i would like to know if there is a way to play the sound that is being recorded
Hmm, good question. I’ve never worked with surround sound, so I have no hands on experience. Most of this will just be guesswork on my part. I’m certain that “software playthrough” will not give you what you want, that should be turned off. “Software playthrough” tells Audacity to spit out the audio it’s hearing as soon as it hears it, but since Audacity can’t play a surround signal it won’t work right (which is why you hear static).
You’re trying to monitor the input signal (that’s always a good idea). What I meant by “hardware monitoring” is that your sound card will immediately play back any sound that’s coming in before it gets to a piece of software. We call it ‘monitoring’ when you listen to the signal that’s being recorded, so ‘hardware monitoring’ just means that only the hardware is touching the audio that you’re listening to. This is the only way to listen without any delay since software is not in a good position to give you a good monitoring signal.
I read your original post wrong (as far as how you have things plugged in). Ideally, you should just be able to run a cable from the 360 → sound card input and a second cable from the sound card output → surround receiver. I think that the sound card will just spit the input signal back out immediately. This would be true hardware monitoring. If this doesn’t work by default, then you’ll have to tell your sound card drivers to make it work, I can’t tell you how to do that. Usually it’s just a matter of turning up the “input” volume in the driver software, but it’s not universal and it depends on how the drivers were written.
So it looks like you’re able to record a surround signal and listen back to it once you’ve made a multi-channel wav. That’s great. I can now tell people with certainty that it is possible to do this.
i have a quick Question, will people to able to listen to a 5.1 compiled sound clip if they dont have surround sound? i tryed playing a test clip in WMP and it came through as static… but then i played it in VLC player and it worked, surround and all… so is this software dependant? as i said i want to do this for machinima so if there is an aucience that will just get static id like to know so i can change it to just stereo compiling
I do not think that a 5.1 channel wav file will work correctly for people who don’t have a surround sound setup. Since you’re making a video, it’s probably best to ask this at a video forum, they should be able to answer you more solidly than I can (I just use Audacity record stereo music in the second bedroom, I have no experience with surround sound or video). There’s a chance that it will depend on having the right codecs installed, but I’m really out of my element here.
I just ran a test. I made a 4 channel and 6 channel file with one drum sample a piece (so I could count each channel as it plays). I could hear each drum sample, but the stereo was odd. I heard each alternating channel in the opposite ear. So odd numbered channels (1, 3, and 5) sounded in the left ear, and even numbered channels showed up in the right channel. I used Windows Media Player to play the files and it didn’t complain (or spit out static). If this works universally, then people with a stereo setup will hear a lot of clipping (since the channels will all add up), and things won’t be panned properly. But you heard static through Windows Media Player so I don’t know what’s going on. My personal advice is to make a stereo mix first, worry about surround sound only if you feel like remixing the audio later.
I do know that DVDs have several different sound mixes, so if you’re playing a DVD in stereo, there’s a separate mix with only two channels. I don’t think a standard DVD player will take a 5.1 mix and spit it out as a stereo signal. I think it requires a separate mix for each speaker format (although there are receivers that will “upmix” a stereo signal and spit it out as a surround signal, I don’t know if “downmixing” works the same way).