Windows - 5.1 up conversion for music (Similar to WInamp A3d Plugin)

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joejoeaz Offline
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Post: #1
Hello,

I have an XBMC Windows 7 PC connected through my 5.1 receiver via hdmi.

I have a fairly nice set of surround speakers, and would like to be able to use all of my speakers when listening to music. In XBMC I only get sound from my front speakers. I believe the output may even be 2.0, not 2.1 as I don't seem to get the full effect of the sub.

For MP3 listening, I have been using Winamp, primarily because of a winamp output plugin called A3d.

Per the website for the plugin (http://a3d-output-plug-in-winamp.softwar....com/1.2/) The plugin plays audio using Aureal's A3D 2.0 - 3.0 sound engine, or DS3D. It creates a sound source for each audio channel of a song and places it in 3D space around the listener. Under A3D 3.0 the plugin can add a reverb effect to the audio. The user can set the position for sound sources using the plugin's OpenGL-based graphic interface.

This plug-in is exactly what I've been looking for! I don't use the reverb, but it does a great job of utilizing all of my speakers, and the sub. I would love to be able to use this plugin in XBMC, and stop using winamp on my HTPC.

I'm not sure how difficult it would be to port this to XBMC, however if anyone has any thoughts, or even knows another way to achieve a similar result I would love more info.


As a side note, if anyone wants to take a look at the plugin in winamp, Its UI is a little buggy, and doesn't work right when using modern skins, use the winamp classic skin to configure the plugin, and set back to modern after configuration if you prefer.
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-21 17:48 by joejoeaz.)
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negge Offline
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Post: #2
In my opinion this is the job of the reciever. I have never heard of any players doing stuff like Dolby Pro-Logic or DTS Neo6 in software and I assume the algorithms are proprietary. Try it out for yourself, if your reciever has HDMI inputs then it most certainly has pseudo-surround enhancers like the ones I mentioned as well. DTS Neo6 Music in particular is awesome for most types of music.
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AnalogKid Offline
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Post: #3
Many receivers will do this as negge suggests... a simple 'surround' effect based on some frequency analysis /.algorithm.

I'm reluctant to use the term 'fake surround' as that's misleaded... and of course, some receivers can just mirror the front stereo to the rear speakers too... which can be helpful.

I do genuinely see a use for this, and I'm guessing so do some amp/receiver manufacturers. Is it worth replicating within XBMC? Not sure.
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RandomNinjaAtk Offline
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Post: #4
+1 for this. That way it avoids me from having to adjust the reciever settings everytime I switch a source.

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Targettio Offline
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Post: #5
@negge If this was done, you wouldn’t be using the software to convert to Dolby D or Neo 6 (or whatever) you would convert it to Multichannel PCM, which doesn’t require any proprietary algorithms

But generally I agree that the receiver should be doing this job, if at all.

Although my AV reciever will turn 2.0 sound into 5.1 (or 7.1) sound and to be honest it is pretty good. But... It will only do it if the it is receiving 2.0 sound. So if I tell windows that I have 5.1 speakers it will send 5.1 sound down the HDMI lead, just with the surround and sub channels will be silent. Because the surround and sub channels are present, it won't upscale the sound. I don’t really think adding this feature to XBMC is the best work around.
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #6
I think the new AudioEngine will have a stereo2surround upmix feature - but I'm not entirely sure.
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joejoeaz Offline
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Post: #7
(2012-04-22 22:22)negge Wrote:  In my opinion this is the job of the reciever. I have never heard of any players doing stuff like Dolby Pro-Logic or DTS Neo6 in software and I assume the algorithms are proprietary. Try it out for yourself, if your reciever has HDMI inputs then it most certainly has pseudo-surround enhancers like the ones I mentioned as well. DTS Neo6 Music in particular is awesome for most types of music.

With windows configured for 5.1 surround, and XBMC configured for the same, It seems that when playing 2 channel music, XBMC does output 6 (5.1) individual channels. Unfortunately only 2 of them have any sound. This means that my receiver can't take a 2 channel signal and emulate a 5 channel sound space because it "thinks" it's getting 5.1(6) channels of audio. It's a decent receiver (Marantz SR5002) so I don't think it's a limitation of the receiver, and as I'd stated in my original post, it works brilliantly in Winamp with the A3d plugin ( I mean brilliantly, if you have a 5.1 setup, try it out, you'll be giggling from its awesomeness)


(2012-04-26 14:44)da-anda Wrote:  I think the new AudioEngine will have a stereo2surround upmix feature - but I'm not entirely sure.
AudioEngine ?? Darn.. Now I gotta read more ! Smile
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-05 06:21 by joejoeaz.)
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joejoeaz Offline
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Post: #8
Just found out that the latest build of AudioEngine is an entire build of XBMC, and when installed over a later build of XBMC (Eden) things get rather unhappy in short order. Fortunately, a reinstall of Eden fixed whatever file mismatches existed, and I'm back in business, but I'm curious if that's going to be incorporated into XBMC at some point.

**Note my comment above where I said I have to read more... I REALLY have to read more Smile
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-05 06:56 by joejoeaz.)
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DDDamian Offline
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Post: #9
AE does upmix stereo to the selected speaker count. And yes, it's coming soon Smile

Any file mismatches are due to the latest library version being used, but it will migrate everything fine.

System: XBMC HTPC with HDMI WASAPI & AudioEngine - Denon AVR-3808CI - Denon DVD-5900 Universal Player - Denon DCM-27 CD-Changer
- Sony BDP-S580 Blu-Ray - X-Box 360 - Android tablet wireless remote - 7.1 Streem/Axiom/Velodyne Surround System
If I have been able to help feel free to add to my reputation +/- below - thanks!
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joejoeaz Offline
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Post: #10
(2012-05-05 14:21)DDDamian Wrote:  AE does upmix stereo to the selected speaker count. And yes, it's coming soon Smile

Any file mismatches are due to the latest library version being used, but it will migrate everything fine.

That is the most fantastic news I've heard all day! I like to use my android phone/tablet to select/queue songs from my music collection, and now it will sound good too!

Do you know approximately how soon is soon (are we talking days, weeks, months?)
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #11
joejoeaz, the codebase of the AudioEngine rewrite is currently under review. Plans are, that the AudioEngine code should be integrated into XBMC mainline in the "May merge window" (time frame where new features can be submitted to the XBMC codebase). This merge window ends on May 10th - so with some luck (if review passes) it will already be available in the nightly builds after May 10th. If the review process however shows some major glitches that need to be ironed out before, it most likely will have to wait for the June merge window (unless devs can fix it in no time).
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RandomNinjaAtk Offline
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Post: #12
I really like the new development cycles that the team is using!

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HeresJohnny Offline
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Post: #13
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but according to my tests, the quoted AE feature currently does "Output stereo signal to all speakers", not the originally requested "Upmix to 5.1". For a true upmix, I'd suggest having a look at the features of some nice foobar2000 plug-ins, notably "Channel Mixer" (foo_channel_mixer.dll) and "Free Surround" (foo_dsp_fsurround.dll and foo_dsp_fsurround_beta.dll).
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da-anda Offline
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Post: #14
I think this would require a working DSP which AFAIK is not yet available for AE (it's in the works)
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DDDamian Offline
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Post: #15
AE does not yet incorporate user-configurable channel mapping/mixing, but does a math calc for up or downmix to preserve equivalent power while avoiding clipping. Anything fancier will wait until merge and "feature-freeze" is over. Even still, work is complete on a seperate DSP class in another branch.

We'll need to make final decisions on how to handle settings (being discussed in several threads now) as well as enlist some of our skilled GUI or addon programmers. All in good time.

System: XBMC HTPC with HDMI WASAPI & AudioEngine - Denon AVR-3808CI - Denon DVD-5900 Universal Player - Denon DCM-27 CD-Changer
- Sony BDP-S580 Blu-Ray - X-Box 360 - Android tablet wireless remote - 7.1 Streem/Axiom/Velodyne Surround System
If I have been able to help feel free to add to my reputation +/- below - thanks!
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