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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anybody has done this to get analog outs on one and digital out on the other and if so what are the brands/models being used.
 

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Paul, back when i was a little more involved in music production, "project studio" PCs often had two soundcards. some combinations i remember were SB Live! + Yamaha DSP Factory, or Yamaha SWG1000 (i think that was the model). the system could get cranky and would require tweaking, from what i remember, but they were capable of living together in the same box.


wouldn't it be easier to get a single card that could handle simultaneous output of analog & digital, like (AFAIK) the Delta DiO 2496?


in fact, many pro-audio cards can not only route sound to various outputs simultaneously, but canhandle multiple inputs of sound at the same time.


i think the difficulty might be in getting the audio routed to two different cards in your setup.
 

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My Philips Acoustic Edge will do simultaneous Analog and Digital out for mp3,cd, systems sounds,etc. One or the other for DVD playback, obviously. Not sure if that is what you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess what I was asking was that for DD and DTS my receiver does a great job of decoding it, hence the digital output. As for WM9 movies and CS surround 2(5.1 for both), the decoding needs to be done on the PC and then sent out via analog. I know most sound cards will not let you assign these apps independently to each output (it usually is one or the other). The revo is either digital out or analog out (I believe), same with creative's sound cards. Am I making sense?

Thanks for responding.
 

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I have 3 soundcards installed in one HTPC (Revo 7.1, Sonica USB, onboard motherboard sound (P4PE MB), and am about to install the forth sound device (a Firewire 410).
 

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Quote:
I have 3 soundcards installed in one HTPC (Revo 7.1, Sonica USB, onboard motherboard sound (P4PE MB), and am about to install the forth sound device (a Firewire 410).
why?
 

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Heh. Simple question/answer.



Well, really - from a practical perspective, couching this question from a home users environment -- when does an HTPC require TWO or more soundcards, in general?


I'm up against this dilemma as I speak - configuring mentally what paths the audio might take in my to-be-built HTPC as I play a DirectX/DirectSound/EAX game, and as consequently will be dishing out the newest DTS-ES discs to my Denon...


It's just plain difficult to figure all this stuff out. But I try. Anyhow, clarification as requested is appreciated.


Jeff
 

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â€Well, really - from a practical perspective, couching this question from a home users environment -- when does an HTPC require TWO or more soundcards, in general?â€


Jeff,


From a practical standpoint only one soundcard is needed for most users. The key is to determine your needs and then match the soundcard features for your environment.


You should make a list of what input/output connections you will be using and then search for a card with at least the features on your list. You may have to buy a card with more features than you really need, but to save money try to limit unneeded features. For example the $500 Firewire 410 is an impressive box but I can’t imagine needing 2 headphone amps with individual volume controls or 2 Microphone/Instrument inputs with volume controls in addition to the 2in/8out analog connectors and S/PDIF input/output (both optical & coax) for use in a home theater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cliff, I should have just asked you this question. How would one go about having analog connections and digital connections active at the same time and then have certain apps use one of those 2 connections. I have read that the revo can only allow one to be active and you have to go into the control panel to activate the other.

I would like to have at least a audigy 2 ZS (for DVD-audio, wm9 movies and other surround schemes done at the PC) and then either use another card for passing DD/DTS to my receiver. What would you recommend?
 

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Here a scenario which where a dual head sound card would be useful.


My pc is setup for dual use. I have my HDTV as my secondary and my monitor as primary (in the next room). If i'm browsing or my children are playing games on the monitor, i want analog output to the builtin speakers on the monitor. If i'm watching movies etc. on the HDTV, i want digital output to my amp.


Ideally it would be nice to associate a video output with a audio output. So if the video output for an application is sent to a particular monitor, the sound should be sent to the associated audio output.
 

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For future planning: I'm wanting my soundcard to be able to have 6.1 surround for a movie playing while simultaneously providing background music to other parts of my LL. Is this possible? When I want, I could then play the music to the theater and the ambient speakers.
 

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â€Cliff, I should have just asked you this question. How would one go about having analog connections and digital connections active at the same time and then have certain apps use one of those 2 connections. I have read that the revo can only allow one to be active and you have to go into the control panel to activate the other.

I would like to have at least a audigy 2 ZS (for DVD-audio, wm9 movies and other surround schemes done at the PC) and then either use another card for passing DD/DTS to my receiver. What would you recommend?â€


â€My pc is setup for dual use. I have my HDTV as my secondary and my monitor as primary (in the next room). If i'm browsing or my children are playing games on the monitor, i want analog output to the builtin speakers on the monitor. If i'm watching movies etc. on the HDTV, i want digital output to my amp.â€


Look, I get to kill two stones with one bird. :D (just kidding)


Paul, That is not completely true for Revo (and some other cards). It depends on the soundcard drivers and the software application.


As I indicated above I now have 4 soundcards (devices) installed on my HTPC (for testing) and just conducted a little test to determine if it is possible to use two different devices to play PCM audio on one and AC-3 over S/PDIF from the other. I have all device manager audio settings directed to the Firewire 410 as the default device and Revo control panel is set to stereo analog output.


When playing stereo PCM audio it is directed to the FW 410 as expected (it’s the default device) and from within TheaterTek DVD player I selected Revo S/PDIF output which then sent undecoded AC-3 to my external preamp/pro for decoding (even with Revo set to analog stereo).


So it is possible using two soundcards to avoid having to change output modes in windows or SC control panel. Of course the software application must provide support to use a non-active soundcard device and PowerDVD & WinDVD does not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks.

That is what I wanted to hear. I use theatertek and will do that with one soundcard and I will get the SB audigy2zs to get the analog out for all the software PC decode usage. I wish the revo had dvd-audio support as I hear mostly good things about it, but i am tired of waiting for another manufacturer to implement or introduce a new card with that capability.


By the way, do you know of any soundcard that might be coming out that will have both digital and analog outputs activated and let you choose which will be the default (as well as dvd-audio or SACD)? If maudio does this then they will have a winner in my book.
 

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Maybe not the application you are looking for but I have a DeltaDio 2496 for digital output and the Intel i845WN mobo built-in sound card for analog input (for MyHD NTSC recording).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Karnis, something along those lines. I would like the SB audigy2 ZS for wm9, EAX games, and CS2 (for music), and DVD-Audio, and another Sound card (maybe audigy as I already have one) for spdif out for movies.
 

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I used to do the exact same thing, SB Live for gaming and the DeltaDio for DVD. TheaterTek lets you select a specific sound card from a multiple card setup for this exact situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks everybody for your input.
 
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