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Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full #2901677
10/18/19 01:28 PM
10/18/19 01:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
J
JamesR73 Offline OP
Junior Member
JamesR73  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
Good morning all,

First post here! Decided it's been long enough lurking and introduce myself. smile

I currently use the Garritan CFX on my MacBook Pro and love the sounds. I'm still researching what speakers to get but wanted to ask about using headphones. The sound from my MacBook is low when using the VST, even with full volume in both the system and the program itself. Do people usually run this through an DAC or amp first when using headphones? Not sure what I should get to help achieve higher sound.

Thank you for any help anyone can provide!

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Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: JamesR73] #2901680
10/18/19 01:36 PM
10/18/19 01:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Originally Posted by JamesR73
Good morning all,

First post here! Decided it's been long enough lurking and introduce myself. smile

I currently use the Garritan CFX on my MacBook Pro and love the sounds. I'm still researching what speakers to get but wanted to ask about using headphones. The sound from my MacBook is low when using the VST, even with full volume in both the system and the program itself. Do people usually run this through an DAC or amp first when using headphones? Not sure what I should get to help achieve higher sound.

Thank you for any help anyone can provide!

A headphone amp will do it. A DAC usually has a headphone amp in it, if you want to go that way. Sort of depends on what you want to accomplish and what headphones you have. What brand/model do you use?


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2901689
10/18/19 01:44 PM
10/18/19 01:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
J
JamesR73 Offline OP
Junior Member
JamesR73  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
For the DP, I got a Roland FP-90. Love the feel!

For headphones, I have Sennheiser's HD 650.

Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: JamesR73] #2901699
10/18/19 01:58 PM
10/18/19 01:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Originally Posted by JamesR73
For the DP, I got a Roland FP-90. Love the feel!

For headphones, I have Sennheiser's HD 650.

HD650's, like my HD800, have 300Ω impedance. That's pretty high, while the sensitivity is 105.1 dB/V SPL, which is lower than average. That's why it sounds soft to you. You'll want either a DAC or headphone amps.

Audiophiles would probably go for the DAC+headphone amp option (referring to a DAC with an integrated headphone amp, not two separate components), while non-audiophiles might argue you won't hear the difference of an external DAC. So in the end, you should go listen to a few and pick what you want.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: JamesR73] #2901710
10/18/19 02:14 PM
10/18/19 02:14 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
J
JamesR73 Offline OP
Junior Member
JamesR73  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Western New York
Thanks! I've been looking at some DACs and amps, and leaning towards Schiit's Lyr (would go really well with listening to music as well). Much appreciated sir smile

Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: JamesR73] #2901726
10/18/19 02:39 PM
10/18/19 02:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,710
G
Gombessa Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Gombessa  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,710
Originally Posted by JamesR73
I currently use the Garritan CFX on my MacBook Pro and love the sounds. I'm still researching what speakers to get but wanted to ask about using headphones. The sound from my MacBook is low when using the VST, even with full volume in both the system and the program itself. Do people usually run this through an DAC or amp first when using headphones? Not sure what I should get to help achieve higher sound.


IMO, Garritan CFX does have low output on Macs. I run CFX with close mics near max volume (note that the CFX developer, who frequents this board, suggests not doing this), and ambient mics to whatever volume you prefer, turn off Limit, and no EQ adjustments. On the Macbook set the output volume to high. This gets CFX to an appropriate volume for me (but system sounds that play through the headphones then become shatteringly loud). You can certainly use an external audio interface or headphone amp to adjust volume as well (I didn't because I just wanted as clean/basic a setup as I could get away with).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2901748
10/18/19 03:44 PM
10/18/19 03:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,548
Not Banned
N
newer player Online content
1000 Post Club Member
newer player  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
N

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,548
Not Banned
A laptop doesn't have the power to run those headphones properly.

So one alternative is to buy some less power hungry headphones (you can search the PW threads for ideas like the 99$ Sennheiser 559, or pay a lot more for the essentially identical 599).

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2754627/Searchpage/1/Main/188982/Words/%2Bsennheiser/Search/true/re-sennheiser-headphone-advice.html#Post2754627

If you just want a headphone amp (or a combined DAC/amp), this guy runs some tests and recommends some cheap options. He was a Microsoft engineer so this is a bit different from reviews paid for by the manufacturers.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?reviews/

Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: JamesR73] #2901754
10/18/19 03:57 PM
10/18/19 03:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Originally Posted by JamesR73
Thanks! I've been looking at some DACs and amps, and leaning towards Schiit's Lyr (would go really well with listening to music as well). Much appreciated sir smile

Hey man, that's some really good Schiit!. Yeah, the Lyr would be good. I actually just got one of their Bifrost for my replacement Media PC. Just be aware there is a bit of controversy about their gear that was started by ASR.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Low Volume with MacBook Pro/Garritan CFX Full [Re: newer player] #2901756
10/18/19 04:01 PM
10/18/19 04:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,956
Originally Posted by newer player
this guy runs some tests and recommends some cheap options. He was a Microsoft engineer so this is a bit different from reviews paid for by the manufacturers.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?reviews/

Just be aware that while Amir Majidimehr has an electrical engineering education/background, most of his career was in IT management. He was never an audio engineer until he retired from Microsoft and decided he would be one. There are some who claim he is not using his lab equipment properly.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14

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