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Vinyl Newbie Questions
post Dec 27 2012, 04:29
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For Christmas my mom gifted me an Ilp Turntable and I'm kind of in the dark about what to do. The only output I have is my ATH M50's which are always hooked up to my computer.
So I have many questions now:
What else do I need?
Can I just hook a USB cable from the back of the Table to a USB slot in the back of my Computer for playback?
If so, what software do I use for play while the record is playing?

Thanks in advance for any help that is provided laugh.gif
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post Dec 27 2012, 06:55
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Monitoring while playing into a computer can be accomplished in two modes, hardware and software. Hardware can be external to the computer or part of a plug-in soundcard that includes a mixer chip. External to the computer is accomplished with a built in monitor tap or through a mixer that goes between the source and the soundcard. In either case, the computer is not involved in the monitor process, you just listen to the input us in some other hardware, such as headphones or amplifier/speakers connected to the audio source via interconnects.

In your case the TT has RCA output that can go to some monitoring circuitry. The web page does not specify if you will need a phono preamp when you want to use the RCA outs or if the phono preamp is built-in (probably not built-in). In any case, you would need audio playback hardware that is separate from your computer.

If you used the RCA outs to link to a computer soundcard, you could use a mixer in-between to tap into a monitor signal. Again you would need the external audio hardware to play back that signal. If the soundcard the RCA outs are connect to has the proper kind of mixer circuitry, you can send the input to the output to which your computer speakers are attached, thus avoiding the need for an external mixer and playback system. The same applies to many built-in soundcards which use the Windows mixer. Often these have the ability to monitor the input by sending it directly to the output (where your speakers are connected). The mixer application (Windows mixer or the soundcard manufacturer's software mixer) must use the correct settings to make this happen.

USB input to the computer, which this TT uses, generally does not include any monitoring facility. A great many people who purchased USB input devices, such as microphones and TT, have been disappointed to find this out. In this case you might be able to use a recording application on the computer to monitor. Some, but far from all, recording applications have the ability to output the input signal for real time monitoring.

This could work well even if you did not want to record a copy to the computer. Depending on the software application, you might be able to put the application into monitor mode and just listen to the entire thing as you please or you might have to be recording in order to monitor. For the later case, if you don't want the recording on the computer, you would just need to delete it after playing the record.

There are also some helper applications that might work to route the signal from the USB input (or recording program input) to the computer's audio output. Virtual Audio Cables is one such program

The TT's web page offers some free recording and preparation software, also instructions on using it. It is possible this software can do what you want vis a vis monitoring during play. You should download and read it.
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