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Surround Souns on a G4

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by surfnerd, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie


    I am working on a G4 Dual 1G with the memory maxed out. My question is how do I get surround sound in and out of the computer. I am trying to create surround sound for a DVD and I want to be able to hear it in true form when I am creating it and not in stero which seems to be the only way. Are there any cards, software, etc... to facilitate this or do I need to upgrade to a G5 (last option)? Apple's site seems to lack any info on this. :confused:

    Thanks for any help.
  2. macrumors 68000

    So long as your G4 has a headphone plug, you can get true stereo surround sound. Just buy any speaker set that is a "surround sound" speaker set. They usually come with 4 or 5 satellites and a decently sized subwoofer. Just plug the system into a good power source, then into your computer's headphone jack, and you'll get true surround sound.

    This method work great with my 12" PowerBook G4 Rev. A.
  3. macrumors 68000

    You may already know this, the G5 has this neat optical audio out port, which probably gives you even crisper, purer sound. I don't know much about optical audio, or what speakers will plug into that kind of port, but I think it's worth looking into. :)
  4. macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    you might also think about getting a new soundcard that supports 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound and then getting some new speakers to go with it. but that could be more expesive than what you're looking for (~$250-$350 for all the stuff).
  5. macrumors 68040


    Well, you can emulate surround sound via the method above, but the actual digital encoding is lost - so it will be up to the surround sound speakers to make up the division of labor to the speakers.

    What you want to do is get a Dolby or DTS signal out of your computer (or in.) The only way to do that without an optical or audio dig coax input (via a G5 as mentioned above or by buying a new sound card) is to use either firewire or USB. Here are two example from M-Audio:


  6. macrumors 68000

    With my 12" PB, my speakers divide up the sound quite nicely, in Dolby 5.1. It sure sounds like surround sound to me when I'm watching a DVD or listening to music, in that different sounds come from different speakers. Say, I car will drive by on a DVD movie, and I will hear the car go from the left to the right.

    I like Carltonmusic's idea best, if you have the money. If not, my idea works!
  7. macrumors 68040


    Definitely, because the headphone jack is a stereo output, it has left and right. You would head a car going from left to right (very well) with a set of headphones as well. The difference in true surround encoding is frontL, frontR, center, rearL, and rearR. Almost all of the dialogue will come out of the center channel speaker ONLY.

    It is possible to create a surround sound matrix (3 channels from 2) as Dolby Pro Logic introduced back in the 90s. "Surround Field", of "Surround Matrix" are ways of saying "not actually 5/6/7.1" but it will sound a lot like it. Some stand-alone surround sound speaker sets are finding ways to do this, I think the logitech speaker set can decode DTS - but you still have to get the signal there unbroken via Optical/Coax/USB/Firewire. ;)
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Surround sound solutions abound for Macs

    Did you check among these 3rd party product items on this Apple site location?

    I have a G4 Dual 1G too.
    M-Audio is a primary solution, check out their site thoroughly

    The JBL Invader system is compatible with all analog stereo and multi-channel soundcards. (All it lacks is a Center Speaker) Perfect for a G4
    A multi-channel soundcard is recommended for best effects.
    USB is good
    FIREWIRE is better
    PCI card is very good but may be stuck inside your G4; it's not PCI-X so not sure if you could migrate it to G5 when you upgrade computers (ask them).
    Want 5.1 speakers for Mac? These are G5 optical solutions.

    To have a G5 type Digital Audio Optical solution on a G4, get the M-Audio Transit USB box suggested above at Post #5 by carletonmusic

  9. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the great replies and info. Question 2

    Now that I have an idea of how to get the sound in and out what would be the best software choice to edit and create the surround sound? Logic 6 or something else?

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Are you doing Video or just Audio?
    DVD Studio Pro 3
    includes 5.1 DTS Audio surround sound
    DVD Studio Pro 3 supports all professional audio formats by adding DTS multi-channel audio, a high-quality industry standard audio format, for DVD title authoring.
    Use bundled A.Pack compression software for encoding AC-3 files for Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, or for uncompressed two-channel stereo.
    • DVD Studio Pro 3 includes A.Pack to encode audio in Dolby Digital format, also known as AC-3. A.Pack compresses multichannel sound files, producing 1.0 to 5.1 surround sound, and gives you complete control over the audio encoding process.
      Dolby Digital Encoding
      * Dolby-certified encoding to Dolby Digital AC-3 format
      * Accepts QuickTime (single or multi-channel), AIFF, Sound Designer and WAVE format sound files for encoding
      * Supports all channel formats from mono to 5.1 surround sound

    FinalCut Pro 4.5
    includes Soundtrack multi-channel, but not surround sound specifically; it appears dependent upon DVD Studion Pro 3 for tasking surround sound encoding

    For more Audio specific tasking
    Logic Pro 6
    http://www.apple.com/logic/ $1000
    Includes surround sound, Emagic’s computer-based music production software elegantly combines composition, notation and production with all emagic plugins and instruments.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Is this a good option and will it work?

    FireWire 410 is a FireWire-compatible audio/MIDI interface that has it all—power, flexibility, compact size and low price. FireWire 410’s 4-in/10-out configuration complete with preamps is perfect for personal recording, routing discrete outputs to a mixer, or directly driving a surround sound system. The on-board ASIO 2-compliant mixer and software control panel provide total routing flexibility—including monitoring with external effects. You also get ultra-low latency software monitoring and near-zero latency hardware direct monitoring—and two headphone outs with independent level controls let you collaborate with a partner anywhere, anytime. FireWire 410 can even be completely bus-powered for total mobile operation (6-pin FireWire port required)


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