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Forums Audio Engineering Kona 3 Audio output to JBL 4401 control monitors

  • Kona 3 Audio output to JBL 4401 control monitors

  • Matthew Gospodinovich

    January 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    After a recent move of our production facility things have slowed down and I’m trying to get back to my old setup, but Im an editor, not an engineer so Im having difficulty.

    I’ve been monitoring my audio from FCP just through the Mac Pro line out to some bose powered speakers, which is fine but we have a ton of equipment here that isn’t being used and Im trying to beef up my audio monitoring – Im just having trouble getting everything connected.

    I have a Kona 3 card, a Mackie 1202-VLZ, a pair of JBL 4401 control monitors, two Electro Voice ELX-1As and an Electro Voice ELX-1B

    My main problem is the connection of the JBLs to the system because they are passive and I can’t figure out where in the chain to amp the signal with the ELXs – at least thats what I think my problem is, I don’t have a basic enough understanding of mixing digital/analog active/passive to figure out what I need to do. I have a hunch that the cables I made are just wrong but Im not sure. I have xlr ins and outs on everything but the JBLS, which have just two terminals for speaker wire. I made two XLR cables that I have spliced at the ends and connected the black and red wires to the black and red terminals of the JBLs, I also connected the ground from the XLR to the black terminal of the JBL.

    Ive gone kona 3 out to Mackie to ELX to JBL and Kona3 to ELX to Mackie to JBL and Kona3 to ELX to JBL bypassing the mixer and the best I can get is the oscillator tone from the ELX coming out of the JBL.

    I am not ever sure If i understand what of this equipment is digital and what is analog- and Im not sure if the ELXs are mixers or if they actually have any amplification (which i tend to think they do because they have an output level knob) but like I say- im an editor not an audio engineer.

    I have a midiman flying cow that ive put in the chain a time or two with no decent results either. I can sometimes get a signal that is full of noise but fainlty hear the audio im looking for, but I’m obviously doing some things completely wrong and dont understand enough about when to amplify, if I’m using line level, or even if the way I have the cables connected is correct. I’m not shy about the fact that I don’t completely understand what I’m doing but I think I have enough tools in the arsenal here to make it all work if I just have some help in the order of connection and using the correct connectors.

    Thanks if you dare.

  • Peter Groom

    January 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I think the kona is a capture card, not an output card so its not in the equation.
    The electrovoice appears to be a voice pre, so its on the input sidee of things.
    So your question re the speakers is really as follows.

    The speakers need amplification. The amp provides this. The amp must go just before the speakers. The amps manual will tell you which xlr cores go to the speakers but Id GUESS that its 1 and 2 of the XLR need to go to the red and blaclk of the speakers.

    If you want to use your mixer with the mics and the pres etc then iy will need to have monitoring paths on it to be able to be used as an OUTPUT as well as and input to the computer. Id keep it simple and go
    computer out – amp – speakers.

    Mixer inputs are mics / pres etc etc and this output to the kona.


    Post Production Dubbing Mixer

  • Ty Ford

    January 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Hello Matthew and welome to the Cow Audio Forum.

    The piece you’re missing is a stereo audio power amplifier to power your JBL. The JBL are rated at 60 Watts each, so you don’t need a very big power amp; just a good one.

    You can probably go from the Mac line out to the power amp to your JBL. Having said that, Mac outputs can be noisy. I use them myself but have added a buzz eliminator, which you would put between the Mac and the power amp.

    One of these:

    I would suggest a power amp mfgr for you, but I haven’t had to buy one in years


    Ty Ford
    Cow Audio Forum Leader

    Want better production audio?: Ty Ford’s Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
    Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford’s Blog

  • Peter Groom

    January 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Tis true. Most pro speakers are powered these days.

    Post Production Dubbing Mixer

  • André Engelhardt

    January 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    You can still get the Samson Servo power amps for a decent price, or Alesis RA300, RA150, RA500(rare) can be found insanely cheap. If you want to go high end look up Bryston.

    A ground lift or much better an audio transformer (e.g. Jensen Transformers) can help in case of ground loops (but then again so might proper wiring).

    Your basic signal flow as others have pointed out is sources > mixer > amp > speakers.

    André Engelhardt
    Audio Engineer, Sound Designer

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