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Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

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Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:39 pm
by garrettendi
I use an iPhone and have installed an app. I figure because there aren't as varying an array of devices that carry iOS, that it should be pretty accurate off the bat?

According to Google an office is around 40-50db and this is what I'm getting in the app...

?

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:56 pm
by Wonks
Just use it. You know what the right level will be for your ears/domestic environment, so set up to that, then see what the meter reads as reference. If you ever need to set up again, or add another set of monitors, then you can use the meter to make sure the two sets of monitors are of equal loudness. But you do need to use exactly the same position,so make sure you can replicate it.

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:45 pm
by garrettendi
Thanks Wonks.

Yet another worry (sorry)!

The Behringer UMC204HD RCA outputs 1-4 are Line-out so am I right in assuming they are ok into the Cambridge Audio A1mk3 amplifier line ins? There are no impedances in the 204HD manual.

Also the manual doesn't state how to set the output level on the RCA outputs so I'm assuming from my Googling that I'd route the Master bus in Reaper to outputs 1 and 2 and then set the level on A1 amp...

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:53 pm
by Sam Spoons
RCA outputs should be at -10 dBV 'consumer' line level so will be compatible that the inputs on the Cambridge A1.

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:07 pm
by garrettendi
Cheers Sam!!!

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:02 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
Didn't realise this thread was still going! :-)

Phone app SPL meters are notoriously inaccurate and unreliable. The iOS ones tend to be better just because there are fewer variations and so less for the developer to check. Android and other mobile OS apps will generally be all over the shop.

Some apps do have bespoke calibration modes for specific popular phones, but there's nothing in them to take account of normal production tolerances, so they are still not particularly accurate. And the dynamic range of the MEMS chips and associated circuitry used as phone microphones is not great, either, so high SPL readings are even more suspect...

But, if all you need is a means of making comparative measurements at moderate SPLs then they are absolutely fine. Don't think of the displayed numbers as precise SPL values, and instead just match the readings as appropriate so that you can ensure one system is the same as another -- if that's a function you require (such as when comparing speakers).

The important thing, though, in a project studio, is not the absolute reference SPL, but just the fact that you have a repeatable reference so you can always set your monitoring level to the same value whenever you start or pick up a mix.

So the technique I recommend for that kind of application is simply to juggle the interface output level / monitor controller / speaker (or amp input) level to set the volume at a comfortable analytical level when replaying a mix-in-progress with a sensible headroom margin. Mark the volume control positions so you can easily and quickly recqll that working monitor level.

Then -- and only then -- play some band-limited (500Hz - 2kHz) pink-noise at -20dBFS rms and check the SPL on your phone or other SPL meter, and make a note of the number (and the app/phone you used) in case you need to reset the system to the same level again later. There is very good pink-noise file available for free on the Blue speaker website.

http://abluesky.com/support/blue-sky-calibration-test-files/

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:53 pm
by garrettendi
Quick question... If I switch the hifi amplifier off, but sound is still coming out of my interface into the amp inputs, is that likely to cause any harm to the amp or the interface? Should I disconnect the RCA cables when not in use?

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:55 pm
by garrettendi
(Thanks Hugh by the way for your last reply!)

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:17 pm
by Wonks
No problem at all and is quite normal.

Re: Using Hi-Fi speakers as monitors with an amplifier?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:22 pm
by garrettendi
Thank you kindly, Wonks!