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Multichannel Sound Card, With multiple WaveOut devices in driver.
j7n
post Dec 12 2006, 13:46
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I am looking for a new sound card and considering M-Audio Revolution 7.1. Like most of currently available consumer sound controllers it has many (8) analogue outputs. Is it possible to use this soundcard as 4 (or at least 2) stereo outputs? I have nowhere to [correctly] place more than two speakers and would like separate controls for small speakers on my desk, big 100W loudspeakers and other in living room.
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AndyH-ha
post Dec 12 2006, 19:42
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I don't know about that particular soundcard but there are plenty of genuine multi-channel soundcards with which you can output independent stereo pairs.
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j7n
post Dec 13 2006, 08:35
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Anything specific I should look for: DSP chips, homebrew drivers (like kX)?
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j7n
post Dec 16 2006, 06:00
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From what I read on iXBT about Rev7.1 and Rev5.1 it appears that Revolution is very inferior to older stereo sound cards (like YMF724) in terms of functionality. These cards appear to created for quality surround playback and nothing else.

What examples are there of these genuine soundcards Andy H-ha mentioned? Anyone please? I don't care about effects in games. What I want is 3-4 stereo outputs, or perhaps 3 + 1 "headphone" output.
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Azultra
post Dec 16 2006, 08:42
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Don't take those "acceleration" features into account. Today it's overwhelmingly cheaper to do mixing, EQ, decoding/encoding, 3D sound... by a AMD or Intel's CPU

This post has been edited by Azultra: Dec 16 2006, 09:16
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AndyH-ha
post Dec 16 2006, 10:07
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Staying in that same line, the Delta 44 and Delta 66 both have 2 pairs of stereo outputs. Either of the Delta 1010s have four pairs. M-audio also has some multi-channel firewire devices. Many other manufacturers produce similar products.

These are professional soundcards. They don't include game functionally for producing strange noises and effects. If you want that stuff you must do it in software. Many do have DSP mixer chips to combine multiple sources and control output levels, however.
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j7n
post Dec 18 2006, 10:01
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Are there any technical reason why this cannot be done on 'consumer' sound cards? Isn't it all about programming a proper driver?
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AndyH-ha
post Dec 18 2006, 10:46
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Its more about the hardware than the drivers. Professional multi-channel cards are equivalent to several lesser channel cards running in parallel. Those several converters are physically in close proximity and clocked in unison, but the channel pairs are essentially independent except for the timing.

I don't know much about the 'consumer' 5.1 and 7.1 cards. My impression is that at least some of them expect input to be a many-channeled file. The data for the different output channels are multi-plexed into one file. The card decodes that single input file into X number of outputs. The output channels can not necessarily be used independently as they can with a real multi-channel card. If you want to out only a two channel file, that is fine with the card, but you can't also send it another two channel file at the same time. The card does not have the the independent channel hardware necessary to process multiple files.

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Dec 18 2006, 10:46
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j7n
post Jan 4 2007, 23:12
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http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=444117

QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Dec 18 2006, 11:46) *
A real soundcard does A to D and/or D to A; it is an I/O device. [..] The inputs and outputs presented to an audio application are also extras, not part of a soundcard. They are functions of the driver, a bit of software.

So the software could just multiplex my audio as a surround stream and pass it to the card, if the onboard DSP could not be programmed to do that by itself. And, I can't see the reason why synchronization problems between DACs would cause any issues while the listener hears only one DAC, instead of the four simultaneously.

This post has been edited by j7n: Jan 4 2007, 23:13
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AndyH-ha
post Jan 5 2007, 04:01
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I am not sure what you are trying to say. Your post seems to suggest that your statement is a conclusion you are drawing from an earlier post of mine. That post was about a topic that doesn't seem especially relevant to the basic subject of this thread.

There is software that constructs surround sound files from multiple wave files. It is also possible to mix multiple wave files in some soundcard's DSP mixers. The two are neither the same nor equivalent, however. Mixing them together, in the normal sense of the word, produces something which cannot be separated back into its component files. This is not the say a surround file works.

A proper surround sound file can be decoded back into the component parts. I doubt there is any way to timeshare one DAC between the files; one DAC is required to produce the analogue audio stream of each channel.

Finally, it occurs to me that maybe you are trying to think up a way the soundcard you referenced in the thread's first post might output two sets of independent stereo files. Encode those independent sources files into a surround sound file, sent the result to the soundcard to be soundcard to be torn apart again. Wire the card's relevant outputs to amplifiers in different rooms (or where ever). This seems like the long, hard way to go about it. I much doubt that a ready-made method exists.
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j7n
post Jan 5 2007, 09:38
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Yeah, I guess there isn't a ready solution because of no demand from users. Thank you for your time, AndyH-ha.
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