Quote Hugh Robjohns:
Yes -- it's always nice to have a real physical knob to turn down if the computer goes mad and generates full level noises with a locked-up control interface!
A big AMEN to that!. Made that mistake back in 2008, monitors plugged directly into soundcard. Had a total overload (feedback loop through mic) that was soo intensly loud I literally froze solid for a few seconds before being able to react, by which time I'd damanged one speaker and done god knows what damage to my hearing. Couldn't hear bass properly for 2 days.
Now I have an analogue volume control sitting in between the audio interface and the monitors.
It's good to remind ourselves that these monitors of ours are potentially dangerous instruments @ peak load (or overload rather)