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Old 16th July 2002, 21:40   #1  |  Link
Eye of Horus
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A Guide from Stereo to 5 channel Surround !

A GUIDE TO MAKE 5 CHANNEL SURROUND FROM STEREO
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This method provides excellent results. In some aspects it even sounds better than AC3 files ripped from DVD. Give it a try and share your thoughts with us !

Here is the software you need.....

- Cooledit
(http://www.syntrillium.com/download/)
- Aurora plugins
(http://www.ramsete.com/Aurora/download/)
- Tools Ambisonics
Included here - see below message

The Tools include 3 wav files you need further in the process and the free programs pack2x2to4.exe and ambidec.exe.

-> a B format signal is a 4 channel signal. W is the sound pressure. X, Y and Z are the harmonics on the pressure field. X is a vector directly in front of the listener, Y is a vector on the side, and Z is the vector of height. Since we'll decode a 2D signal (remember, surround is not 3D audio, it is 2D!), we can forget about the Z signal.

-> The goal here is to convert your stereo CD signal, which is UHJ - encoded, into a B format signal, which carries all the data so that you can decode all the channels you'd want to.

Okay, let's start working !!

-> Rip a stereo track from a CD

-> Using CoolEdit and Aurora, do this.

-> Start CoolEdit.

-> Load the UHJ-W filter file ,a 44.1 Khz file . Copy it to the windows clipboard. Press CTRL+6 for Windows Clipboard and the CTRL+C to copy to that clipboard.

-> Load the stereo signal (the ripped stereo track you want to convert).

-> Launch the "Convolve with Clipboard" Aurora module, and set the following settings:

Channels to convolve: Audio data: Both. Imp. Res: Both. No Crosstalk cancel mode. No remove DC component. No autorange result. No timeReverse Imp. resp. Gain =0.

-> Convolution begins. When it ends, you'll have a stereo file. We need it in mono.

-> Convert Sample type, from Stereo to Mono, with a 50% mix on each channel and 32 bit resolution.

-> Close and restart Cooledit. This is necessary to be sure that the clipboard is empty again ! Make sure you set the Windows clipboard (CTRL+6)

-> Repeat the procedure, but load the UHJ-X and UHJ-Y files, so you end up with three mono files (which will be your w, x, and y signals).

-> Now remember, the "Z" component means "height". So we really don't need to decode it.

-> Close and restart Cooledit

-> Now we have to pack the W signal along with the X signal.
Re-transform W in a stereo wave file, with 16 bits depth, using the Convert Sample Type module in Cooledit. Be sure 100% of the signal goes to the left mix, 0% to the right, and that resolution is 16 bits. Enable dithering.

-> Now switch to the X signal (the X file we've been working on). Resample it to a 16 bit mono file and Copy it to a Cooledit Clipboard. Go back to the W signal, select the entire right channel and paste the X signal file into the right track of the W stereo signal. You'll end up with a stereo file with the W signal on the left channel and the X signal on the right channel. Save it !

-> Close and restart Cooledit

-> Switch to the Y signal. Convert it to stereo, 44.1/16. The Y signal will be 100% on the left channel. Since we don't have a height (Z) signals, the right channel signal should be left empty. Save it !


-> Now you have two stereo signals. Change the extension of the WX file (should be WAV) to "WX". Change the extension of the YZ file (should be WAV, too) to "YZ".

-> Run the Pack2x2to4.exe file from a DOS prompt. It will ask you the names of the WX and YZ files. It will then save a 4 channel WXYZ file suitable for use with AmbiDec.
! So make sure the extension of the saved file is .WXYZ

-> Use ambidec. It's a program that is used to decode a B-Format file (the one you made) to produce a Wave file with speaker feeds. Those files will be suffixed in .wxyz.
You can decode the signal into any rig type. If you are using a standard 5.1 system, you'll want to decode it in "Pentagon".

-> Use it like this:

ambidec -r Pentagon (input file) (output file)

-> The file you'll end up with is a 5 channel wave file. Now we must encode it to DD 5.1
Load the entire file into SoftEncode. The program automatically recognizes the feed as a 5 channel wave file, and presents it as such. Encode it with a setting of 640 K/s to get the higest possible quality in DD5.1 .


-> Burn the result and enjoy ! The results are really superb !!

OR

Use Bspilt to extract 5 wav files from the wxyz signal and use Surcode DTS to make a DTS.

Commandline for Bsplit :
besplit -core( -input song01.wav -prefix g:\song01 -type wav -demux )

song01.wav = song01.wxyz
g:\song01 = the place where the 5 mono wavs are saved

Use the files in this order :

Left front : song0101
right front : song0103
center : song0102
lfe : stays blank
left surround : song0104
right surround : song0105

NEW METHOD FOR THE LAST STEPS
=============================

After making the wxyz file, there is now an alternative for Ambidec and Besplit. My friend Andreas brought this goodie to my attention !
First the link where you can download the program VVMIC, which stands for Visual Virtual Microphone.
http://mcgriffy.com/audio/ambisonic/vvmic/
Download, install and run the program.
Here follow the steps :
1. Click on input file and chose your wxyz file. You can chose between a wxyz extension or a wav extension.
2. Click on output file and give it a name
3. Select multiple mono files
4. Change number of outputs to 5
5. Select link pairs and select all directives
6. Click on G-format
7. Now click on PLAY and you will end up with 5 mono files !

In surcode, use the same order to make a DTS from those 5 files as described above (1-3-2-blank-4-5)

Results are a fraction less then the Ambidec/Besplit method, but that's mainly, because there is no gain control. The volume is lower and it sounds a little bit les crispier, brighter.

But.... it is very easy and saves a lot of time and it is very fast !



Good luck and let us know something about your results !

Eye of Horus with the much appreciated help of Dr. Freudiana

DSPguru : We hope you will be able to include this

Last edited by DSPguru; 20th June 2003 at 08:03.
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Old 16th July 2002, 22:25   #2  |  Link
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I have one naive, amateurish question about this
If the source is stereo, why is the result going to sound better as a 5 channel file?

Is the result just like if I'm telling my 5.1 soundcard to play stereo files on all channels (and apply some spatial effects, maybe)?
But, there must be a benefit over this, otherwise you wouldn't go through all the hassles, right?
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Old 16th July 2002, 23:01   #3  |  Link
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@ Eye of Horus
This is all very nice, but even without testing (I don't have a 5.1-system), I can tell you, you won't get real 5.1 sound. I think, as theReal said, you're just applying some kind of surround effect, nothing special. I think it works in a similiar way like Dolby Surround Pro-Logic II.

But I will take the opportunity and ask you about something really impotant for me: how to generate high frequencies from a source that have frequencies up to 11KHz only in a good quality?
I remember someone having asked such a question but there was no good answer I think. You seem to be an expert in sound matters, so may be you can help
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Old 16th July 2002, 23:13   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by theReal
I have one naive, amateurish question about this
If the source is stereo, why is the result going to sound better as a 5 channel file?

Is the result just like if I'm telling my 5.1 soundcard to play stereo files on all channels (and apply some spatial effects, maybe)?
But, there must be a benefit over this, otherwise you wouldn't go through all the hassles, right?
Of course there is !
I suggest you read this article :

http://s2n.org/Articles/Ambisonics.html

It is a complete explanation and it also gives inside why this system never made it to the mainstream. It was invented in the 70's !!
And.... all experts (I am definitely not !) say this is the best !

just give it a try once and then you will know why !

best wishes,

Eye of Horus
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Old 16th July 2002, 23:23   #5  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJ Bobo
@ Eye of Horus
This is all very nice, but even without testing (I don't have a 5.1-system), I can tell you, you won't get real 5.1 sound. I think, as theReal said, you're just applying some kind of surround effect, nothing special. I think it works in a similiar way like Dolby Surround Pro-Logic II.

But I will take the opportunity and ask you about something really impotant for me: how to generate high frequencies from a source that have frequencies up to 11KHz only in a good quality?
I remember someone having asked such a question but there was no good answer I think. You seem to be an expert in sound matters, so may be you can help
Oh no !! I am definitely NOT an expert !
But... I did some reading on the subject (a lot).
In one of my first posts I asked if people could help me on this subject ! A friend promised me to tell me how to do it, but after 6 weeks I almost gave up hope. And.... today the instruction finally was there :-)
I immediatly tried it with an instrumental from my favorite group (the Alan Parsons Project) and I still have that feeling....this can't be true !! But....it is :-)
So no "expert" opinions here. The only thing I will say about it, is that it is NOT like Dolby at all ! If you wish it can even encode to surround from 10, 11, 12 or whatever number of speakers !

I know we always take for granted that true surround is : a solo guitar from the left-front, voices from the Center, Bass thru the LFE, etc.etc. The article will give you a complete different angle !

http://s2n.org/Articles/Ambisonics.html

It tells all !

Just read it !

best wishes,

Eye of Horus
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Old 17th July 2002, 09:27   #6  |  Link
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@eye

If i'm not mistaken you need for correct reproduction of ambiosonic sound a special microphone. the standard stereo signal (please correct me if i'm mistaken) doesn't include enough information to build the ambiosonic matrix. At least you would need two microphones placed orthogonal together while recording to include the sound comming from the back? I've just had a short peek at the paper you indicated but they talk about a special microphone for the recording. Even if you throw out the height ... if i understood correctly a normal stereo signal is not really a useable source. But maybe i've misunderstood the whole thing.
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Old 17th July 2002, 14:42   #7  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by MvB
@eye

If i'm not mistaken you need for correct reproduction of ambiosonic sound a special microphone. the standard stereo signal (please correct me if i'm mistaken) doesn't include enough information to build the ambiosonic matrix. At least you would need two microphones placed orthogonal together while recording to include the sound comming from the back? I've just had a short peek at the paper you indicated but they talk about a special microphone for the recording. Even if you throw out the height ... if i understood correctly a normal stereo signal is not really a useable source. But maybe i've misunderstood the whole thing.
For live-recordings : yes, a special microphone is needed.
And indeed normal stereo hasn't enough information.
That's why we convert it ! :-) The 3 pulse files add room characteristics to the stereo sound.
Just try it out, the results will amaze you !
I still cannot believe the results ! I did a few other tracks and still every track sounds very good.

best wishes,

Eye of Horus
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Old 17th July 2002, 14:49   #8  |  Link
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How do you play it back? Do you have a DVD Burner and play it through your DVD Player?
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Old 17th July 2002, 20:25   #9  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by theReal
How do you play it back? Do you have a DVD Burner and play it through your DVD Player?
????
It is a standard WAV file ! You can burn it to CD, just like WAV's encoded with DTS.......
So I burn it to CD and play it on my standalone DVD-player...... I don't have a 5.1 card in my PC :-(

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Old 17th July 2002, 21:05   #10  |  Link
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I don't have a standalone DVD player, so I didn't know you could play DTS wave files from normal CD's. I thought you had to have an Audio-DVD to do that.
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Old 18th July 2002, 06:23   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by theReal
I don't have a standalone DVD player, so I didn't know you could play DTS wave files from normal CD's. I thought you had to have an Audio-DVD to do that.
They are just normal wavs, but of course you need an decoder to hear them. A normal cd player attached to stereo only gives white noise when you play these. And yes, when you have a 5.1 card in your PC, you should be able to play them.....

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Old 21st July 2002, 09:53   #12  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eye of Horus


Tomorrow I will start trying to make a script or batchfile to automate the process in Cooledit..... (never done that, so cannot promise anything !)
Well, I tried and tried and tried :-(

There are a view problems in Cooledit. I will write them here and also edit the guide. It is important to follow these line to be sure you will get good results !

1. A script in Cooledit is useless ! You still have to be at your PC because you have to press "Enter" or "OK" for quite a few times. So that's not a real solution....

2. IMPORTANT !!!!
Cooledit has some major problems with the clipboards.
a. When you are in one of the first steps in the guide, you have to put the UJH-x.wav in the WINDOWS clipboard. Do NOT use one of the Cooledit clipboards !!
b. When you are finished with the UJH-x part, then close Cooledit and restart the program. Make sure to clipboard is set to Windows and is EMPTY !
You have to do this, because I found out that when you copy to the clipboard, the second time you do this, the first content isn't always correctly removed. And I couldn't find an "Empty Clipboard" function. So that's why it is absolutely necessary to restart CE !
c. When you try to do several steps at once, like Convolve with clipboard, then immediatly conversing to MONO 32 bit and then conversing to Stereo 16 bit. When you have done this for the W-wav...no problem ! But then you must Save the file and restart CE.
d. When you have done X-wav....Save too ! And....restart.
e. When you want to combine W and X, make completely sure that when you are copying X-wav to the clipboard, that you have one of CE's clipboards and NOT Windows' clipboard.

A tip : when you want to convert a whole cd, it is fastest when you load in all the wavs and one of the UJH-.wavx, and do the steps involved with all the files. Then save them all, restart CE and to the next step...... This way it saves you a lot of restarts and reloads... !!!


Another thing is the order of the WAV files as given in the DD5.1 encoder : Leave it as it is. ! It looks unnatural in the graphics in the DD5.1 screen, but it is NOT !!

When you use Bsplit to make five separate MONO wavs from the 5_streams_wav, you end up with lets say track01_01.wav, track01_2.wav, track01_3.wav, track01_4.wav and track01_5.wav.
This is the correct order for using them in Surcode to make a DTS :

Left Front : 01-1
Right Front : 01-3
Center : 01-2
LFE : left blank
Left Surround : 01-04
Right Surround : 01-5

Yesterday I did Water Colours and Seen One Earth from Pete Bardens.
And.... the results were SUPERB !
Full natural surround in DTS ! When you really want to hear what this whole method is about : use the DTS encoder instead of the DD5.1 encoder ! The sound is just more...fresh, clear, bright .

In the beginning some people asked if it really is worth the troubles and time. I can really say : YES ! After experiencing that sound, I understand more what I did read on the Internet about it !


Anyone else tried it yet ?

Last point : someone asked about the microphones to record. Well, there are quite some UJH encoded cd's available. As you can read in the article (link in the "guide") the writer quotes a review of "Stereotomy" by Alan Parsons. This is one of the UHJ encoded cd's. This one sounds excellent when you listen to it in stereo.And those who have read the article : all the channel information you need for whatever number of channels is already in that file ! So when you do the complete process on this CD, you get the ultimate result. Full perfect surround which throws a huge shadow on whatever other surround system !!!!!

I am not an expert on this, I only believe my ears ! They don't lie to me......
I found a list with a few titles online and will do a search if they are still available .


Well, we still need a bit more automated process. Is there any way (DSPguru?) to put the two DOS programs from the Ambisonics package and the Bsplit program in one ? So all the steps from thesong.wxyz file to 5 separate MONO wav files ??

I will adjust the guide later........ this was long eough for now :-)

best wishes....... and please share some reviews !!

Eye of Horus

Last edited by Eye of Horus; 21st July 2002 at 10:01.
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Old 21st July 2002, 21:24   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eye of Horus
Is there any way (DSPguru?) to put the two DOS programs from the Ambisonics package and the Bsplit program in one ? So all the steps from thesong.wxyz file to 5 separate MONO wav files ??
i can surely implement the 'Pack2x2to4.exe' part inside BeSplit. i belive my code might even be faster.
as for ambidec,
since i don't have time to dig into this, i would have to ask you for direct links for info about its operation, algoirthm, etc'...

then, i'll see what i can do..
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Old 22nd July 2002, 06:28   #14  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by DSPguru
i can surely implement the 'Pack2x2to4.exe' part inside BeSplit. i belive my code might even be faster.
as for ambidec,
since i don't have time to dig into this, i would have to ask you for direct links for info about its operation, algoirthm, etc'...

then, i'll see what i can do..
Here is the link to the site of the maker :

http://www.muse.demon.co.uk/mn_index.html

regards,

Eye of Horus
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Old 22nd September 2002, 09:27   #15  |  Link
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Is there any other way to do this at all that may be easier?

I'm going to give this a go with some Michael Jackson, but the process is quite a long one!


I want to thanks Eye of Horus for his / her hard work on this though! I don't want to seem ungrateful
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Old 22nd September 2002, 10:33   #16  |  Link
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Yes , there is a faster way to do this, but the results are worse.
There is a commercial available program, that does basically the same but without use of Aurora or Cooledit. It's all done in one program and IMHO it's main drawback is that it doesn't do any resampling with 32 bits, but it does all with 16 bits files. The endresult is the same but it sounds more dull, flat. Just like when you convert a 44.1/16 to a 22.050/8 wav.
The program is for sale but you can ask the maker by email a key for 30 days.

The FIReverb Suite 2nd edition
Available at : http://www.catt.se

I know my method is very timeconsuming, but it gives good results !

regards,

Eye of Horus

Last edited by Eye of Horus; 22nd September 2002 at 15:32.
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Old 22nd September 2002, 21:38   #17  |  Link
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BeSure in stead of Soft Encode?

In the guide you tell us to use SoftEncode to change the 5-channel wave into DD5.1. According to the documentation this task could be done with BeSure. Have you tried this?

(BeSure is free - SoftEncode is not and seems to be no longer available on the web)

PS: In another post from me I mention problems with BeSure, but for the time being I guess that these problems are caused by wrong parameters that I set and not by a real problem with the tool.
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Old 22nd September 2002, 21:48   #18  |  Link
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When you use Besure....... at the end it starts.....Softencode !!!!

Contact me private at my email address !

regards,

Eye of Horus
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Old 22nd September 2002, 22:15   #19  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eye of Horus
When you use Besure....... at the end it starts.....Softencode !!!!
no, it doesn't.
BeSure uses BeSweet to encode to DolbyDigital & uses SurCode to encode to DTS.
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Old 22nd September 2002, 22:47   #20  |  Link
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You're right !
I mixed up Softencode and Surcode :-)

BTW did you shine your light on implementing pack 2x2to4 and ambidec ?

It would be marvellous !!!!!

regards,

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