Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 30 Old 09-11-13, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I couldn't find it after a few days of searching. I've worked out a way to individually select each of the 8 channels individually on a Mac, when outputting over HDMI. This is similar to the workaround in the sticky as it uses Soundflower (download here). I used the latest version, which actually has support for 64 channel input and output.

This is pretty straightforward once you have Soundflower installed and running. You need to go to System Preferences ->Sound -> Output, and set this to Soundflower (64 ch).



Go to the MIDI controller via Applications -> Utilities ->Audio MIDI Setup, and select Soundflower (64 ch) as the output. In the image I’ve set the volume for channels 7 through 64 to zero, but it’s not necessary.



Next, open REW, and go to preferences. Set your output device as Default Device.



Now go to Applications -> Soundflower ->Soundflowerbed. This should load the application. It looks like an asterisk in your menu bar. When you click on that, you get a drop down. Mouse down and select HDMI under the Soundflower 64(ch) section. Now, click the asterisk again, and mouse down to the SoundFlower (64ch) and you get another set of options under routing. This is where the magic happens. Mouse over and set channels 2 through 64 to None. This deactivates each of those outputs. We only need one active at a time.



To begin with, I just ran a test tone from the REW generator to experiment. Go back to the Soundflowerbed icon and hover over Soundflower(64ch), mouse over to Channel 1, and you can select which output channel you want to route the sound to. For example, HDMI (1) corresponds to my L channel, HDMI (2) corresponds to my Center, and so on. I tried it with all 6 speakers in my living room setup.



The key here is to have only 1 channel activated at a time. The OS wants to send the sound to all 6 channels (or 8) at once, but Soundflower will let you turn all of them off (or on) individually.

Hope this is useful! This worked for me on a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.7.5. I'll be interested to know if it works for others.

input Configuration Update

I've noticed an intermittent issue where my UMM-6 is not recognized by REW. My Mac will immediately recognize it, and typically swaps the input in the system preferences to the UMM-6, but for some reason, REW does not see it despite all the other settings being correct. For now, the work-around has been to select the "Built-in Input" in REW. I'm not familiar with the other mics/sound cards, but this is how it's setup on my Mac.

Go to System Preferences -> Sound and make sure you click on the Input tab



Make sure your mic is selected (e.g. highlighted). You can also go to the MIDI controller via Applications -> Utilities ->Audio MIDI Setup and double check that your particular input device is active. Look for the microphone beside it.



Now open REW and go to the preferences. Select the Soundcard tab and under "Input Device and Input" you can select "Built-in input"



What's interesting about this is sometimes REW will recognize my mic when "Default Device" is selected in REW, and sometimes it won't. I haven't figured out why this is yet, but you have to make sure REW is not defaulting to your laptop/computer's built-in mic.

Last edited by EmagSamurai; 09-27-13 at 10:59 PM.
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-11-13, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

I tried to update the first post with screenshots of each of the settings. They showed up in the preview, but I don't see them now. Could someone let me know if they are showing for others?

EDIT: Looks like they're showing up now.
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-12-13, 09:54 AM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Great post, thanks very much for documenting this. I'll add a link to the sticky on working around audio challenges when using REW under OS X.
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-12-13, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Thanks! Glad I can contribute.

I suppose I could copy and paste everything into a post in the sticky. Being new to the forum, I didn't want to take too many liberties until I get a better idea of how you guys run things

You guys can let me know if you would prefer I leave it here, or copy it into the sticky thread.
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-13-13, 04:42 AM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Can just leave it here.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-27-13, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

I've updated the first post with a section on setting the input devices. I've run into an issue with REW not recognizes my mic sometimes. For now, it's very inconsistent, but this is at least a work-around. Just be careful to make sure you're actually using the mic you intend to rather than the computer's built-in mic.
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post #7 of 30 Old 10-27-13, 09:34 PM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Ok;
I just bought a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, pickup is Nov 4th.

I also have a Denon 4520CI, my current usage of REW was via Behringer 8000mMIC and Mobile Pre USB.
The below was 2 years ago with a Dell laptop, work issued, which no longer will accept outside software.


Now, when I hoop up that Mobile Pre USB to the MacBook Pro, then output HDMI to the front HDMI input, then I can select the speaker it will output to per the instructions above, so sweet!
I'll post my results here, computer hook up wise not acoustic results.

Mike R,P.E.

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post #8 of 30 Old 10-28-13, 01:22 PM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

This has been very helpful for someone trying to get past the initial set up hurdles using a Mac.

Steve
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-26-14, 04:01 PM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Sound Flower doesn't work with Maverick!
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-13-14, 08:33 PM
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Re: Workaround For 8-channel HDMI Out on Mac

Got it installed today, but is it still necessary? I am guessing so, since there is no other way to choose individual channels to do a sweep.


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