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Thread: Can two seperate interfaces connect to studio monitors (speakers)?

  1. #1
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    Can two seperate interfaces connect to studio monitors (speakers)?

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    Can Studio Monitors (Speakers) be connected with two separate interfaces at the same time, or is that not a good practice?

    I have an AVID Mbox pro connected with my MacBook, but a cheap USB Behringer interface connected with my windows computer. My speakers can connect with both interfaces..

    The Avid Mbox is going out to the speakers quarter inch connection (balanced).
    The Behringer UM2 is going out to the speakers RCA connection (unbalanced).

    Can I have them both connected, or is that not good? Obviously only one interface will be on at a time... or should I unplug the one I'm not using while I use the other?


    Thanks in advanced if anyone has advice on this.
    Last edited by Epsilon-144; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:10 PM.

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    Hi there,

    First off, i'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to hardware, so don't take my word for everything i say.

    I haven't tried this myself, since i don't see why you would need 2 separate interfaces.
    But in theory it should be possible, as long as you make sure the volume that's coming out of both interfaces is exactly the same to prevent anything from sounding like it's coming from the right or from the left, and also, you gotta make sure that both interfaces have the exact same amount of latency, if the latency is too high for one of them, it's gonna sound weird.

    However, there's one catch, you won't be able to use 2 interfaces at once (mostly).
    When it comes to Linux (if you're one of the few main Linux users out there) then i don't know about 2 separate audio devices being used at the same time to give the same output.
    I think it's possible on Linux a bit easier than on Windows, but assuming you are a Windows user like most i don't think this will apply.
    On MacOS i can't help you at all.
    In Windows (7, 8, 8.1 and 10) there is a way to have 2 audio devices to be used at once, however, the latency between the two outputs is waaaay too much to even use.
    If you for example connect the left speaker to interface one which will be used as the main audio device and the right speaker connected to the second interface that's used as the second audio device, then you will easily notice that the sounds coming form the right speaker (which is connected to the second interface) are coming out quite a bit later, which will make everything sound very weird.

    So TL;DR, it's possible yes, but nopt practical
    And again, i don't see why you would even need a second interface.
    If you want a second interface for more in and outputs then i would suggest just saving up for something that has the amount of in and outputs you're looking for, and maybe look for something modular that allows you to add in and outputs.
    I.m pretty sure stuff like that exists but i can't give you any names of any products and such.

    I hope this answered your question.

    cheers

  3. #3
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    My old interface wont connect with this new windows computer. It's an old discontinued AVID Mbox pro, with a firewire connection that can only connect with Mac through the thunderbolt adapter. ...there aren't any reliable firewire to USB adapters... I've tried and looked through them all.

    So my old interface, the AVID Mbox pro, is like unable to work on my new windows computer. But I still want to use it on the MacBook air,

    ...and ya, ofcourse. only one interface will be turned on at a time. Both wont be "on and running" simultaneously, but both are plugged in and connected to the speakers. ...I guess if the wiring is isolated inside of the hardware/speakers, it's okay to have both just plugged in, right? ha, there are just wires everywhere and sometimes I can smell something burning but its probably just my neighboring BBQin'.

    Thanks! lol cheers, fam.
    Last edited by Epsilon-144; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:35 AM.

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    I guess i understood you wrong.

    I think what you want to do is have both speakers be connected to both interfaces so you can easily switch between the two interfaces without having to switch the cables around, correct?
    If that's the case then you would have to look for a splitter cable.
    I'm not sure which connector you're using on your speaker side, but something like this might do the trick, if your speakers have an XLR input at least.
    pro snake Y-Cable XLRF / 2x Jack – Thomann Nederland

    So is this what you're looking for?

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  6. #5
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    oh damn, nice. ya that's helpful. it's safe to have the cables that way right? if only one interface is on at a time? i may order that. thanks!

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    Yeah it should work like that.
    It doesn't really state which way it works but considering the way the cable is structured with the connectors on each end it should work like that yes.
    I've had an RCA splitter cable once that was structured the same way which worked fine.
    sometimes, a splitter cable like that can even accept two inputs at once, meaning you could play music through both interfaces and the speakers will play both of the outputs.

    I can't guarantee anything though, but i don't see why it wouldn't work like that.

    Let me know if it did work, i might be wanting something like that as well

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    It is safe to use a Y-cable to split a signal, but _not_ to combine it. Ep, can you a little more specific about your gear and what you're trying to do? You are using powered monitors, yes?
    There are probably more elegant solutions, but if you don't have signal from both interfaces at once, it should be ok...

    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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