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Author Topic: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones  (Read 16947 times)

crawfofd

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One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« on: October 01, 2014, 10:58:22 am »

I am looking for procedures to setting up multiple zones from one sound card on motherboard. I would like to have 3 stereo outputs from a 7.1 sound card.  I know this is possible. I've seen posts that say it can be done, but directions how is another thing.  So I will wait as usual for someone to help me while I should be able to find it either in the wiki or here online.  
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Matt

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 11:11:24 am »

Set up a zone for each playback area.

Set each zone to 2 channel playback in a 5.1 container in DSP Studio.  Then use Parametric Equalizer to copy from 1 and 2 to the correct channel numbers for the zone.

That's really all there is to it.  Let me know if you get stuck.
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

6233638

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 11:42:18 am »

There are two ways of doing this, depending on your requirements.
 
  • You can create a single zone which routes the same audio to all three locations.
  • You can create three separate zones which send independent audio to each location.

 


Creating a single zone which sends the same audio to all three locations
 
1.  In the Output Format section of DSP Studio, set the number of channels to "2 channels (inside 7.1 channel container)"
 
2.  Now in the Parametric EQ add "Mix Channel" rules, which copy the Left channel to Surround Left and Rear Left, and Right to Surround Right and Rear Right:
 

 
Now when you play music in this zone, it will be sent to all three locations.
 
 


 
To create three separate zones for independent audio output in each location
 
 
1.  Create three new zones, one for each location.
 
2.  You must configure these zones to use a non-exclusive output - either DirectSound or WASAPI with "open device for exclusive access" disabled in the Device Settings. DirectSound is the easiest option, but may not be bit-perfect since it goes through the Windows mixer.
 
3.  Configure each zone with the Output Format in DSP Studio set to "2 channels (inside 7.1 channel container)"

4.  If you are using WASAPI rather than DirectSound, you must also right-click the Sample Rate box in Output Format and set it to whatever your sound card is configured to in the Windows Control Panel or playback will fail.
     If you only play CD-quality music, I would set this to 44.1kHz and adjust the Control Panel to match.
     If you have a mixture of high resolution and CD-quality music, I would use the highest sample rate that your soundcard supports.
There is no need for step 4 with DirectSound, as Windows will handle the resampling instead.
 
5.  Now each zone must have different Parametric EQ settings. The first zone does not need any, since it will just use the left and right channels.
     The second zone must be configured using the "Mix Channels" option again, but this time it should move Left to Surround Left, and Right to Surround Right.
     The third zone is as above, though it moves Left to Rear Left, and Right to Rear Right.
 
6.  If you are using Media Center for volume control, rather than the receiving device, configure the zones to use "Internal Volume".
 
 
Now you should have three independent zones which all use the same device.
I assume you would also be able to link the zones if necessary, though you may have a better experience using the first option for that.
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crawfofd

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 01:16:04 pm »

Thanks Matt and 6233638,

I will try your suggestions and thanks for your quick response.  I still am having a problem on trying to find that info on my own.  If you are unavailable how would I get this information.  I really try to find the info before posting but to spend hours on hours digging through the posts is quite time consuming.  So is there a specific way I would need to search for that info???
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6233638

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 01:29:52 pm »

You know, I'm not sure if there's information like this on the Wiki or not.
That's just from me hanging around the forums for a while now and being familiar with the program.
 
If there isn't anything on the Wiki about this, I might see about adding this post to it at the weekend.
 
 
I do think that some kind of wizard might be useful when adding new zones to automatically configure them like this.
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mwillems

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 01:30:23 pm »

@crawfofd, one way to help ensure that future searchers can find this information is to name your threads descriptively so they show up in searches of the forums.  For example, if this thread were titled "How do I set up multiple zones from one sound card on the motherboard" instead of "How would I find this," a person (like you, but in the future) searching for the info would find this thread and the solution to their problems.  

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fitbrit

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 03:38:36 pm »

6233638, you are outdoing yourself today with these excellent posts/guides.
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glynor

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2014, 05:45:05 pm »

6233638, you are outdoing yourself today with these excellent posts/guides.

+1

He often does.

The Zones page on the Wiki could certainly use a bit of work.  It's been on my long-term list for a long time.
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RonnyLULU

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Hi,

I am trying to set up 2 zone with my 7.1 onboard ALC882 Soundchip.

In the Windows Settings everythings seems to be ok: i can see and test the speakers output device. When i test the left and rigth channels the test sound is playing in the Living room an when i test the center & subwoofer channels the sound is playing in bathroom.

In the JRiver Settings i tried the tutorial above with Windows Direct Sound. There a now 3 zones: Player, Livingroom and Bathroom.
The Livingroom ist set to Windows direct with left and rigth channels, and the bathroom also with center and subwoofer channels.
In the DSP settings i configuered for all zones: 2 channels with in a 7.1 container.

But i always get an erro when starting playback to one zone:
"Playback could not be start using the format 44,1 24bit 8ch.  This format would work: 44,1 24bit 2ch."

What am i doing wrong?

Thank you very much in advance for your help
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6233638

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 02:41:39 pm »

Hi, I am trying to set up 2 zone with my 7.1 onboard ALC882 Soundchip.

In the Windows Settings everythings seems to be ok: i can see and test the speakers output device. When i test the left and rigth channels the test sound is playing in the Living room an when i test the center & subwoofer channels the sound is playing in bathroom.

In the JRiver Settings i tried the tutorial above with Windows Direct Sound. There a now 3 zones: Player, Livingroom and Bathroom.
The Livingroom ist set to Windows direct with left and rigth channels, and the bathroom also with center and subwoofer channels.
In the DSP settings i configuered for all zones: 2 channels with in a 7.1 container.

But i always get an erro when starting playback to one zone:
"Playback could not be start using the format 44,1 24bit 8ch.  This format would work: 44,1 24bit 2ch."

What am i doing wrong?
Thank you very much in advance for your help
Realtek devices can sometimes be a bit tricky.
From looking up the ALC882 chip, it is advertised as a "7.1+2" channel device, so it sounds like it can play 10 channels of audio, and will appear as two separate devices on the system.

In the Windows Control Panel, check to see which devices are listed as being "connected".
For this setup to work as described, everything should be connected to the 7.1 device, not spread across a stereo device and a 7.1 device.
Of course it is possible to set up a separate 2 channel only zone for that device as well.
 
The error that you are receiving seems like you may simply have the wrong output device selected, and it's trying to play to the 2 channel device, and not the 7.1 device.
Or, since it's a Realtek device, if you only have one room hooked up, it may have automatically detected that there is only one audio cable connected to the system and reconfigured itself as a stereo output instead of 7.1
With everything connected to the system at the same time, if you have multiple DirectSound devices listed, try selecting a different one in Media Center and see if that will play anything.
 
If that doesn't solve things, posting a screenshot of your Windows Sound Control Panel may be helpful.
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fitbrit

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EDIT:

Totally missed what was being asked. Never mind.
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6233638

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That's your problem - in bold above. It should just be 2 channels. You can use JRSS to downmix to 2 channels if you want to. Right now it's trying to send 8 channels (6 of them silent) through a 3.5mm stereo jack. It won't work.
It's a 7.1 Realtek device, and that's exactly what this guide is for: running multiple zones off a single multichannel sound card.
I suspect that the issue here is that the Realtek device is "7.1+2" and Media Center is trying to play to the 2 channel device, and not the 7.1 device.
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fitbrit

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 04:50:02 pm »

I guess I misunderstood what the "container" meant in this case then.

The +2 is for headphones, usually on the front of the case.
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RonnyLULU

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2015, 01:21:48 pm »

Hi,

thank you very much for your help.

I could solve the problem.

The problem was that jriver runs on a headless server.

I when i tried to configure the server with jriver over remotedesktop RDC the soundcard is disable and there is only remote audio that runs.

Now i have locally configure jriver with a screen on the server it self and now it seems to run.

Regards,
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RonnyLULU

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2015, 04:11:25 am »

Now that the multizone features works.

I have a few additional questions and i hope you can help me.

As the most zones only have one speaker, i would like to know if it is possible to create, with the 7.1 outputs, 8 independt MONO zones?

The idea is to configure the parametric eq. so that the left and right channel of the stereo source are added to creat a mono signal and then moved to one of the 8 different outputs (Left/Rigth,Center/SUB, SL/SR,RL/RR).

All the soundcard outputs are connected with a  1X (stereo) mini jack --> 2X XLR (left and rigth) adapter to a  8 channels amp.

Is that possible?

Thank you very much in advance for your tips.

Regards
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6233638

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2015, 10:22:09 am »

I'm glad that you were able to solve your problem.
Set up everything as before, so that you have multiple zones configured as "2 channels (inside 7.1 channel container)"
If you add the following rules, this should mix down the signal to mono and allow you to route it to whichever channel you want:


 
1.  Use an "adjust the volume" control to reduce the volume of the left and right channels by -6.01 dB
2.  Use a "mix channels" control to add the right channel to the left.
3.  Use a "mute" control to mute the right channel.
4.  At this point, we now have a true mono signal in the left channel. Use a "mix channels" control to move the left channel to your destination.
 
Obviously with mono channels, you will have to create twice as many zones for this.
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memobug

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Re: How would I find this
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2019, 05:35:21 pm »

You know, I'm not sure if there's information like this on the Wiki or not.
That's just from me hanging around the forums for a while now and being familiar with the program.
 
If there isn't anything on the Wiki about this, I might see about adding this post to it at the weekend.
 
 
I do think that some kind of wizard might be useful when adding new zones to automatically configure them like this.

Would you please add this information, or a link to this thread, from the Wiki?  The ZONE section is stubbed out there and not helpful at all.  I have been working on this for 10 hours with no success, and this post got me through the bulk of it in about 45 minutes.   Making the channels non-exclusive and using the parametric equalizer to swap channels are not at all intuitive.  Also the getting the playback bit depth right.  This is critical information!

Thanks
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Mysticeti

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2021, 01:19:16 pm »

Forgive me for reviving an ancient thread but I'm trying to use the "three separate zones for independent audio output in each location" technique outlined here.

It's almost working except it's not "independent".  If I start playing audio in two zones created using this technique I hear both streams in both zones.  Some sort of crosstalk issue I presume.

This is on a pretty old home built system with a ASUS H87-PRO mobo that uses the Realtek ALC887 audio chipset.

Perhaps someone knows why this might be happening?

If not, maybe someone can tell me if I'd just be better off getting a more modern USB 5.1/7.1 card?  Or would I have the same crosstalk issue with a USB card?

Thanks!
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wer

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2021, 02:22:35 pm »

Mysticeti, The thread you're referencing is for a very specific use case. The user in that thread had to use a splitter or otherwise route separate audio cables for the different channels to each device.

In order for someone to help you, you will need to describe exactly what you are trying to do in your specific use case, and provide screenshots of how you have configured the DSP Studio modules for all of the zones.
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Mysticeti

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2021, 05:37:12 pm »

Thanks Wer.

Turns out all my settings in MC were fine.

The problem was with the P.O.S. DAC I was using.  In case anyone else should come down this path.  Do not use this Piece Of Substandard equipment.
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JimH

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2021, 06:55:35 pm »

Thanks for reporting what you found.
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willmcd

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2023, 08:40:17 am »

Sorry to reopen an old thread.
I am trying to set up multiple zones on a single 5.1 sound card and I was wondering if anyone had an explanation of the new controls where there are "Channels" and "Extra Channels".

Is the old option "2 channels (inside 5.1 channel container)" now Channels: 2; Extra Channels: 4? Or how does it work?
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mattkhan

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Re: One Soundcard, Multiple Zones
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2023, 10:47:07 am »

Sorry to reopen an old thread.
I am trying to set up multiple zones on a single 5.1 sound card and I was wondering if anyone had an explanation of the new controls where there are "Channels" and "Extra Channels".

Is the old option "2 channels (inside 5.1 channel container)" now Channels: 2; Extra Channels: 4? Or how does it work?
Yes that's correct
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