Stupid 5.1 Question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Garrett Lundy, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Ok, I'm having some trouble finding a clear answer to this..

    Assuming I'm playing a multichannel audio source (DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital, SACD, DVDA, etc):

    Is the subwoofer channel a discreet channel, or does it only contain sonic LFE "information" that a regular speaker cannot handle?

    If I have five full range (10-20,000hertz, assuming they existed) speakers, will I gain anything from a subwoofer?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'd also like to expound a little on Micheal's post, just to clarify things a little. In a 5.1 mix, all the 5 main channels are full-range, meaning that they are capable of carrying some VERY deep bass. In addition to that, is the .1 track, which is ONLY bass. If you notice on most recievers, the output is "subwoofer" out, NOT LFE out, because bass management in the reciever can strip the bass out of the main channels, and add it to the LFE, and then send all of that to the sub. If you have speakers that are incapable of reproducing very low bass, without setting them to small, depending on a particular movie mix there can still be a lot of bass in the main channels. On the disc, it is not as if ALL the bass is ONLY in the LFE (.1).

    So it's a little confusing in understanding the LFE in comparison with what is actually being sent to the subwoofer. In most cases (other than some VERY capable speakers (avs user poindexter for instance, rightly argues the need for no sub... HE doesn't need one....[​IMG] )), people have all their speakers set to SMALL, and so the subwoofer gets sent the bass from ALL the main channels in addition to the LFE.

    I found a very good link with some very-in depth info. You may want to read through, it may be a little too technical though. If i recall correctly there is some good info on the beginners' primer/faq too, and if my internet weren't being so slow at the moment i'd pull it up and see.

    anyway, the link:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...pril-2000.html

    Now, This is for DD and DTS. SACD and DVDA can be a little trickier...and since I'm not very experienced there, i can't say much other than that i know some players can't do bass management, or if you run it through your reciever and do bass management then you can often obliterate the whole point of the high-resolution audio by running it through often low-resolution A-D and D-A conversion to do bass management. Hopefully someone will chime in more in-depth there... that's out of my knowledge zone. [​IMG]
     
  4. John G

    John G Agent

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    garrett..i have nothing to add technically, just wanted to say hello from a former Ft Drum'er (i noticed carthage, NY) [​IMG]
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Hi John, congratulations on escaping![​IMG]
     

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