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Thread: Using a 7.1 sound card for an active setup

  1. #1
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    Using a 7.1 sound card for an active setup

    I'm just now getting all of the pieces together for my upcoming carpc build. I've decided I want to take the sound to the next level and go with an active setup. Before I go ordering everything, I just want to make sure what I am thinking will be correct. Using a 7.1 sound card to hand the 2 tweeters, 2 midbass, 2 rear fill (optional depending on if I have rear passengers) plus a subwoofer. I plan on using Roadrunner with the Foobar plugin. Foobar has a crossover plugin that allows the user to configure each channels crossover frequency independently.

    http://xover.sourceforge.net/

    This seems like it should work correctly right? I can't find much information about setups like this on the forum.

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    It will work jut fine.
    Remember that not all media is coded for 5.1 or 7.1, so when playing that media, you won't get any audio from the additional channels.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
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  3. #3
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    That's a good point. However I wasn't planning on running a surround sound setup, just using the channels individually. Depending on which sound card I decide upon, I should be able to force stereo to multiple channels.

  4. #4
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    I was thinking about this the other day. What would be the advantage in setting the speakers up this way if you end up forcing stereo sound to multiple channels (when you don't have a 5.1/7.1 source)?
    Would it not end up producing the same thing as a stereo source through an amp that outputs 7 channels?
    Just trying to weigh up the pros and cons as I wanted to do this as it made sense in my head for the computer to control fade / balance, to do this I figured I would need at least 4.1 out from the computer.. But as I don't have any 5.1 encoded audio then I would end up forcing it through all the speakers like you suggest and then probably loose control of fading again..?

    Hope that made sense..

  5. #5
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    The advantage would be I can control the crossover point on all of my speakers individually. Don't hold me to these crossover points as they are just rough estimates.

    Subwoofer = Below 80hz
    Fronts = 80hz - 2000hz
    Rear Fill = 80hz - 2000hz (depending on what I decide since these won't be playing all the time)
    Tweets = 2000hz and up

    So wouldn't I need a 7.1 sound card to accomplish this? If anyone has another suggestion for this, I would be open to it. I just want to do it right the first time around this time, unlike my last carputer install where I just pieced it all together.

  6. #6
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    I know very little about car audio or getting the most out of pc audio. So I apolgise if I am on the wrong track..

    But to achieve the crossover thing on the PC you will need some software as I don't think I have seen windows support this natively (I might not have dug enough on a computer with surround sound though) I have heard audiomulch come up as a software but I think it would be overkill for me and not sure it is free..

    Alternatively setting up hardware crossovers to achieve what you want might not be too hard..??
    As I say I am not really sure I was leaning to doing what you suggest but now I am not so sure either way..

  7. #7
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    If you use amps that have decent x-over control, you can control right from the amps. Then you just need 2 ch output from the PC, assuming pass through on the amps, only 2 audio lines would need to to be run from the PC to the amps.
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  8. #8
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    2khz is a bit low, even with a brick wall filter, the power handling would be low

    prob better to roll off a 3k, or even 3.5k depending you size of your midbass and also rate per octave

    problem with that plugin, while in foo its going to be great, just outside foo... and issues...

    would be nice if PCs where made for cars, but they not, they made for Hometheater/gaming

    so... perfect solution, is a sound card with CUSTOM drivers set up to do that... funny enough its possible
    but not practical
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  9. #9
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    somone could also write a virtual soundcard
    thats the solution!
    -Thanks
    Mitch
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  10. #10
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchjs View Post
    so... perfect solution, is a sound card with CUSTOM drivers set up to do that... funny enough its possible
    but not practical
    already been done with some of the older, still available creative pci sound cards:
    http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchjs View Post
    somone could also write a virtual soundcard
    thats the solution!
    also been done to some extent:
    http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm


    i agree though-- foobar is a good solution for audio files only. but what about other things? where are windows sounds or other program notifications going to play to? i vaguely remember playing with foobar, and i don't remember if i dropped it due to that limitation, or the fact that i had issues setting it up how i envisioned it to work..

    so i present some better, but more expensive options:

    console:
    http://console.jp/en/

    link to basic setup:
    http://www.mp3car.com/high-end-solut...-asio4all.html

    the only reason i only bring this one up is it's cost-- at $55, it's cheap. comparatively..

    but it has it's issues. first and foremost-- the most recent version is a beta version from 2008. it does not appear to have any support or any updates-- treat it as a old defunct program.

    my other issues with it:
    it automatically sets input's and outputs up in 2 blocks, and there is no way to change the order-- so with usb devices, if one ever gets unplugged, it can re-order everything in a completely different arrangement whenever it 'feels like it'. it also doesn't include any plugin's by itself, and the GUI isn't very 'polished'.

    with that said, i no longer use Console myself-- i tried to deal with the limitations that i listed above due to the very attractive price, but the negatives always shone through at the worst times..


    these days, i'm using audiomulch:
    http://www.audiomulch.com/

    how-to for a basic setup:
    http://www.mp3car.com/high-end-solut...udiomulch.html

    it is much pricier at $190. but it is leaps and bounds above console-- nearly fixing every complaint i listed above.

    first, every input and output is select-able-- so where in console, using a 7.1 card, all the outputs would show up, and there is no way to disable them, in AM, you can individually select which pairs of inputs and outputs you want to use. if you want output channels 1/2, 5/6, and only want to input the mic input of the pc, no problem-- a few clicks in setup, and that is the only 3 select-able options that you can use in the layout.

    it also includes a ton of plugins-- if i remember right, i'm currently using the x-over ones, there are also EQ plugins and possibly some delay ones-- i could be wrong about that last one.. it's been a while since i've messed with my setup(a really good sign of how well it works-- i haven't touched it in over 6 months. "it just works"). otherwise, much of the plugins are meant for dj applications, so they are useless in-car, but it is a nice touch from moving from something that didn't supply anything.

    i preferred the contrast of console over AM-- it was just a lot easier to see things, but the GUI in AM is better laid out, with a section for available plugins(console uses a drop-down menu), and a 'adjustment screen'--if you double click on a eq, that is where the adjustment screen shows up(console just makes a new window on top of everything--which i felt made it harder to adjust 3 active x-overs without constantly dragging them around the screen).

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