5.1 mixing - hardware out of a MBP


New Member
Hey all, first time post, long time admirer of the forum, and mods I did a search on this topic and didn't find a post that answered this Q, but feel redirect the post.

I want to start mixing some projects to 5.1, so my first question is actually hardware regarding outputs from a Mac Book Pro. Someone said in another forum that every Mac Book Pro has optical out, so I'm assuming that statement means that it "has the capability of optical out" via a Mini plug to Toslink adapter, correct?

So if the MBP can send out a digital signal via the mini plug to Toslink, do you now have the ability to monitor and mix your project in 5.1 discrete channels with a MBP? Obviously assuming you have 5 speakers and a sub and the Receiver to decode the optical cable.

I have more questions but I'll just leave it with this. Any factual comments?
The Mac will not do dolby or any kind of surround output unless it is encoded that way. I have done a number of things in 5.1 but I had an audio system that went to an amp as 6 outs (L, R, Center, Sub, L Rear, R Rear). If I wanted to send it to a system as a single DD stream, I had to encode it first.

There are some products out that will do real time encode I believe, but I have no experience with them.

The spdif out is that, SPIDI, no adat or multichannel output, unless it's DD or DTC encoded to start with.


New Member
Roger that, thanks for a quick response George. I figured that Compressor would come into play at some point for encoding Logic audio bounces. So how do you monitor a 5.1 mix during the mixing process?

Would a mini pin to toslink cable like this work? http://tinyurl.com/3fsuw2y
You will require an audio interface with 6 or more outputs (analog) and a receiver/amp that has a surround sound in (I use an old Sony amp that has analog in for surround, and a pre amp out that goes to my surround setup monitors).

that is how I do it (and everyone I know who does surround does it like this).