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Need some help how to best utilize 4.0 suround, only had 2.0 before

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys.

I need some help and pointers on how I best utilize my new 2.0 -> 4.0 upgrade.

My setup is super budget and a bit peculiar but I do the best I can whit what I have.

I just now managed to finally get hold off a second 3.5mm->2xRCA to be able to plug in 2 extra channels to my sound card whit a second stereo receiver I had laying around.

Well either way not going into detail of what my setup is made up from parts. I would like to have help on the software end and such on how to best have my 4.0 surround system working.

I have my computer as the source plugged into two stereo receivers. 1 receiver for the front mains. and a secondary receiver I just now plugged in thanks to that missing single cable part to enable this for now two extra surround rear speakers.

First I wanted to check out some music and started up Foobar2000. I have one 5.1 mixed album and I started it up without DSP down mix from 5.1->2.0 I had used before for this.

Problem was I didn't have a centre or LFE. I need those mixed into the front left & right speakers. I found a matrix mixer plug-in but I'm unsure how to use it.
I tried it out a little and think I figured it out and had the LFE and Centre mixed into the Left and Right fronts.

Well here is a picture on how I put it. Is this right or correct? Some other things I need to think about or do?

Would I need to do similar thing whit all players software I have?

I use Windows Xp Sp3 and have a Gigabyte motherboard whit on-board sound, which is a ALC889A sound chip. I use the analog outputs.

You guys have something to mention or point out for me?

I use my computer as my gaming, surfing, working, movie & music machine. I even have a 2seat couch to sit on. :P
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
I installed a more up to date version of the sound drivers for the realtek sound chip and it altered the multi channel behaviour a bit and I could now seemingly skip the Matrix Mixing for Foobar2000. I get stereo for stereo music and the correct channels for the 5.1. Though I'm uncertain that it correctly downmixes 5.1 to the 4.0 Quad setup. Though it seems to do it.

But to other matters... I have trouble getting multi channel 5.1 DTS, DTS-MA, TrueHD5.1, flac or any multi channel audio from my videos and movies.

I keep only getting 2 channel 16bit PCM output no matter what settings I seemingly have tested in ffdshow, reclock and MPC-HC.

Am I missing some important step or extra thing I need to use. The guides I come all about seem to indicate multi channel audio is easy and the bitstreaming and LPCM for SPDIF etc are hard but seemingly I only get the "HARD" digital thing to work but not the mutli channel analog audio... >_>;
As the analog seems easy they don't guide you through it...

I really would like some help whit getting the analog multi channel audio to work for my videos. Can someone help me whit that? This was the main reason I went and tried the 4.0 sound.

As it's ffdshow, mpc and reclock I'll go to the home theatre forum for those to ask there.

Though I would like to ask how would I level match the channels. I have a manual volume control on both receivers and tweaked it as close as I felt sounded level on back and front channels but when I start that 5.1 music in foobar2000 the back channels are real quiet and I can barely hear them. Same thing when I tried that Dolby Pro Logic II in the sound settings for some stereo music. Though they were even more barely audible whit that.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok fixed the multi channel audio for video problem.

Seems I had ac3filter installed and had forgotten to disable it. So had been ending up using it rather than ffdshow.

It's blocked now and ffdshow seems to work as it should.
post #4 of 8
Glad we could help.
post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Glad we could help.

Hahaha...I was just thinking the same thing. Aren't forums great?

post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post

Hahaha...I was just thinking the same thing. Aren't forums great?


Especially with easy questions that require little thought.

To the OP: We are just joking around. Glad you figured out your problem.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
yeah yeah. :P

Though it sure took me some time for me to notice that it was using Ac3filter rather than fddshow there... Didn't come to mind at all for quite a while. I kept disabling all other kinds of things that had "audio" in the name but the ac3filter escaped my mind.

Well it's nice I got it working. Though I wanted to test out some games I sadly didn't have any games that could use it at the moment. (older or other type of games that don't need 4channel audio)
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Even though I managed to get it working the sound doesn't sound right.

When I choose the 4.0 Quad setup in ffdshow and play movies whit 5.1 tracks the front speakers mix the center into the left and right speakers but the sound is awfull I may say. Should I use normalize setting? It does minimize it but the sound is then at a much lower level overall. I would need to recalibrate my reciever volumes to compensate as I need already maximise the sound output from the computer to hear anything at all whit the normalize.

It seems like it's inside a can or something. Maybe I should try testing whit own matrixes? To find a better layout?

Are there some kind of calculations one should follow in how to get a optimal matrix that should work good?
Or is the easy answer just using the normalize option and just increase the volume?

Lastly about the back surrounds. Should I keep them behind me or should I put them to the sides?
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