Fairly unrelated to Orthagonal Devices, although content therefrom will be played therethrough, but there’s such a breadth of general musical knowledge and generosity of spirit here, that I thought someone may be able to help.
in an installation setting, I want to be able to take multiple outs live from a laptop. I understand the process from laptop through sound card with multiple outs, but I’m struggling to come up with a cost effective/compact manner of amplifying the signals. I could, if I did not want to control the outputs live, mix down to a surround format and play out through a domestic surround receiver, but those on the market no longer receive individual ins, everything being transmitted over HDMI these days.
I’ve asked a number of vendors of such systems locally and they’re puzzled by the need for such a thing/unable to offer suggestions.
I may be missing something blindingly obvious, but as I say the professionals I’ve approached have ubiquitously had a " never thought of that" response.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
What are the quality requirements, budget restrictions and what are you working with already?
I don’t know of any amplifier solutions that just offer amplification for n speakers in one box (that seems weird anyways - n will be different for most people’s needs anyways if you’re getting into this sort of territory).
But I’m not seeing the problem, yet. You could just use active speakers that don’t require amplification and accept line level (which your audio interface will happily provide). Anything from these cheap stereo-speaker pairs that people use as computer speakers to high quality studio monitors will work fine out of the box, so it’s easy to adjust between “low budget” and “high quality” on a continuous scale. For the really cheap stereo pairs, you’d have to make a good plan for placement (as the pairs are usually hardwired together and can usually only be placed within ~2-3m of one another) and get some adapters, but it’s still not hard to do.
Thanks @x2mirko. Quality requirements are a capacity to output a minimum of 16bit 44.1 kHz. There’s plenty of amps which do it, and they once offered multiple direct audio inputs, in the form of surround sound amps for home cinemas. I was hoping to have such a solution as it’s relatively compact and cost effective. To that end I was hoping to procure something for under 2k. That’s readily achievable in the form of bundled surround systems, but as I said they take already encoded surround information over HDMI.
I understand the method that you’re suggesting, and understand that it’s easy enough to do, I was looking for a more concise (and indeed tidier system)
One other requirement I do have is sufficient wattage to run a pair of tactile transducers, which in the scenario you suggest would at least require one powered (stereo) amp, so I’d hoped to be able to obviate the need for others.
At the moment it’s conceptual, but I have done something similar about 10 year ago, using the format i described ie. 5.1 surround amp. I no longer have access to that, and they no longer seem to be produced.