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Multi-Use PC: The next step -- seeking advice about multiple audio systems

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,526
940
126
For at least four years and on each of two successive systems (Q6600 and i7-2600K), I have run a two-monitor setup to view Media Center HDTV on one monitor with regular desktop and gaming apps on a desktop monitor.

The current setup:

NVidia GTX 780 ->HDMI->Onkyo AVR->LG-HDTV

Before adding either the HDMI output, AVR and HDTV to the system, all my audio went through the onboard ASUS "HD Audio" to a set of Logitech Z740 5.1 speakers. With my initially-inexperienced setup for media center with the HT equipment, this seemed to pose complications, so I turned off HD Audio in BIOS and left the Logitech speakers turned off.

I would now like to re-enable HD Audio and the Logitechs for use with games and all other system sounds, while preserving the HDMI (NVidia) output to my HT equipment and its configuration with Media Center.

I don't just want to "play around" with this and experiment. So I did some web-searches to find that others want the same thing with variations of purpose.

I find that some people use an application called "Virtual Audio Cable" or VAC for which the author wants about $25.

Another application I found mentioned by people with similar interests on forums is:

http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr/Cable/index.htm

And I also found -- on my own -- this third application:

http://www.e2esoft.cn/vsc/

In addition, people speak of something called "XSplit."

I don't mind spending up to $50 on a software license for programs that don't have bugs, don't adversely affect my Windows stability or otherwise cause problems. So the chump-change isn't the issue.

Can anyone give me some advice on this, so I can save some time, trouble and misery?

I've just finished a long period for "shaking down" my Sandy Bridge system, cleaning up sources of Event Log errors, and discovering hardware malfunctions -- the latest being a USB 3 front-panel hub that apparently was found by users to cause voltage surges -- apparently with no problem for the rest of my system but the hub is dead.

After I finish this, I want to pick up some wireless robotic cameras and add a "home-security-surveillance" feature to the Sandy Bridge so that all these things -- the Home Theater, the home-surveillance and multiple (but only double) use of sound cards/HDMI etc. works flawlessly.
 
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Kroze

Diamond Member
Apr 9, 2001
4,052
1
0
Your post is confusing but I think what you want is the ability to have the logitech speakers to work while you play video games and have the HDMI output to your home theater while you're watching movies?

I think you just right click on the speaker icon on your desktop and select "playback devices" and set your default playback devices to HDMI when you want to watch movies or Speakers when you want to play games. Windows doesn't simultaneously output sounds to both.
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
17
76
Yeah, I think Kroze is on to it, Im quite sure you can select the audio device per application, although I havent looked into a VAC!
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,526
940
126
I appreciate your responses.

But . . [I hate to start with "But," but . . ] if you look into this as a similar question posted on M$ and Windows forums, a crowd of people are disgruntled that Microsoft itself doesn't offer an add-in or never built in this capability for Windows. Yes -- there is a "default" sound stack or device; yes -- you can designate another device as a "communications" device.

HOW-ever . . . Let me describe my experience with one excursion through this -- which was quite by accident. Before I disabled my SB-K Intel HD 3000 iGPU, I had it set up independently of my dGPU (the NVidia). I'd made the Intel HD 3000 my "primary" desktop adapter-monitor, leaving the AVR/HDTV running off the NVidia -- continuing to work as Media Center's default device. I was also testing another monitor I have here -- planning eventually to work it into the mix, so that was my "desktop" monitor. It, too, had an HDMI connection to the HD3000 iGPU. Since games and Window applications defaulted to my desktop, the monitor's speakers were outputting sound for those applications and the HD3000. The HDTV continued to receive HDMI from the NVidia GTX 780 with sound and video without a hitch.

Kroze made the incorrect assumption -- a reasonable error -- that I want to play games and work on the computer exclusively, or watch TV and play music exclusively. But I can -- and want -- to do both simultaneously. WHICH -- I NOW DO, but all sound goes through the AVR. Thus, facing the monitor when I'm playing a game, "left" is right, and "right" is left, since my back is turned to the TV and the 5.1 AVR surround-sound array.

Sometimes I just use the TV as a radio, listening to the news broadcast. I can "sleep" the TV's screen to save power, but I'm up, down, around and about in this room and everywhere.

Supposedly, you get around the problem of Microsoft's "default" sound device as mutually exclusive to other devices with the "virtual audio" software. This, since those posts in Windows forums piled up between 2010 and 2012, because M$ never did anything about it.

The more detailed aspects of this issue discussed by the forum posters I cite, include allocation of different applications to different sound devices. And of course, in the Windows "mixer," "system," "Media Center" etc. may show with their own volume controls. Some people think this can be done entirely in the Windows Sound setup, but others promote these software options -- "virtual audio" -- that I mentioned.

Certainly, someone out there is so immersed in audio and media technology that they understand the issues. If Kroze and Solmeister are now curious about this, let's wait and see whether someone else can weigh in on it.
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,368
740
126
Man... that's a lot or read :D

I dont have any solution but still want to understand and summarize the issue. So you want to run game and movie simultaneously and get the game audio though on-board and movie audio through GTX780? If that's correct then yes, you will need 3rd party hardware/software. In my experience, windows cannot do that by default.

Now about your condescending M$ comment, well... at one point "M$" got into trouble for including free media player and Internet Browser, but now people want everything included for free... catch-22 :biggrin:
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,526
940
126
Man... that's a lot or read :D

I dont have any solution but still want to understand and summarize the issue. So you want to run game and movie simultaneously and get the game audio though on-board and movie audio through GTX780? If that's correct then yes, you will need 3rd party hardware/software. In my experience, windows cannot do that by default.

Now about your condescending M$ comment, well... at one point "M$" got into trouble for including free media player and Internet Browser, but now people want everything included for free... catch-22 :biggrin:
That's correct. get . . game audio . . . onboard/HD-Audio/analog . . . [HT] through GTX780.

For M$, I don't spend a lot scouring their websites and forums unless I'm troubleshooting. I thought they had lots of "free stuff" for download. But after that DOJ Anti-Trust Division case against M$ sometime around the millennium, maybe they define some limits. I'd just think that this sort of thing would prompt them to provide some sort of add-in, even if all the revenue went to another software firm or programming team. They do, after all, maintain a compatibility list of tested software rated with caveats.

Or . . . are we the guinea-pigs for these two or three shareware options, for which I posted links? And another question: which software among these, or others anyone knows of, will help me meet the objective? What's reliable, what's limited, and what isn't in either respect?
 

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