RE: monitoring 5.1 audio

Subject: RE: monitoring 5.1 audio
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Fri Jun 25 2004 - 09:30:48 EDT

At 1:28 PM +0100 6/25/04, Dr Douglas Doherty wrote:
>-----Original Message-----
> >>The LFE channel (.1) is a separate channel that is produced totally
>separately, not derived from anything. The other speakers should all be full
>range. These days the bass bin is used to extend the frequency response of
>these speakers so that they don't have to be so big, and it is also used to
>reproduce the LFE channel (the .1 or 6th channel) which is band limited.
>Most bass bins that are powered have crossovers and bass management built

Thank you.

The topic I addressed was one of multi-channel sound in general. If
one is setting up an 8.1 studio, for monitoring purposes, the issues
remain. If one is using ADAT or DA-88, the .1 will not be able to be
recorded (point 2 below).

The opinion of powered / non-powered speakers was one expressed by
someone who designed them. It was pointed out that if one is paying
$1500 for an unpowered speaker, ($3000/pair) and $1600 for the amp,
is it possible to find a powered speaker for $2300 that will provide
the same quality and flexibility?

Buying separate amps and speakers also allows for incremental
upgrading of the system -- a consideration in academia. In an
academic institution, one sometimes has to buy equipment on the
lay-awake plan (one lays awake wondering how to stretch the $$). This
may mean living for a year or two with lower quality amps in order to
purchase higher quality (unpowered) speakers. The original posting
spoke of setting up "one or two" studios. I took this (perhaps
incorrectly) to mean that budget may play a significant role in this



>There is much interest in this topic, and it is a matter faced by
>everyone who goes to multi-channel monitoring. IME, the major
>divisions are (1) whether to use powered speakers, and (2) how to
>derive the sub [.1] channel.
>Using powered speakers will be more expensive, and a discussion on
>(formerly) <cecdiscuss> pointed out the weakness of / compromises
>involved in building an amp into a speaker cabinet.
>>>Wow Kevin - this is a very weird thing to point out! I missed the
>discussion but it seems to be a very strange and one sided conclusion. There
>are numerous benefits to having a built in amplifier(!) and the cost is not
>necessarily higher
>If the sub is to be a 'real' channel, the output from the computer
>will have to be (minimum) 6 channels, one of them being a mixed and
>lowpass filtered version of the other 5 channels, or, an external
>mixer will have to derive the sub channel in the same way.
>>>See above - the .1 channel is NOT the summed LF from the main 5 speakers!
>The medium to which you record can also be a factor, DVD or
>ADAT/DA-88 being among the most common.
>At 9:20 AM +0100 6/25/04, Diego Garro wrote:
>>I wonder if I can use the SAN collective brain for this one:
>>We are finally building up one or two studios for audio
>>(multi-channel) / video post-production and composition. My query
>>is: how do you monitor 5.1 sound while you are preparing a 5.1 piece
>>or soundtrack?
>>- Do you use 5 separate good quality speakers (for example Circle 5)
>>plus a subwoofer driven independently by separate amplifiers (for
>>example Samson Servo260)?
>>- Or do you use a commercial AV receiver/ampli driving a set of
>>commercial 5.1 speaker-set (a bit like watching home-theatre)?
>>- Any suggestion on brands/models?
>>Thanks in anticipation
>>Diego Garro
>>Diego Garro
>>Keele University
> >School of Languages Culture and Creative Arts
> >Department of Music
> >Keele - Staffordshire - ST5 5BG - UK
> >
> >
> >
> >

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