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Old January 12th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #1
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Not Hearing Center Channel When Editing Surround Sound

I have not been able to hear the center channel at all when editing surround sound projects on Vegas 4 (e build). I have tried every option on the “surround panner” and still been unable to hear any audio on my center channel speaker.

My computer has 5.1 outputs, and the receiving amp has 5.1 inputs. The 5.1 driver on my computer runs test tones on each of the individual speakers (including the center channel) without any problems. I am very confident they are connected properly.

If anyone has experienced this problem or could offer a solution, please do so.

Thanks,
Brad
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Old January 12th, 2004, 09:35 AM   #2
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If you say "5.1" output, do you mean a digital output or do you use 6 seperate analog audio-outputs that are connected to 6 analog inputs of a digital surround encoder/amplifier?

Vegas needs to render/encode to a Dolby Digital AC3 file, that can be played back via a digital output to a surround amplifier. It doesn't do "AC3 encode" on the fly. using a soundcard with 6 seperate outputs as described above is the only way you can monitor your editing in the timeline before you render/encode to a AC3 file.

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Old January 12th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #3
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I think the problem is just the centre channel level. For some reason Vegas puts the centre channel level at -inf level or whatever that stands for.

At any rate the way to solve it is to double click on the surround panner icon to bring up the full surround panner window, and adjust the centre channel slider at the bottom to 0 to make it the same reference level as all the other channels.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #4
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Forgot to add that you will also need to go to Options, Preferences, Audio Device tab and change the audio device to Direct Sound Surround Mapper, otherwise when you pan a sound to the rear channels the front left and right speakers still have the sound coming out of them at the same level.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:55 AM   #5
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“If you say "5.1" output, do you mean a digital output or do you use 6 separate analog audio-outputs that are connected to 6 analog inputs of a digital surround encoder/amplifier?”

- The sound card on the computer has 6 separate outputs to an amplifier that has 6 inputs for 5.1 monitoring.


“the way to solve it is to double click on the surround panner icon to bring up the full surround panner window, and adjust the centre channel slider at the bottom to 0 to make it the same reference level as all the other channels.”

- I will try this tonight (as well as making the change to Direct Sound Surround Mapper).
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #6
 
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Generally, you'll find the better setting for surround to be either Windows Classic or Asio drivers, depending on the sound card and it's driver properties.
Make sure you turn UP the Center channel, by default it's turned to full off.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #7
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When I tried those settings with my Digifire 7.1 whenever I panned to the rear channels the sound stayed at the same level in the fronts.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:35 PM   #8
 
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If it's a 7.1 card, it's going to mux the rear with the central rears as well. That said, "Generally, you'll find the better setting for surround to be either Windows Classic or Asio drivers, depending on the sound card and it's driver properties."
But not always. Sound card drivers will vary. Are you sure you have your rears mapped correctly? Not connected to the side monitors vs rear? I don't know that sound card, so can't comment on it. With an Echo, M-Audio, Frontier, Aardvark, and ESI cards, all of which I've tested, Classic or Asio are best choices. Mileage may vary with other cards.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #9
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My card is set to 5.1 output, so the 7.1 doesn't come into it. The Vegas help also suggests using the Surround mapper for surround sound.

Are you mixing it up with the driver properties set within Windows as opposed to the audio device settings in Vegas itself? Just wondering as Asio is not one of the options within Vegas.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 05:44 PM   #10
 
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ASIO IS one of the options in Vegas. At the risk of sounding kinda arrogant, I wrote the book on Vegas . Both of them, truth be known. Plus the Vegas Training DVD's and some of the original tech docs as well.
If your sound card has ASIO drivers, they'll show up. If you have Vegas 3, it won't show up because Vegas 3 doesn't support ASIO.
Classic Wave, WDM, Microsoft Mapper, and ASIO are all choices.
http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.co...FeatureID=6901
Regardless, Classic Wave drivers is the general choice for surround sound routing, depending on the audio card. I realize what the Vegas help recommends, but the docs aren't always right. You'll get better system performance from the Classic drivers with *most* sound cards, I promise.
In reading the Hercules docs page, it's clear it's a consumer card. It offers neither WDM nor ASIO drivers, and doesn't provide discreet outputs. It might be that they are using a common ground, and a mux for the rear or rear sides. Further, Sensaura DOES use muxing and phasing for part of their effect, so that too, could be part of the issue of blended channels. There could also be a speaker system issue happening there as well. Not seeing/hearing the exact issue makes it hard to troubleshoot.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:09 PM   #11
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Not sure what you mean by discrete outputs? It has 4 stereo outputs. One for the Front and Sub signal, one for the front left and rights, one for the rear left and rights, and one for the centre rear pairs, plus an optical for streaming AC3 from DVD's. So I'm not sure how much more discrete a channel output system one can get unless you mean having 8 completely separate mono outputs?

When I used the surround mapper I can pan the sound around quite happily with no leakage to any of the other channels when I don't want it to. The original poster had a similar problem to the one I had and I suggested a solution that worked for me. The other options allow me to pan the sound around to the other channels, but the front pair just remained at the same level for some reason.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #12
 
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Discreet=separate channel/output for each speaker. Using consumer speaks like a logitech or Kensington type speaker system would not be useful if you had discreet outputs, so you are using this correctly. Pro systems will only accept discreet outputs. Since I've never used a consumer card nor speaks for surround, I'm not able to intelligently comment on what happens with what consumer cards/configurations. Oddly enough, I'm buying a consumer 5.1 system for my home computer to check mixes on, plan on doing that later this week when I'm in LA for the NAMM show. If your card works correctly with the mapper outputs, that's wonderful. And it may well be that consumer cards require the mapper vs classic drivers. Mapper is a 'consumer' routing system whereas classic isn't.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:49 PM   #13
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It seems that way. I've just been messing around with it some more, changing the settings around Windows and all over. The only way I can get decent panning with no leakage is to use the surround mapper. So it must be that comsumer cards have to use this system.

Much as I would love a pro card I'm afraid my budget doesn't stretch that far :-)
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Old January 13th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #14
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Simon,

Great advise! I did just what you suggested, and the 5.1 works perfectly. I edited a train soundtrack through our editing room, and all that was missing was the breeze.

I am very grateful.

Brad
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