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Outputting 5.1 Channel Surround Sound from your Mac

75271 Views 83 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 10:21 AM by jacbey_portes RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Unmesh_va Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2013 12:22 AM (in response to parker612)

    Parker, it is not like that, I had a 2010 MBP and I used to connect it with same HT & optical cable and I could see 5.1 surround sound option under Audio MIDI and also could hear the surround soundin seperate speakers. But now I upgraded to late 2011 MBP and I am totally stuck now.

  • Jon Braeley Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    Mine is all working correctly.

    On the new retina I did not get 5.1 from the optical out - it shows stero only and will play in all 5 speakers but it's not 5.1.

    You need HDMI out into the blu-ray-dvd HDMI port of the receiver and then the receiver shows in the midi controller and you can select the channel for each 5 speakers.

  • waldo3125 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Unmesh,

     

    I think mine is working correctly, however, I'm not 100% sure.  When I'm in the Audio Midi Setup, it still shows only two channels and plays audio out of the front left/right speakers (as well as the subwoofer), however, when I use certain programs like Quicktime and VLC, the audio comes out of all my speakers...  YouTube, for example, only plays audio in stereo mode for my speakers, but that may be because YouTube doesn't output surround (I'm not sure?).

     

    I want to say yes it's fixed, because it sounds as if the surround videos I've created through FCX are working properly, but since the Audio/Midi setup won't show 5.1, I don't want to give a definitive "Yes."

     

    My suggestion is to read some of Lance's posts from earlier and then use VLC to test files that you know have 5.1 surround on them.  That's what I did and I ended up hearing sounds, which seemed to be distinctive to certain speakers, through all of my system. 

     

    Hope you can get yours to work!!

  • Unmesh_va Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Waldo, thanks for the reply. I am also experiencing the same and all my speakers are working. But all works together. When's down,oases am audio file to test surround which speaks thru each speaker all the speakers talk instead of one at a time. I configured this before in my MBP 2010 with same HT system. Then I could see multichannel in midi setup and could get surround sound in each speakers. That scenario I am not getting in my MBP 2011 and that is beating me up.

  • Jon Braeley Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    Easy to check in FCPX - select an audio clip and select the surround sound panner (Pan Mode in Audio top left window)... play with the panner and you should hear the changes in each of the 5 speakers.

     

    If this does not happen it may be because you are unable to select each of the audio channels into the correct speaker in the midi controller. You can still get 5.1 from QT and movies etc... but not in FCPX for actual mixing of audio.

  • waldo3125 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Jon,

     

    I'll try your way and fool around with the panner and see if that works.  Hopefully, it'll work in FCX as that's the main reason I hooked the system up to my iMac.  I'll give an update later.

     

    Thanks for the suggestion Jon.

  • Jon Braeley Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    In my case I could not get true 5.1 using an optical Toslink cable out of the headphone port. Yes it does carry 5.1 but its not controllable via midi which to me is uselesss. You get the same sound in each speaker.

     

    You need HDMI to show the 5 speaker set up and test each speaker in the midi config window.

  • waldo3125 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I used FCX and the surround pan mode and got everything to work as it should (and yes my system is setup via HDMI).  I tested multiple audio clips and then just set them to different speakers and they all worked as they should have.  So I'm a happy camper

     

    Also for anyone wondering, my Audio/Midi setup still shows the output as two channels/stereo, but when I use specific programs like Quicktime and VLC and now Final Cut, I'm able to utilize more than just the two speakers and subwoofer.

  • jessieownka Calculating status...

    Hey Lance, I've tried what you suggested, turning off my plasma, and as soon as I do, Audio Midi Setup shows the rest of my speakers!  Alas, I'm still stuck as the plasma already has its internal speakers set to off.

  • jessieownka Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Now that I think about it, I could never get the PS3 to pass anything other than stereo to the receiver, so it's using optical audio -- probably the same issue.  I looked over the receiver's manual but I don't see a way to "ignore" the tv audio (and again, the tv's internal speakers are already off).

     

    Perhaps I should try using the iMac's headphone jack to the receiver, would that work?

  • jessieownka Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Toslink cable with 3.5mm adapter arrived, and still nothing beyond stereo.  So either the tv removes anything beyond stereo through HDMI, or if I use Toslink even with the tv off I only see stereo.  Doomed.

  • adro21 Calculating status...

    This is great thread, thanks to everyone for all the help.

     

    I'm having the same probem as many users here and was hoping someone might still be able to help. I have a Macbook PRO Retina here and I'm literally just using it to test to see if the new 2012 Mac Mini I purchased will work properly for outputting multichannel audio (5.1) .

     

    My setup is:

     

    RMBP HDMI OUT --> HDMI IN for Samsung LED TV --> TV Optical OUT to Receiver Optical IN

     

    This setup works perfectly for 5.1 with all my other devices (cable box, ps3, xbox, etc.) but I am unable to get any other options besides "Stereo" to appear for multichannel under Audio MIDI Setup.

     

    What I'm wondering is, when the (2012) Mac Mini arrives next week, how will I get it to output 5.1? I only have 1 Optical IN port on my receiver and it is connected directly to Optical OUT of my TV.

     

    Anyone know the best way I can set this up and ensure I'm able to get multi-channel output with VLC and the Mac Mini?

     

    Thanks so much in advance!

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