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anyone using a mixer for home theater setup? (1 Viewer)

jontgt

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For my home theater system i'll be having a PC run everything, out to a projector for visual and audio going to a receiver + amp for audio.

I want to run all audio through the system, this includes pc (music and projector audio), ipod, maybe a mic and DJ devices later.

I can almost answer my own question and say I can run the pc and ipod fine just with the PC utilizing the line in on my soundcard, and a mixer would not be necessary. It would be easy though as I could always have things hooked up and adjust levels with the quick turn of a knob.

However, will my sound quality be sacrificed by going from PC -> mixer -> system instead of just pc -> system? I know this highly depends on the quality of the mixer and setup but I guess what I'm looking for is have any of you found a practical use for a mixer in your home theaters and what devices have utilized it?

Thanks
 

Philip Hamm

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The mixer is not going to work with multichannel digital sources (HDTV, DVD, Blu-Ray). Other than that, it should be a fine idea for handling stereo sources. Seems like overkill to me.
 

JohnRice

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I don't completely understand what you want to do, but I expect Philip is correct. Lately, an awful lot of new people seem intent on making things complicated. I suspect an HT receiver is designed to do what you need, switch the sources, of which the computer is one.
 

jontgt

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yes i know it seems like a lot of complication and possible loss of quality to add a few shiny knobs to the setup.

Anyone have ideas on how to get a computer to do this? Multiple line - ins?
 

chuckg

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Every piece of equipment you add to an analog audio chain will cause some signal degradation. You've already answered "how much" for yourself: it depends on the quality of the equipment.

With a mixer, you will be giving up your surround sound, and probably stuck with stereo.

I'm not clear on exactly what you want to do, and agree with a previous poster: your receiver or pre/pro will already do all the switching from one source to another. If you want to do DJ stuff where you mix things together live, then a mixer may be your best bet. Most DJ stuff lacks quality, though.
 

JohnRice

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Jon, until you actually explain what your goal is, I don't know how anyone can help you. Typically, a computer is a source, not the "control center" of the system. Receivers and pre-amps are designed to do that, computers aren't.

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Leo Kerr

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The other thing is if you're trying to run multiple sources together. We, for a long time, had a small mixer running to mix PC output to CD player output - we ran our own music under the games.

We got around that (ultimately) by a side effect of upgradeitis. The old HT processor got moved to a dedicated PC sound system, and the big, high end HT processor plays the music.

But depending, it would be possible with a sufficient mixer to run 5/7.1 sound through a decent mixer and be able to mix/combine multiple surround sources. You're just looking at serious mixers in the starting range of probably at least $1400. (The Allen+Heath MixWizard 14:4:2 could be made to do 2 five/five.one channel inputs plus 2 simple stereo inputs.) The thing is, you'd have to have an external processor/decoder to make it work - that is, it only has analog inputs.

Contact me if you want specifics on how to make it work, but otherwise, yes, you can make this work, but it's not clear what or why you're trying to do.

Leo
 

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