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5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

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5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby JMengz » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:19 am

Hello people!

So I am planning to get the SPL Surround Monitor Controller 5.1 to be my physical studio controller.

My set up would be:

HD Omni output to SPL using DB25 to DB25 cable (for my Pro Tools playback)
SPL output to my powered studio surround monitors

My question is, how will mac recognise my surround monitors?
Will mac automatically recognise the surround monitors through its 3.5 mm aux output going in to the SPL?

Btw I am using a Mac Pro Trash Can (MacOS 10.10)


Thanks everyone in advance.
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:12 am

JMengz wrote:My question is, how will mac recognise my surround monitors?
Will mac automatically recognise the surround monitors through its 3.5 mm aux output going in to the SPL?

I assume you're talking about the SPL SMC (2489) as your monitor controller?

And I guess by '3.5mm aux output' you're referring to the headphone socket at the back of the trashcan?

If so, the 3.5mm output is a stereo, unbalanced signal. The only way to connect that to your SMC is via the unbalanced 'Input D' connections, which means you'll need a cable with a 3.5mm TRS plug at one end, and a pair of RCA-Phono plugs at the other.

You can then press both the Surround/Stereo button and the Input C/D button to route the computer signal through to the front left/right monitor speakers.
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby JMengz » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:44 am

Thank you so much for the info!


Yes I am referring to the SPL SMC (2489).

So if I I have already connected my Mac with the 3.5mm TRS plug to the SPL input D (pair of RCA),

and pressed the Surround/Stereo + Input C/D button,

I can now configure the Mac's built in output (Audio MIDI Setup) to 5.1?

Thanks!!
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Luke W » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:55 am

JMengz wrote:I can now configure the Mac's built in output (Audio MIDI Setup) to 5.1?

No, you'll only get stereo from the 3.5mm output.
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby JMengz » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:17 pm

Thanks for the response!

My next question would be, how can I listen to 5.1 audio outside Pro Tools? If want to listen to the exported files for example. I Want to listen to 5.1 audio from the Mac playback.
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:26 pm

JMengz wrote:I can now configure the Mac's built in output (Audio MIDI Setup) to 5.1?

No. It's a stereo output from the Mac and a stereo input to the SPL.

If you want to audition surround sound, you need to route your 5.1 audio source via your Omni interface, and the D-sub cable into Input A of the SMC, and select Input A for the monitoring.

I'm not a mac user, but I imagine it should be possible to tell your mac to route audio from whatever program you're using via the Omni, without having to go through PT...
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Luke W » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:47 pm

JMengz wrote:Thanks for the response!

My next question would be, how can I listen to 5.1 audio outside Pro Tools? If want to listen to the exported files for example. I Want to listen to 5.1 audio from the Mac playback.

If you go to System Preferences > Sound > Output you'll be able to select an output device for system sound, if the Omni is listed there then select it and you're sorted. But, I've never tried to use a HD/HDX system for playback outside of Pro Tools, and I know that at one point there were no drivers for interfaces hooked up to HD/HDX cards to be recognised by Mac OS itself. Whether that's still the case now I'm not sure.
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby JMengz » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:05 pm

Thanks again guys for the advice.

Here's what I'm thinking, I would get a stereo to 5.1 decoder like this:

https://www.amazon.com/SOUTHSKY-Convert ... 741&sr=8-4


So from Mac's stereo output, going to this decoder. From the decoder's output, I can now connect the 5.1 channels individually to the SPL's input B. (x6 RCA plugs)

In this case, I can now listen to 5.1 audio outside Pro Tools.

Do you have any idea if this routing would work?
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:11 pm

That decoder will give you decoded 5.1 (only) if the source is an S/PDIF signal encoded with either DTS or Dolby AC3.

And you could certainly connect its outputs to the unbalanced RCA-phono inputs (B) of the SPL controller.

I know some macbooks can output optical S/PDIF from the 3.5mm socket, but I'm not sure if that facility was carried over to the Trashcan.

So you there are two questions:

1. Can you get a digital S/PDIF signal from your Mac,

2. Is your source material encoded with AC3 or DTS?
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby JMengz » Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:38 am

Thanks for the reply!

Based on my research, Apple have removed optical digital out through the headphone jack on many of their latest computers. They discontinued that feature on their Mac Pro products from 2013 forward.

But I found out that there's a way to have a digital output through the USB port using this product.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-UCA2 ... ringer+uca

Now, selecting this interface as my Mac audio output, I can now have the digital audio routed to the 5.1 decoder.

https://www.amazon.com/SOUTHSKY-Convert ... 741&sr=8-4


Then from the 5.1 decoder, I can finally connect each channel to the SPL input B.


Looks like a lot of connections and conversions but I am hoping this would work.


What do you think about this?
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Re: 5.1 with Mac and SPL Surround Controller to Mac

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:48 am

JMengz wrote:Based on my research, Apple have removed optical digital out through the headphone jack on many of their latest computers. They discontinued that feature on their Mac Pro products from 2013 forward.

I feared as much!

But I found out that there's a way to have a digital output through the USB port... using this product.

...or indeed, any suitably equipped USB multichannel audio interface...

Now, selecting this interface as my Mac audio output, I can now have the digital audio routed to the 5.1 decoder.

Again, yes... if your audio is AC3/DTS encoded. Is it?

Looks like a lot of connections and conversions but I am hoping this would work.

Certainly does... but it could work... although bear in mind that there is a greater risk of suffering ground-loop noises with unbalanced connections.
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