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Topic: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

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  1. #1

    Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    Hi all,

    I\'m a newbie to this forum and a wannabe to composing music \"in the round\" on a PC using Gigasampler/studio, a good pro sequencer, a few pure audio tracks now and then, and one or two soft synths in addition to my \"hard ones\" via my Midi Express interface.

    My background in MIDI is on the Amiga. The DAW slate on my PIII 667 (133 bus Via chipset motherboard) is still clean, except for a bunch of demos and my humble Yamaha consumer grade sound card. So, I\'m ready to rock and roll, but the more I try and learn how to achieve my musical ends, the more the confusion grows side by side with faint glimmers of enlightenment.

    My question is: can anyone suggest what I would need to achieve the above ends? For example, at the moment, Emagic\'s Audiowerk8 Surround Sound Kit (8 analog outs with a surround-sound enabled version of Micrologic) is being auctioned at Ebay. But apparently this rig wouldn\'t support Giga (emailed emagic yesterday, but no reply yet). More to the point (and here I\'m freely letting my major ignorance of how these things work show),if Giga always needs to have at least two outputs to itself on any sound card, how can its output be routed into a six channel/5.1 surround mix (let alone a stereo mix with all those \"other\" sound sources) - and does this mean that even if it could, only a sound card with at least 8 outputs would suffice? ...Speaking of which, the M-Audio Delta 1010 seems to have the best (or least tarnished) reputation for quality, Giga compatibility, support, etc. (including Via chipset compatibility). Does anyone know if it could do the Giga/surround trick, with suitable software?

    Any input - analog or S/PDIF - will be much appreciated.

    Syd

  2. #2
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
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    Re: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>
    Does anyone know if it could do the Giga/surround trick, with suitable software?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WOW! Are sure that you really want digital-surround sound for Giga? produced DVD-A? Very expensive! About $10,000 ~ $30,000 or even more!
    I don\'t know much about the Emagic\'s Audiowerk8 Surround Sound Kit. I think that:
    1> It\'s not GSIF compatible
    2> It\'s just a 12~16 limited-input-channel surround-mixer without the Surround encoder (AC3 or DTS)? You will need about 32~64 input channels.
    3> Not built-in hardware-DSP mixing? Effect-procesing? Dynamic-processing?
    4> Digital I/O is only a stereo-I/O (SPDIF)? I would have ADAT 8 or 16-CH due to stay in digital domain as possible when you must use 2nd-PC or other gears, for example.
    Here are what you will need as follows:

    A. HARDWARE:
    You will need the GSIF compatible sound-card which is supported Multiple ouput channels (16~32), also has built-in surround-mixer and hardware DSP mixing like mixpander ( http://www.soundscape-digital.com/ ) or LunaII/PulsarII/Scope-SP ( http://www.creamware.de/en/Products/default.asp )

    B. SOFTWARE:
    * GigaStudio
    * Cakewalk9/Sonar1
    * SurCode Soft Encoder ( http://www.minnetonkaaudio.com/Products_3.htm )

    Hope this helps,
    Long

    [This message has been edited by LHong (edited 04-20-2001).]

  3. #3

    Re: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    Thanks for your comments, Long.

    I\'m planning to use the poor man\'s surround sound modus operandi: outputting 6 analog channels from a sound card into the 6 analog inputs of my 5.1 receiver (a Kenwood VR-410). When and if I have something to distribute, cheap encoding options may be available or I may simply \"outsource\" that part of the job - or find a record company that\'ll do it <g>.

    After talking to a very helpful rep at Sweetwater, I\'ve decided I\'ll very very likely go with my impulse not to buy a discontinued non-Giga-compatible card from an apparently nose-up-their *** company, even though it would be the cheapest by far surround sound authoring package on the planet. (It - the Audiowerk8 Surround Sound Kit - has repeatedly failed to get any bids at Ebay, and has most recently been started at $250, no reserve.)

    The Sweetwater fellow recommended the same card that has also sounded like the best to me for my system and purposes: the M-Audio Delta 1010. I don\'t believe I\'ve read or heard any negative stuff on the M-Audio cards, unlike every other card that has been a contender for my system (Via chipset and all). That, unfortunately, includes the Creamware cards, which sound so good on paper and apparently in reality, when they work.

    I just ordered a second-hand copy of Cakewalk Pro 9 and hope this may be upgradeable to a version of Sonar before too long that supports surround sound. I\'m in no rush to spend a small fortune on the Minnetonka SR software, but may pick up a used copy of Logic Audio Platinum as an alternative.

    What a complex decision tree we PC musicians weave . . .

    Thanks again.

    Syd


  4. #4
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
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    Re: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    You\'re right! The the M-Audio Delta 1010 has been probably very good performance for GigaStudio for stereo-out-mixed, you could build many sub-mixes then having multiple sub-mixed in your mixdown.
    However, for the surround, in order to have the 6-CH mixdown audio tracks for digital-surround-sound domain, you must have all inputs be available on your surround-mixer with effs and dynamic-procs at once and each Input-CH must can be assigned to any of six-CH output mixed, for example. So, that why I have mentioned that you will need 32~64-CH surround-mixer...And you are ahead of technology for doing this unless we could spend a lot of money like I desrcibed earlier within the PC interfacing. Of course, I\'m working on the produced-DTS CD format, I\'ll need to learn how to get best mixing-down quality audio (encoded and decoded) even we could afford the softwares and hardwares...
    Long

    [This message has been edited by LHong (edited 04-22-2001).]

  5. #5

    Re: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    Am I right in understanding that you\'re alluding to the fact that Giga, at least, doesn\'t usually (always?) share outputs, which would leave it out of the picture if I wanted to be able to route it together with the other sources to any of the 6 different output channels for a 5.1 mix? But then, how does Giga \"share\" when you try to route it to a 2-channel output stereo mix? Never having done multichannel, multidevice audio recording, my mind kind of reels when I try to get my head around these issues.

    Having said that, if Giga can\'t be made to directly \"cooperate\" in a 5.1 mix, couldn\'t you convert its tracks to sequencer audio tracks and then mix THEM?

    I still don\'t get why I would need a 32 to 64 channel mixer, above and beyond any internal surround sound mixer that comes with affordable current (Logic Audio Platinum) or future sequencers.

    Thanks again, Long.

    Syd

  6. #6
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
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    Re: Giga in Surround Sound Mix? Which card(s)?

    >>>Am I right in understanding that you\'re alluding to the fact that Giga, at least, doesn\'t usually (always?) share outputs, which would leave it out of the picture if I wanted to be able to route it together with the other sources to any of the 6 different output channels for a 5.1 mix?<<<
    It\'s correct, don\'t forget that sometime you need control the panning and fader to all 5/6 output positions into the L, R, C, SL, SR. It\'s explained a bit complicated between stereo and the 5.1 mixes.

    >>>But then, how does Giga \"share\" when you try to route it to a 2-channel output stereo mix?<<<
    Multiple output GSIF soundcard has the advantage. Let\'s say you have 16-MIDI-CH with 32-output, each MIDI-Channels can be assigned a dedicated-pair\'s audio. Then on fly, you can route them to the individual input surround-mixer plus other audio-gear inputs which truly can be assigned to any one of six output-mixes even all-six dynamically. So, you want this task be done at once or multiple times?

    >>>Having said that, if Giga can\'t be made to directly \"cooperate\" in a 5.1 mix, couldn\'t you convert its tracks to sequencer audio tracks and then mix THEM?<<<
    Its a solution if your DAW can handle many tracks with many effs at once? However, other ways might gives you better flexibility and might gives you better sound-arrangement in your final-mixes since whom know how they (path/scoring) are before they are mixed

    >>>I still don\'t get why I would need a 32 to 64 channel mixer, above and beyond any internal surround sound mixer that comes with affordable current (Logic Audio Platinum) or future sequencers<<<
    It depends on how many tracks you have within song, 16 channels\'s giga is taken 32-output individually, for example. Of course we only need two-channel mixer when we only have a piano track in the song, right? So, with the 16-CH-mono mixer you can only have 8 stereo-track (audio/MIDI) be mixed at once?
    I don\'t know the latest Logic Audio Platinum or whatever future sequencer, but I do know that it\'s required very powerful CPU, memory, hard drive system to complete the mastering-audio-track at high quality. You must do some experiments to see how far your DAW system can be achieved the audio\'s task compared to commercial one? Someone even still has difficult time just master the stereo tracks, right?
    Anyway, I\'m not sure to answer all your questions? Just my two-cent-worth!
    Peace
    Long



    [This message has been edited by LHong (edited 04-22-2001).]

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