LONG: Start guide to get multichannel sound for MP3, DVD, SAT, etc.?
First, sorry about the length of this post. I dunno if I should post this in the Car Audio
section, but as this relates at least partially to how RR plays different media types I will start here. Anyway, my current setup includes a 7.1 soundcard in 5.1 mode (a Turtle Beach Montego DDL) driving the 6 speakers in my car. I'd previously tried the onboard sound (ALC650 on my nForce3 150 mobo), which had good volume levels but seemed to restrict me because plugging into the MIC and LINE IN jacks on the front panel prevented 6 channel mode from working. I also had an Audigy 2 NX, but I switched to the Montego when I was trying to t oubleshoot one of the following issues. My main problem is that when I use RR to listen to SIRIUS via the SIRIUS RS232 adapter I got
from rush112.net about a year ago, I only get sound out of the center channel. Regardless of whether or not I connect it to my carpc
via OPTICAL IN or LINE IN, I get 2 channel sound. However, when I play MP3s, I get sound out of at least my front and rears, and when I play DVDs I get 5.1 surround sound. Now, I know RR uses Winamp for playing mp3s, and I THINK it is up to my soundcard to convert that stereo source to multichannel sound. I think there are software solutions via Winamp plugins, but I don't think they have a good reputation and the hardware solution is probably better. I know RR uses Media Player Classic (in my case) when playing DVDs or other videos, and I believe in that case if the DVD is 5.1 MPC decodes it and my carpc plays it multichannel, and I believe if the video is a
non 5.1 source, I still get multichannel sound, similar to MP3 stereo with cloned rears.
To rehash, the main problem I have is that I can't figure out how to get RR or whatever app it is using to play multichannel. I don't care that the source is
often mono or stereo, I would like the audio to come out of my rears as well for rear seat passengers, and also to help the volume be similar to when it plays other stuff, because with the sound only coming out of the center speakers, the volume is of course much lower relative to the other things I play in RR. I figure since anyone who knows how to do this is likely a carpc ninja with this stuff, I'd see if I could get a definitive answer on how to get
multichannel sound from these different types, because it is really hard to tell when you are getting 4 channel sound, 5.1 or 6 channel sound, etc. in a car
because of the environment. It's also not clear if different manufacturers or chipsets, at least, do stereo to multichannel conversion differently (e.g some for all stereo sources, some only on certain interfaces depending upon if they are ALC650, CM8768, etc.)
Maybe it would be helpful if there was some sort of table we could then sticky, something like this:
Media type: MP3
Default RR player: Winamp
Typical media encoding type: stereo
Multichannel sound requirements:
Creative Labs Audigy 2 software clones stereo automatically, on Turtle Beach you much enable DSP (this may not be accurate, it is just an example).
Media type: DVD
Default RR player: Media Player Classic
Typical media encoding type: 5.1 surround sound
Multichannel sound requirements: 1 5.1 capable soundcard. MPC decodes and sends it to your card, which then outputs it in 5.1.
Media type: Satellite Streaming Audio (Sirius, XM)
Default RR player: Road Runner
Typical media encoding type: mono split to 2 channels
Multichannel sound requirements: Most soundcards will not automatically convert this to multichannel ala MP3, etc. A Winamp plugin such as ExamplePlugin will allow it. On the Sirius RS232 interface, you must be using the standard line out instead of the optical cable, as the soundcard will not present the sound to the plugin properly if received via the optical interface (OK, this particular example is likely a load of BS, but I haven't figured it out and I wanted to present an example).
If someone comes up with a good way to collect and present this, I will consolidate the first bit of it if others think it would be helpful to folks like me who didn't realize that there were all of these differences in sound output options....