[pulseaudio-discuss] Delayed muting of studio speakers

Sean Greenslade sean at seangreenslade.com
Sun Dec 27 19:56:24 UTC 2020

On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 08:04:36PM -0700, Chris Mayes wrote:
> Yeah, I've had fewer issues since I've adjusted the output level.  The
> thread you cited seemed to indicate that it's a build quality issue, which
> may be, but I don't think that the signal breaks up due to faulty internal
> wiring.  I've had plenty of bad solders with audio equipment in my time, so
> I'd definitely recognize that sort of noise.
> In this case, the speakers more-or-less cleanly stop responding for both
> drivers.  Once the signal reaches a certain threshold, the sound comes
> back, again fairly cleanly.
> I'm reminded of my Nashville recording studio tour with Ohio University's
> chapter of the Audio Engineering Society ~1996: one of the engineers had a
> pair of KRKs (they have distinctively yellow woofer cones) that he
> demonstrated by blasting his latest studio session.  Maybe the manufacturer
> assumes that the average user will crank the volume, so they don't normally
> test the speakers at low signal levels?  I've managed to preserve my
> hearing thus far, so I prefer to keep things quiet.
> It's a weird problem, but no more than a minor annoyance.  They still
> produce fantastically detailed sound, so it's hard to complain.

If you check the manual for these monitors, I think this would explain
the phenomenon you're experiencing:

> Standby
> Your monitors have the ability to power down when you are not using them
> for 30 minutes. If you don’t want them doing that, you simply switch the
> standby feature off in the SETUP menu. But if you use standby to save
> energy or because the power switches are hard to reach in your studio,
> leave the standby on. You will know that they are in standby because the
> KRK logo will pulse (even if you normally have the KRK logo light off).
> To wake up your monitors after they go into standby. Just like when you
> first turn them on, there is a three second delay until the light on the
> front comes on and a second later you get signal to the speaker. If your
> speakers go into standby, ease your source volume up slowly. You only
> have to break -50 dBu for them to come out of standby. This will keep
> you from excessive volume spikes if you ease it up slowly. Also, as you
> raise the volume, you can use the light going solid as an indication to
> turn your source back down to avoid any loud spikes. Or if your setting
> is KRK logo light out, you can use the pulsing light going off to
> indicate you are about a second from the speaker coming on.

Generally speaking, if you're hooking up devices that expect line-level
audio signals to a consumer PC audio card, you'll want to set the volume
level of the output to between 75 and 100%, then adjust the volume
controls on the speakers themselves to achieve a comfortable listening
volume. This will help reduce interference / cable noise as well.


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