To downmix or not to downmix, is that the question?

My purpose for buying Roon was a center based Music control system for my Music players in the house. The extra functions were nice fetures for me but not of much importance.
The first years of using were promising, but as the years passed by, I had more and more trouble with it.
The most annoying part in my case started, when the function " downmix as needed" stopped working, I needed this for streaming surround content to Stereo devices. I have a ticket running for this case for now more than two and a half years!! And still it does not do anything at all. So, for all who might think to do some settings concerning channel mapping: Downmix as needed is just a bunch of text and does literally do nothing at all. Just try it. Play a Surround file to a Stereo device and you only hear the front channels, regardless what settings you use.
This is the most disapointing part of the story. They acnolidged this problem and that was it then.
For my Stereo devices I use now Foobar.
I am not so convinced of the quality of Roon anymore and it certainly is not a holy grale for me when it comes to listening to music.

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What are you talking about? This feature works fine and always has.




It’s literally a toggle under advanced. No channel mapping is needed. No need to touch any DSP settings. Link me to your support request. It sound like you’ve put together some kind of incompatible config between down mix and EQ / speaker set-up.



No its not.
And as I have written they acknowledged and could reproduce the problem and the ticket is still open.
The fact that you can see the text doesn’t mean anything at all.

And I don’t need to link it to you as I already said that the ticket is still open. And there is no DSP involved here. And neither is channel mapping. You choose “Downmix as needed” on the Stereo device, play a surround file to it and you hear the front channels only.
It just has no priority to the Support team,. But two and a half years of waiting is ridiculous.

Just to give you the idea: that respons was one year ago, after I reached out to support.

And to this day now, that is the status of the ticket.
But I think we should leave it here, as this is not the topic of this thread.

It appears as though downmixing does not work for 4.0 multichannel, and there’s a longstanding ticket in for this.

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This makes more sense… I’m not sure I have any 4 channel content. I have 3 channel content. I’ll have to test that when I have more time.

This is false. See my previous post. I posted screenshots of my signal path above but I don’t listen with my eyes. I actually listened to those tracks and downmix, on those albums, worked as expected. I’m sorry it doesn’t work on your system or with 4.0 content (which I can’t test) but “not at all” isn’t what I have here in my system. Maybe I’m the anomaly?

Using a channel identification test file I have, I was able to confirm downmixing works for all configurations except Quad 4.0.

It’s sad though that long ago Roon acknowledged the issue with 4.0 but has not fixed it after all this time. I guess they consider it a very low priority since it likely doesn’t affect many users. :frowning:


If this is false then something has been done about it without noticing me. I don’t have a Quad System and as i have saId before it di not work on any surround files. And the signal path showed the same to me, that all was working fine while it did not.
A typical reaction of my statement could have been that it is fixed, but hey never replied on this. So, modify my posts if you will, but it doesnt change the fact at all that, concerning my ticket it concerned all surround files.
By the way: I deleted the sentence about listening with your ears by myself, because I did not wanted to be rude. It does not happen very often to me that I verbalize frustrations.

Until I read about the issue in this thread, I never thought to actually test downmixing, as it always seemed to work for me (ie - nothing sounded amiss when listening. I don’t have any Quad 4.0 titles though).

However, this is not to say that @Frank_Nickel wasn’t having an issue with all downmixing in his setup.

Me neither… I was going to try to repeat your test for myself, but couldn’t find any test files that included four channel content; most seem focussed (understandably I guess) on 5.1+. It was interesting to find at least three different layouts for four channel though!

May I ask where did you find your test files?

(I have zero multichannel files… )

I wish I remembered where I found those test files. I’m pretty sure I downloaded them from somewhere, but I’ll check my disc collection to be sure.

If I find where it came from, I’ll let you know.

Edit: I found this that may work

I saw this in the Roon KB. I’m reading it to mean downmixing of Quad 4.0 content is simply not supported, therefore, there is no “fix” coming since downmix is working as designed.

I guess a Feature Request would have to be submitted for Quad 4.0 downmixing, though I don’t think there’s enough interest for this to happen.


Aye. But the preceding section (channel mapping) suggests quad rear channels will be mapped to the rear channels of 5.1 or 7.1, which might mean that it could then be down mixed to 2.0 as described in the down mixing section…

I’m sure it’s not as simple as that though… :wink:

I see that the kb was edited only a month ago though - so I have no way of knowing what it said two years ago when the original ‘it’s all broken’ thread started.

And thanks for the link to the test files - task for tomorrow!

(I see flac only defines one layout for four channel - although that may not be significant.)

I noticed that. It also seems to me that 4.0 could be downmixed to 2.0 since mapping to 5,1 and 7.1 is provided, but I’m far from being an expert in how this works. The statement I posted seems to say that downmixing of 4.0 was left out for whatever reason.

Btw, I just tested Quad 4.0 mapping to 5.1 (my system is 5.1) and it works correctly.

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I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt… but It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve found user documentation that doesn’t reflect what the code does (and the code doesn’t do what the specification called for, which wasn’t what the user needed… you get the idea… )

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I agree. :+1:

Which is why some cynical (or realistic) software engineers are against documentation. The code rules.

Ours are like that. “The code tells you what it does”. Except:

  • Sometimes you need a quick answer or you need it often and there is just no time to read the damn complex code every time.
  • The code may do what it does but not what it should do.

The following still is in the Knoledge base:
Quadrophonic content is handled slightly differently:

  • When playing Quad content to a 7.1 channel layout, the RL and RR channels in the Quad content will be mapped onto the RL and RR channels in the 7.1 layout*

…and this is not true, as well that it is not downmixed to Stereo. It was the case before the upgrade to version 17.610.
They just broke it, acknoledged the problem, activated the ticket and then there was silence until this day…
seems to me that they themselfes are not knowing what they are doing.
And now comes the funny part: grab some kost-free Software like Foobar or Kodi and they do the Job.
By the way 4.0 to a 5.1 works. My guess is that this is the easiest way to accomplish.

In the 70’ies there were some very nice Quadrophonic mixes:
Deep Purple - Machine Head
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon and Wish you were here
Carly Simon - Hotcakes
Chicago - Transit Authority (and quite some more)
Miles Davis - Sextant and Bitches Brew
Just to name a few.
In the Classical world it happens sometimes that a 4.0 output is provided but I don/t know wether that can be qualified as a Quad mix.

I have this: Chicago - Quadio - Bluray 4.0 quad box set review - Hi-Res Edition

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