Audiofiles I need your Help Please

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by JaylumX, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. JaylumX

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    I recently purchased a Dolby Digital/DTS decoder which I connect to my Xi-Fi via TOS link thru creative I/O module. Every thing works fine and DTS and DD soundtracks sound fantastic but I want movies tht don't use DD or DTS to be decoded as prologic 2 such as multichannel AAC and WMA tracks. For that to happen, the stream has to be PCM output. Is there a way to convert those formats on the fly to PCM so that i can have prologic 2 surround.

    Cheers
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    What kind of decoder and speakers are you using?

    Upmixing a stereo source (via Pro Logic or some other matrix) would usually be a DSP setting on the decoder/receiver. If you for some reason don't have any such options, you could install AC3filter or FFDShow and experiment with the output matrices there (disable AC3-passthrough when playing files for which you wish to manipulate the audio).
     
  3. JaylumX

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    I am using the Sony MDR DS3000 headphones which has an internal logic processor for decoding Dolbt Digital, DTS and Dolby Prologic 2 but only via the digitl connection (BTW AC3 audio sounds awsome). There are two ways to output Prologic 2 Audio; first is by setting the effects switch to Cinema or music (I don't want to do it this way) and second when audio is output in PCM format. I prefer to do it the later method.

    Also I quick question. Why is it that the X-Fi series of cards only output digitally in Stereo unlike the Audigy 2 and Live series which output in 5.1. The stereo decision on the X-Fi seems like creative is de-evolving. Can anyone inform me as to the specific reasoning behind this (In detail if you can). Before you ask, I know that my X-Fi decodes in 5.1 when presented with a pure AC3 or DTS stream, but why not other sound sources?

    Cheers
     
  4. Davros

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    you now the xfi has a built in decoder have you disabled it ?
    ps: have you tried enabling cmss
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Why not, if I may ask, if that's an option? While you get greater flexibility by intercepting and altering the audio stream on the PC side, you probably won't get better results than with the two Pro Logic II presets on your headphone. Besides, it's way more cumbersome.

    I see that, as Davros mentioned, that the X-Fi drivers (unless disabled by the OEM) also have a decoder and a suite of 'user friendly' matrix options (speaker settings). I'm guessing that, along with the Creative proprietary audio enhancements will give you good 2-channel results without messing with AC3Filter. For that matter, you'll probably get better results letting the X-Fi do all decoding than whatever simulated surround sound the decoder in the headphone transmitter can do (it will downmix and filter to two discrete channels anyway).
    Because (luckily) the market for proprietary digital speakers has gone away. Having held a stranglehold on the market Creative never had any incentives to license DD Live or DTS Connect, so when their proprietary speaker market dried up they reverted to the lowest common denominator of PCM + DTS/AC3 passthrough. The Auzentech X-Fi Prelude is scheduled support those technologies, though.
     
  6. Davros

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    ps: what output rate is your xfi set to 22khz,44.1khz,48khz,96khz
    maybe its set to one that your decoder doesnt like

    "Also I quick question. Why is it that the X-Fi series of cards only output digitally in Stereo unlike the Audigy 2 and Live series which output in 5.1. The stereo decision on the X-Fi seems like creative is de-evolving. Can anyone inform me as to the specific reasoning behind this (In detail if you can). Before you ask, I know that my X-Fi decodes in 5.1 when presented with a pure AC3 or DTS stream, but why not other sound sources?"

    I dont get what your saying firsdt you say the xfi only outputs digital in stereo, then you say "I know that my X-Fi decodes in 5.1 when presented with a pure AC3 or DTS stream" well ac3 is 5.1 not stereo or are you saying its only decoding 5.1 over analog ?
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Doesn't have to be. While 5.1 is the channel configuration most commonly associated with Dolby Digital/AC-3, lots of other configurations, with or without LFE, are valid from mono and upwards. For instance, there's lots and lots of stereo AC-3 tracks around as they take up much less space than PCM.

    Edit: What the original poster is attempting seems a bit useless to me, though. He'd end up taking a stereo track, upmixing it and encoding as Pro Logic II, which will be interpreted and downmixed to a filtered stereo signal by the headphones. Seems better to me to either apply the headphones DSP/Decoder PLII tricks directly to the stereo stream (i.e. Cinema or Music) or use the sound processing capabilities of the X-Fi (CMSS-3D) to perform all spatializer/virtual surround tricks and output to the headphones in the preprocessed 'stereo' (leaving the headphone's DSP/Decoder off).
     
    #7 Zaphod, Sep 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
  8. JaylumX

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    Thanks for the reply fellas but there seems to be some confusion here (probably from my crapy wording).

    As far as I understand any pure AC3 or DTS signals via the spdif pass-through are decoded by my MDR DS3000 logic processor and come out as 5.1. In effect my MDR DS3000 is a receiver and is connected to my X-Fi by using the Digital I/O modules andTOSlink. My X-Fi does not touch the signal and from what I am aware of, if I let creative decode those streams, I would not get the sexy 5.1 effect of my Headphones so its better if i let them decode the streams. None AC3 or DTS signals on the other hand will come out as stereo on my X-fi due to its limitation (and Creatives Decision) if I use the Spdif Out as far as I know.

    Secondly I would rather not use the Prologic 2 switch on my decoder and there is no need to concern yourself with my reasons since the original topic was created to enquire on any software options anyway.

    Now i have found a program that is capable to encoding Dolby Digital on the fly in software if i can get it to work redocneXk, and using FFdshow and AC3filter I have managed to output those signals as AC3 but I am more interested in a PCM equivalent if it ever exist.

    My question is that is there any plugin or filter to a media player that will allow me to output any none AC3/DTS signal as PCM such as AAC, Ogg, WMA etc. I currently use Media Player classic so any directshow filter will do. That is my only concern at this point in time.

    Thank you
     
  9. Davros

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    acc ogg wma are file formats
    im still sort of confused ;)

    "and there is no need to concern yourself with my reasons"
    admit it its cos its pants isnt it :D

    ps: those headphones are they 5.1 or stereo ?

    are you really sure the xfi will only ouput 5.1 via the analog out and not the spdif - thats what your saying isnt it ?
    i cant really beleive thay would do such a thing i dont have one so i could be wrong

    ps: you do realise that prologic 2 is encoded in 2 channels - no wonder you cant decode 5.1 channels into prologic2
     
    #9 Davros, Sep 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    No. Your headphones only have two (left & right) speakers. Thus, the transmitter decoder unit is taking a 5.1 signal and putting it through 'Sony Logic 3D' to create a virtual soundstage by virtue of its built in DSP. It's not outputting 5.1 discrete channels.

    Your X-Fi can also use similar psychoacoustic tricks (CMSS-3D) to create virtual surround, the question really is which one (the X-Fi or the Sony DSP) does it better.
     
  11. JaylumX

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    I believe you are right. Eitherway, like i have mentioned is there a way of converting none AC3/DTS signals to PCM in a media player.
     
  12. Rainbow Man

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    Why can't you just tell us? :razz:

    No it does not.

    You can't get 5.1 as PCM over spdif digital interface because there's not enouhg capacity availaible there. The link was developed alognside the compact disc in the earliest part of the 80s adn won't carry more than a stereo signal in uncompressed format (since the CD is stereo).

    Peace.
     
  13. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    Im curious about this. I know the X-Fi can pass a DD/DTS signal through a digital connection no problem but it can't encode non 5.1 sources into something that can be passed through a digital connection itself.

    Are you saying that previous Creative cards could? But that the format was not DD/DTS but a proprietry Creative format that only Creative speakers could decode?

    If so, what of people who still have Creative speakers who want to upgrade to X-Fi?
     
  14. Davros

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    what you would be talking about pjb is dolby digital live creative sound cards have never had that ability (decode only not encode) nforce2 mboards had it (then for some reason nvidia stopped it)
    my onboard sound card is able to do it (azalia hd audio)
    generally its better to send 5.1 channels of straight audio to the speakers rather than encode them to dolby then send them to a decoder to decode them back into 5.1 although i guess the bandwidth limit of the spdif may be a good reason to do it
     
  15. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    Yeah the thing is though that if you want to use regular HT speakers, they often don't come with analog inputs, so digital is your only option.

    I know creative has never had DDL or DTSD but im confused by the statement that older Creative cards could output 5.1 via digital while the X-Fi can't since I know the X-Fi can if its just a pass through. Thus I assume that they mean older creative cards could go beyond a simple pass through and perhaps encode non 5.1 signals into a single digital 5.1 stream. But since they don't support DDL or DTSD I can only assume that it was a proprietry format??

    Perhaps im just getting confused! :oops:
     
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    I think this is referring to a common misconception that the Audigy and Live 5.1 line of cards really could output 5.1 discrete digital channels. Well, they kinda' could, but that's just because Creative replicated parts of what would normally reside within the soundcard in the speakers (with probably similar components). Thus, they could sell proprietary Creative 'Digital Speakers' at a premium with no sound quality or user convenience improvement. Utterly brilliant, but ultimately useless...
     
  17. Zaphod

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    As mentioned in my first post in this thread: Either AC3Filter or FFDShow will do this for you.
     
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