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2 sound cards how do they work together?

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May 13, 2007 6:05:41 PM

hello,
I would like to know how having 2 sound cards works. how do you set one for gaming and one for music/movies,or how do you switch between them? how do you accomplish this?

More about : sound cards work

May 13, 2007 6:35:28 PM

Quote:
hello,
I would like to know how having 2 sound cards works. how do you set one for gaming and one for music/movies,or how do you switch between them? how do you accomplish this?


why the hell do you need two?

Whats wrong with one??
May 13, 2007 7:01:23 PM

so he can watch movies while gaming, of coure
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May 13, 2007 7:03:02 PM

I don't think this is possible. The only way to switch between them would be to enable / disable in Device Manager, which might require a reboot.
May 13, 2007 7:23:13 PM

I have been using two cards for quite a long time and had no problems - just the hassle of choosing the sound output device for some apps. The main card was an Audigy and the secondary was an onboard (quite good).
May 13, 2007 7:34:35 PM

Quote:
I have been using two cards for quite a long time and had no problems - just the hassle of choosing the sound output device for some apps. The main card was an Audigy and the secondary was an onboard (quite good).


but why? need to use headphones and speakers at the same time? Sound output in 2 rooms? that could be it
May 13, 2007 7:50:39 PM

For one I was using them as separate audio outputs to be mixed externally. I am a bit eccentric and I like to listen to music on the speakers while playing with my headphones on with the music volume bound to my mouse keys (MX1000). Two audio outputs are also good for audio previews when editing video.
May 13, 2007 11:59:59 PM

Hello,
I have an x-fi card for gaming but i was thinking of adding an auzen x card for better music and movie sound. I didnt even know you could do that till i read someone elses post and there was a few guys saying they all used 2 sound cards. i just dont understand how they did it.

Is there a big difference in sound quality between the x-fi and the auzen cards? I would also like to know what are the differences between the auzen cards?
May 14, 2007 12:04:18 AM

Quote:
Hello,
I have an x-fi card for gaming but i was thinking of adding an auzen x card for better music and movie sound. I didnt even know you could do that till i read someone elses post and there was a few guys saying they all used 2 sound cards. i just dont understand how they did it.

Is there a big difference in sound quality between the x-fi and the auzen cards? I would also like to know what are the differences between the auzen cards?


theres no goddamn differencein sound quality. I wish everyone would stop trying to be an audiophile.

Just because they sell them doesnt mean you have to buy em.
May 14, 2007 12:53:27 AM

I use 2 sound cards to increase the number of simultaneous inputs and/or outputs available for recording. In my case, I use the 2 sound cards as one sound card, linking the 2 with an SPDIF cable and the kX drivers.

Some people use 2 sound cards because one card might be a better MIDI card while the other might be better for audio recording.
May 14, 2007 5:22:57 AM

Quote:
Hello,
I have an x-fi card for gaming but i was thinking of adding an auzen x card for better music and movie sound. I didnt even know you could do that till i read someone elses post and there was a few guys saying they all used 2 sound cards. i just dont understand how they did it.

Is there a big difference in sound quality between the x-fi and the auzen cards? I would also like to know what are the differences between the auzen cards?


There is a difference in quality but only detectable with an oscilloscope :)  In most real life cases the sound quality is butchered by the speakers and the rooms audio properties.
May 14, 2007 5:53:05 AM

Used to use 2 cards for DJing
One for main out
Other for monitor

Easy to setup, the difficulty comes if you have a single output, ie: one set of speakers and u want sound from different cards going to those same speakers during different apps... like one for games and the other for mp3.
That would be STUPID and painful to do.
If u wanna do ur games thru headphones and have music in the background u r prob gonna have similar problems with setup.
May 14, 2007 9:23:33 AM

Hello All,

Well, I read the auzen cards were better for movies and music. I guess thats not true. I would like to say i never cared about my music so much till i got a pair of hd280 pros from sehnnheiser. I am now in love with sound and buying a pair of westones um2 for my ipod and beyerdynamic 770 80 ohm for gaming. I now know why audiophiles are the way they are and thats why i was looking at getting the best sound from my computer. Wish i knew about this stuff sooner.

Z5500 LOGITECH 5.1 SPEAKERS
May 20, 2007 3:11:23 AM

Is it really that farfetched to use more then one sound device? Seeing as how if you have a soundcard its very easy to say your going to have 2 sound devices as any motherboard has onboard.
They wont conflict and personally I use my soundcard for music playback, and my onboard for Teamspeak.
December 29, 2007 10:51:54 PM

I always been using 2 soundcards and there is a very good reason:

Playing my music and video's via Windows Media Player you do not want to hear the PC-sounds (error, message-sounds etc) to explode through my dolby-system.

On XP I got that to work very fine by choosing a default speakerset (in my case the on-board audiocard) via Sounds in Control Panel.

Via Tools, Options, Devices, Speakers in Windows Media Player i selected the speakers I used for the media player.
That works so fine :-)

In Vista there is a different story as this is not supported anymore.
I moved to Gabest Media Player Classic, which allows to choose any audio device.

Good luck folks!
December 29, 2007 11:18:04 PM

people here are kind of ridiculous.

you really don't need two sound cards, and for those of you who use two to output system sounds differently, it's much easier just to turn the system settings volume down.


there is a big difference in audio quality between two devices for those trained to detect them.

you can use two cards if you want, but really, it's not worth the trouble.
December 29, 2007 11:43:08 PM

shaido7 said:
Z5500 LOGITECH 5.1 SPEAKERS


Those aren't quality speakers, they're really quite low end. If you're a real audiophile you're going to want at least some Monitor Audio BR2s, they're brilliant speakers for the price/perf they offer. Couple them with a Cambridge Audio 540 Azur and you've got a kickass system for a bargain price. Oh, and don't skimp on cabling, it really does make a big difference.
April 16, 2008 2:43:21 AM

Okay for those that doubt yes there are reasons other than sound quality to use multiple sound cards. I use a USB sound card while I am playing WOW to run the voice chat through. That lets me control the voice through a seperate set of speakers/headset. If you don't do that with the built in voice chat you can't hear people real well. It may sound silly but voice chat makes gaming a LOT more fun and this makes it easier to set up. When playing WOW I plug in the USB sound card. When not playing I unplug it. Simple!
April 16, 2008 3:25:00 AM

multichannel independent audio in windows is difficult and impractical for all, so good luck with that and buy an old refurbished system to watch movies on with different speakers.
April 23, 2008 8:36:26 PM

alright. i dont know what you talking about but i have a question about 2 sound cards working together.
i have an onboard and a sound card thats a few years old.
the LINE OUT on my onboard sound is shot, no sound come out but the other ports work. i have a 5.1 speakers.
and the sound card i cant put my 5.1 speaker system on that card b/c theres not enough ports.
my question is is there a way to bridge the two cards so that i can have all the speakers work and not just 2 main ones?
death
September 14, 2008 2:03:00 AM

:bounce:  I am about to try this also, as I too have a bad MB output. Another reason is for the Xtra outputs. I'm going to try "Y" cable W/ 2 male 1/8" stereo jacks & hope I dont get a lot of distortion. The "Y" cable can be purchased at RadioShack or online. Good Luck :sweat: 
September 24, 2008 3:09:29 PM

Well I used two outputs, onboard and sound blaster using jbl platiniums, the type that came with the old style compaq crt. They are loud so I linked that with my tv and then to my stereo, so had my 540 jvc, plus the jbl and even the tv sometimes if it was low enough. When you split the audio signal it splits the power as well and turns both crappy. So using two outputs for separate components is the best way to spplit signals without boosters.
September 25, 2008 2:21:41 PM

raybok said:
Playing my music and video's via Windows Media Player you do not want to hear the PC-sounds (error, message-sounds etc) to explode through my dolby-system.
Why don't you just disable the windows sounds ?
September 25, 2008 9:48:04 PM

if one is better it is no dont going to be better for everything, the only thing that you would require 2 for is for music work, like recording or DJing
August 7, 2009 11:19:16 AM

Quote:
2 Sound cards makes complete sense for someone that outputs there PC video to a TV. I download almost everything i watch. Movies, tv shows, documentaries, etc... Then i output it to the tv and stereo. Sometimes my daughter wants to play games on the computer screen with headphones while i watch a movie on the tv and speakers. Or while i listen to music for that matter.

And as far as different sound cards having different sound quality, it is true but hardly important. You would need to have a golden ear and extremely nice speakers or headphones to tell the difference.

Someone else was saying that certain cards are better for games and some are better for music/movies etc. This is total BS. The sound will be virtually the same on any card of similar value with no preference for games or music or movies. Its all sound within the human limits of 20hz to 20,000hz. Pretty much any card will play all of the frequencies relatively flat. If you want good sound its ALL about the speakers or headphones. I recommend not buying computer speakers. A good pair of home audio speakers and a receiver to power them is where its at. Or a good pair of studio monitors with built in amplification.


I was also thinking about installing a setup just as yours, but there are some factors on which I'm still unclear. So far I have browsed for the necessary components which include Windows 7 x64 and a system which would be able to handle this amount of multitasking.

In my case I would split the screen between PC and TV, hook up the one sound card to the 5.1 channel and the other to my headphones when using the PC.

One could name this one a semi-hometheatre/PC..I love this concept as it is very efficient! It would be appreciated if you can give some insight on this topic, especially how to split the sound from different applications and also what type of soundcards would be appropriate.

August 15, 2009 9:37:56 PM

I just ordered a Zotac ION ITX MOBO and a mini form box that I am going to use as a fan-less Myth TV frontend. The video stream and the related audio processing is handled by the inboard nVidia chip and sent out the HDMI port to my multi service- multi zone amplifier. The multi service amp can process two input signals and put them out to any combination of zones I require. This configuration allows me to watch movies/TV in the family room while my wife listens to an music stream in the kitchen. I want to avoid the cost and more importantly dealing with the increased thermal load of second streaming device in the enclosed family room audio cabinet just to stream music. I could buy a network enabled amp, but the cheap ones go for $1700 and up. Besides, I already have a nice amp 2 year old amp that I can't see tossing.

given this I have two questions:

1) Eliminately I would I would like to have the MOBO run both streams, but is it possible to direct the 7.1 video stream out of the HDMI port and the music stream out of the optical digital audio port?

2) if a need a second sound card, I am going to have to go with an external USB card, because there is no room in the MOBO box and I want to avoid the extra thermal load.

Can you recommend a USB card with an SPIF output?

Thanks for the help.

So here is my question:
October 27, 2009 3:01:00 AM

Quote:
joeman42 wrote :

2 Sound cards makes complete sense for someone that outputs there PC video to a TV. I download almost everything i watch. Movies, tv shows, documentaries, etc... Then i output it to the tv and stereo. Sometimes my daughter wants to play games on the computer screen with headphones while i watch a movie on the tv and speakers. Or while i listen to music for that matter.

And as far as different sound cards having different sound quality, it is true but hardly important. You would need to have a golden ear and extremely nice speakers or headphones to tell the difference.

Someone else was saying that certain cards are better for games and some are better for music/movies etc. This is total BS. The sound will be virtually the same on any card of similar value with no preference for games or music or movies. Its all sound within the human limits of 20hz to 20,000hz. Pretty much any card will play all of the frequencies relatively flat. If you want good sound its ALL about the speakers or headphones. I recommend not buying computer speakers. A good pair of home audio speakers and a receiver to power them is where its at. Or a good pair of studio monitors with built in amplification.





Many people thought that having a good sound card and a high end sound card doesn't make any difference. To me it's different. You have to try out yourself to be able to 'see' the quality in it. However, some high end sound cards give 'bad' sound experience when playing simple games such as puzzle games due to the 3D effects. Having 2 sound cards is not a big fuss, as I have more than 2 currently. Talking about the human hearing limit of 20hz to 20,000hz, it has nothing much to do with the sound card itself. It is all because of the quality of the sound, that makes people wanting for a better sound card. I recommend you to try out yourself, because ears don't lie to the brain. Unless your brain is lying to itself, that I can't guarantee you a good satisfaction. :kaola: 
a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2009 3:19:23 PM

With the quality of (non-Creative) sound cards, there is no reason to have two at the same time; Between HT, ASUS, and Auzentech, you should be able to find a card just for you.

I run everything through my ASUS Xonar D2; I simply switch the output (speakers vs. passthrough) as needed.
October 27, 2009 7:41:18 PM

shaido7 said:

Z5500 LOGITECH 5.1 SPEAKERS


I've been using these speakers for a while now, and while they are great PC speakers, theya re far from audiophile quality. In fact, the Z5500's weak point is music. They shine with movies and games, but supposedly don't perform as well with music. This is something I cannot say from personal experience because I do not feel any major difference.

November 28, 2009 4:10:26 PM

I dunno how this will help but I thought I'd post it up anyway.

I use 3 sound cards, 1 sound blaster live 5.1, a SB platinum 7.1 and the on-board 5.1.
Each card has it's own set of speakers, totaling 17 with 2 subs.

1 set of 5 speakers is placed at ground level.
1 set of 7 speakers is at ear level.
1 set of 5 is along the ceiling. (the Center speaker is placed directly above my chair)
The 2 subs are front left/right positioned but I'm considering having a front/back instead.

The 7.1 speakers are used by default for windows stuff. But I have a Visual Basic program that allows me to use all the speakers in an orgy of sound.
It isn't noise. And you CAN tell the difference! When I started asking questions online about this the overall responce was that it wouldn't work or your ears cant distinguish the sound directions, etc. Lies. Lies. Lies!

When I demo a song in 17.2 and switch it to 7.1 you can tell the difference; it feels... less.
I can have rain hitting the ground on the lower speakers, wind and rain on the mid level speakers and thunder on the upper level. Playing with Dolby pro logic for the different levels helps for stereo mp3's as well as my collection of DVD Audio.

I know its overkill. But i had the speakers, receivers and hardware on hand. It didn't cost me anything; except perhaps my soul.

-Joel
November 30, 2009 5:17:18 PM

dvds are encoded at 5.1, blu-rays at 7.1. how does the computer utilize the 17.2? what i mean is, how does it know to channel the sound of the rain to the speakers at ground level etc. ?

i have heard of something similar called 22.2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22.2), but its still under development and only works with Super Hi-Vision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Hi-Vision) which contains 16 times the res. of hi-def and actually carries audio encoded at 22.2
a b 4 Gaming
November 30, 2009 5:48:01 PM

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