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Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Speakers, amplifiers, headphones, multi-channel audio, reverb units, mixers, wiring, ...

Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby sipirc » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:02 am

Hello everyone, somewhat embarrassing question but I must. Years ago, I was shown how to set up multi-channel routing by a savvy 'Hauptwerkian' friend of mine but I have only done this once or twice - and this dear friend died in a tragic car accident last year and there is no one else really locally who could advise.
I need to do this with four speakers by this Sunday (unless I'm just stuck with two channels as per default). I need someone to explain this at 'dummies' level, how to set this up properly. I have tried creating a separate output group but once done, it takes most notes out of the original main output setup...so I need to delete the secondary group in order to get a full scale!
What I have got:
- 2 x Richard-Allen speakers;
- 2 x JBL speakers;
- a DefTech Supercube I subwoofer;
- an RME Babyface USB Pro sound card;
- a Yamaha HX-1 console.
(- a MacBook Pro laptop).
Could someone please help explain what I am doing wrong and how I should proceed? Many thanks in anticipation!
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby mdyde » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:52 am

Hello Sipiric,

Very sorry to hear about your friend.

I see that your RME Babyface has two sets of independent analogue stereo outputs (a pair with XLR connectors, and a headphones output socket). Hence it would only be able to drive four speakers directly (as opposed to allowing independent routing to all five of your speakers, unless you also used additional ADAT DAC units with it?). From Deftech's website, it appears that the SuperCube sub-woofers don't have line outputs (to pass signal through to a pair of full-range speakers), so I'm not clear how you would plan to connect the sub-woofer? Do either of your pairs of speakers/amplifiers have line outputs to pass their signal on to a sub-woofer? Or do you have some kind of external mixer or other hardware device for that?

Presumably you'd like to set up full-range speakers as two independent stereo pairs of speakers, so that you could choose which ranks to route to each pair within Hauptwerk?
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby sipirc » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:15 am

Hello Martin,

Many thanks for your response and kind words. Stephen was an active contributor to this forum, besides a dear friend. Yes, ideally I would set these up as two independent pairs of stereo speakers but now I am doubtful whether this is possible...I was considering plugging in the two other audio cables for channels 3 & 4 in the headphones ports on the side, alternatively.

Regards,
Greg
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby mdyde » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:38 am

Hello Greg,

There would be no technical problem connecting and configuring your full-range speakers as two independent stereo pairs; in terms of connections you would connect one pair to the XLR outputs on your Babyface, and the other pair to the Babyface's headphones output. However, that wouldn't leave any available analogue outputs on your Babyface for connecting the sub-woofer, so the main question would be how you would intend to connect that sub-woofer? If you've had it all set up before, how did you have it connected physically previously? Do your full-range speakers have built-in amplifiers ('powered speakers'), or do they have separate amplifiers?
Best regards,
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby sipirc » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:37 am

mdyde wrote:Hello Greg,

There would be no technical problem connecting and configuring your full-range speakers as two independent stereo pairs; in terms of connections you would connect one pair to the XLR outputs on your Babyface, and the other pair to the Babyface's headphones output. However, that wouldn't leave any available analogue outputs on your Babyface for connecting the sub-woofer, so the main question would be how you would intend to connect that sub-woofer? If you've had it all set up before, how did you have it connected physically previously? Do your full-range speakers have built-in amplifiers ('powered speakers'), or do they have separate amplifiers?

Hello Martin,

All four speakers are passive in this case - a Yamaha amplifier is connected to the Richard Allen speakers and a Crown amp would serve the JBL's.

Perhaps one audio cable could take the output of the larger headphone socket to the sub woofer and the second one could take the secondary output of the sub to the Crown amplifier and on to the JBL 4560
speakers?

As a last resort, a small mixer could give the four channels out of the normal RME XLR out system...
https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/babyface_pro.php

Regards,
Greg
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby IainStinson » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:04 pm

You could use the SPDIF Optical output via an optical converter (such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/LINDY-Digital-Analogue-Stereo-Converter/dp/B002AKXG5E) to give a third stereo output (which you could use for the sub).

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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby rhedgebeth » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:07 pm

The Def Tech Supercube i is of their previous generation subs and does have pass through capability. (Present generation DT subs don't). Logical hookup would probably be: better full range speakers to one stereo pair, second pair of outs to sub, then sub to second pair of speakers. The Supercube i has low and high pass crossovers for tweaking the setup.
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby sipirc » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:58 pm

Thank you for all your responses! I shall look at these comments and advice and try setting up accordingly.
Regards,
Greg
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Re: Multi-channel audio output/routing setup "for dummies"

Postby mdyde » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:53 am

Thanks, Greg (and others).

If you were to attach one pair of speakers to your sub-woofer using the sub-woofer's built-in pass-through line outputs then that would be the simplest to configure in Hauptwerk, but the sub-woofer would then only be heard for ranks routed to that particular pair of speakers (not for ranks routed to the other pair). Alternatively using an S/PDIF-to-analogue converter (such as the one Iain mentioned) would be very slightly more involved to configure in Hauptwerk (but still easy) and would have the advantage of allowing the sub-woofer to be used for all ranks, regardless of which pair of speakers a rank was routed to (whilst still allowing any given rank to be routed to any given pair of full-range speakers). Thus the latter would probably be the preferable option.

Once you've decided which of those two connection methods to use, let us know if you need help with how to configure it within Hauptwerk.
Best regards,
Martin.

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