# DVD Audio Predicament

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
Our school currently gets its plays from Music Theatre International, and we get DVD Audio discs from the MT Pit. The problem is that we have a DVD player that is kinda slow, so it is a pain to deal with, and the cues are still sometimes late, even when I do my best to anticipate the cue.

So, is there a better selection of hardware/software to run DVD audio? We currently have a computer in out booth with an ac97 sound card. (I think that's what it's called)

I am wondering if it is better (in terms of performance vs. cost) to...

a: Get a sound card and decent software to run the DVD audio from the computer. Is a computer even capable of delivering the original quality of the DVD audio disc?

b: Obtain a higher quality DVD Audio Playback device.

I would like to work out some way to have it be ran by a computer, but I don't want to sacrifice and quality. I just don't know if any of the standard playback software (SFX, Sound Cue System, or others like that) can use that type of file.

Any suggestions?

#### Hughesie

##### Well-Known Member
can't you convert the audio because i have heard of people extracting audio from dvd's before

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
Does that lessen the quality of it though?

Does this take some other kind of software to read a DVD?

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Does that lessen the quality of it though?
Does this take some other kind of software to read a DVD?
Windows media player should play DVD, if you have the updated version that is. It its pretty easy to rip the files out, if you want lossless rip it to a FLAC format, or traditional wav. I believe that handbrake will rip it for you.

#### mbenonis

##### Wireless Guy
Is this a DVD Video disc with an audio track, or a true DVD Audio disc? If it it is the latter, I fear I don't know of any way to load the audio onto a computer. Out of curiosity (no offense intended), are you unable to get a full orchestra together for this show?

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
Is this a DVD Video disc with an audio track, or a true DVD Audio disc? If it it is the latter, I fear I don't know of any way to load the audio onto a computer. Out of curiosity (no offense intended), are you unable to get a full orchestra together for this show?
I am pretty sure it is a true DVD audio disc. I know that last year we loaded it onto an apple computer to edit a song that we used for a showcase, but I am not sure how much of the quality was kept through that process.

(We have in the past used a student pit, but nobody liked it that much. Our director just likes more control over music, and having more of the stage to perform on.)

Also, about the Handbrake program, it says it can output AAC, MP3, Vorbis or AC-3 pass-through. Which of these is highest quality?
Can Sound Cue System use these files?

(also, if anybody knows of a free program like Sound Cue System, that would help mucho.)

#### kovacika

##### Active Member
be warned that with using a computer for playback 9 times out of ten you will run into issues with hard drive noise. you can often alleviate this with a pair of direct boxes.

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
I was assuming that a better soundcard in addition to my ground lifts would eliminate this problem? I also thought that broadway runs music on hardrive whenever they are not using all their live musicians.

But, if that is not the case, do you just use the direct boxes to get a ground lift on the signal cable?

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
I was assuming that a better soundcard in addition to my ground lifts would eliminate this problem? I also thought that broadway runs music on hardrive whenever they are not using all their live musicians.
But, if that is not the case, do you just use the direct boxes to get a ground lift on the signal cable?
Never had an issue with hard drive noise before myself. Many many shows are moving to SFX based systems or a hard drive player. Rip it in AAC at the maximum allowed settings. Try it out, see if you get any noise, if you don't go with it, if you do invest in a sound card that gets the A/D conversion outside of the computer. Anything made by prosonus gets my vote, M-audio as well.

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
So, by A/D conversion outside the computer, do you mean the USB kind, that is not plainly inserted into the motherboard?

Also, the question remains as to what program can i use to run it, that is free/cheap. (any companies that give it free to skewlz?) Less than $50 is what we are aiming for, due to budget, but I do not know how practical this is. #### mbenonis ##### Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member #### Footer ##### Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member So, by A/D conversion outside the computer, do you mean the USB kind, that is not plainly inserted into the motherboard? Also, the question remains as to what program can i use to run it, that is free/cheap. (any companies that give it free to skewlz?) Less than$50 is what we are aiming for, due to budget, but I do not know how practical this is.
USB, firewire, proprietary, whatever. Basically, you want the digital signal to be converted to analog outside of the computer box, this gives you a much better signal quality all the way through. I would try it without first, and see if you can even hear any type of hum. Some computers make a ton of noise, others are silent. Try it first, buy later.

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
Replace Sound Cue System with QLab for Mac - it's free and extreemly powerful. http://www.figure53.com/
I would give you a million brownie points right now if I actually owned a Mac. But, our school is not likely to provide us a Mac, so you get nothing.

(I will ask them about it, and if we do end up getting to borrow one, then you may have your brownie points.)

How good is the Sound Blaster Live! in terms of a USB sound card? (couldn't find any other that is affordable)

And, a good PC program is yet to be found...

(By the way, thanks so much guys. This is awesome.)

Senior Team

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
From what I can tell, the Live! is cheaper, and has 96khz compared to the 48khz on the Podcast Factory. Is there something else on the Podcast that makes it worth more? (I wish I knew more about this kind of stuff. But thats why I have you wonderful people.)

Also, I don't know how stupid this makes me sound, but I am having trouble finding a program that has autopause, etc. like mentioned. The only kinds I can find are all demos, and they have limited cues, and stop working after 30 minutes.

But, I suppose the DVD player didn't have autopause, so we can work around that. Of coarse, good software would be preferable.

So, and suggestions at all in that case, or should I just spend \$50 on the sound cue system... (so far, the cheapest I could find.)

Thankyou mucho.

#### 00AVD

##### Active Member
You can try my freeware offering: MultiPlay
It's an audio cue player that supports up to 4 sound cards for program out plus another for previewing audio.

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
A thousand brownie points to everyone who posted!