OS X 5.1 sound on mac games?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by insane79, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi guys,
    i am planning to get a 5.1 setup for my iMac, do mac games support 5.1 surroundf sound? i got a lot of feral & aspyr games like batman AC, tomb raider, bioshock infinite etc but don't see in their game specification if they have surround sound. Any inputs would be great for me deciding to get this setup or not.

    Thanks,
    Burjor
     
  2. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #2
    What connections will the speakers have?

    Macs don't have analogue connections like most PCs and if you try and use optic, it won't work since the sound is not encoded.

    Apparently some Mac games can export surround sound via HDMI but I can't verify this personally.
     
  3. insane79 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #3
    well not decided on speaker setup , are you using 5.1 sound to play games on osx?

    Thanks..
     
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #4
    Not OSX, Windows. I use a PCIE soundcard in my 08 Mac Pro and output surround sound via the soundcards optical output (with Dolby Digital encoder) to a home cinema receiver with normal speakers.

    I have read on here that USB soundcards may work that can export surround sound to six analogue outputs but I can't remember their specifications.

    I can use my Mac Pros direct optical output for surround sound in movies but they are encoded.
     
  5. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    #5
    There's a lot of USB sound cards, etc. that work with OS X and 5.1/7.1. Provided you poke around with the Audio MIDI setup in OS X's Utilities you shouldn't have issues.

    As for games... it's going to be on a game by game basis. I'm not aware of any games that offer it, but I've never gone digging as I've always had a 2.1 setup.
     
  6. imacken macrumors 65816

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    Feb 28, 2010
  7. denisvj macrumors regular

    denisvj

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #8
    Unfortunately not.

    Optical can't convey more than two channels at once hence why the sound needs to be encoded like a movie. Not aware of any dolby or dts live encoders that work in OSX.

    If you got surround sound, it may be that your amplifier is set to Pro Logic which is basically simulated surround sound.

    PC surround sound is easy since most PCs have those six multi-coloured analogue connections at the back. Its a pity that its so hard on a Mac since it really adds to the experience.

    From game to game I do find that some surround sound effects are less convincing that others so I suppose it depends on the games audio engine.
     
  9. insane79 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #9
    so i guess i will settle for a virtual 5.1 experience from a external sound card, so i can use my headset & enjoy virtual surround at least hmmn, got to hunt a good one now..

    Thanks..
     
  10. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #10
    Pretty much every Feral game can output surround sound if you have the correct external sound card / amplifier. However you need to make sure you have the right amp and setup to take advantage. There are a number of threads on this forum and on InsideMacGames that can help you and also contain information from people playing using surround sound systems on Mac.
     
  11. imacken macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    #11
    Edwin is right, but please look at the thread I linked to in post #6.
    Getting the 'right' equipment is not in any way straightforward. I followed advice about receivers with HDMI audio, bought one, only to discover that all receivers with HDMI audio are not equal, and it didn't work.
    I settled in the end for a good Pro-Logic setup, and although not the same as 5.1, I am happy with the sound.
     
  12. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #13
  13. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #14
    Optical out doesn't often work for gaming as it relies on the game or application encoding the audio into a DTS or Dolby Digital stream in realtime.

    If you use the HDMI it can send the separate audio streams which is how most games on the Mac enable audio. The links in this thread give a good explanation of how it all works.
     
  14. insane79 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #15
    ed,
    i have decided to go for an external sound card which will decode dolby digital & then makes it virtual 5.1 to stereo headphones, this discrete 5.1 sound on mac games is too advanced, do Feral games support dolby digital so an external sound card can convert it into virtual 5.1 sound for headphones like creative has for the mac?

    Thanks.
     

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