Guide to 5.1 surround sound

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Guide to 5.1 surround sound

Post by sn0skier » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:58 pm

Note* while I know there is already an FAQ for this ( ... t=surround) I had a rough time getting my 5.1 set up sounding good, so I am writing this up as a more complete walk-through of the process

1. Make sure your drivers are set up for your sound card, whether you have an on-board sound card or separate sound card. Just because sound is playing when you plug in your speakers, that doesn't mean the driver is necessarily installed. Check the website of the Manufacturer for your device to see if there are any new drivers. If there are any you need to download and install them and then restart the computer. (you can check and see what sound card you have installed by going to "Control Panel-->Device Manger-->Sound, Video, and game controllers node" you can find out what driver you have by right clicking on the device and selecting properties and then going to the driver tab. If you only have on-board sound, the device might not show up, you should check the documentation where you got your computer/motherboard to make sure that all sound devices are installed)

3. Follow the Instructions in MM's FAQ: ... t=surround

4. See if you have a program to change speaker settings. This program should show up somewhere in the Control Panel if you do. If you do go to step 5. If you don't have a separate program, but have windows VISTA (or possibly XP) go to step 7. Otherwise consult your operating system help section to find out how to control speakers on your OS.

5. If you open the program you have for controlling the speakers you should be able to change what type of output/input the sound card puts out. Change the settings to 5.1. This will likely disable your "line in" and "microphone" ports. Find out which ports output which sounds with your new settings and plug in the 3 (4 for 7.1 ) audio cables into the audio ports in your computer and on your speakers in the proper places.

6. In this program, you should also be able to control the volume of each individual speaker or define the distance between the listener and the speaker. There should be some other settings as well which should improve your listening experience. Adjust to your liking. You are done. If the speakers in the back are still too quiet and you have Windows VISTA (or possibly XP) go to step 8. If you don't have Windows consult your operating system help section to find out how to change volumes on your OS.

7. In Windows VISTA (I'm not sure if these settings are in XP). Go to "Control Panel-->Sounds-->click on your audio device-->select configure." In this window you should be able to choose how many channels your sound card puts out. If you cannot then either your hardware isn't capable of it or you did not complete step 1. Choose 5.1 surround. If you only have 3 audio ports this will turn your line-in port into your Rear audio port, and your microphone port to your Center/Subwoofer port. Now plug your 3 (4 for 7.1) speaker wires into your computer and your speakers in the appropriate places. Go to step 8.

8. Go to "Control Panel-->Sounds-->right click on your audio device-->properties-->levels tab." In this window you should be able to adjust the volume of Center, Front, Rear, and Subwoofer levels. Adjust to your liking. (*Hint if it continually sounds too loud in front make sure you adjust the CENTER speaker very low. A loud center will make it very hard for the speakers in the back to be loud enough to compensate. You might even opt to turn of the middle speaker)

You are done.

Hope this helps and it's not too specific.

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Post by sn0skier » Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:28 pm

If the 5.1 still isn't working at all make sure when you go to "control Panel-->Sounds-->right click on device-->properties-->General Tab under Device Usage" that "Use this device (enable)" is selected.
If it's still not working see if you can get any more info from "Control Panel-->Device Manger-->Sound, Video, and Game controllers-->Right Click on your device-->Properties-->General Tab-->Device Status Field" and post it here and I will try and help.

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More Vista Particulars

Post by smoke » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:18 pm

If you're still having Vista problems, go to the Sound window in the Control Panel.

Under the Configure tab choose your setup from the choices presented (you can do 7.1 this way too).

Under the Playback tab, click Properties.

Under the Enhancements tab check "Speaker Fill". You can also go through a

You should be getting full surround now, no need for other plugins. Just output through the built in MediaMonkey output.

Try running the Room Correction setting too. Good times.....

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Re: Guide to 5.1 surround sound

Post by Darryl_Gittins » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:44 pm

I tried all the suggestsions, numerous plugins, and so on and so on, and nothing worked. Then I stuck a simple splitter on the audio out, so I could plug both rear and front speakers to the same output. Bingo, I have 4 working speakers!!

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