|
Author Topic:   PLEASE EDUCATE ME (in Sound)
THETAXI
Member
posted October 19, 2004 06:41 PM            
Well here I am again attempting to do another upgrade on my computer. As most of you might remember, it was not so long ago that I toasted my computer "upgrading" the CPU. This time the change isn't as dramatic, but I do lack some knowledge on the issue.

I am considering to upgrade my speaker system. I am on the brink of purchasing the CREATIVE 5.1 T5400 set. They're supposed to be pretty nice and they're not that expensive (I can get them for $60.00 flat).

Here's the issue. My motherboard says that it can hold up to 6 channels. (Asus A7N8X-X ). How many channels are in a 5.1 speaker system? I am aware that 5.1 = 5 satelites + 1 subwoofer, but does the subwoofer count as a channel? Should I opt for the 6.1?

Please enlighten me? I am aware that besides tank smashing skills... you guys know a lot about everything!!

IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted October 19, 2004 06:49 PM            
For sound you need to speaking with BOFH1971 on the DMF boards m8.. tell you everything u dont know, and a few things about things you thought you did.

------------------
Join Our Gaming Community Today

DMF COMMUNITY BOARDS

IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 19, 2004 11:09 PM            
...you asked for sound in the topic but now you talk about speakers....
i don't need a speaker system, but i do need a good soundcard.. patched to my $15 headphones)
although, if i ever need to be loud, i patch it to an amplifier. (it takes 1 cable but the sound is cool)

IP:

Irascible
Member
posted October 19, 2004 11:38 PM            
Have you actually listened to the speakers in question? I tried some multimedia speakers in my time but found ALL of them, including a $300 set, to be wanting. Yeah, I read the hysterical reviews on the T5400 too (ďI havenít listened to as good a music quality since my parentís 4000 dollar BOSE system.Ē). THAT guy is an idiot. Though since his daddy bought a BOSE system, that might explain deficient genetics and the resultant poo poo for brains. LOL! Anywho, thank goodness for liberal return policies. Though I've got to tell you that repackaging a half dozen speakers and a dozen cords not once but three times is one large pain in the rear.

Get one of these (This commercial doesn't say the half of it.) and a half dozen of something like this. Then connect them to something like this and connect that to your computer with this. That setup WILL smoke dad's $4000 BOSE system and cost half as much. Hang around this board for a while and you can come up with plenty of good combos and you'll know twice as much as the stooge at Circuit City. Good sound is the single longest lasting A/V or computer investment you can make. That setup will still sound good 20 years from now. On the other hand, the window next to the subwoofer may not last quite that long.

But... to the question at hand if you haven't gotten it already from '71. One output from the motherboard will connect to the front speakers, one the back speakers and one the center and sub. You should be able to do it as long as the speakers have analog inputs. I seem to recall that some of Creativeís cheap speakers had a digital input that only worked when connected to a Creative sound card. And while it is supposed to work, I personally had a VERY hard time getting multi-channel integrated sound to work right. In fact, I ended up giving up on it. I primarily wanted multi-channel for DVD playback. Trying to use a software Dolby decoder and piping it to your Creative speakers through 6 analog cables not only SUCKS, but itís a challenge that I wasnít up to.

[This message has been edited by Irascible (edited October 20, 2004).]

IP:

THETAXI
Member
posted October 20, 2004 12:55 AM            
Thx Ras. I'm not quite ready for a $4,000.00 speaker investment yet , so I have to manage with a $60.00 set. I don't see my MB having all those outlets All it has is audio in, out, and microphone.

I thought that it was simply plugging in the "audio out" from the MB to the sub, then the sub had the conections to the satelite speakers through other cables that come included with the package.

In any case, is a 5.1 system a 6 channel system? or 5? (I am almost convinced that it is 6). I've never been into speakers, so what may seem obvious to others... for me is greek. I just wasn't sure if the sub is another channel.

[This message has been edited by THETAXI (edited October 20, 2004).]

IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 20, 2004 01:24 AM            
if you already have the set then hook your MB out to the subwfr in and then out from it to the speakers.

for those who don't need physical surround sound... digital it's ok
http://www.tweakheadz.com/laboratory/studiosetup.htm (cheap analog way, but can put as many speakers as your mixer let you. a speaker hub..of course quality comes with $ like a BOSE... (good settings in mixer & software can give an unexpected reward)... i have an external soundblaster 2 zs pro that came with fiber optic (in/out).. never used it.. (I would need of the items brought up earlier by ras).

IP:

Irascible
Member
posted October 20, 2004 02:18 AM            
The system I suggest cost only two grand, not four. :P It ranks as one of the best toys I've ever bought. Movie theater sound sucks in comparison.

The audio in and mic will become outputs on some motherboards. You'll then have three outputs that will get you your six channels (5.1 is six channels). That's how it was done on a board I had some time ago. Or, some motherboards need a little daughter board that hooks up to some pins on the main board. One of the few ways you get a single cable to handle all six channels is get a Creative sound card that has their proprietary digital output. Many of Creative's speakers has a matching input on the sub. And then the rest of the speakers come off the sub as you suggest. But that can't happen with your built in sound.

Read the manual for the board to see how you configure it four six channels. If it's not there, look for some configuration options in the application that comes with the driver. Failing that, call ASUS tech support. The last time I called them they were pretty easy to get a hold of. And make sure those speakers have six analog inputs or you won't be able to do it.

You can hit one of the forums at HardOCP.com or TomsHardware.com or any of the other big hardware sites and get a lot of informed responses.

[This message has been edited by Irascible (edited October 20, 2004).]

IP:

THETAXI
Member
posted October 20, 2004 02:37 AM            
Thanks.

BTW, that ad is funny. Lol, seen it like 10 times now (and going...)

IP:

VorDesigns
Member
posted October 20, 2004 02:36 PM            
Theta Xi,

First; break out the Mobo manual and you will find a page that shows the rear panel. You will find that the mic and lineout double for channel outs (I'm willing to bet) or, a riser card and that you will have to use the sound utility to adjust port usage. It's counter intutitive but most spec compliant hardware is color coded so that you just plug color to color.

Caveat; pre configure mobo, shutdown, cable up, power system, power speakers. I blew a pair on a system when the software turned on the sound card (sounded like a shotgun for almost a 100th of a second). So setting volume to low or even muted at boot until you get it working correctly.

Second, Pablo and Irascible are both right.

When I moved I found that I no longer had room for my stereo system (Dyna Kit, Dyna 70, stereo of the year in 1959, no electronic pop out with power sags, sound never got better after tubes, it just got cheaper). I turned all my workstations into room stereos and copied all my CD's off to the server. I use the Cyber Acocoustics 5.1 channel system (l/r front, center, l/r rear and a bass). I have wood floors (I can rattle the windows with no distortion). $50.00. I gave my wife the three speaker version (see techno hates it but has to use it) for $35.00.

If you really want to get into it; by a pair of Bazooka Bass tubes, one for car, one for house. Corner load one tube (It's smaller then RAS' suggestion and you imparted schoo boy blues earlier). Radio shack sells small outdoor rated book shelf/wall mount speakers, they work well stand up to vomit as long as you spill some beer on them afterwards. Monster cable used to be available in a trade brand called 'Oxygen Free'; because sound cable uses twisted wire, it has a higher resistance. Oxygen free sound cable is superior for reduced impedence and increased sound clarity. I made a set for a DJ I knew and he played my wedding for free because I saved him regular trips to repair his equipment.

Good luck, have fun.

[This message has been edited by VorDesigns (edited October 20, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by VorDesigns (edited October 20, 2004).]

IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted October 20, 2004 04:08 PM            
Thats fine if u want bass freq all over the place - what you need is a nice tight controlled bass... you dont get that from outdoor speakers.

IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 20, 2004 05:14 PM            
that's why mixers are so important, either hardware of software. I will never let any speaker control the way it wants to re-play a sound without adult supervision

IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted October 20, 2004 07:47 PM            
mixers dont fix poor speakers pabs, if the speakers are in the house you need a good quality build to keep control of the bass. Mixing down and equalisers are a travesty imho, they have a 128 or 256 ch mixing desk at teh studio to ensure that the mix leaves there as it is meant to be heard. Its upto the end user to to buy the right gear to get the most from the recording.

Boosting bass to a speaker thats already crap just makes it sound crappier... drop the bass too much to mask it and you get a very tinny feel - the sub is there for subharmonics, not to make up for the lack of a good quality base cone build.

IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 20, 2004 08:58 PM            
if you have a decent "ear" you may catch lack of fine tunning that only comes with $ equipment. Most of us don't worry/know about high quality resonance... you can have nice acoustics with normal equipment.. especially if the room is small... I know there are many wonderful gadgets out there... but sometimes is just the brand. ex: i played guitar with a wah pedal down and made it sound like a bass, "Professional musicians" wouldn't know the difference. If I hook my fender amplifier through my soundcard... i may differ you to think it's something else... but uhm.. people have different opinions, and that's ok

IP:

THETAXI
Member
posted October 20, 2004 09:05 PM            
I ended up buying a 5.1 sound card for 34.99 (shipping included).

Why did I ever get into computers? Now I'm never satisfied. I wouldn't be satisfied if I had the most expensive and up-to-date computer. There's ALWAYS something to add.

Shame on me.

IP:

VorDesigns
Member
posted October 20, 2004 10:02 PM            
Bazooka bass tubes are designed to be bolted to the structure, you will feel the noise.

------------------
Echoes from the Void
=
You can kill them, but you cannot make them surrender
-
http://www.vordesigns.com/tm


IP:

=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted October 20, 2004 10:30 PM            
yeah but put any front, side or sat speakers on spikes, it will help clean up the signal... another good way to check if u have a good amp and speakers, is to turn it on and have no music playing.

Turn the volume to full and listen for hiss, a good system will have little or non, if its obvious you have a crap system, period, what you can ear is noise picked up as the electricity routes around the system.

Also, if ur spoeakers support 6ohm rather than 8, and ur amp does too, use 6 ohm, youll find a better response at lower volume levels and less hiss. Put any bass speaker / cannon in a corner in a floor for maximum power bowel movements

IP:

KiLlEr
Member
posted October 21, 2004 01:15 AM            
I find this funny, all this talk about speakers, yet no one mentioned acoustically treating a room. You can spend $$$$$ on amps and speakers and they'll still sound like crap, if your room is not tuned properly. Unless your willing to spend $$$$$ on acoustically treating your room, it makes no sense shelling out big bucks for speakers and amps. If you're familiar with your rooms acoustic properties, it makes it easier to buy mid priced speakers (even some low-priced ones can really shock you) and have them sound great since you can take advantage of your rooms properties to fix the weak areas of the speakers. For example, if your room augments the midrange frequencies, buying a set of speakers that lack in midrange will actually sound balanced in such a room.

And dont forget about speaker placement. That is also crucial as well.

Pablito: A guitar with a flat wah pedal doesnot sound like a bass. The strings on a guitar are not capable of producing the same harmonics as a bass simply because the mass and scale length are much smaller for a guitar. th guitar's lighter strings and shorter scale will generate more upper frequency harmonics than a bass, which you can filter out with a lowpass filter (a flat wah), but you cannot generate a harmonic lower than the full length of the string under tension.

Low E on a guitar: 83 Hz
Low E on a Bass: 41 Hz

Big acoustic difference.
If your using crappy Equipment, which probably drops off at 90 hz, then the lower harmonics of the bass guitar will not be heard. But this is why the Bass amps have large speakers (12" min, 18" is the largest I've used) and special amps which can deliver a flat response down to 16 hz. If you were to play a bass and a guitar (w/a flat wah) side by side on such equipment, you will hear a MAJOR difference in teh sound produced.

[This message has been edited by KiLlEr (edited October 21, 2004).]

IP:

A2597
Member
posted October 21, 2004 08:53 AM            
I highly reccoment the Logitech X620s they sound GREAT on my Audigy 2 ZS.

------------------
### Hi, I'm a sig virus. Please add me to the end of your signature so I can take over the world. ### - Caught from excaliber @ B5mg.com

Flying Tanks and Cookie Dough?
Oh, wait, no. If tanks were ment to fly they would have been born with little bags of salted peanuts.


IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 21, 2004 09:49 AM            
KiLler: obviously you play; so if you turn the wah on and then pedal back you get a very low sound, lower then any bass, (I'm talking about sounds not concepts). You can even "slap" an acoustic guitar and make it sound like a bass... maybe really good bass players would make the difference... and I'm not talking bass sounds like a stand up bass... but actually, I have a electric bass with silicon strings that sounds just like it.... (I repeat myself: most of us don't care/know about resonance). And it really depends on the type of music you compare it to... a jazz bass/guitar doesn't sound anything like grunge... so maybe that's where we don't agree... I mean think of any TOOL song.. their bass sound like an overdrive guitar with an lower octave pedal...etc. (maybe it is, lol). Trust me, "normal" or non-musicians wouldn't know the difference... another example, (even though all my recordings are not professional made for lack of time and money), I played the drums on the everlasting drumset from my keyboards... I can definetely tell the difference.... but many think it's a real drummer.... that's just sad... there is no comparison, people don't listen, they just "hear".

IP:

KiLlEr
Member
posted October 22, 2004 07:21 PM            
I have been playing guitar for 20 years now, I worked as an engineer for 5 of those years, and a wah pedal is a narrow band-pass filter with some resonance (i've been using wahs for far too long. lol), not a bass enhancer, it dosn't create sound that isn't already there to begin with (i.e. it is subtractive, not addative). The lowest harmonic a guitar can play is 83Hz and no lower.

If you want to talk about grunge bass, then there is your answer. When you overdrive a bass, you have to use some form of high pass filtering, otherwise all you'll hear is mud, i.e. no tonal definition. ( The same thing happens on a high gain amp with guitars, but more towards the mid range.) So the bass guitar itself has alot of the low frequency harmonics removed, leaving only the ones that coincide with the same harmonics as the guitar, effectivly causing the bass to sound like a guitar. You're even doing it more when you add distortion, which introduces mid to upper range harmonics.

As for drums, electronic drums has been the mainstay for pop music for the last 10-15 years. The majority of the songs on the radio have used it in one form or another. The other part you have to look at is the types of drummers the people listen too. With teh exception of a very very few, rock drumers tend to use very little dynamics in thier playing, so they tend to sound like electronic drums, i.e. all one volume level.

So its no wonder people have a hard time telling the difference.

When you put say, Niel Pert next to a drum machine, you can tell the difference since he uses alot of dynamics in his playing.

You can of course tweek every beat of a drum pattern, but then the music sounds antiseptic.

[This message has been edited by KiLlEr (edited October 22, 2004).]

IP:

pablito
Member
posted October 22, 2004 08:24 PM            
but most of all: playing is fun

IP:

KiLlEr
Member
posted October 22, 2004 08:36 PM            

[This message has been edited by KiLlEr (edited October 22, 2004).]

IP: