Lets talk about Multichannel [released in 1.3]


(Brian Luczkiewicz) #1

As some of you guys may have noticed, Merging is demoing multichannel playback with Roon and their NADAC at the HIGH END show in Munich this week.

Demos are demos. Finishing the product is another thing. That’s what this conversation is about.

We don’t have a firm release date for this yet, so lets try to keep this conversation focused on the product and not on our release plans.

First, a quick teaser. Yes this works, but just because some bits are flowing doesn’t mean that the product is done.

These are the questions on my mind, but anything you guys want to tell us about multi-channel would be great:

  • What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
  • Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
  • Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2-channel systems?
  • Do you up-mix 2-channel content for multi-channel systems?
  • What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
  • Is there anything special that software needs to do to make your setup work that we might not know about?

Roon with multichannel previews in Munich
Multichannel support? [In Roon1.3]
Nostradamus and Roon 1.3
Album exists on NAS, but not found by Roon
Multichannel and roon
(Kal Rubinson) #2

What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
2 systems using JRiver (sometimes HQPlayer) and DiracLive on PC-based servers to exaSound e28 (via USB) or to Marantz AV8802a (via HDMI). Would love to run it through an up-dated Meridian 861.
Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
Downloads from commercial vendors and label sites and rips of my SACDs. Formats are various: FLAC, WAV, DSD, DXD. Currently, 10,156 multichannel tracks with a few thousand SACDs still to go.
Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2ch systems?
No. Both my systems are multichannel.
Do you up-mix 2ch content for multi-channel systems?
Very rarely.
What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
Channel mapping/channel level/delay, VST plug-in or other accommodation for EQ.
Is there anything special that software needs to do to make your setup work that we might not know about?
ISO support???


#3

Once this is implemented I can use Roon as my one and only music player, very exciting !

  • What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
    MC music is fed as bitstream from my Oppo BD player to an Onkyo receiver
  • Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
    I have lots of old Quad conversions and have ripped MC content from DTS-CD’s, DVD’s and Blurays. I have almost 4,000 MC tracks
  • Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2-channel systems?
    No
  • Do you up-mix 2-channel content for multi-channel systems?
    No
  • What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
    All DSP is done by the Onkyo receiver, no DSP needed in Roon for my purposes
  • Is there anything special that software needs to do to make your setup work that we might not know about?
    All I can tell you is that some of my MC files are ripped from DTS CD’s and show as 2 channel FLAC when I look at them using the Windows ‘MediaInfo’ plugin. They play on my receiver however as 5.1 DTS. If you would like me to supply an example for testing please let me know.

Cheers


(Brian Luczkiewicz) #4

@Jaap74,I thought the Oppo only did 2ch when used as a USB Audio device (at least, the BDP105 we have here seems that way).

Are you using the BD player to play the files off of a usb drive, or are you using HDMI to get the content into the BD player?

Basically, if you had multi-channel support in Roon, how would you set Roon up to play through your system?


(Brian Luczkiewicz) #5

@mitr and @Jaap74,

So when you listen to 2ch content on your multi-channel system, you just use the front right/left speakers, right?


#6

Hi Brian,

I have my Oppo connected to my NAS via my wired ethernet network, no USB involved. The Oppo then passes a bitstream to my Onkyo receiver.

If Roon worked with multichannel I would have it set up exactly the same as I do now, all my music is on my NAS and it would be output from my computer to my Onkyo receiver via optical cable.

That has just made me think however that I probably would be limited in what I could play in 5.1 by the limitations of the optical cable, for example that would’t carry 5.1 FLAC at 24/96 would it ?

And yes, I only listen to 2 channel using 2 speakers


(Kal Rubinson) #7

[quote=“brian, post:5, topic:10474”]
So when you listen to 2ch content on your multi-channel system, you just use the front right/left speakers, right?
[/quote]Generally, yes.


(John Walker) #8

I have used JRiver and HQPlayer to playback multichannel in the past.

I only have a few albums (San Francisco’s “West Side Story” from last year, a couple of DSD downloads from NativeDSD, etc.), but would have more if I had an easy way to play them.

The only device I have that is multichannel capable is my Pioneer Elite SC-81 receiver, and I send the data to it over HDMI.

Don’t need any DSP if the channels are mapped properly to start with - any equalization, room treatment, etc., would come from the Pioneer.


(Geoff Coupe) #9

What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
Roon for audio content; Plex and/or Emby for movie content; Denon 3808AVR
Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
All audio content is currently 2ch; ripped CDs and downloads (FLAC mostly). Movie content is ripped DVD and Bluray, mixture of Dolby and DTS formats from 2ch through 5.1 to 7.1. No Atmos planned for at this point in time.
Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2-channel systems?
No
Do you up-mix 2-channel content for multi-channel systems?
Yes, but this is done by the Denon itself (“7ch stereo” setting)
What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
None.
Is there anything special that software needs to do to make your setup work that we might not know about?
Don’t believe so.


(Paul Weedon) #10

What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
Single system for audio & video Roon & Plex (mc currently via audirvana+). Linux Roon core & Plex server, 2012 Mac mini Roon bridge & Plex media player to exaSound e28 (via USB), then directly to multichannel power amp
Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
Downloads from usual suspects and rips of my SACDs, blurays & dvds. Formats are DSF or WAV. Currently about 15% of my modest 7000 odd tracks are multichannel
Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2ch systems?
No stereo system
Do you up-mix 2ch content for multi-channel systems?
Sometimes used to give it go when I used JRiver
What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
None really at the minute, bells and whistles can come later. Most of my mc stuff is DSF sacd rips and so AFAIK cant be modified before it goes to the exasound.


#11

What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
JRiver/Vox/Oppo/Meridian Dvd-A/Dune

Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
Predominantly Dvd-As ( Flac/PCM 5.1 ) , some Sacds and Blurays and Dvd-V concerts ( lossy Dobly/dts but still often still worth it )

Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2ch systems?
Absolutely not .

Do you up-mix 2ch content for multi-channel systems?
Meridian Audio Trifield/Music and upsampling . Much less hassle than JRiver

What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
Meridian kit looks after that though decoding of Lossy and Lossless Dobly/dts formats could be a bonus eventually .

MCH inclusion would make Roon the most complete music playback experience on the planet and would definitely get my vote for patrolling my 50+ years of collecting in various formats .

If you build it , they will come …:O)

~M~


#12

What software and audio gear are you currently using for multi-channel playback?
HQPlayer, EMM Labs DAC6e SE with MCH USB DDC
Where does your content come from, what formats, and how much do you have?
My content comes from SACD Rip. I have more than 1000 sacd, 100 or so dvd audio
Do you down-mix multi-channel content for 2-channel systems?
No
Do you up-mix 2-channel content for multi-channel systems?
No
What DSP features do you require in a software player in order to make multi-channel playback practical?
accourate or dirac
Is there anything special that software needs to do to make your setup work that we might not know
I wish to use HQPlayer to upsample any MCH signal to DSD because EMM Labs DAC6e SE can only play DSD via its sonoma optical. So no matter the number of channels, I would like to have solid connection between Roon and HQPlayer.


#13

:sunglasses:


(Brian Luczkiewicz) #14

Thanks guys. This is good information.

Everyone seems to not down-mix multi-channel content for 2-ch systems.

What it someone goes and plays a multi-channel file to a 2-ch zone? In that situation, we should be down-mixing, right?


#15

Or just don’t allow it to be selected (or transferred) for 2 channel zones.

That said, I doubt anyone will complain if Roon supported down mixing. However, how many people would use it as the AQ is often questionable. So is it worth the effort to implement?


#16

I’d think downmixing would be the appropriate thing to do.


(Nick) #17

I would like to see down mix in Roon where needed. I have some DVDA that are only 5.1 and I wasn’t able to take a 2.0 rip. I know I could have done that in software but didn’t get to it. I also think that it is better to downmix than simply not play an album in a 2ch zone.


(Brian Luczkiewicz) #18

That is a can of worms that we won’t open.

Since the beginning we have required that “all media plays everywhere”, because doing anything else makes for a confusing experience for non-technical people.

Because we are a multi-zone/whole-home product, we are obligated to be usable for the rest of the family. Audirvana, HQPlayer, etc don’t have to live up to the same standard because they are single-zone products.

I think the trickier stuff will be the files with proprietary encodings–DTS, AC3, etc. We almost definitely will not have decode licenses for these, so they’ll be bit-perfect-to-a-decoder or nothing.


(Kal Rubinson) #19

Because we are a multi-zone/whole-home product, we are obligated to be usable for the rest of the family. Audirvana, HQPlayer, etc don’t have to live up to the same standard because they are single-zone products.

Agreed and, in principle, there is no good reason to not include a mix-down option for those individuals and zones that need it.

I think the trickier stuff will be the files with proprietary encodings–DTS, AC3, etc. We almost definitely will not have decode licenses for these, so they’ll be bit-perfect-to-a-decoder or nothing.

Yes but you might want to do a survey to see how many users have/use files with such proprietary CODECs. I do not because I have converted the files to PCM for the very few such discs I have ripped.


#20

[quote=“brian, post:18, topic:10474”]
That is a can of worms that we won’t open.
[/quote]Ok that’s cool, but then why ask the previous question if you going to do it anyway?
(It’s either down mix or don’t play) Am I missing something here?