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Can anyone explain why my games don't use my center channel speaker?

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  • Sound Cards
  • Speakers
  • Games
  • Components
Last response: in Components
April 25, 2012 5:49:23 AM

So this question isn't restricted just to my rig, so I won't bother with specific specs. I seem unable to get any games to use all 3 speakers I have setup (I don't have the rear's installed for logistical reasons). I have the drivers setup all correctly, it knows i have two fronts, a center, and a subwoofer. When I play DVD's, the center channel lights right up and works like a champ as it should. But games, no matter what I do, don't use that center channel. Everything is hooked up analog style, so it isn't a DD decoding issue. And none of the games have any options to setup speaker configuration.

Anyone who succesfully gets surround sound/5.1 setups to work as expected, please let me know what the heck I'm doing wrong.

Thanks.

More about : explain games center channel speaker

April 25, 2012 5:55:33 AM

Isn't center channel for dialogue? Well at least when I watch a movie, the actors voice only goes through the front speaker.
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April 25, 2012 3:09:49 PM

amuffin said:
Isn't center channel for dialogue? Well at least when I watch a movie, the actors voice only goes through the front speaker.


So you'd think!
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April 25, 2012 5:08:30 PM

So, you're using a 3.1 setup? Configure windows for 5.1, and disable the side speakers. That *should* work, but the state of audio engines in games isn't very good right now. You would think games would be smart enough to at least handle a discrete center channel...
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April 25, 2012 7:14:18 PM

gamerk316 said:
So, you're using a 3.1 setup? Configure windows for 5.1, and disable the side speakers. That *should* work, but the state of audio engines in games isn't very good right now. You would think games would be smart enough to at least handle a discrete center channel...


That is how I have it setup, and again, DVD's work fine. I threw in the rear speakers just for the heck of it, reset the windows config to propper 5.1, and again, DVD's work fine, all games still in stereo. I just don't get it.
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April 25, 2012 7:23:07 PM

Question: Are you using analog, or digital (SPDIF)? This is sounding a lot like the typical SPDIF 5.1 problem we get here once a week...
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April 26, 2012 4:26:14 AM

gamerk316 said:
Question: Are you using analog, or digital (SPDIF)? This is sounding a lot like the typical SPDIF 5.1 problem we get here once a week...


And I am not that silly. I know enough to do my research first. Everything is hooked up via 3 3.5mm jacks analog style. I have the optical hooked up to my headphones breakout box, but I disconnected that to take it out of the equation. It is straight analog. So I can't explain why DD plays fine, but gaming is stuck in stereo.

I am aware that optical does not have the bandwidth to support 5.1 uncompressed and would therefor be the limiting factor, but that shouldn't be the issue here.
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April 26, 2012 7:13:32 AM

wildside50 said:
And I am not that silly. I know enough to do my research first. Everything is hooked up via 3 3.5mm jacks analog style. I have the optical hooked up to my headphones breakout box, but I disconnected that to take it out of the equation. It is straight analog. So I can't explain why DD plays fine, but gaming is stuck in stereo.

I am aware that optical does not have the bandwidth to support 5.1 uncompressed and would therefor be the limiting factor, but that shouldn't be the issue here.
No need to be touchy. The people here just want to help.
I never have any problem with surround gaming using Analog connectors. The proper sound goes right out of the proper speaker. Some games automatically setup for surround gaming. Some needs to be manually setup. But all works for me.

So this problem just got restricted to your rig. So it will help if you give specifics. Otherwise, I am out of here...

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April 26, 2012 12:23:31 PM

wildside50 said:
And I am not that silly. I know enough to do my research first. Everything is hooked up via 3 3.5mm jacks analog style. I have the optical hooked up to my headphones breakout box, but I disconnected that to take it out of the equation. It is straight analog. So I can't explain why DD plays fine, but gaming is stuck in stereo.

I am aware that optical does not have the bandwidth to support 5.1 uncompressed and would therefor be the limiting factor, but that shouldn't be the issue here.


Just checking. A LOT of people fall into that hole, and it sounded like the same exact problem...

Quick test, if you set the system to 7.1 and keep all the speakers enabled, do you get the center channel?

Considering the center channel is simply a matrix of the left/right outputs, theres really no reason why it shouldn't be supported within games...
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April 26, 2012 8:26:46 PM

I wasn't trying to sound touchy, more mockishly flippant. Tone doesn't translate well on the internet. My bad.

My exact rig, again I stress I don't think it matters because this is the 3rd computer/rig that has resulted in this. I have never been able to get it to work right. But here goes --

Intel H55 motherboar onboard sound, same thing, rocketfish add in card I bought, same thing, speakers are some logitech 5.1's all hooked up analog style, all tested and working. Windows is setup to support 5.1, so if the games are just windows settings to determine speaker setup, it's what I have setup. I cannot for the life of me figure out what the missing component is.
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April 27, 2012 3:47:04 AM

What are the games that you experience this problem? Is there any game that work? If I have your games, I will try to simulate it in my rig & see possible settings that could cause this.
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April 27, 2012 12:46:59 PM

I would think that if you set Windows to use either 5.1/7.1, even if you don't have the extra speakers physically plugged in, it would still output the center speaker. I'd be amazed if there are games taht don't at least suppot 5.1...
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