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Q: I’ve just installed my new M-Audio audio interface/sound card, and now I can’t get sound to come out of my computer speakers. What happened?
A: If your computer speakers are still connected to your previous soundcard or your computer’s built-in audio output jack, then it’s likely that you will not be hearing anything out of your computer speakers once your new M-Audio device is installed. Your M-Audio sound card/ audio interface is designed to completely replace your old sound card. You need to connect your speakers to the audio output jack of your new M-Audio sound card/interface once it has been properly installed.
If your previous soundcard was a removable PCI-based card, it is recommended that you carefully/safely remove it from your system* and uninstall the associated drivers. If your previous sound card is an integral/built-in part of your computer’s motherboard, then it is recommended that you simply refrain from plugging anything into those ports once your M-Audio sound card/audio interface is installed**.
Note: If your computer speakers were intended for consumer use, they were likely designed to be connected to an RCA (phono-plug) or 1/8” stereo output jack. However, many devices designed for professional recording situations have larger ¼” output jacks. If you wish to use your consumer PC speakers with your new M-Audio soundcard/audio interface, you may need to purchase an appropriate audio adapter from your local electronics store, depending on which M-Audio product you are using.
Laptop users: The speakers on your laptop (both Mac and Windows) are hard-wired to your system's built-in audio hardware. When using a USB, FireWire, or Cardbus-based audio interface with your laptop, you will need to connect headphones or speakers to your new interface when playing back audio. Audio playback through the laptop's built-in speakers is only possible when your system's built-in audio hardware is specified as the recording and playback hardware. Audio recorded with an external audio interface can still be played back through your laptop speakers (of course), but only when you've manually specified that your playback application use your built-in audio hardware, instead of your external audio/recording interface. Setting up a given application to use your external audio hardware for recording, and your built-in audio hardware for playback is not recommended due to stability and audio-synchronization concerns.
* It is critical that you follow your manufacturer’s instructions for safely removing your previous PCI audio card. Ensure your computer is completely powered down before attempting to open your computer’s case.
** For Windows users, if you are able to deactivate your motherboard’s integrated audio device/sound card via your system’s BIOS, it may eliminate potential resource conflicts that could arise in the future. However, making changes in your system’s BIOS is a risky activity only recommended for advanced users that are familiar with their computer’s BIOS and comfortable making such changes. M-Audio is not responsible for any consequences that result from changing your BIOS settings.