Advice on 2.2 setup for streaming 5.1 content

Ofer

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Hi all,

My system is tri-amp (3 way) mains and 2 subs. All my 8 channels on my audio interface are used. Most of the time it is used as stereo both for music and video. The common case is HLC in ASIO mode and the stream is from outside source, PCM stereo. Still I want to have the ability to stream 5.1 content, especially Netflix from my PC. Apparently according to DD AC-3 guidelines the LFE channel is dropped when down-mixing to stereo. Not all follow the guidelines/protocol, see link. But even if it is included in the mix it is attenuated ~10db (as this channel is originally boosted 10db). Anyway when trying to play 5.1 content with a 2.0 filter some channels are missing like the center channel and probably LFE. For those who stream 5.1 content with a 2.1/2.2 system, how did you configure the speaker setup? How is the format tab supposed to look? did you leave the 10db boost? sub xover is less important as it is more individual to the combination of mains and subs.


So I tried this setup:
1688727422148.png
1688727465414.png
As 5.1 and 2.0. Also tried it with one sub and 2 drivers. Nothing seems to work.
I'm not sure if the issue is the AL filters or working with HLC in standalone mode that doesn't process the 5.1 input correctly. Has anyone succeded playing true 5.1 with a 2.1/2.2 setup? if so how

Edit:
So what I did after consulting Mitch is replace vb-cable with LoopBeAudio https://www.nerds.de/en/loopbeaudio.html. LoopBeAudio enables the creation of any input scheme in Windows. I have created a 5.1 setup and 'wired' the center channel to both L/R mains and the LFE to both subs in HLC. See picture below. It works great, Now I have LFE when needed and can hear the center. Didn't bother to add the surrounds as there is no surrounds in my system. So for anyone using HLC standalone and want to stream 5.1 this is a rather simple and elegant solution.
1688830847330.png
 
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Ofer

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So obviously I am doing something wrong. I have tested this setup using this url:
And no LFE channel. Only when I route the LFE to the L/R I get a signal. Like this:
1689224112341.jpeg
What you see above is both center and LFE channels routed to the L/R in HLC.
This means the set up is 2.0 not 5.1. When going to "Edit speaker setup" after initially setting it up for 5.1 it always reverts back to 2.0 in the format tab under playback format. Not sure why. Was anyone successful at creating 2.1/2.2 AL filters for 5.1 audio playback?
 

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Hey Ofer,

I can only offer my experience with JRiver and channel mapping, so I'd be surprised if same issue but here I go....
In JRiver I found that with 7.1, or 8 channels the input to HLConvolver went in order seen in AL setup
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7

However, HLConvolver to Audio Output the channel order was changed, and reflected the 7.1 channel mapping standard (I suppose depending on what standard you agree with)
0,1,2,3,6,7,4,5

So in JRiver I need to configure the channel order to reflect this output. I thought this was unique to JRiver, but perhaps it is not?

My setup is much different than yours in that I have 5.2 active, but need 8 channels in JRiver to accommodate my 5 speakers and 2 subwoofers.
But I do use a similar AL setup with 5.1 channels and add 1 extra channel for the 2nd subwoofer.

Now, this might be a bit of a longshot, because I really do believe this has something to do with how JRiver. If it's not Jriver related, and you go back to the 5.1 setup ....then you
need to take the output from HLConvolver and map to audio output: 4-> 6 5 -> 7 6->4 7->5

Until I figured this out, I was missing output channels in similar fashion to what you described for your 5.1 setup as channels that needed to be swapped disappeared..

With your 5.1 setup I suppose if this is happening you might notice that your FR midrange and FR tweeter (channel 4 & 5) might not be processing correctly?

Should be easy enough to cautiously test . Hopefully not wasting your time. Just taking a shot mostly in the dark.
 

Ofer

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Hi @whoareyou

Thanks for your reply. Can you post a pick of your mapping?
For HLC stereo mapping the first 2 pins to HLC 1&2 works flawlessly every time. I use it mostly on ASIO as that is my main use case but it also works on windows. Looks like this:

1689400422326.jpeg
I don't want to play with the routing between HLC and 'audio output (Internal)' as this is a xover filter and mistakes could be damaging to the drivers (tweeters especially). I noticed that the rest of the input pins in HLC (the top ones) seem to be inactive which makes me think that my filter is 2.0 and not 5.1. Maybe it is because in essence this isn't a real 5.1 setup yet all 8 channels are used so I don't see how AL could determine this.
Every time I make a 5.1 filter and then re-open it by "edit speaker setup" I see that the playback format reverts to 2.0. Does anyone else experienced this?
 

whoareyou

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"I noticed that the rest of the input pins in HLC (the top ones) seem to be inactive which makes me think that my filter is 2.0 and not 5.1"
Do you mean the Virtual Cable? If so, then yes that certainly looks to only have 2 channels available, so only L+R available on that input.

I understand about messing with the XO's, but any chance you could test the 5.1 config if you removed power to the amps and only leave the subwoofers active?

I play everything via JRiver with HLC via its VST, so I'd need to configure an external setup to show wiring.
I"ll see what I can configure..

I'd like to eliminate JRiver from the equation, so perhaps I'll first try that AAC test page and see if I can get that working.

I also have Netflix, so depending on how AAC test goes, I may try configuring Netflix playback.
Are you streaming Netflix via Windows Netflix app or Edge browser??

When ( if :) ) I get it configured, I'll put up the screenshots.

For now, this is what my setup looks like. Channel ID and mapping are the same order for me.

With my channel mismatch, the first subwoofer was always mapped correctly since it is before channels that were mapped incorrectly (4 - 7). All channels afterwards were screwed up if I don't swap (channel 7 is empty for me, but I just assume that too was also incorrectly mapped).
 

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Ofer

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"I noticed that the rest of the input pins in HLC (the top ones) seem to be inactive which makes me think that my filter is 2.0 and not 5.1"
Do you mean the Virtual Cable? If so, then yes that certainly looks to only have 2 channels available, so only L+R available on that input.
Yes that is what I mean.
I understand about messing with the XO's, but any chance you could test the 5.1 config if you removed power to the amps and only leave the subwoofers active?
I can actually do that in TotalMix, the RME control consul. Will try.
I play everything via JRiver with HLC via its VST, so I'd need to configure an external setup to show wiring.
I"ll see what I can configure..

I'd like to eliminate JRiver from the equation, so perhaps I'll first try that AAC test page and see if I can get that working.

I also have Netflix, so depending on how AAC test goes, I may try configuring Netflix playback.
Are you streaming Netflix via Windows Netflix app or Edge browser??
On the PC I use the app. In the app you could choose the audio stream.
When ( if :) ) I get it configured, I'll put up the screenshots.

For now, this is what my setup looks like. Channel ID and mapping are the same order for me.

With my channel mismatch, the first subwoofer was always mapped correctly since it is before channels that were mapped incorrectly (4 - 7). All channels afterwards were screwed up if I don't swap (channel 7 is empty for me, but I just assume that too was also incorrectly mapped).
Thanks for your help. Why are the your mains and surrounds have different xo's?
 

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Hi Ofer,
I tested this out with the AAC test page.
With straight through pinouts everything worked, so the channel mapping I mentioned does seem specific to JRiver.
I have not had chance to try Netflix.

In case you are interested, I used Voicemeter Banana for virtual driver.
First, configured Banana's Virtual Aux input to 7.1 channels in windows sound settings. Output is to my Exasound DAC.

Voicemeter also provides an ASIO "insert" driver and HLConvolverHost sees the insert as an I/O device.
The output of the insert passes though via Banana to the DAC. VoiceMeter Aux Input -> Insert Input (HLCHost)-> HLConvolver->Insert Ouput(HLCHost)->Exasound Dac

If you do want to try this out, the only tricky part is that the insert is not enabled by default. You need to go into the settings / options menu and explicity enable. At bottom portion of setup you'll see insert. You need to click on each of the channels for the virtual input you want to use. So in my case I've enabled all channels for the virtual AUX input.
 

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Ofer

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Hi whoareyou,

Thank you for taking the trouble and setting it up on your machine.
So in the case presented Voice Meter Banana is the 'Audio input (internal)'?
I tried voice meter banana before HLC with mixed results, it did not play well with my RME and external playback using ASIO (my main use case). The RME has it's own ASIO drivers. For me the best (almost only) solution for ASIO playback was HLC. I find LoopBeAudio coupled with HLC to be the best solution for windows sound so far.
As it was a straightforward channel mapping for your I am beginning to suspect that it is the AL filter. I tried to make a filter with the below config:
1689477438982.png
But it is not saved as 5.1 it always reverts to 2.0. Maybe you cannot create a 5.1 setup with the surround channels missing. If that is the case then all I have left is to route/map the center+lfe to the L/R as described in the second post.

Thanks.
 

whoareyou

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Hi whoareyou,

Thank you for taking the trouble and setting it up on your machine.
So in the case presented Voice Meter Banana is the 'Audio input (internal)'?
Yes, the Audio Input (internal) is Banana's insert that is associated with the Banana virtual Aux driver. Window's Audio Driver is configured to use Banana's Virtual Aux as the input.
HLC Host uses the "insert" and doesn't see the Virtual Aux driver. Banana somehow internally wires the two together.

But it is not saved as 5.1 it always reverts to 2.0. Maybe you cannot create a 5.1 setup with the surround channels missing. If that is the case then all I have left is to route/map the center+lfe to the L/R as described in the second post.
Perhaps, the answer is to look at the 5.1 cfg files to see if they can offer a clue as to what is going on, but I'm definitely not the person to do something like that. Last time I looked at one of these files my head started spinning.
 

Ofer

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Hi @juicehifi can you look into this and provide your input?

Thanks
 

juicehifi

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This is the normal way to do it with Audiolense:


1692767530498.png


The re-routing and mixing happens as part of the convolution process, so there should not be any re-routing prior to this. I assume you should just send the 6 input channels straight to the 1-6 input of the hl convolver. @Mitchco may have to correct me if the HLC needs to be configured differently.
 

Ofer

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Thanks, but I don't really have 2 surrounds. Is there a way to do 2.2 that processes 5.1 input?
 

juicehifi

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Thanks, but I don't really have 2 surrounds. Is there a way to do 2.2 that processes 5.1 input?
Yes, the way I just showed you. Front center is shared between front left and right, side left is sent to front left and side right is sent to front right. And LFE is shared between the two subs.
 

juicehifi

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Input channels is on the top row. Your speakers are listed in the 1st column :cool:
 

Ofer

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Yes, the way I just showed you. Front center is shared between front left and right, side left is sent to front left and side right is sent to front right. And LFE is shared between the two subs.
Got it, Thanks a lot!
Edit:
For some reason after I can't save this setup. Every time I open it in Edit spaeker setup it reverts back to 2.0 on the playback format and stereo on the format description.
 
Last edited:

juicehifi

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Both formats are saved, Ofer, all formats in the drop-down. And you can make as many as you want. If you don't want to use the 2.0 format you can delete it.
 

Ofer

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Both formats are saved, Ofer, all formats in the drop-down. And you can make as many as you want. If you don't want to use the 2.0 format you can delete it.
OK. But when the filter is created it creates a 5.1 or 2.0 filter?
 

juicehifi

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The corre tion filters are the same for both. But configuration files are created for each, using the same wav-file that contains the filters. So you need to load a config file in HLC.
 

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So, would this be the general approach for creating a phantom center ?
 
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