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DTS to multi-channel FLAC. Advice needed.

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Neil Palfreyman

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Having a universal player that will happily play multi-channel flac files I've just started ripping my collection of music DVDs to FLAC. I'm using DVD Audio Extractor which seems to work pretty well.

One of the considerations is what bit depth and sampling rate to use?

With a DVD-A stream it seems sensible to use the same bit depth and sampling rate as the original which for the most part will be 24 bit 48k.

But (and here's my question) - what bit depth and sampling rate should I use for "standard" DTS encoded streams when no DVD-A is available?

I know I could just use 24bit 48k but is this overkill, given that conversion back to hi-res can do nothing to recover the information lost when the track was encoded in the first place? My main consideration is sound quality but I dont want to waste disc space if there's no benefit.
 

neil wilkes

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Always decode back to 24-bit.
The worst case scenario is padding but nearly all DTS files are encoded from 24-bit sources as this eliminates the need to dither down to 16-bits.
Use sample rate according to source - so .dts/.cpt = 48K, .wav (dtscd) = 44.1K, DTS 9624 = 96K.
Remember the DTS process does not lose dynamic range - it eliminates duplicated & redundant data instead, along with a perceptual element allowing the fixed bitrate
It is quite possible by decoding to 16-bit you are actually truncating - and thereby degrading - the signal.
 

Neil Palfreyman

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Always decode back to 24-bit.
The worst case scenario is padding but nearly all DTS files are encoded from 24-bit sources as this eliminates the need to dither down to 16-bits.
Use sample rate according to source - so .dts/.cpt = 48K, .wav (dtscd) = 44.1K, DTS 9624 = 96K.
Remember the DTS process does not lose dynamic range - it eliminates duplicated & redundant data instead, along with a perceptual element allowing the fixed bitrate
It is quite possible by decoding to 16-bit you are actually truncating - and thereby degrading - the signal.
Excellent! Thanks, Neil - thats exactly what I was looking for. :)

Is it reasonble to assume that non-HD DTS streams on a DVD will be .dts/.cpt and use a sample rate of 48k or is there a way of telling?
 

HomerJAU

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Is it reasonble to assume that non-HD DTS streams on a DVD will be .dts/.cpt and use a sample rate of 48k or is there a way of telling?
DVD Audio Extractor shows the original sample rate. (It will always be 48kHz min, sometimes its 96kHz). If its a DTS track then DVDAE will only extract DTS Core at 48kHz max. This may be a licensing requirement, I'm really not sure.

DVDAE can also grab blu-ray audio if the blu is not encrypted. DVDAE can also transcode direct to DTS-CD ISO from any DTS DVD-V, DTS DVD-A or DTS-HD blu-ray. I haven't tried MLP to DTS-CD, but I guess this won't work. DVDAE is limited to DTS Core output at 48kHz max sample rate but will do 96kHz for MLP and TrueHD.

I've used Foobar with a DTS plugin to convert DTS to multichannel flac at 24bit/48kHz and MLP etc at higher sample rate if available, but not at higher rate than original.
 

Neil Palfreyman

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As a follow-up to this; has anyone done any analysis of DVDAE output file quality when used to extract hi-res flac from a hi-res source DVD?

I'm asking because I have ripped quite a lot of my library now and first impressions are that there is a noticeable loss of fidelity compared to the physical disc even when the sample rate is kept the same.

I'm pretty sure it's not my player (CA Azure 752BD) since downloaded hi-res material, both stereo (HD Tracks) and multi-channel (2L) sounds very sweet indeed, maybe even better than physical when played from USB drive or network.
 

jimfisheye

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As a follow-up to this; has anyone done any analysis of DVDAE output file quality when used to extract hi-res flac from a hi-res source DVD?

I'm asking because I have ripped quite a lot of my library now and first impressions are that there is a noticeable loss of fidelity compared to the physical disc even when the sample rate is kept the same.

I'm pretty sure it's not my player (CA Azure 752BD) since downloaded hi-res material, both stereo (HD Tracks) and multi-channel (2L) sounds very sweet indeed, maybe even better than physical when played from USB drive or network.
I've pulled tracks into a DAW before for examination. I verified the lossless-ness of flac a number of years ago for myself - converting back and forth, subtracting the results and getting perfect null every time. Same with the MLP compression used on DVDA - it really works like they say it does.

I have no direct way of A/B-ing the ripped file with the disc directly of course. Years ago I picked up a Dennon DVD-3800 when DVDA first hit the store shelves. Clearly a consumer level machine but high end enough to be reasonable (or so I thought at the time). It had no digital output capabilities for surround program. It's analog outputs were unbalanced rca jacks.
A couple years later DVDAE came along and I was finally able to rip the discs and listen to them with my Apogee converters in full pro quality.

So back to your question, when I switched to more pro gear with ripping the disc vs. using a stand alone hardware player, the sound quality increased by magnitudes as you would expect. I fully expect that if I were able to compare apples to apples (ie. using the exact same converters with the data stream) in both systems, the results would be identical.
 

neil wilkes

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DVD Audio Explorer cannot decode DTS 9624 at all, as it is a piece of crap.
To get the best back from any DTS stream a small investment in either time (AudioMuxer) or cash (DTS-HD MAS suite comes with the StreamPlayer, which also decodes back to PCM).
For pulling from regular DVD, use DVDDecrypter - so good Sony had it banned but it can be found still - in stream processing mode.
All DTS streams on any DVD will be either .cpt or .dts and the 2 are interchangeable (you can even change the extension) but will generally be .dts.
They will be either 48 or 96K, and can be 16 or 24-bit depending on who made them - but always, always assume 24-bit as it is better to pad a 126-bit file than to truncate a 24-bit one

Hope this helps
 

HomerJAU

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DVD Audio Explorer cannot decode DTS 9624 at all, as it is a piece of crap.
To get the best back from any DTS stream a small investment in either time (AudioMuxer) or cash (DTS-HD MAS suite comes with the StreamPlayer, which also decodes back to PCM).
I will give AudioMuxer a try. It looks interesting!
 

ssully

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DVDA *Explorer* (freeware) , as far as I know, was never meant to extract the lossy tracks, only the lossless LPCM/MLPCM files. And it does that excellently.

DVD Audio *Extractor* (not freeware) most certainly can extract full 96/24 DTS, if you use the Direct Demux option. The output will be .dts files that will be recogized as DTS 96/24 format when streamed to an AVR that can do DTS 96/24 decoding. If you need to tag the files (like I do), run then through Audiomuxer to turn them into DTS .wav--> .flac files, which simply wraps as .wav container around the dts file, then puts that in a flac container, which can be tagged.

In this Extrator workflow the DTS data is NOT converted to PCM. That *will* happen (and the output SR will be limited to 48kHz) if you choose WAV or FLAC output options directly in DVDAE. However that should NOT results in any audible difference vs the physical disc, unless the DVDAE algorithm is very bad, or you have the ears of a bat.
 

Stupy

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I'm scratching my head over EXACTLY this issue and therefore ... sorry all ... what's it called? Zombie thread? Anyway.

DVD Audio Extractor now does DTS-HD MA. And I'm trying to confirm if it does DTS 96/24 as well. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm looking at possibly doing some reconverting. I've always done dts to 16 bit flac for use everywhere. Thinking I should have done 24 bit. And any previous 96/24 was probably under a version of DVDAE that only read the core.

Is there a list of DTS 96/24 releases anywhere? I get the impression all the Nick Cave DVD's released with the studio album relates have it.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I'm scratching my head over EXACTLY this issue and therefore ... sorry all ... what's it called? Zombie thread? Anyway.

DVD Audio Extractor now does DTS-HD MA. And I'm trying to confirm if it does DTS 96/24 as well. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm looking at possibly doing some reconverting. I've always done dts to 16 bit flac for use everywhere. Thinking I should have done 24 bit. And any previous 96/24 was probably under a version of DVDAE that only read the core.

Is there a list of DTS 96/24 releases anywhere? I get the impression all the Nick Cave DVD's released with the studio album relates have it.
Yes DVDAE does DTS 24/96 and is no longer limited to the 48kHz core only. There are lot of 24/96 DTS release out there, in fact I'd say the 50% or more are 24/96. Try the Jethro Tull deluxe releases. I think the Bee-Bop Deluxe releases are as well, just a couple off the top of my head.
 

haikubass

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There are many cool dts releases, but actually it's not too easy to find them in one place here. I think the best bet would be to use this google search (switching to pictures works kinda well, too).
 
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paligap

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I tried to rip the dts-cd of Poco's Crazy Eyes with DVD Audio Extractor, but it wouldn't recognize any files on the disc, which appear to be relatively tiny "cda" files. Then I used foobar 2000 to convert the files to much larger flac files. I put the files in an album folder on a flash drive. I was able to play the files from the flash drive using my Oppo 103D, but Kodi on my Vero 4K+ wouldn't recognize the files. The latter might be user error on my part, as I'm still learning how to use Kodi, but I have been able to play other files I've ripped. Is there anything about this particular disc or the way I ripped (converted) the files that might prevent it from playing via Kodi?
 

winopener

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A DTS-CD is a CD, so DVD-Audio extractor is the wrong tool for the work.
Foobar can convert DTS to Flac BUT in case of DTS-CD (which is a confusing format by definition) you need to install the DTS plugin component otherwise Foobar cannon recognize the DTS data stream, thus decoding it and then do a real Flac conversion of the decoded audio.
What you probably did was a straight rip of the DTS-CD without any decoding, so you basically pur a Flac wrapper arounnd the compressed DTS data stream.
If you want to keep the files in DTS format, convert to WAV - not Flac, otherwise install the plugin.
 

Plan9

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I'm scratching my head over EXACTLY this issue and therefore ... sorry all ... what's it called? Zombie thread? Anyway.

DVD Audio Extractor now does DTS-HD MA. And I'm trying to confirm if it does DTS 96/24 as well. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm looking at possibly doing some reconverting. I've always done dts to 16 bit flac for use everywhere. Thinking I should have done 24 bit. And any previous 96/24 was probably under a version of DVDAE that only read the core.

Is there a list of DTS 96/24 releases anywhere? I get the impression all the Nick Cave DVD's released with the studio album relates have it.
The Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 5.1 mixes on DVD are 48kHz.
 

paligap

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A DTS-CD is a CD, so DVD-Audio extractor is the wrong tool for the work.
Foobar can convert DTS to Flac BUT in case of DTS-CD (which is a confusing format by definition) you need to install the DTS plugin component otherwise Foobar cannon recognize the DTS data stream, thus decoding it and then do a real Flac conversion of the decoded audio.
What you probably did was a straight rip of the DTS-CD without any decoding, so you basically pur a Flac wrapper arounnd the compressed DTS data stream.
If you want to keep the files in DTS format, convert to WAV - not Flac, otherwise install the plugin.
Yeah, I thought I had read in another thread that DVD-AE could work with DTS-CDs, but it was Foobar. I did have the DTS plugin when I converted the files off the CD. I suppose that's why it played in DTS Surround on my Oppo. After I tagged the files with MusicBrainz Picard, they even played on my Sony X-800, which can be picky about ripped files and hadn't recognized them before. I even got the files to play with Kodi on my Vero, but oddly enough, it showed all the tracks with the same title and track number, even though they were definitely different songs.
 

Stupy

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Thanks all.

My current head scratching matter is...

1. Extract the dts wav from the DTS CD (I'm using Exact Audio Copy but any should do). This is easy. No apparent issue.

2. The conversion to flac; which is currently giving me small amounts of clipping. This is happening whether I use foobar or DVD Audio Extractor (in file mode) to do it. I'm doing it to 24 bit with retain the original frequency (which is generating 44.1kHz). Some time earlier I did conversations to 16 bit and there was less clipping, but I can't remember how I did it. The clipping appears inaudible (without taking the recordings to the high end system). I don't know if I've got an issue or not; it's all weird.

The test discs here, FYI, are Belinda Carlisle's "A Woman And A Man" ("20 bit 5.1" DTS CD) and Midnight Oil's Capricornia ("24 bit 6.1" DTS ES CD).
 

Stupy

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I tried to rip the dts-cd of Poco's Crazy Eyes with DVD Audio Extractor, but it wouldn't recognize any files on the disc, which appear to be relatively tiny "cda" files. Then I used foobar 2000 to convert the files to much larger flac files. I put the files in an album folder on a flash drive. I was able to play the files from the flash drive using my Oppo 103D, but Kodi on my Vero 4K+ wouldn't recognize the files. The latter might be user error on my part, as I'm still learning how to use Kodi, but I have been able to play other files I've ripped. Is there anything about this particular disc or the way I ripped (converted) the files that might prevent it from playing via Kodi?
Try:
1. Foobar convert to wav from the "cd".
2. Rename the resulting wav file extensions to dts instead of wav.
3. Open the dts extension files in foobar.
4. Now convert to flac (or your preferred multichannel format).

You will need the foobar dts plugin, I think.

Result should be a multichannel file that will work anywhere. Deepest apologies if I've got this wrong but that works here :)
 

winopener

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I always recommend to rip and convert a dts cd as a entire single file, then when it's converted to flac use the cuesheeet to split into tracks. As i said above, dts-cd is a confusing format by definition, born to push the redbook cd-audio format into something it wasn't designed to - putting a compressed multichannel DATA track into a AUDIO formatted disc in order to play it in any AUDIO player with a DIGITAL out to connect to a DIGITAL DECODER. Many times on the track change the alignment of the dts identifier stream is not at the very begin but further on, thus static noise, clipping and so on. Also, since it is a DATA track into a AUDIO frame, the ECC circuit is less strict than a proper CD-ROM (frame of cd-audio: 2352 byte; frame of cd-rom: 2048 byte. The 312 byte less in the cd-rom specs are mostly for stronger ECC codes) so a CLEAN disc is a must because a compressed DATA track - think it as a ZIP file, to have an idea - can be trashed by a single byte that is not correct, while AUDIO can be interpolated.

Converting it as a entire single file ensure that you start right with the DTS identifier at the begin and process everything correctly without losing stuff in the process.

BTW, dts-cd sometimes is a PITA (too many times without "sometimes"), but hey, if it wasn't for dts-cd the vast majority of the digital quad revolution of the last 20 years wouldn't had happened at all.
 

JediJoker

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I wish there were a straightforward DTS file container that could be used for DTS at its native file size. Would be even better if it were possible to decode DTS-CD directly to such a file format. Alas...
 
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