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I'm looking to send multiple (5-7) audio signals out of my computer to separate speakers. Is there an interface that will allow me to play different audio on different speakers?

Each audio signal is independent of the previous. I'm looking to simultaneously power multiple speakers, each playing something different.

  • There are plenty of (reasonably) cheap USB audio interfaces that could do this, for example the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (which has six outputs). All of this assumes you're sending six streams if mono audio -- for stereo you'd need double the outputs. – Linuxios Nov 1 '16 at 3:36
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If you are wanting to play separate, independent and uncorrelated music through several different channels, you would probably be better off using independent devices to play the music streams. Attempting to use a computer to do this will be problematic no matter what computer, operating system and layered software you use.

For example there are dozens of MP3 player boards complete with speaker power amplifier on a very tiny PC board that sell for well under US$5 each. Much less expensive (and less fiddly) than trying to use a computer. Here is an example that sells for less than $2 with free shipping. Search Ebay for: MP3 player board

MP3 player board

  • I definitely agree that handling this on one device is likely more trouble than it's worth. In my experience, even in professional scaled-up installations, there are usually separate PC's dedicated to each play-back channel. – user9881 Nov 1 '16 at 15:56
  • It really is very easy and does not have any kind of problems. Could be cheaper though. – frcake Nov 2 '16 at 0:20
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Any interface with the proper amount of outputs will let you accomplish this; the only question then becomes which software to use!

Most operating systems, by default don't support multiple separate "steams" so you'll need some sort of software to do that part (but that's a whole other question!).

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To have a proper setup that works out of the box

You'll need

  • 5 active speakers (like yamaha hs5 or some other cheaper from behringer)

  • A usb interface like the one mentioned above (be careful to buy one with 5+ analog outputs, companies tend to oversell the outputs by adding the optical and spdif and whatnot)

  • 5 cables that extend to the length you want

  • a DAW.

Afterwards just add 5 mono channels to your DAW and insert a generator plugin to each channel and configure the frequency you want. Most of the DAWs have plugins like that but im sure youll be able to find freeware VSTs if not.

Now some interfaces have a mixer coming with a driver which some others dont but in cubase for example you can route each channel to a specific output, this should be featured to any DAW.

After that every channel goes out to the respected speaker with the respected frequency which means you can control each level.

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Yes. It's known as a crossover, and it allows you to take the input signal from eg. your computer and split it into multiple signals based on what frequencies you choose. Although I haven't come across any 5-way Xovers, I have seen a few 4-way, but most appear to be 2- or 3-way.

  • I don't want to filter the audio signal from my computer to different speakers but actually send different tracks, each to a different speaker. Have one speaker playing jazz, while another plays classical, and one plays hip hop, all simultaneously. – saba Nov 1 '16 at 1:11
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    That's not what you wrote in the original question (which was the one I replied to). However; if you are running Linux JACK might be able to do this; I haven't done manual patching there in a long time but IIRC you can route audio streams directly to specific inputs/outputs on virtual and physical devices. – bjelleklang Nov 1 '16 at 8:47
  • this doesn't answer the question. If you want to post your comment above as a new question, that could be useful. – Rory Alsop Nov 11 '16 at 20:16
  • @RoryAlsop: His original question was how he could send multiple signals from a computer as seen here, making multiple speakers play different frequencies. After I replied to this question, he edited it into a different question. – bjelleklang Nov 14 '16 at 14:08
  • I know - rather than using a comment, I was suggesting you edit your question accordingly – Rory Alsop Nov 14 '16 at 14:09

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