Surround sound feedback (SSF) is an audio technology that creates an immersive environment by using multiple speakers to distribute sound within the cabinet. This form of audio technology plays a significant role in enhancing the overall gaming experience.
When installed in a virtual pinball machine cabinet, SSF can significantly improve your experience, making the game feel more realistic. The sound effects, music, and audio cues come from all directions, mimicking the audio experience of a physical pinball game. This makes for a more enjoyable and immersive gaming experience.
Are you attempting to set up SSF for your virtual pinball machine? If so, check out the helpful tips below.
Start By Choosing The Right Equipment
Choosing the right equipment is crucial when setting up SSF for your virtual pinball machine cabinet. Start with getting speakers of good quality. The speakers are responsible for delivering the sound in clear and crisp quality. So, investing in a good set can make a big difference.
One of the most popular speakers used in SSF are the Dayton Audio HDN-8. However many builders prefer the Dayton Audio DAEX32QMB-4. In additional to the exciters you will need to add 1 or 2 bass shakers. Model Dayton Audio BST-1 is the most common used in the industry.
Next, you will need an amplifier. The amplifier boosts the audio signal from your device to your speakers. Make sure the amplifier you choose can support the power and impedance of your speakers. The most common amplifiers used by most builders are 200W Power amplifiers that use Genuine TI TPA3116 chipsets.
Lastly, don't forget about the sound card. The sound card needs to be a 5.1 or a 7.1 internal or external sound card. The 5.1 is used for smaller setups and the 7.1 for a full size setup. The sound card processes audio information from the computer and sends it to the speakers. A good external 7.1 sound card is the StarTech.com 7.1 USB Sound Card.
Proper Speaker Placement is a Must
Correct speaker placement is essential for the best sound. Place the front exciters as close to your flippers as you can get them. Place your rear exciters at about the same level as the front speakers but at the end of your playfield. The bass shakers should be placed near the front and near the back of your playfield.
Use High-Quality Cables and Connectors
High-quality cables and connectors significantly affect your sound system's performance. They help ensure the sound signal passes from your device to the speakers without any loss or change. When the sound signal is strong and clear, your game sounds better.
Configuring Your Sound Card
After you've installed the necessary hardware, it's time to set up your sound card. This step ensures that the sound is directed to the appropriate speakers. You may need to download some additional software or drivers to do this.
Start by checking the manufacturer's instructions for the sound card. This will usually guide you in configuring the settings for multiple outputs. Make sure you choose the correct settings that match the speakers you've installed in your pinball machine cabinet.
Also, remember to update your sound card drivers. Keeping these drivers up-to-date helps your sound card work properly with your system. You can download these drivers from the manufacturer's website.
Test Your Speakers
After setting up your SSF, testing the system with some pinball games is important to ensure it's working as expected. Play a few games and listen carefully to the sound quality and effects. Adjust the volume and balance controls until the sound feels right.
It's Time To Enhance Your Pinball Gaming Experience!
These tips will help you set up SSF in your virtual pinball machine cabinet. If you're in the market for a new pinball cabinet, check out our selection of assembled and unassembled options!