(no subject)

I'm trying to record some songs with my laptop.
Here's what I'm doing:

Shure PG57/PG58 ---> XLR to 1/4 in. plug adapter ---> 1/4 in. plug to 3.5 mm. plug adapter (I know; they didn't have the direct one) ---> laptop mic input.

But the result is BARELY audible despite the fact that I'm practically EATING the fucking mic.

So, I'm fairly new to this stuff... What's going on? What am I doing wrong?

The mic and the XLR to 1/4 adapter are new. The other adapter isn't, but I've tried two different ones with the same shitty results. And it's not the mic input either because I've tried other computers and nothing...

Please help me, people!
Goin' South or West

Question for you audiophiles

Current state: Mac Mini plugged in to back of H/K receiver and a pair of Bowers & Wilkins speakers via the headphone jack. The Mini does not have any other outputs on it.
ISSUE: Fidelity & loudness. The headphone jack can only carry so much juice. Don't get me wrong, it sounds nice - not nearly as nice as a raw CD being played off the CD player, though. That connection is composite. It is also not as good as when I plug the iPod in direct - that connection is digital, specially built by H/K for their receivers - they have a powered iPod port called "The Bridge". Only problem with that is that the software to select music is quite poor, basically if you don't have a preset playlist on the iPod forget it.

Possible state: Use Airport Express. I would then beam music from the computer to the stereo wirelessly. Here's the deal, though - the interface between Airport and the stereo is "analog/optical" - it looks like a headphone jack, but I have never heard of an analog/optical connection (see here http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/specs.html ).
ISSUE: Not sure if the fidelity is going to be any better.

In a perfect world - I'd have a computer with the equipment to pump composite, HDMI, or similar music fidelity out the back. Hopefully that computer would be a Mac.

Anyone have any thoughts?
  • Current Music
    "Any Colour You Want" - Pink Floyd
u2 war

(no subject)

This was the best place I could think of to ask. I'm in the market for a reasonably priced midi keyboard for someone who has no idea whatsoever of how to play a piano. Since I plan to be teaching myself, I am also wondering if any of you could recommend any books or software to assist me in this endeavor. Thanks.

Ripping vinyl to digital.

I'd like to rip some long out-of-print vinyl records to digital format for preservation and easier listening purposes.

I do have a quality turntable and integtrated amp with phono in, but my experience with pc sound cards (including my M-Audio card with line-in and mic) suggests there's always excessive background noise.

Does anyone have any experience with line or phono level to USB converters?

The ART USB Phono Plus gets good online reviews, but nowhere have I found any real specs, such as bit rate, s/n or frequency response.
fat seal
  • herme


I'm in the market for new speakers, but have a pretty limited budget. I'm also looking for very specific features, features that I thought wouldn't be hard to find together, but apparently are.

My budget:
<$125 (+s&h)

Features I wanted to find together:
  • Speakers louder than my computer: I have a macbook and find it hard to hear movies if there's even minimal noise going on around me, so I want something I can connect to my computer for louder sound. (I have a TV and primarily watch movies on there, but occasionally, at friends' houses for ex., use the mac)
  • portable: can run on disposable batteries, NOT rechargeable batteries. I don't care whether they're DD or AAA, or how many it needs. I'd just like to be able to take the speakers camping for a few days and not need an outlet to keep listening to my music.
  • alarm clock: I know individual speakers don't have this, and neither do most systems, but it would be awesome to find a system with an alarm clock AND snooze button, as the iPod's own alarm clock doesn't snooze.

I don't give a shit about the weight or size of the speakers, or whether the portable ones have convenient carrying cases. I want to use the speakers primarily to listen to music at home, but it would be nice if they were portable, too... and I don't need anything of amazing sound quality, either. Basic desktop speakers were working fine for me, then they broke.

Basically, I miss boomboxes. I want all of the features that were on the CD boombox I had when I was fourteen, except now I use an iPod instead of CDs. Is something like this even possible? any recommendations? or should I make two different purchases: one portable speaker system to take camping with me, and one set of speakers for my house, and forget about the alarm clock feature altogether? is there something that perfectly matches what I am looking for, at a slightly higher cost, that I should just save up for?


2 Questions

Two questions:
[1] Can anyone name some reputable electronics sites to purchase from besides Crutchfield? Audio/video is usually something I only purchase in stores locally but I'd like to have some online options, and buying camera gear online has taught me to be cautious.

[2] My Marantz receiver does not have component video switching on it, and I need to either find a good component video switch and/or upgrade to a receiver that has it. I didn't spend more than $600 on the receiver and the few component video switches I am seeing are either SUPER cheap to the point where I'd be worried about signal degradation, or more expensive than the receiver in the first place. Ideas anyone?