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Old March 15th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #1
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Surround sound

Good Morning,

I would like to set my computer up to build surround sound tracks (Use sony Vegas 10 or sound forge).

what would be the most economically viable hardware I would need>

Sound Card?

Speaker system?

Anything else??

I use a Dell work station with i7 and 9 gigs of ram, vista 64 bit

Thank you for your time!!
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Old March 16th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: Surround sound

What is your budget? that will answer most things.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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Re: Surround sound

A multi (8) channel AISO audio interface. I use Focusrite Pro 10 i/o
5 matching powered full frequency monitor speakers and a powered sub.
A bass management unit
or...
5 speakers with a good home theatre multi-channel amp
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Old March 17th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Surround sound

I use the Focuswrite saphire. Its four years old now but works so well in surround sound. I have five M-Audio speaker monitors and powered subwoofer coming out of the saphire.

I run macs though. I mix all audio in Soundtrack Pro (bundled with Final Cut) and this is native surround sound with complete control over every track in surround - panning, speaker selection etc.

When I edit on my Mac I can hear exactly what this would be like in a surround home theater ... which is what counts.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Surround sound

Good Afternoon,

Well, I had not really set a budget. I would like to do it as reasonable as possible.

Like all things one can spend as much as one likes.

However there are products that give a high yield for the dollar. In Mics as an example the rode video mic is amazing for the dollar, and in shot gu mics the AT 897 is much the same.

Not always cheap, but best bang for the dollars.


thanks
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Old March 19th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: Surround sound

In my opinion it is always best to start by setting an operating budget. Is this new surround setup for business or a hobby? What difference does that make you ask? Well if it is for a business you would likely include budget for room treatment and monitor calibration for example among other things.

In my little setup I use ProTools 9 with the complete production toolkit for surround mixing, along with the Digi 003R. For monitors I found the closest to a soundstage mix sound on a budget was the JBL 4328p, so I went with them all around along with subwoofer to fill out the bottom end.

Although we no longer do much surround sound work as we have shifted from doing audio post on films,
to doing almost exclusively broadcast commercials.

Good Luck!

Dave
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: Surround sound

Good Morning,

I still do the odd event videography, sports weddings etc. Stereo is fine for them. I am retired and spend most of my time now shooting outdoor stuff like wildlife hunting sports etc.

My computer lab is a small 14 x 14 foot room, run an i7 quad with 9 gigs of ram and I use sony Vegas which has surround capability.

In particular I am shooting Grouse on a lek and the audio comes from all around, I would like to use the surround sound to give more depth and direction to the audio.

I burn everything to bluray so it can be viewed on a large screen that also has surround sound.

What would the minimum be necessary to accomplish this job?

I am not afraid to spend money but can it be done for under a grand?


thank you.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #8
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Re: Surround sound

For under a grand you can get sound coming from all around the room.
It will be up to your ears to decide what quality of speakers you can find, or afford.
I would suggest going the 'used' route. There is no shortage of used hi-fi- speakers and home theatre amplifiers available. I just got two sets of Mission speakers for $350 and they sound really good in the four corners. Finding a centre speaker that matches in sound quality, may be a bit harder. It is also not really necessary to have a sub-woofer if you get a good frequency range from the front and rear speakers.
Make sure the amplifier can amplify at least 5 speakers and has discreet analog inputs for those channels.
You will also need a computer sound card that has 5 or more channel outputs.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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Re: Surround sound

soundblaster audigy 2 (50$) + cheap 5.1 logitech speaker system (about 150$) + Sony acid pro (about $250 )
if you already got an editing appl. allowing 5.1 sound (like Adobe premiere) you do not need to purchase another software
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Old March 20th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #10
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Re: Surround sound

Being capable of doing 5.1 and doing 5.1 well are two very distinct thing and are NOT the same, it depends on your budget and how well you want to do it...
Whats your version of reasonable budget?
$200 bucks worth of computer store stuff will not get you to doing pro level stuff.
Most Pro studios doing 5.1 are using self powered studio monitors per channel. (not cheap)
so your budget really does tell us which way to direct you, you can pent $200 per speaker all the way to $2k per speaker or more...
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:37 PM   #11
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Re: Surround sound

thanks for taking the time to answer.

I have sony Vegas 10 pro which allows surround editing and intend to learn to use that for editing sogtware.

I know I need a surround sound card, I was hoping something in the 150 dollar bracket could do that.

I have sony surround speakers from a 5.1 surround system for a Television that I no longer use but I saved the speakers.

I have a logictech 5.1 hooked up to my old dual core computer but it really just splits up a stereo signal.

I really do not know much about speakers and qualities there in!!!


I just want to add depth, and then go to my panasonic system and evaluate the audio as it performs on a standard television surround sound.

I can always go back to the editor and make adjustments, and I suspect you would have to do that anyway.

I want to learn how to do it and if i like what is going on then later perhaps upgrade a speaker or two at a time.

Can I realisticly do that for about 500 dollars or is that just unrealistic??
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Surround sound

Seems like you've already got most of the parts.
You could take samples of your 5.1 DVD to a boutique home theatre store, speaker demo room and try it on a variety of speakers. Then go back to your studio and fine tune it. Maybe along the way you may find the perfect speakers for your studio.
I'm just getting set up here to mix 5.1 on the ghetto budget. I have good stereo powered monitors for regular work, but had to have a separate 5.1 speaker array so I pulled my old NS10M's out of the closet and two nice bookshelf speakers from the bedroom, added a yamaha centre speaker that matches the NS10M's and with an existing sub woofer it sounds pretty decent. Way better than inexpensive powered monitors that I was considering buying new.
They are hooked up to a Marantz AV surround amp and I feed it either an optical signal from the DVD player or discreet inputs from a StudioComm Bass management unit that is fed by my Focusrite Safire interface.
(I don't know if the bass management unit is really necessary since the Marantz may have one built into the analog inputs???)

Surround is twister to wrap your mind around :)
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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:48 AM   #13
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Re: Surround sound

You already have the amplifier/sub (logitech 5.1 Z5300, I presume?), which is probably better quality than any speakers you can get without breaking the bank. Buy the cheapest Sound Blaster sound card if your motherboard doesn't support 5.1. Next buy the best 5 speakers you can get within your budget (e.g. Polk Audio CSR for the center and two pairs of Polk Audio bookshelf speakers). This is quite similar to what I have. It's quite good, and ten times better than a typical computer-speakers setup. Having said that, one could go much better, but not under $500... You'll need a few meters of 14 gauge speaker wire and RCA connectors to finish the job.
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