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Topic: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer (Read 1035 times) previous topic - next topic
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Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

So I got the vizio m51a soundbar (Supports 5.1 audio with L, C, R, RL, RR, and a subwoofer) a while ago and have wanted to get all of my speakers working for stereo for a while but haven't really found a good solution. I'm on windows 11 which means apparently this process has gotten much more difficult compared to prior windows releases.

I tried this foobar2000 DSP plugin which,

"takes the Left and Right channels and replicates them to the Rear Left and Rear Right while 'widening and spacing' the sound. This effect creates a 'fake' virtual surround sound effect while utilizing all of your speakers during playback."

My problem is I don't hear anything coming from my RL, RR, and C when I have this DSP applied. I went through all the steps as is, but still nothing. I know 5.1 audio from windows is working correctly since I set my audio device to 5.1 and used this webiste to test that all my speakers are working correctly.

The audio that I've been testing is desktop audio, youtube, twitch, etc.

Things I've tried:
- Made sure "disable enhancements" in audio settings is unchecked
- Made sure "let applications take control of this audio device" is checked
- Made sure the right audio device is selected in output in Foobar2000 preferences
- I even tried other DSP's but none of them seemed to work?  Is there an easy way to make sure at least one of them works?

If this is the wrong DSP to use is there another that works? Maybe a whole nother application? I've done a fair amount of research and can't find anything that works.

If I violated any rules in this post I apologize this is my first time posting here :)

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #1
Have you tried the already built-in DSP "Upmix to 5.1" present in both the v1 and v2 versions of Foobar??

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #2
Yeah I tried the v2 before but I just installed v1 to make sure and yep, both of them don't work. Are there any special drivers or something I'm missing for foobar2000 to take control of my audio device maybe?

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #3
In Preferences, is your Output/Device set to the choice with "(exclusive)" at the end?  If it is not, try that (wasapi exclusive) with the Upmix to 5.1 DSP.

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #4
Yeah I tried the exclusive audio source as well. I installed OBS to see my desktop audio output and yeah, the 5.1 audio tester site I posted works fine, the RL, RR, C, and Subwoofer work just fine and show audio on the visualizer, but still nothing with stereo audio being upmixed by either the channel mixer I posted or just random stereo audio from online.

Is there some way to test that any of the DSPs are working?

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #5
Is there some way to test that any of the DSPs are working?
Well sure just drop View/DSP menu and start moving around some sliders, but I'm sure that isn't the problem.  You might want to investigate going the VST plugin route which can cost you some $$ but most of them have free trial periods so at least you could see if that's what you need or not.

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #6
If your browser can output multi channel content then your system is set up correctly. You would only need to use the exclusive mode output if you were too lazy to configure Windows to 5.1 mode and left it at stereo. In that case the default shared mode output would be limited to stereo playback.

The DSPs all work fine. You can see what they do your channels for example by using the built-in VU Meter visualization. You can add it to the UI or open it as a popup from main menu View -> Visualizations -> VU Meter.
When foobar2000 is playing stereo you will see only two channels. When it's playing 5.1 you'll see 6 bars showing the loudness of each channel.
Another way to test in more detail what DSPs do is to use the Converter and configure the DSP there and output the result to WAV. Then open the created WAV in an audio editor.

Do you get 5.1 output using foobar2000 with the test tracks on the page you linked? They work as 5.1 out-of-the-box, no need to do anything to foobar2000 settings.

How exactly have you configured foobar2000? I for example have Realtek ASIO drivers that only expose stereo channels, so if I use that output I won't get multi channel playback at all.

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #7
Ok I think I figured it out and it was definitely just me not understanding how foobar worked. I was under the impression that the DSPs and foobar2000 would take audio output to your audio device (headphones/speaker setup) and make whatever transformations to the audio but I guess it's just to audio files played in the program.

I found this forum thread that talks about getting "foo recorder" and creating a virtual audio cable so you can use the DSP live on your desktop audio which, as it turns out, works exactly as it should! The only issue is there's like 1/3rd of a second of delay so watching youtube or twitch is kind of horrible. I could probably delay the video with some firefox extension but honestly I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle. The goal imo would be to find a solution that instead of doing it in two steps, recording then playing it back, you would just reroute the audio channels you want to the surround.

I did fiddle around with the settings on my sound bar (vizoi m51a) and it does have a setting to upmix stereo. (in case anyone has the same soundbar finds this in the future) If you're playing stereo audio while you're set to an EQ that isn't direct (direct plays the audio as is) and you have surround set to dual, it will copy the audio from R and L to RR and RL, respectively as well as directing some bass to the LFE (subwoofer)

Thank you all for you help thus far!

So, I'm satisfied for now but it would obviously be nice to do all this with software on windows instead because I'd have more customization over exactly how it gets upmixed.

 

Re: Upmixing stereo audio to 5.1 audio - channel upmixer

Reply #8
I was under the impression that the DSPs and foobar2000 would take audio output to your audio device (headphones/speaker setup) and make whatever transformations to the audio but I guess it's just to audio files played in the program.
Seems obvious to me.
It's your privilege to disagree, but that doesn't make you right and me wrong.