and ins on the back of the Radial MC3 are all quarter inch..whats the best way to hook it up if my cables from HD to the amp are all XLR based male and female in/outs... get what i mean? I know, i should be removed for even asking such a stupid question...


Radial MC3 | Sweetwater.com
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Old 18th February 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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NYCruiser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbarnett View Post
Ok, now to be named as the biggest noob of all for asking this next question. I play and teach guitar and piano, and know nothing of the gear I own. SO this is gonna sound really really noobish...but here goes..

The outs and ins on the back of the Radial MC3 are all quarter inch..whats the best way to hook it up if my cables from HD to the amp are all XLR based male and female in/outs... get what i mean? I know, i should be removed for even asking such a stupid question...


Radial MC3 | Sweetwater.com
Not familiar with the MC3, but as long as the jacks on it are balanced, you just need 1/4 inch to XLR cables or adapters.

Back to the OP's question, I use a Presonus Monitor Station. They make a rack mount one, but I use the desk top one. Let's me send connect 4 headphones with separate volume controls, wire main and cue mix to it, and switch between different sets of speakers. Oh yeah, and has talk back. Maybe more than you need, but it's a solid little device.

Look here: PreSonus
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