More than one Sound Card.

As part of a project I'm working on just now we have a need for three sound cards to provide three seperate Audio Outputs.

The neatest solution would be to put all three in one PC, is there any way to do this in NT 4.0 , if not can it be done in Win98 or Win2000

Thanks for any help.

Gordon

If it can be done I'll up the points for any info on how to handle it.
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GordonpAsked:
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j2Commented:
The depends on what cards you choose mainly. You can NOT do this with Creative Labs cards (atleast not under NT or win2k, and not 98 either afaik)

I think you need some kind of semi-professional card to handle this.
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fracheCommented:

In my opinion it's not possible to plug 3 (ordinary) sound cards in the same PC. Card need hardware and software ressources ( I/O,IRQ,DMA ... and dlls / parts of sound driver). Some ressources can't be shared.

New ( "ordinary") sound card like SBlive!128 have 2 speakers outputs : Front and rear. You have two independants stereo channels...
Do you need real stereo ? With a mono output you can obtain pseudo stereo.

Please give more details about your project. why 3 cards ? ...

Another way :
New cards have S/pdif interface ( digital output). It must be possible to have 3 or more digital channels on the same plug.

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kaytonCommented:
You can't put three sound cards in one computer.  It just won't work.  If you need the same sound sent to three different places, use a splitter.  

Some newer sound cards have four independent outputs to drive four separate speakers.  You can use this in conjunction with software to have independent outputs from one sound card.
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j2Commented:
kayton: Yes you can, there is no problem with running up to 16 ( ithink) ELSA cards at the same time. Tho, those cards are $1k - $6k each i think.
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kaytonCommented:
To clarify, you can't put three ORDINARY sound cards in one computer.  
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1cellCommented:
I had a customer who was running a small digital recording studio.  We had three AWE 64 Golds installed and though it demanded many other "useless" hardware items be removed, we got it going.
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1cellCommented:
I had a customer who was running a small digital recording studio.  We had three AWE 64 Golds installed and though it demanded many other "useless" hardware items be removed, we got it going.
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1cellCommented:
oops. sorry 'bout that
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GordonpAuthor Commented:
The Reason for three cards, is that we're using them to feed noise effects into an Audio Switching Matrix. They need to be seperate as they can be connected to seperate outputs within the Matrix.

Using a single Cards with feeds for seperate speakers could be considered, does anyone have any experience of doing the code for this.


Cheers

Gordon
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1cellCommented:
gordon, what other kinds of components and peripherals are on this system.  Depending on the sound cards, you can probably do what you want to do if there is not a lot of other things attached.
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GordonpAuthor Commented:
I think I have a pretty free reign, originally they were to be in a PC with a number of I/O cards, but I can probably move the Sound Cards to another PC with less peripherals.
It will have to have a Network card, but thats about all it NEEDS to have, anything else I can redistribute to other PCS in the Simulator.

Gordon
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1cellCommented:
OK, lets start this way then:

what kind of sound cards are they?

what happens when you try or have?
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GordonpAuthor Commented:
We are currently only at the design stage, but its one of the areas I've been tasked to look at.

From the comments so far, it sounds like it may be possible if the other stuff in the PC is kept to an absolute minimum.

IT looks like I'll have to scrape together some bits and pieces to put a prototype together.

1Cell> This recording studio you mentioned, how difficult was the coding for accessing the 'extra sound cards' or is it just the same as accessing the first card.


Cheers
Gordon
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1cellCommented:
It went rather smoothly.  That is after the two or three day frustaration of getting them all installed without conflicts AND functionally.  

As far as "the coding" I don't think we were trying to accomplish the same thing.  What we did was simply have the sound processed through each  of the cards and then to various things like a mixing board, a DAT, and monitor speakers.  If you are trying to split sounds to go to specific cards, you are basically going to need to program something to do that.  If it's possible, I don't know how.  

Another method you might want to explore in the scenario you are describing is:

Output to a mixing board where the sounds can be split into various effects processors and returned to the board through the effects loop.

I don't know if I'm off base here but if you can descrice exactly what you want to do, I will do what I can to recommend some type of solution wether it be computer based or not.  I do have a lot of experience in recording.
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Lars_GCommented:
You will Basically need the cards to have a few features (yes it is possible, I've done it) first of all if the cards have Midi outs or most presicely, if the midi outs work by emulating MPU-401 then at least two of the cards will have to have the option to disable the MPU-401 exit, that is because that device (MPU) works on only one set of resouces and such they will conflict...

Second you will need the cards to have a wide array of resource selection possibilities... you will basically work with a few IRQ's that are 3,5,7,11 and 15, those are the ones most often you will find free on ANY system without a lot of devices as always there devices like Hard Disk controllers an video controllers and such take the other IRQ's that's from personal experience, now you will need four, one for the network card and one for each sound card.... you will also need sound cards with prettily free memory (Base address) selectivity.... here you will also encounter some problems, not only do most sound cards bring a low number of options but also you'll bump in a mostly unjumpeable conflict in here, you see, the people at Ad Lib created some nifty musical cards, so common that even world base standar creators like sound blaster (creative labs) are compatible with Ad Lib cards... now adlib cards had only ONE fixed memory address where they worked wich was 388 If i remmeber well, so every card despise on wich address you place it will try to allocate and read position 388 for it's synth expectin  Ad Lib messages... if you won't use midi synthesis you could ignore this as in most cases won't affect wave (sound) reproduction itself... you could work around this if you had only two cards but not with three as there are cards that emulate sound blaster wich do this, and there are cards that emulate windows sound system wich as far as I know doesn't does this... but as I said if you'll use no synth then you shouldn't worry out for this..

For last would be your software, if you plan to use third party software instead of making your own for the experiment you will need semi-pro or professional software that will let you select your output instead of leting windows multimedia settings to take over, and even software that could help you do things easier by handling multiple tracks... now my personal choice for this would be Cool Editor PRO (very important to be the pro version) that will not only handle multiple channels with diferent things on them but will also let you select what output each channel will use...

Attn. Lars Goldschlager.

Pd. pay no attention to what was said by some, as 1cell says it's not easy task but it sure is possible with less than thousands of dollars costy pro cards...
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GordonpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyones help, but we've decided against putting all three cards in the one PC and kinda redesigned a bit of our system.

Thanks anyway

Gordon
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