Multichannel Audio in windows is here.....



  • I was had a project with 4 channel audio and 3760 x 1080 movies on OSX. I am transitioning a lot of stuff to windows and wanted to see if I could make multichannel audio work, especially as I was using AVI with the hap codec from rednerheads. I made an AVI with 5.1 audio from premiere and exported it and with a bit of tweaking (in the sound output settings of windows 10 choosing my fireface speakers output and configuring them as 5.1) it worked. I played the AVI with HAP in Isadora and low and behold my discreeet tracks were playing out 6 analogue hardware outputs of my fireface...

    The settings seem strange, not logical at first, and the HAP AVI movie took forever to render (I could not do it with media encoder, but only directly from premiere, but it seems mulitchannel audio playback is alive and well on windows with native playback.

    Or maybe eveyone already knew this.


  • Tech Staff

    Wow that sounds cool. Would love to know how the settings are in the Fireface. I have an Fireface 400.



  • @Fred

    This is really good news. Thanks for the report. Now we'll have to see if we can offer routing options like we have on the Mac.

    @DusX tagging you to ensure you'll see this.

    Best Wishes,
    Mark



  • @crystalhorizon In windows the outputs of the fireface appear as stereo pairs as separate devices. Output pair for 1-2 appears as Speaker output. When you click on this you can configure speakers as 5.1 or 7.1

    In general there is only stereo 5.1 or 7.1, so you need to have the correct number of channels, or ok you get no sound at all. I did only test with PCM audio, but according to the spec it should be able to decode ac3 encoded streams as well which is cool. This will only work with AVI files, but this will be the only option for Windows.

    @mark With the 5.1 or 7.1 limitations, i don't know how much the routing is needed as you always end up with discreet hardware outputs and routing can be solved by patching, and in my case through the software control of the fireface mixer.

    I don't have the gear but i am very curious to know if encoded dts streams will be sent to digital outputs to connect with home cinema style 5.1 systems, and if this can also be routed through the HDMI audio output. For small surround sound installations this would be great.

    Fred


  • Tech Staff

    This is great news! Thanks Fred!



  • Hi Fred,

    I made a post 3 years ago, wich describes the same procedure: You have to make a movie with 5.1 or 7.1 audio, and you have to use a hardware that Windows natively accepts as multichannel audio (unlike my Rolad OctaCapture, which Windws sees as 4 stereo pairs). I made my multichannel movies with Quicktime Pro.

    Here is the link to this post: https://community.troikatronix...

    Cheers, gunther



  • @gunther hey, i missed that post, i saw in your post you mentioned fireface, i am using a fireface for this, it also shows up as a lot of stereo outputs, but one is labelled fireface speakers and allows me to configure the speakers to stereo 5.1 or 7.1. I did this fast and am not near the hardware for a few days, but i was surprised you could do it with QuickTime, i was concentrating on the AVI spec and as playback is native on windows it would have to adhere to the spec. I guess under QuickTime it has to leverage the native playback system. There is definitely less control over the config compared to OSX, but it works well. Don't know if you still have hardware, but check if one pair of your outputs are labelled speakers and if so you can change the config to 5.1 etc.

    From there the fireface mixer- total mix let's you route anything anywhere.

    Fred



  • A quick update on this with an easy method: To make a mulitchannel AVI with hap codec I found the best method is to encode the movie with Virtual dob. I have been cerating 7.1 (so 8ch wide) audio mixes with protools, I am using the multichannel audio to send stems to the mixer so he has some room to adjust things in the show. These are not 7.1 surround mixes, although they could be, so in this case I do not use any kind of panner, I just drop the files on a 7.1 audio track and export it as interleaved. 

    Open the movie with virtual dob, in the video tab go to compression and change the compression type to hap, then go to the audio tabe and select audio from other file, I use directs tream copy as well, but it does not seem to make a difference. Then go to file and save as AVI.

    Once it is exported you can play it with Isadora and you should see a DS in the playback engine output of the movie player. If you have set up your soundcard to be 7.1 (. right clck on the audio icon in the toolbar and then select playback devices, select the first 2 outputs of your sound card and go to configure, you can then set the sound card to be 7.1, for me it cascades from the first 2 outputs.

    Now when you play the movie you should get 8 tracks playing out 8 discrete outputs. There is no routing or panning but for playback this is fine, and if I really want to route the singals each track comes up as mono on the mixxing application for my soundcard.

    Fred


  • Tech Staff

    @Fred

    If you don't mind, I think I would like to reproduce your results, and then write the process up as a Knowledge base article.
    Its very helpful information.
    I hope to document a number of HAP creation processes in the coming days, so this is a timely post.



  • @DusX go for it, I am curious to see I it works with every soundcard. I set up a virtual card for testing and it works fine once it is set up for 7.1.

    Super useful for my work.


  • Tech Staff

    @Fred
    Curious, what are you using to setup the virtual card?




  • Tech Staff

    @Fred
    perfect, I already use a number of their products.


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