5.1 Surround Sound does not work on my Macbook. What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Degradable, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Degradable macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #1
    Before you've asked, I've searched... searched more and just a bit more.

    I have a 2.4 GHz White Macbook and a Logitech X-540 Multimedia Speaker System (5.1).

    Because my sound system is not high-end it does not have an optical cable... it has 3 cables to plug into left, right and center ports (I can't remember the technical name).

    I understood that I would not be able to listen to 5.1 surround sound to any decent quality (the speakers have a "matrix" mode, but sounds crap) unless I had an external sound card.

    Therefore I bought a USB Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 card. However, I have tried numerous troubleshooting activities which have not worked and I can only get sound from the center speaker, left/right and subwoofer. Where as I would like sound from the back left and back right as well.

    Am I doing something wrong? I have the 3 plugs plugged into the Sound Blaster and then the usb into my macbook. The only way music comes out from all 5 speakers is using the rubbish matrix mode.

    I would appreciate any help at all... I did have a thought earlier that because the card is meant for Windows it may not work as intended for Mac... but the reviews said it is Mac compatible and the card has a drastic sound quality improvement... just not from the two back speakers.

    Cheers in advance,

    Andy
     
  2. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #2
    check your settings --- applications utilities Audio / midi setup ! :apple:
     
  3. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #3
    and maybe ask someone with that same card to post his settings! :D

    Tell me how it goes, i am searching for a 5.1 usb Card myself!
     
  4. Degradable thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #4
    What should I check for??

    The setting for output were 2ch - 16 bit... but theres no change if I move that up to 6ch.

    If I'm honest I don't even know what that does?

    If anyone has any idea what I'm doing wrong please post...
     
  5. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #5
    you shlould be able to configure your 5.1 sound there, its obvously set to 2ch only... be sure you selected the right output ...
     
  6. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Beaumont, TX
    #6
    Also, I don't know if this would make a difference, but did you try watching a movie on your Macbook with 5.1 surround?

    I know on my system in my room, when listening to music, only the two front speakers, center, and sub work.
     
  7. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #7
    As finnschi mentioned above the Audio MIDI Setup program in your Utilities folder would normally be used to define such things as the audio output setup (after of course you have set up the Output info in the Sound pane of System Preferences first).

    Just to make sure you are seeing something similar I have attached a pic of that pane and the resulting speaker configuration window. Now I am assuming that for the output device and system output you will need to select the sound card (everywhere mine says "Bose USB Audio" that is) and you will need to make sure that is selected before you click "Configure Speakers".

    Is the second pic (the result of clicking "Configure Speakers") similar to what has come up in your Audio MIDI Setup? If not then I am lost to be honest, but I wanted to show you what one that works looks like in the setup process anyways in hopes that it might help you see something that might be getting missed or such! Good luck with your setup!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #8
    OMG you are so right ... True thing, if Audio only supports Stero, it will only play in stereo... Maybe try Doom 3 or Halo they support Sourround, so if it makes BBOOOOOMMM behind you, you knwo its working... of course a DvD will do just fine , but aren't games more badass :D
     
  9. Degradable thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #9
    Thankyou for your posts guys!

    I think I know the problem, but can't figure out a solution... In the midi audio when I select configure speakers like on the picture, if I select multichannel the only thing in the drop down menu is stereo. It won't let me select 5.1 surround sound.

    Is there something Im not doing with my usb soundcard right or is it another problem?

    On my usb soundcard I have the 3 plugs plugged in and then the usb lead int my mac - thats it. As I said before it i suppose to be a windows usb soundcard and it did come with software for the soundcard... But then if it only worked with the software, why the huge sound quality increase??
     
  10. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #10
    I am not sure about the huge increase... But then you jsut bought a Windows compatible soundcard, not a mac one... i am sorry..

    What exact model is that? I might be able to hack you up some kext to make it work ;) :D
     
  11. finnschi macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #11
    I hacked something up, tell me ur mail so i can send it to you its 1.2mb so bigger than the Forums files limit :S or just add me on skype or msn ! :cool:
     
  12. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

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    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Beaumont, TX
    #12
    That was blazingly fast.
     
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #13
    [Edit] Deleted original post

    Wow, after really looking at the pictures I can't believe I didn't see "Rear" on the 3.5mm input jacks. As long as you have 3 stereo male to male 3.5mm cables plugged in from the SoundBlaster to the x-540 you should be gold hardware wise.

    Sorry about misleading you if you read what I have now deleted.
     
  14. Degradable thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #14
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-70...rround/dp/B000KFQTD2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    That's the link to the soundcard.

    I have no idea what your planning to "hack up", but I'm not accepting any random files from strangers.
     
  15. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #15
    :eek::eek::eek:

    Allright its your choice, you know that there are NO viruses out for OSX , I just searched some OSX X86 Forums, and found a driver package for the LIVE ! version of your soundcard! I changed em to fit your version... should work!

    and hey, I am not a stranger, I am jsut trying to help you out here :cool: :apple:
     
  16. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #16
    Because I am blazingly good :D
     
  17. finnschi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #17
    Ahhh forgett about the hack... I made it for 10.4 :p if you still need it I will recomile it for leopard, if not... get another soundcard :eek:
     
  18. Degradable thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #18
    Ah right my bad, sorry :)

    I've got v10.5.6... will it not work on mine then?
     

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