Best way to set up 2.1 and 5.1 systems

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by stratman312, May 19, 2011.

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  1. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    I've just recently purchased a surround sound setup, and I am curious as to the best way to set it all up. As far as the 2.1 system goes, I've heard to go from the output of the interface into the sub, then out the sub to the monitors. However, my interface (Presonus Firepod) only has 1/4" outputs, and my sub (Yamaha SW10) only has XLR inputs. Should I use a direct box, 1/4" to XLR converter or cable, etc?

    Also for the 5.1 system, is the best way to just use the regular L and R outs from the interface into the L and R monitors, and then just use 4 other outputs to the other monitors and assign them in my DAW?

    If needed, I'm running Sonar 8.5 PE with a Presonus Firepod.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You should use TRS to XLR(M) cables for the FirePod to sub. In this mode, you output normal 2-channel stereo via the FirePod, and the sub sorts out the 2.1 mix and feeds the L and R mid/tops appropriately.

    For higher count arrays like 5.1, you have to decide what does the decoding and splitting. If you are doing this inside your DAW, you need separate outputs from your interface for all 6 channels (including the sub). I don't use Sonar, but I'm assuming it has surround matrixing capabilities.

    What are you planning to mix down to? Most domestic users of 5.1 expect to get channel outputs from a hardware matrix unit fed from many sources such as multi-channel DVDs, TV, and stereo CDs.
  3. stratman312

    stratman312 Active Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Would the TRS to XLR cable not cause impedence problems? I'm currently using a two channel DI box that seems to be working alright, so should I just continue doing that, or would it be better to go ahead and get the cables?

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