Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output

Posted by: JediJoker7169

Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 01/30/08 03:18 PM

Well, it's been a while since I've really posted anything of consequence, but I suppose it had to come sometime, right?

So, I've been using the Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 speaker system since late last spring, and it's damned awesome. Of course, since it's an analog speaker system, I have to use an external sound card. I have been using the Griffin FireWave, and it has performed just fine, mostly, although it seems that there is a problem with the device, it's FireWire cable (gonna check it), or the amplifier in the subwoofer (I hope not, but it has a history of overheating) such that I will get 0.5-1 second gaps in audio output every so often (seems to be random). But that's not what I'm here to ask about.

I have tried time and time again to configure 6 channel stereo output using Apple's Audio MIDI Setup Utility, but each attempt (which has been largely the same as the last and not well informed) has been unsuccessful. The FireWave's configuration application only supports stereo (2.1, really), Dolby Digital 5.1, and all modes of Dolby ProLogic II (plus volume and delay adjustment etc.). The speakers themselves only support 3 1/8" plugs (for 5.1) or one 1/8" plug (for 2.1, and it's a separate auxiliary input on the front of the control box). But I really want to set them up in a 6 channel stereo configuration, with the rights and lefts both pumping out their respective channels at the same volume, the center channel pumping out a mix of both, and the subwoofer booming out the bass.

Anybody know how to do that? It should be simple, but it's not straightforward, at least, not to me.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/03/08 01:36 PM

Please: somebody, anybody, help!
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/03/08 06:23 PM

Short answer: Unfortunately it can't be done.

Long Answer:
You are not alone in this. For a long time i used a G4 Cube as my music server. I thought it would be perfect for the job, until i found out it doesn't have an actual headphone/speaker output.
i've gone through a bunch of USB solutions. The iMic, Creative Soundblaster MP3+ (Which would give me mic/line in, optical in/out, and line out,) Creative Soundblaster Live (It is the 7.1 channel version of the MP3+ and didn't work at all with mac,) a few other no name run of the mill off the shelf external USB dongles, and the firewave. Sorry if it seems like i'm just giving a good example of a horrible run on sentence but it comes down to this. Quite a while ago I found out about the Aggregate Device in Audio Midi Setup. Over at Cubeowner.com a few of us tried to get it to work, hearing that you could hook up several USB devices together and use them as one to get multi channel, or multi stereo output. For all we tried we could never get it to work. I spent about 2 days trying myself to get it to work. Even called Apple tech support about it http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10244&hl= and being told that Audio Midi setup is not an Apple product and to call the manufacturer for help. I did tell her off in that instance. I finally got transfered to the techgeeks in the Logic Pro department and they told me it couldn't be done except for use in Garage band or Logic Pro.

I wish what we have tried to do could be done, but it is just there beyond our use.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/03/08 07:16 PM

Damn. So the only option if you want 6 channel stereo is to go with an amplifier plus speakers, which won't work with my setup.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/03/08 09:22 PM

What would work with your set up? i'm curious now what you are trying to do.. ;D
Posted by: GuitarMknDude

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 12:50 AM

He is trying to get stereo x 2 or stereo x 3. Unfortunately I have to agree with every one above unless there is a way to do it in the control panel for the fire wave like there is for the M-Audio Revolution its a no go.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 04:24 PM

The configuration I'm trying to achieve is this:
- Left Channel: Left Channel
- Right Channel: Right Channel
- Center Channel: L/R Mix
- Surround Left: Left Channel
- Surround Right: Right Channel
- Subwoofer: Low Frequencies

But as has been pointed out, this is a not possible via the Audio MIDI Setup Utility.

However, since GuitarMknDude said that the M-Audio Revolution supports this setting, could I rig one up in an external enclosure (like this combination: M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and Magma 1 Slot PCI Expansion)?
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 04:33 PM

Sorry i wasn't clear in my reply. I realize which channels you are trying to achieve. But i'm curious why a 6 channel receiver and speakers wouldn't work in your set up?

Also looking at your signature in your posts and the want to use a magma expansion, i take it this will be for a laptop?

also it's the fact that you will be dropping a lot of bones on a set up like that
http://www.magma.com/products/pci/1PCI/prices.html

so for that kind of money i wonder why again a receiver and speakers wouldn't work with your setup....... confused

macDeviant
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 05:47 PM

I already have the Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 speakers, which are expensive and well worth the money, but only have input via 3 analog stereo inputs (like most multimedia surround speakers) and not through speaker wire, as they have an amplifier built-in to the subwoofer. I don't want new speakers! :P

And yes, I am trying to do this on a MacBook Pro.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 07:39 PM

Hah and i would have known that if i re-read your first post... but that helps me understand the situation.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 09:44 PM

I did a little searching around for myself on this. about the only way i could figure it was to use the FireWave in music mode, and adjust the trim and dimension settings.

I was having some problems with sound and the stability of the firewave software. i changed the FW cable and it works much better now.

good luck... if you do find something else let us know.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/04/08 11:18 PM

Thanks for the cable tip.

The speaker control box actually has its own trim settings, so I could use those, but I'd so much prefer a native 6 channel solution.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/05/08 01:13 AM

Originally Posted By: "JediJoker7169"
The configuration I'm trying to achieve is this:
- Left Channel: Left Channel
- Right Channel: Right Channel
- Center Channel: L/R Mix
- Surround Left: Left Channel
- Surround Right: Right Channel
- Subwoofer: Low Frequencies
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Well if you want the L/R Mix in the center channel then I believe you will get that out of the "Music" setting in the FireWave setup. It's Pro logic II but it is in stereo. If you have all the speakers sitting in front of you, then you just need to play with the trim and dimension settings to equalize the output volume of each speaker.

This will give you the desired effect with out any other equipment, connections, software, or frustrations. I tried it out my self on my own FireWave, and it sounded pretty good.

My situation was similar to yours. Except I was connecting to different receivers on different sides of the room, with their own speakers. That's why I ditch my iMics and went with the FireWave. Either way the results should be the same. ;D
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/05/08 02:06 PM

Well, ProLogic II is all fine and good (I use it on Music mode + Panorama all the time), but it doesn't evenly distribute all sounds to the surround speakers. For example, crowd noise would be louder in the surrounds than the lead vocals. It's cool, but not what I'm going for, although it seems I may not really have a choice.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/09/08 03:19 PM

Okay, so you can't setup 6 channel stereo with an external soundcard, but what about using optical out? I just bought a gently used Creative DDTS-100 so I can set up my Xbox and DVD player in my office. It has optical in (among other formats) and analog out, and does allow for simple passthrough, I believe. It encodes/decodes DTS (including Neo:6) and Dolby Digital (including ProLogic II Movie and Music modes), so it can replace the FireWave. Or: it has an analog switchbox, so I can keep the FireWave and use it in combination with the DDTS-100.

Just to get back to the point of this post, I want to know: using Apple's Audio MIDI Setup Utility, is it possible to configure 6 channel stereo using optical output?
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/14/08 08:16 AM

I have decided to deep six the FireWave. The DDTS-100 encodes/decodes at higher quality. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my optical cable, so I haven't been able to test what I asked about in my last post. However, the DTS Neo:6 Music mode seems to be pretty close to 6 channel stereo (unlike DD PLII), so I may just forget it.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/22/08 12:14 AM

Okay I think I found something of consequence. Okay you just want 2 channel stereo out of your 5.1 system. By this you mean you want the left channel to go to the left front and left rear, the right channel to got the the right front and right rear, and the center and sub to be whatever they come out as...

Some how I came across this basic little adapter from logitech

please google

970150-0403

It's cheap and just might do what you want it to.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/23/08 12:52 AM

I think that's actually a little more complex than it looks, as it's advertised as creating "intense realism." But, as I said, I'm rockin' on DTS Neo:6, which is the next best thing to 6 channel stereo, and I have no complaints.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/25/08 11:34 PM

OK, this is getting really annoying...

The optical audio connection is mostly amazing. I say mostly because, while it's amazingly clean and crisp, it's not without problems. My guess is that the MBP's soundcard just ain't doin' what it should.

Here's my problem: if there's a constant stream of audio to the decoder/speakers, it sounds great, but if that constant stream is stopped, the next sound to get transmitted gets cut short on the front end. This is especially annoying when it comes to quick sounds such as those I have set for instant messaging (Morse and Tink; the Tink actually gets cut completely). Is this because the optical laser is only switched on if there's sound being produced?
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 02/29/08 10:31 PM

HALP PLS!!1!

KTHX BAI
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: Configure 6 Channel Stereo Output - 03/05/08 04:42 PM

Can no one help me with this? I really want to fix this annoying problem.