Switch from AVR 5.1 system to 5 Powered Monitors for Mixing


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Staff member
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Oct 18, 2002
College Grove, TN
It's been on my mind to upgrade two things in my office / man-cave:
A) LISTENING: Upgrade the 5.1 AVR (EXT IN for mixing) to to full Atmos
B) MIXING: Convert to 5 equal powered near field monitors + sub

I expected some hurdles / surprises along the way, splitting these two functions and I sure got some. Spent at least an hour on each of these; here's the scoreboard:

1) Chasing down source of nasty hum; all 4 new cables fine. That 5th cable from earlier was not balanced. Center only needs to be 3 feet, grabbed A3F/A3M cable +gender changer + transformer 1/4 " output. SOLVED

2) Getting the proper channels routed to play from the correct speakers; simple right? My two main boxes are Dell XPS 8500 and an XPS 8700 (both jacked up 32/16GB RAM respectively, WIN 10 Pro). In Sound Forge Preference > Audio > Behringer FCA610 USB AISO selected, see that the Playback device routing is actually labeled in speaker outputs. That is what I followed initially and it was wrong! I kept soloing channels, moving cables and not getting correct results. So I turned the Behringer off and moved the USB 2.0 cable to the XPS 8500 (DADDEO) to see if it worked any better. To my surprise the Sound Forge 10 Audio playback device routing was just labelled Line O 1 thru Line O 8. Maybe these are different Behringer drivers /control panels? Nope; same version different results! The two PCs differ on this but that's okay, I want to move the XPS 8700 to the back room (drums/amps/etc.) for recording and let DADDEO XPS 8500 be used for mixing here in the main room. Remote desktop working well for all of this. SOLVED (mostly)

8700 routing.jpg
8500 routing.jpg

8700 panel.jpg
8500 panel.jpg

3) Output levels from Sound Forge 5.1 playback stupidly loud! (used to be too soft, had to crank at the AVR) Behringer FCA610 USB to Analogs box master volume had no effect, nor did WIN 10 volume control. It sees the surround output as 3 stereo pairs. Adjusting them down from 100 to 40 had NO effect. These controls do not impact volume levels for a USB audio device. Keep looking. I learn of a Dim Output button on the 'Hardware meters' that would attenuate audio levels (to answer a phone call, etc.). I've used Sound Forge for 20 years and I NEVER knew this was even in there. Better than the Dim output were the output sliders which enabled me to bring the levels more in line with reasonable operation. Exiting Sound Forge and came back to see the level adjustments held. SOLVED but wait.....

4) Sound Forge is used for playback; I'm used to mixing in ACID. Unfortunately, ACID 11 has no Hardware meters option and hence no output sliders. This is a deal breaker for me. I can move my mixing to Vegas as it has Hardware Meters option and the needed output sliders. That's all well and good for working on upmixes and mixing real instruments but there is some portion of my own music that incorporates ACID loops so this leaves me sitting on the curb. I'd be forced to guess in ACID projects, render them to MCH WAVs on a hard drive to audition them and keep repeating this until I got something as opposed to simple monitoring as I go along? <sigh>

What about the Denon AVR-X4300h Atmos changeover? Not even started, maybe tomorrow. Got 100 feet of speaker and wondering if that's enough.
UPDATE: Progress

1. Behringer FCA610 USB box Master Volume DOES work when button mode is correct. Yay.
2. After a period of experimenting to correct lack of audio I finally did, with a reasonable volume range coming from ACID11 project on the PC. Not sure why but I know this:
3. If the 5.1 project won’t play (most of them) try the 2.0 project. These usually play
just fine. Change the properties from stereo to 5.1 surround, move stuff around and then save with NEW file name.

There is hope now and I feel relieved. Got to hear 2-3 of my pieces and was astonished by how it sounded on the 5/sub setup. It was all worth it.