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Thread: Is it possible to modify a 5.1 surround sound PCI card...

  1. #1
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    Default Is it possible to modify a 5.1 surround sound PCI card...

    :idea: Is it possible to modify a 5.1 surround sound PCI card to a DAC :?: The amiga uses it's sound card correct :?: But since it only has left and right, it can't do blanking. Has someone tried this as a workaround or am I just on crack :?: :roll:
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    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

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    there's a guy that has done exactly that, but you need to run linux with it. As far as I know, linux is the only OS that can let you use the soud card for that purpose, as you need to acces the "internal software" directly from the OS (through his own, proprietary software, which I think is free also). I don't know if writing a device driver under windows would work though

    Anyway, his name is James Lehman, if memory serves me right, and the program is called laserboy. try URL this link to find some more info
    Remember the future?, That'd today, as you imagined it yesterday.

  3. #3
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    Eewww, Linux... I tried to install it once and never could get it to mount a device right. That was a few years ago and
    I have never tried since. Big Bill's got me hooked. ops: I have a couple flavors... I should give it another go. :roll:

    Thanks man! I'll check it out.

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    James Lehman (aka laserboy) is the guy behind the Linux-based laserboy software that uses a sound card as a DAC. Of course, you have to get rid of the filtering caps on the output of the sound card, because otherwise they won't pass straight DC and the scanners won't work right. (Think about static beams in a beam show...)

    James is registered here on PhotonLexicon, but I haven't seen him log in recently. Might want to send him a PM... Or you can contact him through the laserboy website. (Google laserboy and you'll find him.)

    ADam

  5. #5
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    I have modified a USB sound card to give me 6 DAC channels. I will use channels 1 & 2 for music and channels 3-6 for laser control to give a perfectly synchronized laser show. Now, I just have to write some software that allows merging the laser show wav file with music via a nice editor.

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    Carmangary;

    How do you generate the waveform for the lasershow itself? Do you create the lasershow in another piece of software first, and then record the analog output of the DAC so you can import it as a wav? I guess that would work, but it's a pretty cumbersome process. (Then again, if your show software doesn't support music syncronization this would be one way to get it...)

    I'm sure Cool Edit will play multiple waveforms. Gotta be some other audio editing software out there that will handle it as well though.

    Adam

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    There are already at least a couple programs that let you design laser shows and save them as WAV files. LaserBoy and Heathcliff both do this already. They save directly to a WAV file just like other programs might save to an ILDA file. The remaining piece is to mix these WAV files with audio wav files on the 2ndary channels. CoolEdit would probably do it but I am thinking of creating something a little easier... something that lets you hear the audio and see the laser display (emulated on screen). It would be sort of like DJ mixing board but with one record player being audio and the other record player being laser video.

    There are definite cons to this... one being that you can't create realtime patterns using beating sine waves, etc. Or maybe there is.. I know that you can listen to an MP3 as it is downloaded... so maybe it is possible to view a laser show WAV as it is being generated.

    Anyway, I am doing all of this for hobby purposes and choosing this less traveled route just because it is more of a challenge than just buying a package. I guess you could say that for me getting there is 95% of the fun.

  8. #8
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    I knew about Laserboy, though that is a linux-only solution. I hadn't heard about Heathcliff until you mentioned it. From a quick Google search, it looks like it's written in German. Still, it runs under Windows...

    As far as creating something custom that will play multiple sound files (both the actual music as well as the wav fiile for the galvos), that sounds like a lot of programming work. Especially if you also want to have an on-screen preview window that will show what the scanners are drawing in real time. Cool Edit would handle the sound file playback, but of course would not give you a preview window.

    However, if you have the knowledge to write the code for all that, then it shouldn't be too hard to add the extra features you mentioned at the end of your post. (Basically incorporating an abstract generator into the program.) If you do decide to pursue this project, please keep us informed here on the forum. It sounds like a very cool idea.

    Adam

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    Yes, Heathcliff is written by a German fellow but the actual application is in English so that's nice.

    You are right that it will take a lot of programming to do what I want. Luckily, I am a computer programmer! I have always wanted to try out some of the DirectX stuff and this might be my ticket to trying it out.

    For sure, I'll keep everyone posted. But, as this is just a hobby and I have a wife and kids (and a dog) my progress will be slow so don't expect anything anytime soon.

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