I set out to create a setup similar to MBI Winds’ first season at home in miniature. I knew I needed at last a 4-channel USB-audio interface. I needed at least 3 powered speakers, which can oddly be difficult as many studio monitors are only sold in pairs.
Another quick call to my sales rep at Sweetwater got me to the answer. The JBL 308s are a very popular and highly recommended 8″ powered monitor. They’re sold individually and my rep even let me know when they were going to go on sale.
All that was left was some cabling to hook it all together. Here’s my current parts list:
- Solid State Logic SSL 2+ USB Audio Interface
- JBL 308 MarkII 8″ powered monitors
- 1Mii B06S Bluetooth 5.2 Receiver
- RCA to 1/4″ TS cable
- 1/4″ stereo TRS to dual 1/4″ mono TS cable
- 1/4″ balanced TRS to XLR
- XLR cables
- Cable wrap
- Extension cords
- Power strip
I wanted to mimic our MBI Winds setup:
I put the two mains in front of my work desk. Then behind me, I put the 3rd auxiliary channel.
I mounted the audio interface to the same wall as the 3rd channel, above my digital piano. I modeled a wall mount for the SSL2+ USB Audio Interface and 3D printed it.
Then wrapped the cables with some white cable wrap so it doesn’t look terrible in the background when I’m on zoom calls for work.
It works well because I can use the mains for listening to music while working. How I get the signal from my work computer is via bluetooth to a new bluetooth receiver. That receiver has two RCA to 1/4″ TS cables going to analog input channels 1 & 2 on my audio interface.
When I’m doing music stuff it’s sort of backwards as I’m facing the 3rd aux channel, but it’s the same experience the members would have on the floor, facing the audience. I plug my macbook into the USB audio interface for a multi-channel digital audio connection.
The JBL speakers’ 1/4″ input supports both TRS (balanced) signals and TS (unbalanced) signals. Because I’m coming off the “Phones B” output for channels 3 & 4, I use the stereo TRS to mono TS cable and connect to the 1/4″ input on my 3rd speaker. It’s not a balanced connection but it’s only traveling 3 feet, so induced noise & signal loss should be minimal.
For the mains I use regular XLR cables which connect to the SSL audio interface with a short XLR to TRS adapter cable. I got enough extension cord to run them along with the XLR cables so everything plugs in around the same area, and I use a power strip to turn it all on/off in tandem.
For version 1.1 I’ll probably upgrade my power strip to something that has USB-A ports and USB-C power delivery for the macbook.