Configuring multi-channel output in Windows 10?

pbj44

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Aug 7, 2016
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Hi Folks,
After many years I decided to build a windows 10 pc as both a game and a Kodi media server for my family room. I finally got it powered up, windows 10 installed, and all the drivers installed and updated. My ps3 in the same room connected via HDMI to my surround sound system has a powerful room-filling sound.
Moving on, It took me forever to finally figure out how to configure the correct amount of speakers (7.1) using the configure tab under playback devices.
The problem? Having tested out a few pc games I must admit to being underwhelmed with the audio. The volume overall levels seem low and the bass from my subwoofer seems rather low and rather anemic.
My GPU is an AMD 380x 4gb card connected to my Yamaha receiver via HDMI cable.
I would like to:
A) Increase the overall speaker volume level going to my receiver.
B) Boost the subwoofer signal going to my pc
C) Enable audio quality such as 24 bit/96 kHz, Dolby TrueHD, DTS Master Audio, ect...
I feel like such a noob and am certain that I am missing some simple steps in getting my setup properly configured. Can someone help me?
 

RumoredNow

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Nov 12, 2012
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Moved to appropriate area...

Windows 10 How-To Guides is for write ups of prepackaged solutions... Not for leading questions on issues not yet resolved.
 

AndyCalling

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Apr 15, 2013
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Hmm. Well, though you say your PS3 is connected to your sound system via HDMI you don't state how your PC is connected to your sound system, so I assume the same method? Let me know if otherwise.

HDMI is a digital connection, not analogue. You can set the input level with Windows volume setting but most of the time you will have this set at 100% and would adjust the volume with the amp controls. I don't have a PS3 but I'm guessing it uses some form of dynamic range compression (giving the effect of louder, punchier sound by sacrificing dynamic range) like on commercial music radio stations (shudder...). This would sound 'louder' in general but will not show the range between quiet sounds and loud sounds as it should.

Sending audio through HDMI can be tricky. You may only be getting stereo. Your receiver should be able to pick up PCM audio but may not be able to do so at 5.1 sound over HDMI. You cannot encode your audio as Dolby/DTS etc. unless either it is natively recorded in this fashion and you just pass it through via spdif/hdmi in a raw format, or if you encode it to dolby/dts on the fly (usually because your sound card (or video card possibly with HDMI) has the feature to do so).

If you have trouble with HDMI, I recommend you use a toslink optical cable from your sound card to your amp. That will usually do better with full 5.1 PCM. That is usually a better system for connecting your PC to an amp digitally. It would be even better if you could connect with full 5.1 analogue cables if your amp allows it. Then your PC can take full control of each speaker meaning all other concerns fall away.
 

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