Windows Audio 5.1 Surround

Types of Surround Sound Speaker Systems

2.1 Speaker Systems2.1 audio systems are not technically “surround sound,” but they are definitely a step up from simple shelf speakers (which don’t have the benefit of a subwoofer). Just as with 5.1 systems, the “2” stands for two satellite speakers -- at the left and right front -- and the “.1” stands for the subwoofer. So 2.1 sound is a great economic solution if you don’t have the money or space for what is called “true” surround sound (at least 5.1 speakers), but you still want high quality, dynamic sound.
5.1 Surround Sound Speakers 5.1 surround sound and better is often referred to, when the system is of a high enough quality, as “true” surround sound. This is because the five speakers allow for two left and right front speakers, two left and right rear speakers (behind your head), a quality center speaker (thus the “5” in 5.1), and a powered subwoofer for deep, rumbling bass tones (that’s the “.1” in 5.1). When digital surround sound signals (such as Dolby or THX) are played through a system like this, you enter a wholly new realm of sound, with thundering explosions, dynamic music, and subtle, encompassing sound effects all around your room.
6.1, 10.2, and other Multi-Speaker Systems5.1 surround sound is considered the minimum number of speakers needed for true surround sound. Other common configurations include 6.1 (six speakers and a subwoofer) or 10.2 (ten speakers and two subwoofers). The configuration doesn’t matter a great deal, and is mostly dependent upon your room size and personal desire. Most audio experts will tell you that above all, you just need to ensure that the speakers are balanced on each side of the room. In a 6.1 system, the extra satellite usually goes at the back center of the room, to balance out the front center speaker.

ANSI/CEA-863-A identification for surround sound channels

Zero-based channel index Channel name Color-coding on commercial
receiver and cabling
MP3/WAV/FLAC datastream DTS/AAC
0 1 Front Left White
1 2 Front Right Red
2 0 Center Green
3 5 Subwoofer Frequency Purple
4 3 Rear Left Blue
5 4 Rear Right Grey
6 6 Alternative Rear Left Brown
7 7 Alternative Rear Right Khaki
Front Left Center Front Right
Rear Left Rear Right
Alternative Rear Left Alternative Rear Right
Subwoofer Frequency

Components of a Surround Sound Speaker System

SubwooferA subwoofer is a large, powered speaker specifically designed to produce bass tones and other low-frequency notes. A subwoofer uses air pressure to create a deep, rumbling sound in order to fill a room with bass noises. Subwoofers are most often placed on the floor in the corner of a room or auditorium for maximum effect across the entire venue. When you’re in a room or theater with loud bass that makes the floor rumble impressively under your feet, that’s the subwoofer you’re feeling.
Center Speaker The center speaker in a surround sound system is often considered to be the most important speaker of all the speakers in a surround sound system. Usually larger, more versatile, and containing more individual speaker cones than the other satellite speakers, most of the “important sound” is channeled through this speaker. In movies, for example, this means dialog and other important sound effects. High quality surround sound systems will have a center speaker that is different from the left and right satellites.
Satellite SpeakersA satellite speaker is a general term used for any of the speakers meant to be placed on the left or right sides of the room. In a standard 5.1 system, this means left and right front speakers and left and right rear speakers. That’s a total of four speakers plus the center speaker, which makes five, and then the “.1” represents the subwoofer, which is how the term “5.1” developed. So, 6.1 surround sound means six speakers plus still just one subwoofer.
Equilizer or Mixer Usually, the equalizer or mixer will just be a part of your PC (or audio receiver, for home theaters). Most computers have built-in equalizers or mixers as part of their sound card output specs, and most audio software, such as iTunes, also comes with its own mixer.

Creating surround sound

Surround sound is created in several ways. The first and simplest method is using a surround sound recording technique—capturing two distinct stereo images, one for the front and one for the back or by using a dedicated setup, e.g. an augmented Decca tree —and/or mixing-in surround sound for playback on an audio system using speakers encircling the listener to play audio from different directions. A second approach is processing the audio with psychoacoustic sound localization methods to simulate a two-dimensional (2-D) sound field with headphones. A third approach, based on Huygens' principle, attempts reconstructing the recorded sound field wave fronts within the listening space; an "audio hologram" form. One form, wave field synthesis (WFS), produces a sound field with an even error field over the entire area. Commercial WFS systems, currently marketed by companies sonic emotion and Iosono, require many loudspeakers and significant computing power.

The Ambisonics form, also based on Huygens' principle, gives an exact sound reconstruction at the central point; less accurate away from center point. There are many free and commercial software programs available for Ambisonics, which dominates most of the consumer market, especially musicians using electronic and computer music. Moreover, Ambisonics products are the standard in surround sound hardware sold by Meridian Audio. In its simplest form, Ambisonics consumes few resources, however this is not true for recent developments, such as Near Field Compensated Higher Order Ambisonics. Some years ago it was shown that, in the limit, WFS and Ambisonics converge.

Finally, surround sound can also be achieved by mastering level, from stereophonic sources as with Penteo, which uses Digital Signal Processing analysis of a stereo recording to parse out individual sounds to component panorama positions, then positions them, accordingly, into a five-channel field. However, there are more ways to create surround sound out of stereo, for instance with the routines based on QS and SQ for encoding Quad sound, where instruments were divided over 4 speakers in the studio. This way of creating surround with software routines is normally referred to as "upmixing,", which was particularly successful on the Sansui QSD-series decoders that had a mode where it mapped the L ↔ R stereo onto an ∩ arc.

At Windows Audio 5.1 Surround we’re known for our 5.1 surround sound capabilities. Windows Audio 5.1 Surround is the perfect environment to mix using Pro Tools HDX and our state of the art sound system. Today, surround sound is a critical component of film production adding dimension to the audience’s experience when seen and heard in theaters and on home systems.