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Docking Stations: Becoming Voice Over

If your computer does not have enough USB-A ports (or, in the case of the newer Macs, any USB-A ports) you will need a Docking Station, also commonly known as adaptors, port replicators, hubs, auxiliary devices, breakout boxes, or docks. You will need to research to figure out which is right for your computer.

I use a J5 Create Docking station that connects to my Mac through a USB-C port. My computer draws power through the docking station so I don’t need to have a separate power source (be aware of this when choosing a docking station, some do not provide power to your computer). My docking station provides three USB-A ports and one USB-C port, SD/microSD card slots, a combo audio jack (depending on your interface you may need to connect your interface through this), and an Ethernet port (this is important for a strong signal if you are connecting to anyone outside your home in real time). Ethernet cables are a must for online classes and for working with a sound engineer remotely. There are some ways to avoid the cable, mesh systems and powerline adaptors, but I use a cable so I can't tell you much about them. I can, however, direct you to Frank Verderosa's website if you are interested in more information about them.

TIP: At a minimum, you will need one USB-A port, and an Ethernet port. Depending on your interface you may also need an audio jack. Depending on where your microphone draws power, you may also need a second USB-A port.

TIP: Make sure the power cord you use for your docking station is the one designed for your computer, so it has enough power to keep everything running without draining power from your computer, and so it does not damage your battery. For example, if your computer uses a 67W power cord do not use a 30W power cord or your computer will go dead. On the other hand, you also do not want a higher watt power cord. When I asked at an Apple store if I should use a more powerful cord, maybe 100W, since I was running several things, including my computer, off a docking station the answer was no because it will eventually damage the computer’s battery.

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Great Blog! Learned a lot!

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