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Old 12th October 2008
Gear Maniac
R3k's Avatar

We have three surround setups here.

All three, the surround mixing takes place inside our DAW software, with the ouboard hardware I am about to describe takes care of monitoring.

2 of the setups are a RME Fireface 800 as our soundcard. We output 6 channels from our Daw. It gets sent out the Fireface via ADAT into a RME ADAT to AES/EBU Converter, and then we run the AES cable into a 5.1 Dynaudio Air monitoring system. One setup has Air-6's, the other Air-15's.

The Air series include their own D/A , and most importantly come with a remote control and surround software, so they handle all levels, the bass management and calibration themselves. No need for a separate monitoring box. The D/A is excellent too.

The Air system is one of the best 5.1 deals around.

For the last setup, we went the cheapest professional option I could find, which is using a Blue Sky BMC Mk2. This is a 5.1 Bass Management controller. We run FF800 analog out into the BMC, and the BMC runs 5.1 analog out to our monitors. The BMC controls volume, calibration, and bass management.

As you are getting a Blue Sky Media Desk system, your best bet would be the Blue Sky BMC Mk2 5.1 controller.. a 5.1 media desk system comes with it i think. That said, if you only want to know about the audio interface, it really doesn't matter 5.1 wise, as long as you can output 6 channels of analog. Its all about budget.

Hope this helps