[SOLVED] Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

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kmintis
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[SOLVED] Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby kmintis » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:03 am

Hi,

I have linux mint 18.2. My usb sound card is Steelseries siberia External USB 7.1

(https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Steelse ... 3.5.UbIMOK)

and I have only stereo sound but I don't have surround sound 7.1. I haven't found any solution for linux. Could you help me to solve this problem.
Last edited by kmintis on Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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catweazel
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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby catweazel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:53 am

That sound card is a 'virtual' 7.1 surround card, meaning it takes a stereo signal and varies the sound to make it appear as if it's 7.1 surround, which it isn't. If the card is producing sound then it's working.
If your problem is fixed, please mark your thread as [SOLVED] by editing the title of the first message in the thread.

kmintis
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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby kmintis » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:56 am

Is there any possibility to get virtual 7.1 on linux with this Steelseries usb sound card?
if the answer is No, what type of usb sound card do I need to buy to get 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound with my headphones(I have steelseries siberia v2 headphones)?

rene
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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby rene » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:07 pm

Do you have a link for the card's manual? I sort of expect catweazel's description to be somewhat inverse (i.e., the card directly taking 7.1 input but mixing it down internally to 2.0 before outputting it; it has after all only a single stereo output) but I can't find a manual for the thing to verify.

If indeed things work as I expect then as far as I'm aware the fact that the card isn't presenting 7.1 capacity when in Linux means that it's a software-only capacity. That is, the 7.1 interface being presented through the Windows-driver only, not the actual hardware. In that case you do not have actual 7.1 support, and any software-based downmixing would achieve similar results. As the one that happens automatically if you ship 7.1 source to a 2.0 card under Pulseaudio (i.e., on Mint).

So. Are you in fact sure that there is something you want to happen?

kmintis
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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby kmintis » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:50 pm

I don't have the card's manual anymore.
Could you recommend any usb sound card 7.1 for linux mint?

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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby Hoser Rob » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Virtual surround sound depends on room reflections. It does not work with headphones.

rene
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Re: Steelseries usb sound card 7.1 doesn't work properly

Postby rene » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:15 am

kmintis wrote:Is there any possibility to get virtual 7.1 on linux with this Steelseries usb sound card?

Any yes, but the type of answer we should be be giving depends on your own level of understanding of what "virtual 7.1" in fact is; hence my asking whether or not you are actually sure there's something you want/need to happen.

The Linux Mint soundsystem, Pulseaudio, downmixes automatically when shipping 7.1 source to a 2.0 (e.g., headphones) destination and this is essentially what your Steelseries card also does in Windows, either in firmware or through the Windows driver; I as said couldn't find a manual for your card so as to verify its nature. This is to say that if all you are after is the ability to have sound come out of your headphones when presenting it 7.1 source, the answer should be that you don't need anything, and we'd need to go find out why it's not functioning for you.

Now, what your Steelseries undoubtedly more specifically does is apply an HRTF (Head-related Transfer Function), a form of signal processing providing for a spatialized downmix, i.e., "Virtual 7.1". If you are sure you are not satisfied with the regular Pulseaudio downmix but want the latter then, yes, some possibility, but things get a bit more technical immediately. I wasn't on a quick search able to locate a 7.1 impulse response file so you'll have to make do with a 5.1 example: if you download

http://stuff.salscheider-online.de/hrir_kemar.tar.gz

and unpack it somewhere, you can have Pulseaudio create a Virtual Surround device ("sink") with

Code: Select all

pacmd load-module module-virtual-surround-sink hrir=/where/ever/hrir-kemar.wav

After that you find a new 5.1 surround device available in your sound settings that you can play around with. Note, it attaches itself to the system-default sound device; if the default device is not the one providing your headphones-out, you'd need to provide it with a "master=<sink>" parameter, and you'd add the load-module command to /etc/pulse/default.pa to have it available on boot automatically. Level of guidance to be given depends on your own level of expertise/understanding.

The above you can do with/through any 2.0 device, including your Steelseries. As said, I expect that the "Virtual 7.1" on it is not hardware/firmware based but Windows-driver based, and if so, it's also all you can do with your Steelseries (well, in a global sense; google is providing me with the information that specifically for gaming, OpenAL has some nice spatialization techniques available itself, without relying on a system-wide solution). To be certain about the nature of its processing, I'd need your Steelseries locally to experiment with or at the very least need a somewhat detailed manual/specification-sheet.

As far as I'm aware, there are on Linux no out-of-the-box solutions available but shall note this to not necessarily be all that far; I'm not the gamer-type and this is an issue mostly in the gaming context. Nor is Linux much of a gaming-platform though, and I believe you'll have a hard time finding more out-of-the-box solutions.


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