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#163075 - 06/28/12 11:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: jazzmammal]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
*** UPDATE 2 TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION ***

Thanks for all the great advice.

I think a good plan is to get a PA speaker to start, at least 100w, and then add a 2nd one ASAP.

I am trying to navigate through it all of the option and I am not sure about 2 points.

(1) Should I get a PA powered-speakers or non-powered-speakers?

(2) Should I get a PA with a built-in mixer or not?

(Note that I am trying to remain budget conscious here.)

(Note that I am trying to buy something that can be integrated into a larger system-- such as buy one speaker now and then daisy-chain more onto that later as budget permits.)

What do you think?

Please advise.

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163076 - 06/28/12 11:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 - gone Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4371
I prefer components because if yoru powered speakers blow out, you have no amp and no speakers. If you have an amp and speakers, and your amp goes out, you still have speakers.

You can buy this stuff SO CHEAP if you look around. You can find a 16 channel Mackie mixer for $100 on eBay or Craigslist. Power amps and speakers, watch the used gear at Guitar Center. Enclosures can be found there for $50 used.

If you get powered speakers, you CAN'T EVER plug an amplified signal into them, thus the component approach.

Example: I needed rack ears for my Mackie. Nobody had ears for it. I found a mixer with the ears for $100. Bought it, removed the ears, mounted my mixer, sold the one I took the ears off for $100, so I got free ears.

Just shop around.
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#163077 - 06/28/12 12:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
ROG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 2515
Loc: York, England
I agree with Eddie - keep everything separate and you're more flexible if anything goes down.

Also, I've never liked the idea of putting a circuit board into an enclosure which is eventually going to shake it to bits.

ROG.

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#163078 - 06/28/12 03:42 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Dear Eddie1261 and ROG --

Regarding this...

Quote:

I prefer components




...it sounds like a component-based approach is good.

Yes, I will shop for used gear.

(But I am going to link below to Amazon, in order to avoid dead links to CraigsList stuff that might sell.)

Here is my guess if I go the component-based route...

(1) I need at least 1 "unpowered PA speaker" something like this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-EUROLIVE...rds=pa+speakers

...or this...

http://www.amazon.com/PYLE-PRO-PASC12-Tw...rds=pa+speakers

(2). I need a small "mixing board" something like this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-XENYX-10...ds=mixing+board

...or this...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-802-Prem...mixer+amplifier

So aside from speakers and mixer, in simple terms, what else do I need?

Please advise.

(I know that I need to make a trip to the local music shop and talk to them but the feedback on this forum is so very good and helpful that I really want to see what you would recommend to a newbie.)

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski


Edited by mkamoski (06/28/12 04:06 PM)

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#163079 - 06/28/12 03:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: J. Larry]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Dear J. Larry --

Regarding this...

Quote:

I can't say enough good things about the Behringer EuroLive B205D monitor speakers. 150 watts at $150.00 each. I play dinner gigs constantly with them, running the BIAB tracks, a sax player, guitar, and two vocals through them at the same time. No distortion and plenty of volume. Quite often we're asked to turn down. These things only weigh 7 lbs. Most of time, I leave the larger EV speakers and the Bose Model II at home. They're overkill and too heavy to tote for most of the gigs we play.




...that sounds like it might be one good way to start.

Can they linked together, so that one can have 1 and then add another and another and etc?

That is, what if I had 1 of these and needed to "scale up"?

Please advise.

(I know a lot of folks here are advocating a component-based approach; but, this seems like it might be a quick and easy and inexpensive way to get up-and-running for rehearsals and at-home practice with Biab, etc.)

Thanks.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163080 - 06/28/12 04:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 - gone Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4371
First off I would never avoid Craigslist because in the past you may have found a dead link here and there. Just don't go back any more than a few days. Once again, go to www.guitarcenter.com and look at the used gear. There are MOUNTAINS of gold in there. And if you want something at another store, they will ship to your local store if you know how to ask. You have a local recycler newspaper near you? Your local news for sale ads? Garage sales? Take advantage of the awful economy when people are selling everything but their family members to buy food and pay rent. Here in Ohio the streets are jammed with parked cars every weeked from the garage sale hunters.

Now, once in a decade will you find a Les Paul or vintage Strat at a garage sale, but I have done well just by applying myself and spending some time shopping. I have 4 Guitar Center stores within a 45 minute drive from my house. At my corner is a local music store, and there are 4 more of those within 5 minutes. Most stores now do consignment so you will find used gear everywhere.

Also remember that what you need NOW may not be what you need in 2 years, so unless you want to go through this again in 2014, buy now for future expansion. A small 8 channel mixer might work today but in 2 years you may have added a drum machine, a vocoder, and another singer. Then what? ALWAYS buy more than you think you need. To move from an 8 channel mixer to a 16 will not double the cost. A 100w amp vs a 200w amp will not double the cost. Remember, don't be afraid to ask for deals. I bought an amp from someone for my live keyboard rig (100w per side) and he wanted $150. I told him for $150 he could keep it and to call me in a month because he will still have it if he is insisting on $150. I got it for $90. I went to $75, he went to $125. I went to $85, he went to $100. I went to $90 and we shook hands. You also need to read your seller. If the guy's place looks like he doesn't have money for luxuries like, you know, soap, he will take what you offer.

Around Christmas of 2010, I ended up with an Epiphone Dot Special, an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Squire Strat for $325. When I sold them individually last year I got $450 out of them. And one of them I gave a bargain on because it was a young kid.

Point being, take your time and explore every avenue, and remember, that $100 amp you find online is going to cost $40 to ship to you.
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#163081 - 06/28/12 04:20 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
eddie1261 - gone Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4371
Quote:

Can they linked together, so that one can have 1 and then add another and another and etc?





you use this term "LINKED TOGETHER" a lot. What do you mean "linked together"? Everying can be "linked together" somehow. If you mean run one speaker to the next and to the next and the next, no because you are changing the load (resistance measured in ohms) by daisy chaining. If your amp is not rated for loads down to 4 ohms, you are really going to stress the amp. Thus the component concept.

MIXER
-to-
CROSSOVER
-to-
HIGH AMP -> tweeters
MID AMP -> midranges
LOW AMP -> woofers

Now, all in one type speakers have the crossovers built in (Peavey 3020 is a great example if you have 3 men and 2 boys to move them) but you still need wattage to drive them. Like 400w per speaker.

Honestly, you simply can't cheap out on your PA. Your product will suffer, and your marketability will suffer with it. When people ask you to TURN IT UP, and you have no more UP to turn, you are done. Your only other place in the gain stage is to send a hotter signal, and then you are going to distort at the input stage.

You CAN always turn down. Buy more amp than you think you will need. Trust the experience here.
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#163082 - 06/28/12 04:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Regarding this...

Quote:

First off I would never avoid Craigslist because in the past you may have found a dead link




...yes, you are quite right...

...I should have been more clear...

...what I was trying to say is "I will avoid posting links to CraigsList items here in this thread because when those items get sold the links start to die but I will check-out CraigsList when I am actually shopping, so I am just going to post some links to Amazon stuff so I can ask 'should I get something like this?' and then link to it for your kind review", etc.

Regardless, thanks for the great input and I will keep it all in-mind.

-- Mark Kamoski.

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#163083 - 09/27/12 09:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: jazzmammal]
mkamoski Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 82
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
All --

I just thought I would follow-up regarding my speaker search.

After 2 purchases and 2 returns (thanks for the no-hassle returns http://www.WalMart.com ) I finally settled on a pair of these...

Behringer B215D Eurolive Speaker Active 550-Watt 2-Way PA Speaker System with 15_inch Woofer and 1.35-Inch Compression Driver - Black

...at Amazon there are lots of reviews...

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-B215D-Eu...+eurolive+b215d

...at WalMart I was able to order and ship-to-store for free, plus a truly no-hassle return policy...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Behringer-Eurolive-Active-2-Way-PA-Speaker/17656029

...and these things are pretty nice and pretty loud.

Thanks for all the great advice. I ended up using a mix of the various bit of advice that I got here and elsewhere. I really think that I made the right overall choice for me.

(Now I need to pick out a simple mixer.)

Thanks again.

-- Mark Kamoski

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#163084 - 09/28/12 02:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: seeking recommendations for external speakers to make my laptop playback louder [Re: mkamoski]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
MY netbook just doesn't have enough umph to drive the speaker input that I need into the monitor. I got a usb device Xonar by ASUS. I think it was areound $36 on amazon. Wow! Without it I had the gain up to 3/4 and with it at 1/4. The sound quality is also a big improvement. I think it's sold for headphones, but if you have powered speakers it works quite well, IMO

Stan
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PG Music News
RealTracks Patch Update for Windows Users

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest RealTracks update patch (519) here.

This patch includes some RealTracks audio updates we have made since the release of Band-in-a-Box 2018. 2018 users should be sure to download the latest Band-in-a-Box 2018 update patch (519), as that patch includes the bulk of the fixes for RealTracks released with 2018. This is a larger download than typical because it updates the Vocal Oohs and Aahs RealTracks audio files. There is more information and Audiophile patches available here.

Summary of RealTracks Audio updates:
Improved: There were small issues with the tuning of several Bass styles. This has been fixed for both the original mix and the direct input mix. This affects the following RealTracks:
- Bass, Acoustic, AmericanaSlow16thsByron Ev16 060
- Bass, Acoustic, AmericanaSlow128Byron Sw 040
- Bass, Acoustic, RockabillySwingByron Sw 190
- Bass, Acoustic, BluesyPopByron Ev 100
Improved: Audio glitches have been removed from the ends of phrases in the Vocal Oohs and Aahs RealTracks.

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Patch Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest (free) update patch (519) here.

Summary of changes:
Added: Additional dialog available for detailed information in the StyleMaker (fields for memo, examples, and other parameters). These are set in the StyleMaker (more dialog, a button called "Style Memos etc").
Added: Help Video button Added to the Audio Harmony dialog.
Improved: ABC opening improvements with some accidentals, and leadin bars that occur in middle of song.
Improved: Audio harmonies now used Improved algorithms, and can be easily set using N voices above, M voices below (and have additional functions like duplicate melody, and dup. melody octave below).
Improved: Lyrics will be now read from .mid files that used to be karaoke files (.kar) and got renamed somewhere along the line.
Improved: Support for RealTracks that should be transposed only lower (ie heavy metal guitars) and for future Improved metal guitar comping.
Improved: The Audio Harmony Dialog has been rearranged to be more intuitive when using Band-in-a-Box Intelligent Mode.
Fixed: Audio harmonies might be missing some notes.
Fixed: Audio harmonies would be generated with the wrong notes if selecting a range of audio in the middle of the track.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box might crash on bootup with error "Read Beyond end of file".
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box should show message if the latest VJT application is not installed when the user tries to render videos.
Fixed: File > Open Special > Open Audio was importing audio instead of opening it in a new song.
Fixed: In the Bar Settings window, "Chordsheet and Notation - Start a New Line" should say "Notation - Start a New Line".
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Fixed: Misc. RealTracks updates.
Fixed: Quicklist drums picker sometimes showing too many drums in the list.
Fixed: Redundant flash messages were showing.
Fixed: Removing a custom drums from a track would still display Drums as the name of the loop in the track.
Fixed: Rendering audio while there is a region of bars highlighted in the chord sheet might cause a crash.
Fixed: Saving a MIDI file would fail unless saving as type 1.
Fixed: Some 12-key RealTracks were incorrectly set to allow transposition.
Fixed: The Audio Harmony dialog needed some hints.
Fixed: The Audio Harmony dialog was missing the new Band-in-a-Box Intelligent Mode.
Fixed: The VJT application should print out its version number in log files.

Tutorials - How to Install Your Band-in-a-Box® for Mac Hard Drive

When you have your Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac UltraPAK shipped to you on a portable hard drive, there are a few different options for installation. We go over these 3 options with our latest video series:

Option 1: Run Band-in-a-Box® directly from the USB drive only: click here to view.

Option 2: Install Band-in-a-Box® on your computer hard drive, but leave the RealTracks & RealDrums on the USB hard drive: click here to view.

Option 3: Install Band-in-a-Box® and the RealTracks & RealDrums on your computer hard drive: click here to view.

Check out all our Band-in-a-Box for Mac videos here.

Video - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets for Band-in-a-Box® for Mac

Have you purchased your Band-in-a-Box® package, and want to make sure you're downloading and installing the RealTracks Sets correctly?

Well, we've created just the tutorial video you're looking for! Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac® - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets.

Video link:
www.pgmusic.com/?vid=QndXu8H_IwM

Thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 - Mac Power Users Discussion

David Sparks and Katie Floyd discuss a variety of topics in their recent episide of Mac Power Users: https://www.relay.fm/mpu/432 - listen all the way through (and laugh along with them - it was a very entertaining episode!), or jump to 1:37:40 where David shares his thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Mac!

Thank you David and Katie!

Polish New Features Video for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows

Our Polish Distributor, Sound Station, has finished their Band-in-a-Box 2018 New Features summary video (in Polish!) - click here to watch.

We hope all our Polish Band-in-a-Box users find this video helpful - thank you Sound Station!

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