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The EMX software takes 2 channels (i.e. stereo) audio signal from the Recording device of a sound card, perform Endpoint Mixing processing and turn them into 6 channels (or 5.1) output at the Playback device of the 5.1 sound card. You should make sure both input and output devices are running at 48000 Hz Sample Rate.

Note that if you are using a 7.1 sound card the same instructions applied here and the two extra channels are not used.


Make sure you had already installed your 5.1 sound card Windows driver and tested the sound card according to instructions provided by the manufacturer.


1. Configure Endpoint Mixing output device



First, identify the 5.1 Playback device of the sound card registered with Windows, in order to do that, click the Windows icon on the taskbar type "mmsys.cpl" to open Windows Sound Control Panel. You are now in the Playback page, look for the 5.1 Playback device for the sound card. Usually it has a title "Speakers" with the 5.1 sound card manufacturer's name on the next line.

Do the followings if you need further confirmations:

  • Click a device you want to check, then click the "Configure" button to see if "5.1 Surround" test is available. If the test exists then the device is a 5.1 output device. Click "Cancel" button to exit.

  • Click a device you want to check, then click the "Properties" button, you are now in the General page of the device. You may find detail information about the device at the "Jack Information" panel, if you see 6 channels output here then it is a 5.1 output device. However, for some sound cards information may not be available here and it simply displays "No Jack information Available". Click "Cancel" button to exit.
Click the Windows icon on the taskbar type "mmsys.cpl" to open Windows Sound Control Panel, and do these..


You should make sure it is running at the right Sample Rate. Select the Playback device of your choice then click the "Properties" button. select "Advanced" "tab and make sure 48000 Hz default format is being selected. You also want to set the volume at the "Levels" tab at the minimum audible level in order to avoid sudden loud sound. Click OK button to close it and all settings will be saved automatically. Note that you may need to plug in a cable if any of these options are not available as Windows had reported "Not plugged in" device error.

Disable all other Playback devices, right click on the device you want to disable and choose disable. Don't worry, all previous configurations are being preserved and you can enable them anytime you want.

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2. Hardware Setup - Connect front speaker



In this section we are going to connect your 5.1 sound card equipped PC to the front speaker. The following steps assume you are using a 2.0 (or stereo) speaker, however if you have 2.1 speaker please leave it until the next section "Connect back speaker".

2.1 STEP ONE - Identify sound card output port, connect and test

Identify the front speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card. It is usually labelled as "L R", "FL FR" or "Front". Then use a cable to connects the front speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card with the front speaker.

Please consult relevant document, user manual or contact the sound card manufacturer when you need help with the output port identification. Note that you should make sure you are using the output port of your 5.1 sound card and do not incorrectly connect the cable with your regular stereo output port which is commonly available on a PC. The test can be performed when just one stereo speaker is being connected. This is being called "Front Speaker" in Endpoint Mixing term.



Use Windows Sound Control Panel to test.

Turn on speaker, adjust speaker volume, and do these to produces test audio signal at the front speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card..



The test audio signals travel through the audio cable and when they arrive at the front speaker they should cause the front speaker to make sound. Therefore you should expect to hear test sound comes out of your front speaker.

However, just in case you hear nothing, check the cable, connections at both sides, and adjust volume on your front speaker.


2.2 STEP TWO - Place speaker properly

Place speaker properly according to the following diagram.

( Click the diagram to open Speaker Positioning page ↗ )


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3. Hardware Setup - Connect back speaker



In this section we are going to connect your 5.1 sound card equipped PC to the back speaker. The following steps assume you are using a 2.0 or 2.1 speaker.

3.1 STEP ONE - Identify sound card output port, connect and test

Identify the rear speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card. It is usually labelled as "RL RR" or "Rear". Then use a cable to connects the rear speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card with the back speaker.

Please consult relevant document, user manual or contact the sound card manufacturer when you need help with the output port identification. Note that you should make sure you are using the output port of your 5.1 sound card and do not incorrectly connect the cable with your regular stereo output port which is commonly available on a PC. The test can be performed when just one stereo speaker is being connected. This is being called "Back Speaker" in Endpoint Mixing term.



Use Windows Sound Control Panel to test.

Turn on speaker, adjust speaker volume, and do these to produces test audio signal at the rear speaker output port on your 5.1 sound card..




The test audio signals travel through the audio cable and when they arrive at the back speaker they should cause the back speaker to make sound. Therefore you should expect to hear test sound comes out of your back speaker.

However, just in case you hear nothing, check the cable, connections at both sides, and adjust volume on your back speaker.


3.2 STEP TWO - Place speaker properly

Place speaker properly according to the following diagram.

( Click the diagram to open Speaker Positioning page ↗ )


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Hint: If you have an active subwoofer, now is the right time to connect it to the CEN/SUBW output port of the sound card like you did with the front and back speaker. CEN/SUBW stands for center channel and subwoofer channel. And manufacturer use creative ways to label them like "CEN/SubW", "Center/SubW", "C/Sub", or "Cw" on a 5.1 sound card. You can watch this video↗ for Windows test instructions.







4. Configure and connect Endpoint Mixing input device




Use Windows Sound Control Panel. Select Recording tab, look for the line-in Recording device. Usually it has the title "Line-in" with the 5.1 sound card manufacturer's name on the next line. (*7)


You should make sure it is running at the right Sample Rate. Select the Recording device of your choice then click the "Properties" button. select "Advanced" "tab and make sure 48000 Hz default format is being selected. You also want to set the volume at the "Levels" tab at the minimum audible level in order to avoid sudden loud sound. Click OK button to close it and all settings will be saved automatically. Note that you may need to plug in a cable if any of these options are not available as Windows had reported "Not plugged in" device error.


Disable all other Recording devices, right click on the device you want to disable and choose disable. Don't worry, all previous configurations are being preserved and you can enable them anytime you want.




Click OK to close the Windows Sound Control Panel.






Connect a smartphone or any other audio output device such as Bluray player, Game console etc to the audio input port of your 5.1 sound card.

Please consult 5.1 sound card user manual or contact the manufacturer when you have trouble to identify and connect the input port. Note that an intermediate digital-to-analog convertor (a.k.a. DAC) may be needed. For instance, DAC is needed between output from a game console optical audio output (or TOSLINK) and the analog input of a 5.1 sound card.


To test the input device on Windows 10, play audio from the external device, e.g. your smartphone. Set the right volume, say 70%. From Windows Desktop select Windows > Settings > System > Sound, in the section "Input" choose the device connected with the external device, click "Device properties", turn up volume to 100% and press "Test" button and you will see horizontal volume bar constantly moving which represents the input signals receiving from the external device. Note that, this is a visual test no sound will comes out.


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5. System configurations



Before you get started with the configuration, you need to install the EMX client software with an activated user account at hand, if this is not finished yet, please follow the instruction here to do so before you move on; configuration test cannot be performed without an activated user account.



5.1 Run Emx in signed-out state

Run Emx client software and make sure you are signed out, it is important because configurations are available only during signed out state. If you haven't installed the Emx client software yet, please download it here.




5.2 Configure EMX

We need to do corresponding configurations at EMX client software, making sure the same input and output audio devices are being selected.



Firstly, run EMX and select "Options" > "Show internal connections" to display EMX internal connections. Note that this is a toggle menu. And in case you see the login page that means it blocks the "Internal Connections" page, just press CANCEL button on the login page to close it and try again.




Secondly, make sure you are under signed-out state, and configure EMX at the audio device settings dialog box according to the following instructions. Note that audio device settings is available only during signed-out state.

Select "Options" > "Change the audio device settings" :
  • Audio device type: select "Windows Audio".
  • Output: choose the Playback device name as you had selected in Windows Sound Control Panel earlier.
  • Input: choose the Recording device name as you had selected in Windows Sound Control Panel earlier.
  • Please do not click inside the "Active output channels" and "Active input channels" region, and no need to press the "Test" button as we will test in the next step soon.
  • Click the upper-right red "x" on the Audio Settings window. Don't worry, all changes will be saved.




The configuration is completed now you can test the whole EMX system.

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Test the system



Firstly, make sure there is no sound playing from your sound source to avoid sudden loud sound.

Secondly, sign in to your user account and EMX will try to turn on Endpoint Mixing processing instantly

If everything is okay you should see 6 links connected to the lower unit labelled as "Audio Output" in the Internal Connections screen. It means EMX is processing 2 input channels and output to 6 channels at real-time such that two front speaker signals being created are transmitting to sound card L R ports, back speaker to RL RR ports, and subwoofer to CEN SUBW ports all simultaneously. [*6]

At this point, do not expect to hear any sound yet.

Finally, play sound from the smartphone or other audio input device you have connected with the PC earlier and you should hear sound comes out from all four speakers instantly. Note that each speaker should make different sound.

You may adjust volume with one of these four methods :
  1. Adjust volume with the input device, e.g. your smart phone.
  2. Adjust the Levels tab of the chosen Recording sound device inside the Windows Sound Control Panel.
  3. Adjust the Levels tab of the chosen Playback sound device inside the Windows Sound Control Panel.
  4. Adjust volume at speakers.
  5. Adjust Windows master volume has no effect to the Endpoint Mixing sound system.



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Note that



*1 - You may check sound for each individual speaker by manipulating the green connectors at the "Internal Connections" screen. You can pull a connector off a port, take an end of a connector and connect it over a port or create a new connector simply drag on a port. It just like you have infinite supply of magic connectors as many as you needed. All changes will take effect at real-time, so you can see and hear the difference. This is very useful to fix configurations and speaker problems. Don't worry, the change is not permanent, sign out and back in will restore all connections.

*2 - The key thing you must know is that front speaker always make sharper sound than the back speaker, especially when you play a pop song.


*3 - Since you had disabled all other devices in step 1 & 4, now do not forget to turn on all necessary devices in Windows Sound Control Panel. However, for best performance, it is highly recommended to disable all Playback and Recording devices you do not need. Jitter may result on system that has many unused audio devices enabled, particularly when you are using an external USB 5.1 sound card on a slow PC.

*4 - Inside the Windows environment, do not share the EMX Recording and Playback devices with other apps. They should be dedicated for EMX when you are using EMX. Otherwise unpredictable sound performance may result. To do that, look for a Playback device other than the EMX Playback device that all other Windows apps may use and set it as Windows default output device. For instance, an optical audio output device commonly available on a 5.1 sound card. In the next article we will teach you how to utilises this default Playback device to forward all PC sound to the EMX sound system.

*5 - Sound quality may be altered by an equalizer and/or effector provided by 5.1 sound card manufacturer, run the manufacturer app provided and check if you suspect alteration such as strong echo (reverb), which is a common sound profile try to simulate a "theater" effect.

*6 - Although CEN (or Center channel) of your sound card is being used as output of EMX, it is not producing center signal since there is no center signal with this type of Endpoint Mixing, it is used as subwoofer output just like the subwoofer channel next to it.

*7 - If you want to use S/PDIF IN (or digital audio in) of your 5.1 sound card as input, for example, Creative Sound Blaster Z, please make sure it is running at the same sample rate as the EMX ouput device, i.e. 48000 Hz.

*8 - If you want to use a microphone as input, please make sure it does not result in feedback loop, that is, to avoid pointing at the speaker and best to use a directional microphone.






Conclusions



Congratulations! By going through these five steps, now you are able to enjoy Endpoint Mixing with an external sound source.

Next, you may visit the page Setup PC that runs EMX as input sound source to enable Endpoint Mixing for your PC.

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Troubleshooting



First, make sure speakers is working properly, you may isolate the speaker and test with a direct audio input. Next, make sure audio cable used between sound card and speaker is good and finally make sure the correct output port is being used, usually sound card port will be labelled as L/R (or FL/FR) which means stereo left/right (or Front left/right in surround terms) which is what you look for with Endpoint Mixing front speaker, a user manual provided by sound card manufacturer will gives you which label to look for or carefully count for the position number for the port you look for on the interface. The same is true for back speaker. If after all these had done and confirmed and still no sound, check the volume, you need to make sure volume on the active speaker, volume you use with an intermediate amplifier (if any), and soft volume control which includes master Windows volume and the Levels tab for the devices you are testing at the Windows Sound Control Panel are loud enough but always starts with lowest audible level to avoid high volume suddenly comes out of your sound system.

Control volume on an input sound device, active speaker, intermediate amplifier (if any), and soft volume controller. Soft volume controller are at the Levels tab for the devices you’ve been using at the Windows Sound Control Panel. Please make sure you always starts with lowest audible level to avoid high volume suddenly comes out of your sound system.

Increase/decrease volume at the front speaker to increase/decrease high frequency range response, increase/decrease volume at the back speaker to increase/decrease low frequency range response. For 3D applications, loudness lean towards the front enable stronger sense of closer objects and verbal conversations, whereas loudness lean towards the back enable stronger sense of ambient and low frequency objects.

If you see an error message, follow the instructions, there are two type of errors, error related to your account and subscription, error related to your PC and speakers. Common problems includes inactive account, when this happens you need to make sure your account is in active state check your PayPal automatic payment. Another common problem is Sample Rate problem, the system would not work without setting your input and output devices both at 48 KHz. Finally, make sure your speakers and input devices passed all test to ensure they are working properly. And make sure you consult Windows user manual in particular Windows sound system and seek support from your sound card manufacturer if you think there is hardware problem with the sound card.

Check your EMX device settings (Options > Change the audio device settings) and remember the names of your input device and output device. Goes to Windows Sound Control Panel (Click the Windows icon on the taskbar type “mmsys.cpl”) look for the sample rate settings under Advanced tabs of the devices you’ve just identified. Make sure they are both working at 48 KHz and the output devices has at least 6 channels.

This is a known problem with the hardware we use with Windows and PC sound card, as far as we know the electrostatic charge causes current spike that make the highly sensitive EMX real-time audio signal processor fail. To work around this problem, use an optical audio switchbox in case you need to support multiple audio input. Nevertheless, restart EMX to run the Endpoint Mixing processing again.

This can happens to PC with heavy loading, incomplete Windows sound system setup, external USB sound card, or two many active audio devices. Restart EMX usually resolved this problem, otherwise stop all PC sound such as music or online video you are watching make sure no App is producing any sound, close the EMX Windows App, open Windows Sound Control Panel to disable the EMX output device and re-enable it for reset, and start EMX. If that still does not fix the problem restart the PC and the problem should be fixed. To avoid future problems, make sure unnecessary background programs are disabled and do not runs as Windows startup, complete the Windows sound system setup particularly follow the instructions to disable all sound devices not used, avoid using USB sound card, and if USB sound card must be used make sure your computer is fast not heavily loaded and unnecessary programs are being closed. Another method is to split input and output devices on two different sound cards each taking a unique role so to ensure the uneven delay time problem commonly found on USB sound cards are being buffered out on two separate sound cards. For advanced user, follow the recommended system tuning guide for digital audio workstation, e.g. Steinberg CuBase will be helpful too. Finally, change EMX to increase audio buffer size, go to Options > Change the audio device settings > click “Show advanced settings” button and choose a larger “Audio buffer size”.

A standard music CD produces 44.1 KHz at 16 bits bit-width for each channel, as it is designed for stereo sound reproduction it means 2 x 44.1 KHz / 16 bits. Endpoint Mixing used its algorithm convert input source to four channels at real-time which means 4 x 48 KHz / 16 bits with 44.1 to 48 resampling. With the help of two layers of speakers (front and back layers) it means it is an order of magnitude increase in sound quality. However, as we are already testing the premium services in our lab, 96 KHz, 192K Hz and 384 KHz increases in sound quality at another levels on scale.

You may use speakers from an integrated 5.1 sound system with component analog input (i.e. 6 separate analog audio RCA inputs), both front and back stereo speakers are being purchased from the same manufacturer with the same model number, or try to match similar power level, sound characters (warmth vs precision and etc.) and design between front and back stereo speakers as much as you can. Another consideration is audible time delay difference, this should rarely happens. But if this is the case, replace one of the two stereo speaker to close the gap. Finally, make sure you place your speakers according to the speaker positioning guideline and do not erroneously patches front sound to back speaker and back sound to the front speaker. Finally, since input signal is providing to the Endpoint Mixing Subwoofer output without alteration (signal is provided this way so active subwoofer could have more freedom to perform own low-pass signal processing), another possible problem is that user erroneously patches subwoofer sound to front and/or back speaker.

Use an audio program, e.g. Audacity , to test recording from the line-in port on the sound card you plan to use with EMX.

If the devices is not found, make sure your sound card and driver are both installed properly, use test interface provided by sound card manufacturer to confirm. If the device is found on the Windows Sound Control Panel but not functioning properly please contact Microsoft and sound card manufacturer for further assistance.

If the devices is not found, make sure your sound card and driver are both installed properly, use test interface provided by sound card manufacturer to confirm. If the device is found on the Windows Sound Control Panel but not functioning properly please contact Microsoft and sound card manufacturer for further assistance.

Endpoint Mixing Layer 1 sound technology is a 2.2.1 (or 4.1) sound system, meaning 2 front 2 back and 1 subwoofer channels. There is no center channel. Center/SubWoofer (CEN/SubW) port of a 5.1 / 7.1 sound card is being used as subwoofer left and right output. If your active subwoofer has one input channel, usually a single RCA, then either one of these channels can be used to connect with the subwoofer.

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