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Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

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Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby csarami@ncsu.edu » Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi,

I have a Klipsch Quintet 5.0 Home Theater Speaker System that uses the wire 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wire Cable with banana speaker plugs.

I was wondering if I could use it as Surround Monitoring System.

Is it just as simple as buying one of these 1/4" to Banana Plug Adapter Cables 6". 1/4 Inch TS Mono Female to Male Banana Cords plugs and connecting it to my Audio interface? I really wish there was a female banana cable to 1/4 inch TRS male ( or balanced XLR) adapter as I already have speaker cable! I searched online, I couldn't find any. If it feasible, I will make one myself.

My audio interface in MR816 and it has the following output jacks:

- OUTPUT jacks 1 – 8 (Analog output jacks 1 – 8) : supports both balanced and unbalanced signals.
-OPTICALIN/OUTjack(Digitalinput/outputjack)
-S/PDIF IN/OUT jack (Digital input/output jack)


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:07 pm

csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:I have a Klipsch Quintet 5.0 Home Theater Speaker System that uses 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wire Cable with banana speaker plugs.

I was wondering if I could use it as Surround Monitoring System.

Is it just as simple as buying one of these 1/4" to Banana Plug Adapter Cables and connecting it to my Audio interface?

That Klipsch set appear to be passive speakers. So they need a multichannel power amp to drive them.

The line-level output from an interface are not capable of driving loudspeakers directly. So that adapter cable will not work for you.

However, you could, in theory, connect 6 interface outputs to the line-level inputs of a suitable multichannel power amplifier, and connect the outputs of the amplkifiers to the speakers ... and then you could use them as a surround montioring system.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby forumuser782130 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:50 pm

Thank you. Can you recommend a suitable non expensive small size power amplifiers please?

What if I am active surround and center speakers to my existing stereo monitors and subwoofer speakers?
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby forumuser782130 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:03 am

I suppose the best way would be buying three Active monitors ( as my stereo ones, M-Audio Bx5a).
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:11 am

That would certainly be a lot easier.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:08 pm

csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:I have a Klipsch Quintet 5.0 Home Theater Speaker System
What amplifier are you using with these speakers right now? If it has 5.0 line inputs (probably on phono sockets) connect the outputs of your interface to those?
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby csarami@ncsu.edu » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:19 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:
csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:What amplifier are you using with these speakers right now? If it has 5.0 line inputs (probably on phono sockets) connect the outputs of your interface to those?

I sold my amplifier and am using a speaker bar with subwoofer. I am totally new to surround mixing.
Setting Up Multiple Monitors for Better Mixing of stereo mixes is common practice. I guess this is not as common in surround mixes.

How mixing engineers try their mixes on surround speakers of a home theater system then?
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:03 am

If you have superb room acoustics, excellent sound proofing and excellent monitor speakers, it's not really necessary to check mixes on another system. That's really the whole point of have neutral, uncoloured, un-flattering monitoring. The mixes will translate, so you work faster, because you only need to listen to the thing once :)

It doesn't need to cost much, either. I recently completed a 17 track album, it really took a few years to mix (hobbyist here). It's from old tapes of my first band. Then I did a second album, of 16 tracks. This time it only took 3 months, because I was using Sonarworks Reference Headphone edition. So what I was hearing was what it actually sounded like. Way quicker to get the mix right- as confirmed by testing it in the car, an iPhone, and a bluetooth speaker. Nothing needed remixing. Ironic, right?

So ya, you'll see "grotboxes" are a thing, but TBH those are really a result of cognitive bias.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby blinddrew » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:57 pm

csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:How mixing engineers try their mixes on surround speakers of a home theater system then?
They generally will be using a 5.1 / 7.1 / Atmos system as dictated by their budget and the level they're working at. I would expect they would also be using a stereo pair and a grot-box to check portability as well.
But this is still primarily a video format - there's very little music being produced in surround.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Wonks » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:04 pm

And a surround system isn't going to sound right without a subwoofer. So you'd need to add one of those to your setup. Again, an active one would be easiest.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:50 pm

Let's not confuse subwoofer with LFE.

If it's music mixing, then an LFE is probably not necessary. Most of the good stuff I've heard doesn't use the LFE at all.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:03 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Let's not confuse subwoofer with LFE.

:lol: Indeed.

The music balancer who mixes the Beeb's 'Later with Jools' had to deal with an irate American broadcaster as few years back after it bought the show to play on its channel in the States. It wanted the surround mix version, so the tapes were duplicated and sent over. When they were checked before broadcast it was discovered that there was nothing on audio channel 4 (L/R, C/LFE, Ls/Rs), so they rejected the tapes as faulty.

The BBC people explained to the American broadcaster that the tapes were fine and, being a TV music show, nothing was routed to the LFE channel as it was unnecessary. However, the US broadcaster became quite irate, claiming that its customers would not be happy that nothing was coming from their subwoofers, and that this was completely unacceptable! (Goddam Limeys don't know how to make goddam TV shows properly... :lol: )

The complaints bounced around various BBC departments until it ended up with the Sound Supervisor who actually mixed the show having to explain to someone at the US broadcaster about the presence and role of bass-management in all home-theater systems, and why there would always be something coming from the subwoofer, regardless of whether or not there was anything on the LFE channel!

And this isn't an unusual confusion, sadly, despite all our best efforts. :beamup:
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby csarami@ncsu.edu » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:13 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Let's not confuse subwoofer with LFE.

If it's music mixing, then an LFE is probably not necessary. Most of the good stuff I've heard doesn't use the LFE at all.


Thank you very much for pointing that out. LFE.
LFE does not equal subwoofer
Dolby Digital programs may include a bass-only LFE channel, but this channel
does not correspond directly to a subwoofer output. It is possible for a program to
contain an LFE channel, but a decoder may provide no subwoofer output because
all of the bass information in the program, including the LFE channel, can be
reproduced by the main speakers. The opposite is also true: it is possible for a
program to not contain an LFE channel, yet a decoder may provide a subwoofer
output because some or all of the main speakers are unable to reproduce the bass
information in the program. The difference between the LFE channel and the
subwoofer output is that the LFE channel is used to carry additional bass
information in the Dolby Digital program while the subwoofer output represents
how some or all of the bass information will be reproduced.

I am using Cubase to export

I suppose Cubase doesn't add LFE channel to the surround mix.
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:21 pm

csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:I suppose Cubase doesn't add LFE channel to the surround mix.

Cubase doesn't 'add' anything. The export option just packages the surround channel mix tracks you have created to the appropriate output format.

For normal music applications there is absolutely zero requirement to use the LFE channel.

Dolby added the LFE track purely to allow feature films to carry huge low-frequency explosions and bangs and crashes in the cinema without having to sacrifice lots of headroom (and signal-noise-ratio) in the main channels.

All of the main channels have a full and ruler-flat bandwidth extending down to 5Hz or thereabouts, so can all carry any amount of conventional bass content on any or all channels.

If the listeners' main speakers can't reproduce very low frequencies (becuase they're only small, for example), the bass-management process in their home-theatre system will route the low-end from all channels to the subwoofer automatically.

So most surround music is done using 4.0, 5.0, or 7.0 formats... (or Ambisonics, but that's a whole different can of worms!)
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Re: Using Surround Home Theater System as Surround Monitoring System in DAW

Postby csarami@ncsu.edu » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:25 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
csarami@ncsu.edu wrote:
So most surround music is done using 4.0, 5.0, or 7.0 formats... (or Ambisonics, but that's a whole different can of worms!)

Awesome. First time heard about Ambionics! Good to produce sounds as coming from the earth of the sky!
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