Hardware matrix mixer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, this is my first post here, and I've heard this is the place to come to concerning audio, so here it is (sorry if this isn't the right section, seems closest). My case is as follows, I have a PC with an onboard Realtek ALC889A soundcard. My speaker system is a Z-5500, and my problem is this. I want to find some sort of sure solution for making all of my stereo media play over all of my speakers, because I didn't pay for 6 speakers to have only 2 of them used.
There is a lot of software that apparently does this, such as Dolby Digital, DTS Connect, Speaker Fill, what have you, but that is not what I want. I don't want "fake", "extracted" "advanced-mathematical-algorithms-analyzed" surround.
No. What I simply want, is that everything that is stereo clones the 2 channels over all the speakers. Like this:



That's it. Is that so hard to ask for? That way the original stereo information is preserved, there are no fake effects added, it only gets equally spread over all the speakers. The Z-5500 has a similar thing called Stereo X2, but that only uses the fronts and rears, creating a quadraphonic effect, which is still better than nothing for now I guess.

For music, I have found this god-given plugin for Winamp called WinampMatrixMixer. It has a mixing matrix that allows you to specify exactly which input channel is played on which output channel.



So basically, you're still playing a stereo song except that now you have 2 speakers playing the left channel (instead of only one), 2 playing the right, and the center and subwoofer play a mix of the two (0.7071 because that is half the power of one channel).

Unfortunately this only works for Winamp. I have yet to find a software which will allow me to manually clone input channels as I want, and actually work with all audio on the system. There is SRS Audio Sandbox which works on all audio but does the fake processing thing too. I have a cheap 5.1 HT Vivax speaker system which does this sort of mixing automatically - if you connect it to a stereo source and select 5.1 CH, only the front two speakers play, and if you select Stereo, it will clone the stereo over all the channels. So if I can't find a software solution, my question is: what sort of hardware device would I need to have an option like this? I don't know much about audio equipment...receiver? Mixing deck? What would I need? I know it should connect between the PC and Z-5500. Of course if it received actual 5.1 CH audio it would basically output that as it is without any modifications. Is there anything capable of doing what I'm asking and preferably not costing a thousand $ ?

Sorry for this very long winded post, thanks for reading if you did, and thanks in advance for any helpful replies
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 11:03 AM
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What do you want to do?

What's wrong with FFDShow audio decoder?

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 11:18 AM
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I can't help you much with this, but AVRs typically have DSP modes called "5-channel stereo" and "7-channel stereo" that will accomplish what you desire. Well, that is how my Denon AVR works with such settings. These modes are commonly used for party settings.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I can't help you much with this, but AVRs typically have DSP modes called "5-channel stereo" and "7-channel stereo" that will accomplish what you desire. Well, that is how my Denon AVR works with such settings. These modes are commonly used for party settings.

Yeah, sounds like he needs a more advanced AVR than what his Logitech system offers. Onkyo calls theirs "All Channel Stereo".
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-22-2010, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

What do you want to do?

What's wrong with FFDShow audio decoder?

Well for one I can't get it to actually be used with any format whatsoever in Win 7 64. It's installed and configured and selected everywhere, but does absolutely nothing for music, movies, games, no tray icon shows up, no effects get applied, I have no idea.

The options on those receivers sound exactly like what I would need. Unfortunately I really cashed out for the Z-5500 at the moment and buying a Denon receiver is simply not possible for me right now, so I was hoping there was some sort of software solution after all. Does FFDshow normally work for games and such?

P.S. Wouldn't it be a problem to connect a Z-5500 to an AV receiver since they have a built in amp and the Z-5500 already has an amp of it's own?
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-23-2010, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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For now I managed to solve the problem by using hacked Creative Labs drivers which have CMSS-3D (stereo surround capability). Works fairly well, unfortunately only for an analog speaker connection. It'll have to do for now, I might as well pick up C++ and write a virtual sound card driver with a Matrix Mixer that will work for all audio inputs and outputs, now that would be amazing, hah
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-23-2010, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantum112 View Post

Well for one I can't get it to actually be used with any format whatsoever in Win 7 64. It's installed and configured and selected everywhere, but does absolutely nothing for music, movies, games, no tray icon shows up, no effects get applied, I have no idea.

The options on those receivers sound exactly like what I would need. Unfortunately I really cashed out for the Z-5500 at the moment and buying a Denon receiver is simply not possible for me right now, so I was hoping there was some sort of software solution after all. Does FFDshow normally work for games and such?

P.S. Wouldn't it be a problem to connect a Z-5500 to an AV receiver since they have a built in amp and the Z-5500 already has an amp of it's own?

If you want to use FFDshow with 64bit apps you need to d/l the 64bit version. Google it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-23-2010, 04:11 PM
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I use ac3filter and am having no trouble with this as far as music and movies. It has an auto-matrixing feature which is nice, basically meaning it turns on the matrix when it detects a stereo source, and turns it off when the source is 5.1.

Getting this to work with games is a different ball-story though. FFDShow and ac3filter and other programs are really built for music and video decoding. I would imagine most games made in the past 10+ years would support 5.1 so not sure why that is a concern, but for emulators and whatever else might be 2 channel you are probably stuck with your hacked soundcard drivers.

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