5.1 and 7.1 Surround Mixing

Is there a plugin avaialable for N-track

Just wondering if there is a VST for mixing 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 in N-track.

Any way to accomplish this?


I am clueless on this one…maybe someone else will chime in… ???


Hey Blackthorne.

I was just reading an article by Wendy Carlos about this very subject - Interesting politics behind 5.1/7.1 Encoding, but that’s beside the point.

If you have a multi channel sound card is seems that you could output different channel material through different ports. Obviously the sub channel would be everything run through a low-pass filter. In my case I have an Echo Layla with 10 output channels, this should in theory give you enough channels to send everything to 5 or 7 different directional speakers.

Although I have thought about this at length, I’ve never actually attempted it. (It’s always easier to think about it than actually do it).

As for encoding to DVD, I don’t think (I may well be wrong) that the channels are discreet, and are multiplexed onto the stereo pair, and this requires proprietary technology to encode and decode. There is talk of an open standard for this - but that’s all there is for now. I’ll post the URL for Wendy Carlos’ article about the evolution of Mono->Stereo->Quadraphonic->5.1/7.1 when I can find it.






I think you are right. It looks like I would have to pay for licensing to Dolby or THX to use their encoding system so that your average run of the mill Surround decoder (like my Yamaha reciever) would be able to understand it and separate my signals to the discrete chanels.

That open source one would be nice. I’ll keep digging and see what I come up with.

Thanks for your help.:slight_smile:


Hi blackthorne2,
I don’t know about a plugin but my M-Audio Delta 1010, has this feature. I haven’t had much time for experimenting with it, I should I know.

On the Delta it’s called Bass Management, you set a freq responce for for front, center, Surrounds, Rear Surrounds. And then also assign distance between those positiosn in feet. Maybe some of this can help you find a “key word”.
Good luck with that, and please post your progress with any such plug in, if you can.

i don`t think surround would work with a plugin in ntrack,
cause there is no possibility to pan the single channels in surround.
how do you get a signal from left behin to right front id you only haver stereo panning??????????

The way I understand it (not much), is that from a single stereo pair, the decoder is capable of creating 6(5.1) or 8(7.1) different channels. Left, Right and Center are basically built from the stereo mix, much the way vocal removers work, by putting anything evenly panned in the center, then left and right accordingly. The rear channel data is on the l/r mix but at frequencies higher than the human hearing range. This is modulated with a oscillator (freq unknown) down to lower frequencies this content is the rear speaker set(s).

It seems that you could simulate the 5.1/7.1 mix, let’s say we have a very simplified 4 piece rock band:

Guitar - 50% Left
Bass - 50% Right
Drums/Vocals - Center

Played through a 5.1 receiver, this would put Drums/Vocals+50% of Guitar and Bass through the center speaker+SubWoofer (cutoff @ say 500hz?).

Okay, so if you have 6 discreet amplifiers and enough soundcard outputs you count create 6 channels groups:
(Percentages are pan percents)
1 - Subwoofer mono sum of all channels with low-pass filter @ 500hz.
2 - Center 100% Vocal/Drum + 50% Guitar/Bass
3 - Left 100% Guitar
4 - Right 100% Bass
5 - Left Rear
6 - Right Rear

The two rear channels would (probably?) be mostly effect stuff (verb mostly I would guess). So send an aux from all channels to a reverb 100% wet - Output that to 5/6 for the left/right rear channels to create the effect of a room larger than it really is.

Obviously, this would only work playing in n-track, if you wanted to go to DVD - You’d need to send to a professional (it’s spelled “Professional” but pronounced “Expensive”) to be encoded on their fancy-schmancy new-fangled Dolby/THX encoders that you can’t afford.

Anyhow that’s my $.02 FWIW.


Or if it is dvd audio, you have four channels to begin with… Man, I wish the technology was at the level where it was popular. it sounds sooo good…

Edmund - Is DVD audio discreet four channel media?

I’ve never tried to use it personally - I guess I could have googled before shooting my mouth off. I know that it’s 24/96 but I didn’t know the actual channel count. Aha! from the DVD FAQ:


This shines some light - As usual the manufacturers are fighting over who gets the proprietary rights to license…Politics as usual…


was I wrong? I coudn’t find the spot in that faq that said. It might have been more or something, but I am pretty sure it is more than two. I’ll look at my creative stuff again… (Audigy NX plays DVD audio, if you got 5.1 speakers)


Neither could I - My take was the there are plenty of competing technologies for DVD-Audio - but nothing that is widely accepted.

I did read somewhere that there is an open source working group attempting to define an open standard that is available to everyone.

I’m pretty sure that DVD-Video is extrapolated from 2 channels/mux/filter - to 5.1. But I could be wrong (it’s happened before :D )


According to some stuff I read on KVR, Sonar 4 can do this. But that doesn’t help an n-track user.