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Audio from computer to rack with what I have at home now?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Audio from computer to rack with what I have at home now?
deke
Okay, my goal is to take audio from my computer (music files, voice, sound effects… and other audio) and play with it, process it, in my modular rack. I know that serious people doing this buy something from Expert Sleepers, but I’m just experimenting for now. I swear I searched and this specific issue was not something I could find. Apologies if my search skills suck.

Here is what I have. There has to be a way, right?

    iMac
    Focusrite 18i8 first gen – other than monitor outs and headphones outs the only other out is SPDIF (I think I have various adapters / cables for SPDIF buried in the closet)
    Cheapo Yamaha Mixer MG06X


On the rack side I have an Intellijel Triatt and Quad VCA

I will experiment, but if I can dig up the right adapters and cables will this work?
    SPDIF out to Yamaha Mixer in (mono or stereo)
    Yamaha Mixer out to Triatt (to adjust levels if needed)
    Triatt to anything in the rack to play with (Clouds for example)


No, I think this sucks SPDIF is not the answer.

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Summa
The only issue you may have is getting the signal up to Eurorack level without a shitload of noise/hiss. I have no experience with the gear you have but there's a lot of dedicated and small amp modules on the market like ADDAC 202 and Circuit Abbey's Gozinta..
Anechoic
IIRC Clouds’ gain input can boost line levels to modular directly.
Mark II
You can go direct from the monitor outs into any module’s input. Only need two 6,3mm to 3,5mm jack cables. The mixer doesn’t add anything functional in this setup, unless you have other line level sources.
matttech
You don’t have an SPDIF digital input on that mixer though do you? ....so I’m not sure how that part would work....

The intellijel Quad VCA has a boost option on every channel to get external signals up to Modular levels, so just use that
deke
Mark II wrote:
You can go direct from the monitor outs into any module’s input. Only need two 6,3mm to 3,5mm jack cables. The mixer doesn’t add anything functional in this setup, unless you have other line level sources.


Thanks, but the only monitor outs I have go to the monitors! Am I missing something in your advice here? Sorry if I am. Sigh... The mac and interface is all made for audio in, not out. So weird.

Thanks everyone else too. All those devices would be great, the problem is getting audio OUT from the computer TO those devices (or anything). I decided for now that the best way for me to at least experiment with external sound files is to plug my old iPod classic into the modular rack!
Artaos
Two ideas:

- are the headphone outputs and the monitor outputs separate outputs of the interface from the point of view of your computer? i.e. can you load those sounds into your DAW and output those tracks only to the headphone outputs? If so you could do that

- do you have any 3.5mm plug on your computer? You might be able to play those sounds directly using a patch cable
deke
Artaos wrote:
Two ideas:

- are the headphone outputs and the monitor outputs separate outputs of the interface from the point of view of your computer? i.e. can you load those sounds into your DAW and output those tracks only to the headphone outputs? If so you could do that

- do you have any 3.5mm plug on your computer? You might be able to play those sounds directly using a patch cable


Thanks Artaos, I wish I could delete this post as it is hopeless.

1. - are the headphone outputs and the monitor outputs separate outputs of the interface from the point of view of your computer? Alas, no

2. do you have any 3.5mm plug on your computer? You might be able to play those sounds directly using a patch cable Yes, BUT if I switch the mac to internal output I lose my USB interface as output and cannot monitor the sound. Seriously, using a second computer is simpler than trying to sort this out.
Mark II
deke wrote:


Thanks Artaos, I wish I could delete this post as it is hopeless.

1. - are the headphone outputs and the monitor outputs separate outputs of the interface from the point of view of your computer? Alas, no

2. do you have any 3.5mm plug on your computer? You might be able to play those sounds directly using a patch cable Yes, BUT if I switch the mac to internal output I lose my USB interface as output and cannot monitor the sound. Seriously, using a second computer is simpler than trying to sort this out.

Don't give up. Wigglers do not give up!
I have a Focusrite saffire pro and use Saffire MixControl. I see Scarlett Mixcontrol that came with your 18i8 is functionally the same, and allows you to direct any of the inputs to any or both of the headphone outputs. So you could route audio from a wav player to the phone out. You would only need the correct cable to plug into the modular.

Just be careful to avoid a feedback loop in MixControl. this happens when you send the complete mix to the modular and have the modular on one of the input channels.

I do this with my saffire, and it works great. Getting the routing right in MixControl is a bit hard to get your head around (at least for me) but eventually you'll get there.

The Focusrite audio interfaces are among the better ones out there. So this should work.
justin3am
Provided that the S/PDiF output is actually a unique output and not just a mirror of the Monitor output, you could use something like this: https://www.frys.com/product/9061077?

Just a super cheap DAC. I'm sure you can find one for even less from Amazon or AliExpress.

Back in the day when I was working with a Sound Blaster audio interface, I would monitor in mono while tracking (of course I would switch back to stereo for mixing), so I could free up one output for external signal processing. If you are able, try routing the signal you want to hear to the Right output and the signal you want to process to the Left output. Not an ideal solution but better than nothing.

Any other solution will require a different audio interface or aggregating your Focusrite with the computers built-in interface.
deke
justin3am wrote:
Provided that the S/PDiF output is actually a unique output and not just a mirror of the Monitor output, you could use something like this: https://www.frys.com/product/9061077?

Just a super cheap DAC. I'm sure you can find one for even less from Amazon or AliExpress.

Back in the day when I was working with a Sound Blaster audio interface, I would monitor in mono while tracking (of course I would switch back to stereo for mixing), so I could free up one output for external signal processing. If you are able, try routing the signal you want to hear to the Right output and the signal you want to process to the Left output. Not an ideal solution but better than nothing.

Any other solution will require a different audio interface or aggregating your Focusrite with the computers built-in interface.


Sorry I didn't see this sooner. So this cheap DAC would allow me to use the SPDIF output of my Focusrite. Hmmm. I think this may be it (short of a new interface or something fancier and $$$). Thanks!
deke
Mark II wrote:
deke wrote:


Thanks Artaos, I wish I could delete this post as it is hopeless.

1. - are the headphone outputs and the monitor outputs separate outputs of the interface from the point of view of your computer? Alas, no

2. do you have any 3.5mm plug on your computer? You might be able to play those sounds directly using a patch cable Yes, BUT if I switch the mac to internal output I lose my USB interface as output and cannot monitor the sound. Seriously, using a second computer is simpler than trying to sort this out.

Don't give up. Wigglers do not give up!
I have a Focusrite saffire pro and use Saffire MixControl. I see Scarlett Mixcontrol that came with your 18i8 is functionally the same, and allows you to direct any of the inputs to any or both of the headphone outputs. So you could route audio from a wav player to the phone out. You would only need the correct cable to plug into the modular.

Just be careful to avoid a feedback loop in MixControl. this happens when you send the complete mix to the modular and have the modular on one of the input channels.

I do this with my saffire, and it works great. Getting the routing right in MixControl is a bit hard to get your head around (at least for me) but eventually you'll get there.

The Focusrite audio interfaces are among the better ones out there. So this should work.


Yes, I have MixControl too of course. I did not think of it. Like you, probably more so, I find it's UI awful and really hard to understand, but I will "not give up" as you say. Thanks!
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