surround sound speaker question

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Member Since: Nov 27, 2007

If i have my 4 speakers for surround sound organized, what speaker is suitable for the centre speaker?

can i just use another monitor speaker, or do i have to have a specific one designed for the centre?

If its cool to use another monitor speaker, then can i just use one that has an RCA jack in the back?

I will be using the "spdif digital out" from my interface, for the centre speaker, would the RCA jack on the back of a monitor speaker be acceptable?
im thinking not, but just wanna check.

if its no good, then what sort of speaker will i need for this centre one, and where the hell would i get one?
I have googled it many times and cant seem to find anything.

keeping in mind of course im not realy savy with the whole surround sound biso just yet.

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 01, 2009 08:11 am

Look at surround sound speaker systems for home theaters, many packages simply use the same satellite speaker as they do for the front and rear speakers...however, there are center channel speakers that are designed different, focusing on midrange reproduction as the center channel in surround sound is mostly for film dialog and such things, not "music" perse'.

Since you say "four speakers" am I to assume you are not using a subwoofer then, and can't, or chose not to, go the 5.1 route? In that case another monitor would be just fine...if you are going 5.1 you wouldn't need a monitor style speaker because it wouldn't need to handle the lowest frequencies, as they'd be offloaded to the sub (if there were any real lows going to the center channel)

The SPDIF out is a digital output, the RCA input of your speaker would have no idea what to do with it. Personally, I thought the SPDIF ins and outs were a terrible idea to make from RCA style jacks because many people make that mistaken assumption. Your speaker needs and analog output.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 08:23 am

ok well, this is what im going to have speaker wise,
2x krks and 2x tannoy monitors.
which i can plug into the 2 monitor outs and the 2 line outs.
which gives me 4 speakers.
that leaves me with the spdif out to plug the centre on into.

this means i have only 5 speakers in total.
have i got this all correct or am i missing something, coz its not 5.1 then is it, its 4.1

there's bugger all info in my manual about this in the Tascam so i still have no more clue about what im doing now than i did yesterday.

is it gonna be worth doing it this way (4.1) or 5 or whatever it is?

so im gonna basicly have 5 monitor speakers going.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 08:39 am

sorry, so the .1 is actually the sub yeah?

i didnt know this.
so it will be effectively 5 speakers.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 01, 2009 08:57 am

What you are running is Dolby ProLogic surround, essentially. Yes, the ".1" is the subwoofer.

Whether it's worth doing depends on your goals. If your goal is to learn to deal with surround, then it'll be totally worth it, if it's to put out a pro quality surround sound recording next week, well, eh, maybe not. :-)

If I was you, and had the money, I think I'd sooner invest in in small set of surround speakers that have a SPDIF input on the sub. WHat many of the smaller gaming speakers do is have a SPDIF in on the sub and outputs to the satellites from there. For $200 or less you could get a setup like that. It wouldn't be the best in terms of sound quality, but, it'd be better in terms of the componenets of the system all being matched. Running completely different speakers in front, back and center would be awkward to mix with.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 09:06 am

ha ha ha (on the putting out a qual s/s recording next week)
yeah man, i got a lot to learn, lucky for me though i catch on xrta quick.

so yeah your suggestion on the gaming system s/s sounds like something to consider seriously.

only reason im hell bent on the monitors, is coz i can get em so cheap its ridiculous.

and yes, matching speakers in the end would be a goer no doubt.

could you possibly give me a couple of names to check out for gaming surround sound setup you descibed before?

and cheers dB, i think you kinda talked a bit of sense into me about not getting the other monitors.

still there a bloddy steal at 199.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 01, 2009 09:15 am

Well, let's look at this logically. Right now you have (it appears) a couple of decent sets of stereo monitors, so that's cool, you're set there.

Instead of spending $199 on the other set, you could spend that $199 on a set of surround speakers...many consumer companies make them...Creative Labs, Logitech, etc.

The other option is going to Best Buy, WalMart, Target or someplace and looking into the inexpensive home theater setups that come with a small receiver/amp and surround speakers...if the receiver/amp has a SPDIF auxiliary input that could work too...

Neither of these solutions will be studio quality monitoring, obviously, but I have mixed surround in those same environments and it's still fun and interesting to do, and with the right amount of time and attention, you can still get decent mixes.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 09:29 am

i have a surround amp currently so thats cool, i guess i just need to get speakers.

just one more thing,
does say krk and makie and the like sell surround sound setups?

so far ive manged to find a mackie one, but its just looks like one big speaker.

so then im assuming you buy this thing as the base for the rest of the speakers which you buy seperate?

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 01, 2009 09:48 am

Oh, sure, most speaker manufacturer do, they'll just cost a LOT more. I was thinking more of a budget friendly solution.

Ya know, I think I smell an article coming on about doing surround on the cheap...
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 10:11 am

hell yeah, yer idea of the gaming s/s, sounds like a good insert too.

you mustve thought i was a doofus before, on all the questions, see i was trying to sus out the whole thing based on what my Tascam had as outs,

and thinking there was only 4 outs i just couldnt frigging get my head around how it was gonna happen.

im thinking how the **** can i get 5.1, or even 5, outta 4 outs and a digi out? just doesnt seem right to have to frig around with the digi out.

well me being a dumb*** at times, i have since had a real good look at the tascam and now it seems i have 6 outs man!
all 1/4 inch trs.

so well at least that bits figured out.

so if i was to set it up with the right speakers i would have to purchase another 2 KRKs, a center speaker and maybe if i needed it, a sub? which i wouldnt i dont think. just not necessary with metal at least.

very expensive though.

i just dunno what to do now ya know, now i know it can be done on the Tascam.


so you think mixing speakers is a bit of a touchy thing to do eh?
could definaltey cause issues.

even so, maybe even ebaying a couple more KRKs could be a option.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 10:37 am

oh man, it just so happens, in the classifieds here i found a set of krk rokit 5's for $300.

they arent quite the same as my v4's but do you think they would suffice?

or do you think i really need to shoot for the exact same speaker?
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 01, 2009 09:16 pm

also found a centre speaker cheap. its a good qual home theatre one, so i might go ahead and grab all this.

for 380 i guess i cant go wrong.

now where to put all this crap eh?

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2009 08:13 am

I don't think you are a dufus at all, going to surround is a whole new mindset, it's confusing to a lot of people.

In true surround, you want the exact same speaker on the four satellites...but again, we are just having fun and learning here.

Personally, since you are obviously prepared to spend money, I'd by a surround sound kit myself.

Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

Oct 02, 2009 08:48 am

FWIW in the few surround capable studio's i've been in, they used 5 of the same make/model reference monitors and a sub....i've never done a single surround mix in my life, so i really have no idea....i just thought i'd throw that out there.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2009 08:52 am

The only time I would make a concern to get a unique center channel speaker is if I am mixing for film, as the center channel is used for the dialog the actors speak, other than that, I agree with what WYD said...for music, all five the same does provide the best, most evn, easier to mix sound.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 02, 2009 09:19 am

dudes i really appreciate the info, its helped heaps, again without this site you'd just have no idea where to start at times.

anyway, alot has gone thru my headspace since yesterday and i came to the conclusion that if anything, i could do with some new monitors as the v4's are a wee bit small (in my mind) they are probably fine but hell i want some slightly bigger ones.

im going with the new JBL LSR2325P's.
I dunno if you guys have had the pleasure of hearing them or not, but they are the most amazing little speaker ive heard.

they have this amazing clarity and the bass response is just ridiculous!

its got me how they do it, but its got all this bass respone but it doesnt colour the sound whatsoever. impressive.

so im gonna have the V4's behind me, the JBL's in front, and another krk rokit5 in the middle.

it'll do for me, im no mix wizz, but im sure i can have some fun pf'ing around and seeing what i can do with surround.

cheers again for the help, i'll post some new pics of the speakers when i grab em tomorrow.

and its official, i now have NO MORE room to fit anything else into my mix room.
she be full.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2009 09:26 am

As far as physical size, realize that most of a speaker cabinet size is dedicated to tuning the bass, the lowest frequencies. In surround sound setups (or any setup with a subwoofer, really) The lowest lows are sent off to a subwoofer, which means the satellite speakers can be smaller because they have far less to deal with. I have some pretty nice sounding surround sound in a couple rooms of my house and the satellites are tiny.

Just FYI...

It is also nice cuz they use less room, making more room for more toys. :-)
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 02, 2009 11:05 am

never thought about it in that way, dunno if this is correct or not but, my room isnt very big so im thinking a sub will be too much for it.

having said that, im not sure id have that many really low lows in my mixes, maybe a big boom here and there, you know for a crazy part in a song, not that ive tried a big *** boom before.

im nowhere near a full bottle on bass that low though.
would you be needing "subwoofer low" bass, in band type music, say rock and roll or metal?

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2009 11:09 am

Put a heavy metal CD in a system with a sub and listen, it takes the lowest bass, some kick drum and stuff...not a lot necessarily, but some.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 02, 2009 11:13 am

i know alot of Strapping Young Lad's stuff has awesome low stuff, like the *** is gonna fall outta your chair low.

Mmm, i cant afford a kick butt subbie just now, but what are your thoughts on a home theatre sub?

should be sufficient for now?

geez im gonna be broke the way im going.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 02, 2009 11:15 am

what frequencies would you be shooting for with yer kick and bass git on a sub?

i mean how low is too low?

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Oct 02, 2009 11:25 am

Home theater sub would be fine I'd I recall, I think in surround sound standard 125 and below goes to the sub, might be 175...
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 02, 2009 11:29 am

oh ok, yeah well i guess you can be sure your getting all the bass response you need then with a sub, as opposed to your studio monitors.

so really the mixing of instruments stays the same, but once you have a sub you just have a better idea on how to mix the bass your studio monitors cant pick up good enough.

cool, ive learnt alot in this little session.

cheers dB.

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