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Thread: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

  1. #1
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Just came across some 5.1 FLAC files I'd like to play on my Linn streamer. I've done this successfully using the dBpoweramp converter tool, I selected WAV as the output type and asked for 2 channels. There are no other options there, but it seemed to work. Is this all I need to do, or should I be using one of the DSP tools for further options? Curious as to how the down-mixing is being done.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    You can control how the downmixing is done with the DSP effect 'Channel Mapper' or 'Channel Count'

  3. #3
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    You can control how the downmixing is done with the DSP effect 'Channel Mapper' or 'Channel Count'
    Thanks, I'd taken a brief look at those. In the absence of using the DSP's and just setting the number of channels to 2 (eg. this is an option when selecting WAV as an output type), how does the converter operate? Is there any mixing or are channels simply discarded?

  4. #4
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    It mixes using best practice, however note you are squeezing 5 channels of audio into 2, there is the potential for clipping, so best to first use the DSP effect 'Bit depth' set to 32 bit floating point, then 2 channel, then volume normalize - peak to peak, then bit depth to 16 bit (with dither).

  5. #5
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Thanks. Although my main hi-fi amp is away for an upgrade, even through my PC system, adding the steps you suggested seems to create a file that sounds much more dynamic and open compared to direct-to-2-channel conversion. In practice, provided these DSP steps are loaded in order, can this be done in a single operation without having to complete four separate file conversions? I tried this with all DSP steps loaded at once and the final output FLAC file was not exactly the same size as when I proceeded with one conversion step at a time, though very close.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Yes they should be done in 1 conversion, with 4 DSP effects in order.

  7. #7

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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    Yes they should be done in 1 conversion, with 4 DSP effects in order.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    It mixes using best practice, however note you are squeezing 5 channels of audio into 2, there is the potential for clipping, so best to first use the DSP effect 'Bit depth' set to 32 bit floating point, then 2 channel, then volume normalize - peak to peak, then bit depth to 16 bit (with dither).
    Can I just check, does this method for converting 5.1 to stereo guarantee consistent volume across tracks? I was just listening to a concert I had backed up from a blu-ray source. I had split the overall file into individual files per song. On one track change there was a noticeable increase in volume. Might the volume normalize step be causing a problem here, since conversion is being done on a per-track basis rather than across the entire collection of tracks?

  9. #9
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    Re: Best way to convert 5.1 FLAC to stereo?

    ok, answered my own question - I removed the volume normalise DSP and the abrupt volume change on track change was gone. Is there anything else I should consider for optimising conversion?

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