Fxsound 7.1 Surround

Hi am wondering how to get the 7.1 surround sound working because it shows as an option but it does apply saying this device is being used by another application. Does anyone know why? Please let me know when you can.

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Regret to say that Surround is a known hit-and-miss issue with FxSound, as it wasn’t created for such configurations.
You can find the GitHub bug page on Surround linked below, and this is a link to some additional information provided by the lead engineer.


Could you specify where it shows as an option?

Have you disabled Exclusive Mode?
This is one of the basic tips from my troubleshooting list bannered to the top of the forum:

@doolhoofd Just wondering does setting up the configuration for the 7.1 surround on the actual device affect fxsound or does fxsound have to be the one that has the config settings for it to work?

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I really don"t know. I don’t have such a setup and, as I said, the results are inconsistent.
But I do know that you can run the Speaker Setup dialogue wizard as many times as you like, so I’d recommend trying all available options, until, in the best case scenario, you find one that works.

Yea makes sense, like I am able to select 7.1 for fxsound and dont get any conflictions like the OP is but since I change between using my headset and my surround sound system wasn’t sure if setting the 7.1 was affecting my headset in a negative way or not lol

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I think it also depends on the implementation of the option. If this is umulation at the illusion level, then the driver software works like an equalizer. The “pass-through” type (I don’t know the correct name), does not change device parameters for the system, does not require direct work with active devices in the system. If it is something more, then the software will require more dependencies and/or will not render sound for an inactive (in the OS) sound device.

What has been said may be far from the truth.
But there are device configuration programs and drivers that radically change the device parameters for the system. Up to changing the type of device/internal port on the motherboard, options for displaying parameters in the OS settings.

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FXSound generally seems to play nice here with surround sound, I haven’t had real issues where it wouldn’t work on a device.

But I’ll add that my devices are either 3.5mm analog or USB-based, I don’t have experience with things like HDMI audio or digital outputs and AV receivers.

  • Device 1: Logitech Z906 5.1 hooked up on Realtek ALC4082 onboard
  • Device 2: Logitech G35 7.1 Headset hooked up via USB
  • Device 3: Razer Blackshark V2 Hyperspeed 7.1 Headset hooked up via USB

Both USB headsets create an audio device within Windows that FXSound can redirect it’s audio to, and well Realtek ALC4082 is internally connected via USB on the motherboard as that is apparently the modern go-to.

But it has worked well with other Realtek onboard audio chipsets that didn’t connect through an USB-interface for me.

The only ‘problem’ I recently had with the newly bought Razer headset is that when I reconnect the headset or restarted FXSound it would crash the first time while it has Realtek onboard selected (5.1).

But restarting FXSound a second time and then switch back and forth between onboard and the Razer headset the audio would be completely fine.

Another odd thing I noticed is that the Razer headset reports itself as 2.0 stereo device in Windows while the Z906 and G35 report 5.1 (via Realtek) and 7.1 themselves, but when I had the Razer headset active in FXSound it would show as 7.1 device in FXSound audio device, and the channels actually worked with some delay before becoming active.

But that’s maybe a very specific scenario, another computer with no 7.1 or 5.1 speakers hooked up (but iirc still Realtek) FXSound wouldn’t crash when the Razer headset was connected or FXSound was restarted etc.

And on this other computer FXSound reported the 7.1 Razer headset as 2.0 device but THX Spatial Audio still works so that isn’t an issue.

Maybe it has some trouble switching between devices when there’s multiple surround devices on the system configured, in the end of the day not the worst problem and it can be resolved.

And both the Dolby Surround and THX Spatial Audio from Logitech/Razer work fine with FXSound.

The only exception being THX Spatial Audio standalone application you can trial/buy from Razer website, because this created a THX audio device in Windows that is required to be primary, and then is rerouted to another device of choice like FXSound does. But FXSound cannot work without being primary device. Not a problem for headsets that have this functionality built in by default and are controlled by Razer Synapse V3.

But Razer has another odd thing that is probably their design fault is that THX Spatial Audio in Synapse or proper EQs only seem to work well after the headset was set as the primary device first with Razer Synapse active before enabling FXSound.

Razer Synapse V3 also will ruin the sound if Windows is locked due to no system level access (like Corsair iCUE) which means you’ll have to close FXSound (and audio applications that are active have to be restarted as well), switch the headset to primary and restart FXSound otherwise the audio does not sound the way it should.

When it works the surround is really nice and FXSound adds a lot to the experience, but it takes some tinkering to get it to work.

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“We are still speaking of a point of disappearance, a vanishing point, but this time in music. I shall call this the stereophonic effect. We are all obsessed with high fidelity, with the quality of musical “reproduction.” At the consoles of our stereos, armed with our tuners, amplifiers and speakers, we mix, adjust settings, multiply tracks, in pursuit of a flawless sound. Is this still music? Where is the high-fidelity threshold beyond which music disappears as such? It does not disappear for lack of music, but because it has passed this limit point; it disappears into the perfection of its materiality, into its own special effect. Beyond this point, there is neither judgment nor aesthetic pleasure. It is the ecstasy of musicality, and its end. The disappearance of history is of the same order: here again, we have passed that limit where, by dint of the sophistication of events and information, history ceases to exist as such.”

  • Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion Of The End

“In the last eighteen years, I was trying to record, but I’m realizing more and more that music is not an audio experience, it’s something more than audio. And the digital technique actually showed me this. It so clearly transmits the sounds, that you can’t hear the music anymore. […] From the very beginning of the digital recording, I had a problem in the studio. Because I had too many informations concerning the sound, and music is not sound. We are using the sound for creating music, but music is actually more [a way of] organizing people’s emotions in time. And it’s more the time flow, it’s more the story you are telling, using the sound. Going by a more and more perfect sound, you are not necessarily achieving a better story, or are able better to tell the story. Because there will be a lot of factors which will start to disturb the listener. The perfection of sound, which is a kind of over-exposing of itself… And on top of this, I would say, there is a very interesting function of distortion in the audience. We always have some distortion. In the concert hall, we have tremendous distortion; there is never a total silence in the concert hall. So, there is a basic hum, a basic level of distortion, which is something we can lean at, we can play with. And if you look at old recordings - for example, I had a beautiful recording, Preludes, Chopin Preludes by Cortot. The man is really playing with these distortions, he is really diving under it, sometimes does not play half of the notes. And that, I only realized after someone gave me a cleaned version of this recording. It’s awful, absolutely awful. And this man gave it [to me] with a great satisfaction, and said: look how he’s cheating with the left hand, he doesn’t play most of the notes. I said, well, this is terrible, because for this media he recorded it for, it did not matter. So this man had an intelligence, of playing that what was important, and hitting exactly that region in which he could transmit his art to the listener, not bothering about all the other things, which were unimportant. And now, cleaning this recording, is like going to the Louvre and undressing the Mona Lisa, and realizing she does not have very clean pants this day! This is unfair, because the picture is about her smile, not about her underwear - and that’s exactly what digital technique did to us.”

  • Krystian Zimerman