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Sub in Surround setup Multi-Effects Processors (HW)
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
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Sub in Surround setup

Hi All,

This seems like a basic question but...I've never gotten around to putting a sub into my surround setup. I've only mixed / mastered classical surround recordings at this point which have all been 5.0

I'm not really looking for the bottom octave of bass (under 40Hz) to fill out my mains L-R (in which case I would probably get 2 subs) but want to have a sub to connect to the LFE channel for playback of material that has dedicated LFE info.

I'm also a little leary of putting my 5 main channels through some bass management circuit / filtering in the sub since I've spent so much time / energy getting the mains to sound good...less is still usually more ?

I'm wondering if it is common to just use the sub this way or if there are any snafu's I'm not anticipating when playing back actual 5.1 recordings. Should I still be going through the bass management circuits?

Thanks in advance,
Silas
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
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DSD_Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
You should only be going through your Bass Management LFE circuits in you're doing a surround DVD that's going to be encoded to AC-3 or one of the other's. Otherwise, just use a LPF at whatever freq your mains start to roll off and experiment from there. It just depends on if your subs have speaker level input or line level input how you configure it.

Regards,
Bruce
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
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Thanks, Bruce. I should have mentioned that it would likely be an active Genelec sub with BM on board.

You hit on what I find confusing - the Genelec subs have filters at 80 Hz and 120 Hz. My mains are -3 at 38Hz so would I need an outside filter to try to match to rolloff of the mains?

-Silas
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSD_Mastering View Post
You should only be going through your Bass Management LFE circuits in you're doing a surround DVD

Not quite. You should have surround Bass Management for several reasons:

1) Even cheapo consumer surround setups have a subwoofer and bass management that typically extends very low. You should have a way of checking your mix in a bass-managed system even if you normally mix or master without subs and BM on 5 full-range speakers.

2) You need a way of checking not only low-end extension, but also how the low end from the 5 main channels sum together, since that's gonna be the situation in most consumer playback systems - and that applies to all surround formats, not just Dolby Digital or dts.

In my room I normally run the main speakers full range and use the subs only for the LFE channel, but I have a Bass Manager (Martinsound ManagerMax) that I can switch into the monitor path to check how things will behave on a bass-managed system. Some monitor controllers have bass management; the tc6000 and Waves 360 Bundle plug-in do too. Proper calibration is important - both Dolby and NARAS have published excellent, detailed surround monitor calibration procedures (available from their websites)
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
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DSD_Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
You hit on what I find confusing - the Genelec subs have filters at 80 Hz and 120 Hz. My mains are -3 at 38Hz so would I need an outside filter to try to match to rolloff of the mains?
-Silas
You should really get a calibrated way of matching up your subs to your mains. Room interaction is going to play a bigger part on what you hear down below than some manufacturer's specs.
As David pointed out, there are numerous places to find information about calibrating your sub. Even Bob Katz has a great set-up formula in the Crane Song Avocet manual.

Regards,
Bruce
Old 30th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Thanks, David for taking the time to reply. I'll be reading those references this week.

I realize after doing a bit more research that the active subs I'm looking at have a bypass switch for the Bass Management so when bypassed they only respond to the dedicated LFE material and leave the mains full-range.

The set crossovers are at 80 Hz and 120 Hz when BM is engaged. I suppose this is somewhat realistic for many home sub+Satellite systems out there. I wish there was a lower crossover nearer the actual roll-off of the mains...

Many Thanks,
Silas
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