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Scarlett 2i2 to Polk PSW10 sub and AV42 mains: Do-able?

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  • Scarlett 2i2 to Polk PSW10 sub and AV42 mains: Do-able?

    I'm trying to go from my Scarlett 2i2 to a Polk PSW10 sub and AV42 mains. As you can see from the pics, the three manufacturers seem to have gone a mile out of their way to make sure this can't be done! Short of shelling out more money for new gear, do I have any options here?

  • #2
    ????? All either need 1/4" to RCA adaptors or RCA to 1/4" adaptors.

    You're probably better off using these from my experience and using high quality 1/4" cables. RCA cables suck badly especially the plastic molded plug crap. These adaptors are very handy and having several types in your tool box is always advised.

    The reason your monitors have RCA is because your monitors are consumer grade home theatre monitors. They are not professional studio grade gear which would have balanced TRS 1/4" and/or XLR inputs.

    Your interface likely has the TRS balanced outs that can be used with either balanced or unbalanced cables so there's no big deal hear just getting a couple of adaptors. Not sure how good those speakers will sound for doing studio work. They're a step above regular Hi Fi stuff but they are not pro level designed for audio mixing.

    The speakers may have a hyped response to make a home theatre sound better then it actually is. Most consumer playback gear isn't concerned in producing an accurate response. They hype the highs and lows to make the speaker sound bigger then it actually is. This is fine for playback of commercial recordings and movies because you want the sound to travel long distances and sound good in say all parts of a living room.

    For audio mixing however it creates obstacles you wont be able to overcome. Near field monitors are like microscopes, not projectors. They are designed to produce maximum fidelity within a few feet of the ears. They also have a completely flat response with no hyping of the signals.

    What happens when you use non linear speakers is the highs and lows you're hearing is hyped up. As you mix you'll attempt to mix so it sounds good but because the speakers hype the highs and lows your mix will actually have too little of those frequencies and actually wind up lacking bass and treble.

    Like I said, what you're using is still better then a typical Hi Fi setup which often has an even bigger hype. Its also better then trying to mix using headphones which has a whole other set of issues involving depth perception and frequency response. Eventually you'll want to get real studio near field monitors if your plans are to make quality recordings and have those mixes play back reliably well on any commercial playback system.

    In the meantime get yourself those adaptors and give it a whirl. I tried it for awhile myself, long before the internet was around and was able to verify why my results weren't the way they should have been. I also suggest setting the speakers farther away so you can hear they're full response better and be sure to walk around the room when evaluating your mixes. Your success level will be low because the gear just isn't designed for mixing but you'll learn allot in the process and truly appreciate having the right tools for the right job when you eventually do get the right monitors.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thanks, WRGKMC. I already have a cable that should get me from the Scarlett's TRS outputs into the subwoofer's RCA inputs. But the other issue is getting from the sub to the mains. As you can see from the pics in my original post, there's only one way out of the sub: Bare wire speaker level. And there's only one way into the main: Line level RCA. So wouldn't I need a line level converter or something? I googled around but can't find anything that looks like it might work.


      • #4
        This doesn't look good...I'm now considering ditching the AV42s and getting Behringer 1C monitors...they're unpowered and have a speaker level, bare-wire input...sounds like what I need. I just started another thread on that topic.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mickmeister View Post
          Thanks, WRGKMC. I already have a cable that should get me from the Scarlett's TRS outputs into the subwoofer's RCA inputs. But the other issue is getting from the sub to the mains. As you can see from the pics in my original post, there's only one way out of the sub: Bare wire speaker level. And there's only one way into the main: Line level RCA. So wouldn't I need a line level converter or something? I googled around but can't find anything that looks like it might work.
          You don't need to feed your powered near field monitors from the sub. NOR would you want to do that.

          You want the full frequency spectrum going tom your near fields. You use a splitter cable coming out of your interface and run an extra cable to your sub - that's it. The sub has a volume level on it, just use that to match the balance between what you're hearing from the self powered Near Fields.
          The near fields have separate volume controls too so getting the lows to balance with the tops is easy.

          You don't need nor want to run the top speakers through that sub. That's for a home theatre setup. You run your Hi Fi or Home entertainment amp through the sub and its got a passive crossover that removes bass frequencies from the top speakers.

          That's definitely not what you want for mixing audio. You aren't going to be at ear level with the sub unless you get on your hands an knees.
          The Near Field monitors have to be at ear level within a 3~4" tringle from your ears if you expect to hear the audio accurately. You just run the sub and stick it under the mixing console so you feel the sound a bit down by your feet - That's all.

          There's a difference between being a listener and someone who mixes and it takes awhile to understand. You shouldn't even run the subs for the vast portion of your mixing because the boosted bass will make your ears think the mix has too much bass. Anything the monitors have too much off you're going to tweak it back mixing. Anything the speakers are lacking you'll over boost mixing to compensate for the monitors short on. You'll think you're creating a flat mix but the speakers will warp everything you're doing. Its always the opposite too. Too much treble listening, you have too little treble in a completed mix. Too much bass, you play the mix back on another system it will lack the bass because you heard too much mixing.

          Flat response is the goal for mixing, not boosted in any way. Your monitors are Truth detectors that make every flaw stand out like a sore thumb and when you fix them mixing, they will be well below the detection threshold hearing it on regular commercial speakers, because commercial speakers aren't linear and designed to smooth over and hype the music sound better then it actually is. Again, this is the opposite of what you think would happen. You'd think that Hyped sound would make for a better mix - It doesn't, it does just the opposite. you try and get a flat mix on a hyped system and the mix will be totally thing and muted.

          By the way, the output jacks on that scarlet will run TS or TRS. Its unlikely you'll be running cables longer then 20" so running unbalanced outputs is perfectly fine. You wouldn't hear a difference running balanced unless you're running some really long cables.


          • #6
            Thanks, WRGKMC. I decided to just keep my current equipment - at least until I've got money burning a hole in my pocket I re-connected everything last night - I'm now going from the Scarlett to the mains, then out to the sub. Should work okay...even if not an ideal monitoring setup.


            • #7
              Hey, its better then what I had when I first started recording. I started long before the internet was there to help educate you and before all the low cost options were possible. I eventually built my own cabs from scratch. They didn't work that bad either. It was an educational experience I still value today. Much of what you find on the net takes you to the right answers but you'll learn a while lot more using a system that isn't quite up to par.

              If you start off with a good system you're never challenged to find the tricks and work around's needed to get optimum results from and inadequate system. You not only appreciate the upgrade when you make it, you'll apply those same techniques you learned using and inadequate system and make the upgraded speakers sound even better when you mix.

              I value the 10 years I spent humping over crummy systems trying to eek out something that sounded decent and the fact I was able to get that far. Because of that I can take a mediocre system and make it sound good and take a good system and make it sound stellar. Its a methodology you'll have to learn too so when you run into bottlenecks. I can give you some hard earned tips that helped me.

              Download a copy of Voxengo span. Its a frequency analyzer you can run in your mains bus so you have a visual aid to show you what's actually going on. This can help you overcome any deception your ears may trick you into thinking things are better then they actually are. Be sure to use this plugin listening to commercial recordings too. It will help educate you on what to expect to achieve when mixing especially if the music is similar to your own genre and goals. Like learning to play music we often play other peoples music and borrow they're techniques. Do the same mixing till you can do without it.

              Next import a copy of a commercial recording you'd like to target with your mix and place it on a stereo track. You may need to change its sample rates from say an MP3 to a 24/44.1 wave file if your DAW program doesn't do it for you. You can find up/down sampling programs on line for free. I think even Voxengo has one.

              Once its uploaded you can A/B compare your mix to a commercial recording and try and get your mix to sound similar.

              After thay you'll have to do more trial mix downs then play them on other stereo and Hi Fi speakers to see how well you've done. Take notes on what's needed then go back to the mix and make small tweaks till you have what you want. This is time consuming and a royal pain in the rear but its necessary. When it gets really old that new set of monitors that your ears can trust will look even better to you, just so you don't have to keep going back to the recording and remixing.

              Don't be afraid to post clips here either. Many of us have decent systems and can help identify what you might be missing.

              Good luck.

              Last edited by WRGKMC; 02-01-2017, 11:43 AM.


              • #8
                Good info...thanks.