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View Full Version : Downmix 5.1 to stereo w/ Xonar Essence One?



Psychor
09-07-2012, 09:14 PM
From what I understand the other Xonar device drivers allow this. I realize that you can't connect 5.1 to the Essence (it's a stereo device) one it would be nice if we could have 5.1 to stereo downmix support in the Essence drivers so that we can still hear the other channels via stereo.

Raja@ASUS
09-09-2012, 09:19 AM
That won't be added, as it is not a gaming device per se. If a game has a 2 channel mode, one just uses that and then gets all sound effects. Sound placement on the Essence One is better than the internal cards due to the SNR and the fact it has to deal with less noise artifacts by virtue of being external.

-Raja

kkn
09-09-2012, 09:28 AM
psychor: go in to the sound option on the game it self and put stereo as default, if its stereo you want.

Raja@ASUS
09-09-2012, 09:31 AM
Yep that's why I said set 2 channel in the game.

Psychor
09-09-2012, 03:33 PM
That won't be added, as it is not a gaming device per se. If a game has a 2 channel mode, one just uses that and then gets all sound effects. Sound placement on the Essence One is better than the internal cards due to the SNR and the fact it has to deal with less noise artifacts by virtue of being external.

-Raja

Too bad. I realize this isn't a specifically a gaming device. However, the ability to downmix is not specific to gaming devices. In fact, most if now not all, cheap receivers can do this. :rolleyes: Perhaps you're not aware but there is music that's encoded in surround.

As for "selecting" stereo this doesn't always work and when it doesn't you lose information. For example, I've run across a few programs that only output 5.1 - I know, it's ridiculous. I don't see why it would be such a big deal to offer people the option to downmix to stereo. It's certainly not technical challenge .

Raja@ASUS
09-09-2012, 06:21 PM
I know there is music in 5.1 :) But why not listen to it on a 5.1 system if you're that concerned about accuracy? Why buy a 5.1 encoded track when you've only got a 2 channel system? Why not buy the 2 channel version? Or maybe buy one of the cheap receivers you speak of and get the effect you desire that way.

Alternatively, find yourself a software player that does this for you (JRiver or Foobar will AFAIK). Why not use those? What games are there that ONLY offer 5.1 channel output? Set the game to 2 channel stereo and be done with it.

For music playback, here's what you need for Foobar:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=52887
(http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=52887)
Will work with 5.1 material. No need for special hardware drivers really, when you have the software options to output 2 channel or downmix a 5.1 audio file for FREE with Foobar. ;)

AFAIK, no 2 channel ONLY device (DAC) is going to have the hardware to do this internally, as it would require the ability to receive a 5.1 channel signal (and those are different receiver ICs). That was never the design brief for the Essence One as it is a 2 channel ONLY device. And logic usually dictates design choices, in this case the "dismisser" is that most people who buy 5.1 channel audio tracks do so because they have a 5.1 channel audio system. With software out there like Foobar and JRiver doing downmix, it's not surprising the design team would not have multichannel receive capabilities on their shortlist.

There is no playback software included with the unit. Again another feature that was not part of the design brief as there are loads of software playback tools out there that I doubt our teams could top or equal easily. And I also doubt it is going to be coded now as a tool especially for this limited field application.

Just telling you how it is, you may not like it, but it's the way things are.

And as for blu-ray, I think Cyberlink has the ability to output in stereo, also...

Perhaps you have the ability to code yourself, as your post suggests you know what the requirements for making this happen are. If you can, maybe you should send an email to the Xonar team via the email addy in the bug report thread - it's an idea...

Psychor
09-10-2012, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the detailed response Raja. What spawned this question was the release of Dark Souls for the PC. It was designed for the console and only output 5.1. However, the game offers no option to downmix to stereo. People have been relying on their sound card drivers to remedy this situation.

Raja@ASUS
09-11-2012, 06:08 AM
Thanks for the detailed response Raja. What spawned this question was the release of Dark Souls for the PC. It was designed for the console and only output 5.1. However, the game offers no option to downmix to stereo. People have been relying on their sound card drivers to remedy this situation.

You guys should be rallying the game "developer". It looks like a bad port from console. It's no good to half-port a title over, these features should be built into the game. Overall, a horrible port - not just the sound.