AV compromise

So I have the video stuff playing through nice speakers. Since it’s digital active, that uses six of the eight channels on the sound card. What should I use the remaining two channels for?

I’m thinking to build a subwoofer, and possibly use a channel for surrounds. Other options would be stereo surrounds, or a sub plus centre…

The clarity of speech is fine (I mix the centre channel to the mains), so my thinking is not to use a centre.

Is there any wisdom available on this choice?

Bit unclear to me what you use the 6 channels for?
Not 5.1, but not sure what else?

They’re used for the three ways of the main speakers - six drive units.

Twin subs
Or sub and centre. If you can try sub and centre id try that first and if the centre doesn’t help, moar bass

If the front’s are ‘big’ enough, I’d just go for two surrounds and not use a centre, if you like actually surround sound. If not, then stereo subs for phat bass reasons.
Back when I actually played with HT stuff, I found mixing to phantom centre was fine.

Has anyone tried mono surrounds? I can just mix the rear channels together. Would there be any point, or would it just be random mush?

The clarity of the mains is such that I’m not bothered by a centre, I think…

As long as you are avoiding downmix compression, Dolby surround (pro logic etc) had mono rear until Dolby digital 5.1.

Same in the cinema.

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Oh that’s interesting. Sounds to me like a pair of rears with a mono signal would work fine then. I think I’ll do a sub plus that then.

I have a great alcove for putting the sub in, about 75cm X 40cm, and I can remove shelves to make it as high as I like. I keep designing stuff that is taller than I am though, which may push the domestic acceptability issue slightly…

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Make the subs the wall…