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Soundcard for Simvibe

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Millsy24, Apr 5, 2017.

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  1. Millsy24

    Millsy24
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    Hi there,
    As the title states, I am looking for a soundcard, to run 4+ transducers for simvibe.

    I currently have a Soundblaster Z for main audio, and was using an Asus Xonar DGX for the transducers.
    The Soundblaster is connected to a Yamaha RX-V475 with an optical digital cable, running a 5.1 setup.
    The DGX is connected to an Onkyo TX-SR506 also with an optical digital cable, running 4 transducers.


    My issue is that the DGX doesn't seem to be capable of handling more than 2 channels, currently I'm having to make the Onkyo put the input into "all channel stereo" which makes all 4 work as if there were only 2 speakers, which is great for videos and games which Simvibe doesn't support, but isn't great for ones which it does (especially for chassis mode).

    I should add that this works perfectly if I use the soundblaster in simvibe (with the correct wiring adjustments)

    As such I am looking for:
    • a cheap (less than £40) soundcard with optical out and support for 5/7 speakers
    or
    • A soundcard which is better than my soundblaster (less than ~£100)

    Thanks for reading and i hope someone can help :)

    Thanks
    Daniel
     
  2. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Hi, I believe for 4 independent channels you need to use the 3.5mm jacks on the soundcard.
    The DGX works fine and is a popular choice.

    Using an AV amplifier as one unit to amplify all 4 channels at once would require an "old school" model that has analog "Multi-Channel RCA/Phono Inputs". Very few new/recent models have these now or since HDMI became popular. Neither of your amps have I believe.

    You won't get more than 2 channels via digital with Simvibe. So you will need either an amp that does have multichannel inputs or consider 2x stereo amps to amplify 2x channels per amp via normal stereo RCA connections.

    Some 4 channel amps are available but depends what you want to spend and what are you using for tactile units as to what may be the the better options to consider?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  3. Millsy24

    Millsy24
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    Thanks for your reply

    The Onkyo is ~10 years old now, is it possible that these are multichannel rca inputs?
    [​IMG]

    That is strange because it did seem to work when i tried with my soundblaster card earlier today. This has dts connect/dolby digital live encoders, which must be used to access the optical out. Is it possible therefore that this allowed simvibe to 'see' each speaker separately?

    I wouldn't be too keen on purchasing an new amp, I have been fairly lucky to acquire the two I have currently very cheaply second hand from my Father.

    I did try to link them in my initial post, seems that didn't go too well

    They are called 'BodyShakers' from amazon, 100w 4ohm
    link
     
  4. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Hi, good news is your right in it having multichannel inputs.
    I briefly did a google search earlier for my original post but I guess, the image I looked at for the back of the unit must of been for a different model. My mistake on that.

    Ref the digital on more than 2 channels, the amp is capable of taking a source via various DSP and output it over say 4 channels, 5.1 or indeed 7.1 speaker configuration. Ever since Prologic IIx and other DSP it has been possible if you wanted to listen to SNES games in 7.1 (from original stereo).
    I assume you were using some form of setting with the optical cable input from Simvibe either on the amp or the soundcard.

    Simvibe honors windows speaker setup, so you want to configure the soundcard for that putting it into a 4 speaker configuration, just follow their instructions. With your amp you would then use 3.5mm - phono cables for (green & black) (front and rear CM channels) just see Simvibe setup guide. These are to go into front and surround channels for the multichannel Inputs. Take note when selecting multichannel input on the amp, it will likely bypass all internal bass/treble/eq and dsp settings. Meaning it basically, amplifies what goes into the amp from Simvibe.

    Amp should have no bother when set to 4ohm on running those transducer units you linked.
    I didnt see what frequency range they cover but Im sure at that price they will give you a low cost solution into enjoying tactile. It may be worth doing a frequency test on them to see how or what range they feel/perform well in. That will give you an idea when it comes to Simvibe possibly on what Hz to use for any of the tone generated effects you may run.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  5. Millsy24

    Millsy24
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    No worries, it took a little while to find myself

    I see, i ordered 2 of these cables this morning, so hopefully it will all be working by the weekend.

    how would i be able to specify what Hz simvibe uses? is there a setting i have missed or do you mean using an equalizer?


    Thanks again for your help, its much appreciated
     
  6. Mr Latte

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    Simvibe using two types of effects, you may of read about "Textures" and "Tone Generated" effects.
    With "Textures" the user does not get to determine what Hz the effect will utilise. However, with other effects you get to input the values in a range for the effect to operate within. This will be setting a Min/Max value for engines or a Large/Small value for bumps.

    It kinda makes sense to understand what frequency range the tactile/shaker units being used have as general specifications. As you then would try to input Hz that will work well with your units capabilities.

    Specs, can be a bit misleading to an extent in that producing a response is different to determining what frequencies (Hz) the units are capable of producing with enjoyable tactile felt sensation that gives a good amount of energy.

    While people's perceptions will vary, few units produce really good energy below 20Hz for the strongest lowest bass, going down to 10Hz and even 5Hz. Only the mid to high-end models offer good response here based on my own experiences,

    I'd say that many of the transducer or piston/shaker based models within the £99 / $99 price region operate at best within the mid 30Hz - 80Hz ranges. Often close to 40Hz is the peak/strongest felt frequency. I have had over 2 dozen people in the past I've tried to help confirm this to me via their own tests and scoring for the most popular types of models at the sub 100 price points. Also such models could be referred to as entry level, when looking at what is available but with some, the prices going quite high.

    Thier are affordable models that are listed as only operating from @ 20-60Hz range. I dont' know if the ones you chose are similar to that. If they are, you can still get enjoyable tactile sensations from them but it restricts the response and range of frequencies/variation they can produce. Basically having more usable/working range in the operating frequency response, can give the user more freedom to have different effects, use different feeling frequencies to help give more variation to various effects felt sensation. Also something like engines can have greater detailing within the engine rev range if a unit is capable of producing a wider frequency response.

    If you want to do a test to determine your unit's frequency response range then send me a PM when you get things set up. There are different ways to do it but doing such helps the user get a grasp on how various Hz feel. This then fits well into determining for yourself what to use within Simvibe for effects. For me as a hobbyist, if you give me feedback your scoring for these units you have purchased just goes to my collection of gathered scores from multiple owners and helps my own wider knowledge on the subject to help compare and understand the potential and performance abilities of various models available.

    Wish you well and hope you find tactile enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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