5.1 FLAC output

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Ross A'hern
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Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 16:37
Location: Sydney, Australia

5.1 FLAC output

Postby Ross A'hern » Tue Feb 04, 2014 01:16

Hi All,

Just wondering if there is a reasonably quick and easy way to output FLAC versions of multichannel (5.1) mixes other than 'Mixing Down' each mix clip, which takes forever. (these are to give clients preview versions of DXD mixes for home audition).

I was hopeful that using the 'Digital Release' options in the 'Create Disc Image' window would enable me to do this, but it only seems to want to play with a stereo output bus.

Thanks, Ross
Ross A'hern

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fl
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Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby fl » Tue Feb 04, 2014 15:53

This appears to be another part of the issue that Publishing is built on top of the CD Image creation routines, so I don't see any easy way to get what you want, unless your project has only six channels, and selections could be Rendered to interleaved FLACs.

Hopefully, one day, Publishing will be its own thing, and not be limited by the legacy of the CD.
Frank Lockwood, Toronto, ON, Canada
http://LockwoodARS.com
• Pyramix Native 11.1.6
• Mac Mini 6.2 (Quadcore i7) - Bootcamp 5.1.5621 - Win7 Pro SP1 64
• HP 7100 Mini-tower - Win10 Pro 64 1809
• RME Fireface 800 ASIO driver 3.125 or ASIO4All 2.13

Ross A'hern
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 16:37
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby Ross A'hern » Wed Feb 05, 2014 00:39

Thanks Frank,

You confirm what I suspected, but I like to check now and then that I haven't missed something simple in the complex mysteries of the program :)

If surround releases become more mainstream, I guess Merging will give this area more attention.

Cheers, Ross
Ross A'hern

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Paulo M
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Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby Paulo M » Sat Feb 08, 2014 15:14

Postby fl » Tue Feb 04, 2014 15:53

This appears to be another part of the issue that Publishing is built on top of the CD Image creation routines, so I don't see any easy way to get what you want, unless your project has only six channels, and selections could be Rendered to interleaved FLACs.

Hopefully, one day, Publishing will be its own thing, and not be limited by the legacy of the CD.


Been suggesting that to Merging for years, glad I´m not alone in this matter. The conversion module of the Album Pub should have been ported to Mixdown and Media Management Export a long time ago. It doesn´t make sense that to be able to do what the op needs, we need to go through the CD creation menus, with the drawback that it´s only intended for stereo files.

I suggested this to Merging around 3 years ago. I uploaded the details of the draft proposal here, in case you´re interested in reading:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/261 ... Format.pdf
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

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fl
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Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby fl » Sat Feb 08, 2014 23:30

Paulo,

After reading over your proposal, I have a couple of suggestions for further inclusions.

Firstly, having the Publishing option available in the Mixdown process is handy, but as you point out, lacks the meta-data editing, and is of course restricted to one selection at a time, which is the issue that Ross originally posted about in this thread - he'd like to do more than one at a time, and that means going through the CD creation process, although that does give you control over the meta-data editing. The same file by file condition occurs when doing the Quick Export in the Media Manager - Ross would still have to mix everything down to a six channel output, in a pmf, mtff or wav format, and then do the conversion to FLAC one at a time in the Media Manager - he may as well mix directly to FLAC. It would seem as though your proposal is asking that meta-data editing be included in the Mix and Quick Export operations - correct?

Another issue which is troublesome - the Album Publishing performed through the "Create CD/SACD" process has an intermediary step where an MTFF file is created first, followed by generation of the chosen file formats from that. Once this process is completed, the MTFF file cannot be re-used for further file generations, which seems like a large waste of disk space and time. Most welcome would be some capability to re-use the existing MTFF allowing the user to bypass having to go through the whole CD/Album Publishing process once again, just to get a set of different file types. ("If I had known what I was doing at the time, I would have done it.")

Lastly, of course, the limitations of the CD are simply not applicable to file generation: a maximum of 99 tracks, restricted to stereo output are only two of the results of this kludge, grafting "multi-media" output on top of an aging, if not obsolete format.

Personally, I'd like to see "Publishing" as its own process, with its own Tab where meta-data can be entered and edited in much the same way as it is done now. Individual file boundaries can be defined by using the Timeline Markers, which we already have, so no new marker type is necessary. Further choices could be offered to allow the generation of one or many files, in one or many formats, as single-track or interleaved files of as many channels as the format supports, for everything on the Timeline, restricted to the zone between the Marks, or just to the current Selection. (Please note Merging's crucial distinction between "Markers" and "Marks".)

While I'm writing this letter to Santa, let me reiterate my desire to see Apple Lossless included as one of the supported formats (it is open source, after all).

Finally, a peeve of mine is finding that my own attempts at blatant self-promotion by having my credits and website listed in the Comments meta-data field, are replaced by Merging's own blatant self-promotion upon output. Of course, if meta-data is the remaining issue, there are third party programs, most notably the excellent (and free) MP3Tag - http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ - but that does involve yet another step.
Frank Lockwood, Toronto, ON, Canada
http://LockwoodARS.com
• Pyramix Native 11.1.6
• Mac Mini 6.2 (Quadcore i7) - Bootcamp 5.1.5621 - Win7 Pro SP1 64
• HP 7100 Mini-tower - Win10 Pro 64 1809
• RME Fireface 800 ASIO driver 3.125 or ASIO4All 2.13

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Paulo M
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Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby Paulo M » Sun Feb 09, 2014 15:01

Hi Frank,

like I mentioned, this suggestions were made almost 3 years ago and the idea was just that it could be used as a draft for further improvements and suggestions from others.

3 years is lot of time and since then file delivery in various formats for distribution and evaluation is becoming more and more the norm, almost throwing the CD into a niche market. In this context, your idea of having the Publishing as an independent module with metadata editing capabilities deserves a lot of attention and makes sense.Cloud integration from within apps is also something to consider as well.

The proposal came after a day when I was recording some classical pieces on DXD and the musicians wanted to take a rough mix home to listen too. Some wanted in mp3, others on CD, FLAC etc. That proved to be a tedius process and then I thought about this as a way to speed up things.

I first thought of having this simplified module of multi format file conversion ported from the Album CD and integrated on the Mixdown as a way to mixdown a selection, whole composition or between marks(not markers) to a non compressed format and be able to choose a set of diferent file formats (lossy or lossless) to be performed automatically in one pass. So for example, if you choose wave as the primary mixdown format from the available format options, once the rendered file is processed, the system would start encoding the choosen file formats out of the "master" primary wave file. Without the need to do the mixdown again per each of the choosen secondary file formats. The channel layout would be derived from the master busses choosen. Stereo or multichannel. If sample rate and bit depth could be included that would be a bonus too.

Of course that you could just mixdown to FLAC or whatever directly in one go too, bypassing the primary non compressed file format option, but in that case, if compressed formats were the user choice, then later if you wanted an additional compressed format, you would need to mixdown again, to avoid encoding out of a compressed file.

In those cases an intermediate pmf of mtff file could be created and kept for subsequent file encoding, but is of course going to take space. Unless it can be generated in a user selected location that can be purged once needed. Like when wave files are created in the background when placing compressed files on the timeline.

The idea of having the same encoding module on Quick Export on media management was to further expand the export options and be able to do it in batch operations. For example picking an interleaved or separate multichannel file and in one go encoding to FLAC, AAC, whatever.
Having a share option here to quickly upload to a cloud service, Wetransfer, Dropbox etc would also be great to have a a subsequent pass. After the encoding takes place, a menu opens and show upload options.

Having the Publishing as a dedicated module with metadata capabilities as you suggested is also a viable idea. I guess that you would like to include markers here instead of marks, making ranges of selections bewtween markers on the timeline as a way to emulate the CD track start/stop as you have on the CD creation menu. And a way to edit the metadata too after it. Each selection would get their name out of the marker name at the start of each selection. Multi selection on the timeline could be introduced, similar from Split by Groups in the Render menu.

So maybe a simple Publishing module could have a place in Mixdown and a more complete one with subsequent metadata editing on media management as a way to batch export. What about the Render menu? Would you include it as an option for rendering as well?

These are just rough ideas, hopefully our friends at Merging will recognize the potential and may have some time at some dev stage to study and implement them. Who knows...

Thanks for your input and ideas.
Best regards,

Paulo M

Pyramix 7.1 Masscore
VCube XE 3.1
MB5 Dual & X50 MADI
Win XP SP3
Intel Q9600/Gigabyte X48 DS5 Motherboard/ASUS 4350 Graphic card

Ross A'hern
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 16:37
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby Ross A'hern » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:38

Hi all,

Just tuned in to this thread again after a working absence :)

Glad to hear your sensible ideas, and am sure they will produce results in time, as the winds of change are unmistakably blowing in the multi-channel mix/ diversity of file format requirement direction.

Cheers, Ross
Ross A'hern

Zanulite
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Re: 5.1 FLAC output

Postby Zanulite » Sun Jan 18, 2015 22:22

Hi,

I am getting very confused with Flac 5.1 channel configuration, and after reading this forum I am hoping to clarify a couple things.

1. If I mix down each clip in surround choosing Flac 24 bith and mix source - surround outputs. The files which I am going to get will be 6 channel Flac File.
So my main question : Is my understanding correct in a way that channels in this FLAC 5.1 will not be in correct order for a proper FLAC file playback?
The channels I see are ordered as a surround bus LCRLsRsLFE. Should it be LRCLfeLsRs????

The other way is go through surround Render. But in that case I will get 6 separate wav files. Even if I get that, what do I do next in order to get a proper FLAC file with correct 5.1 channel order?

I am very confused here and hoping somebody can explain this a bit further.

Thanks!
Zana
Zana Corbett
Freelance Audio Engineer
Calgary, Alberta, Canada