FCPx 5.1 Audio Monitoring

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by lamoureuxjustin, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. lamoureuxjustin macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    I am breaking my brain here and can't seem to find any clear information regarding my problem with FCPx.

    I want to monitor my audio in 5.1 but can only do it in 2.0. How is this possible? I have tried the Toslink to optical and it works with Quicktime or VLC but not in FCPx. I have tried Thunderbolt HDMI to a receiver and once again, no 5.1

    I have found tidbits of information about using an external audio card to monitor in 5.1 and have tried a cheapo Zalman zm-rssc v2 card but that did not work either.

    Am I going to have to spend some serious coin?
    Please help! :(
  2. nateo200, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

    nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Multichannel output is such a giant misconception of confusion on the internet. TOSlink cannot do more than 2 channels of linear PCM, it can output multichannel Dolby Digital or DTS but those are formats for DVD/Blu-ray. FCP X outputs 8 channels of linear PCM so you need HDMI or a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter. In order to get Linear PCM in 8 channel output form you need to go to Audio MIDI Setup (go to spotlight search or utilities) and set the output to 8 channels, 48KHz, 24bit....most receivers will take 96Khz/24bit but you won't need higher than 48Khz...if you have trouble with that try 8channels, 48Khz, 16bit. I've been able to output 8channels of linear PCM since my 2010 core 2 duo 13" MBP without some fancy audio card but Audio MIDI setup is sort of hidden in OS X (I keep it in my dock now). Some things to keep in mind:

    -You need an AV Receiver than can take HDMI audio in Linear PCM form, most all receivers that take HDMI audio will do this. Even if yours is only 5.1 your mac will out put 8channels of LPCM, this is normal and your receiver should handle it appropriately.

    -If your receiver does NOT have HDMI audio then your will need an audio card with 6-8 analog outputs and your receiver will need to be able to receive analog inputs. If it only has TOSlink then unfortunately its not really possible to monitor FCP X in 5.1 without something that could transcode on the fly to Dolby Digital, I'm sure they exist but they are rare and iffy.
  3. lamoureuxjustin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!:D
    I played around with the midi settings on the weekend after purchasing an m-audio 1814 which I later returned. I hadn't messed around with the settings via HDMI or even if I did at any point, I was expecting a Dolby Digital light to appear on my receiver but it does not. Only the PCM appears but I have total control of the audio output via the surround panning window.
    I'm feeling motivated and ready to continue editing!

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