Stream MC audio directly from Audacity? / Recording MC with Audacity DAW

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ar surround

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I've been making my own 5.1 mixes now for a couple of months and I'm wondering if there is a way to stream multichannel audio directly from the Audacity DAW via HDMI. Doing so would be more convenient than copying material to a thumb drive and inserting that drive into a player to test the results.

I successfully outputted from my laptop via HDMI to the HDMI input on an Oppo 205. Audacity recognizes the Oppo 205 interface and does indeed output audio over HDMI to the Oppo. (When the PC and Oppo finally decide to shake hands.) However, the output is always downmixed to stereo.

Audacity lists the selectable "hosts" as:
- MME
- Windows DirectSound
- Windows WASAPI


Despite their cool sounding names, I suspect that they are useless for outputting anything other than stereo. So I assume that I need a media player such as Kodi shown in this thread:

Am I on the right track, or completely out of my mind as usual? Thanks for the advice.

AR
 

J. PUPSTER

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I've been making my own 5.1 mixes now for a couple of months and I'm wondering if there is a way to stream multichannel audio directly from the Audacity DAW via HDMI. Doing so would be more convenient than copying material to a thumb drive and inserting that drive into a player to test the results.

I successfully outputted from my laptop via HDMI to the HDMI input on an Oppo 205. Audacity recognizes the Oppo 205 interface and does indeed output audio over HDMI to the Oppo. (When the PC and Oppo finally decide to shake hands.) However, the output is always downmixed to stereo.

Audacity lists the selectable "hosts" as:
- MME
- Windows DirectSound
- Windows WASAPI


Despite their cool sounding names, I suspect that they are useless for outputting anything other than stereo. So I assume that I need a media player such as Kodi shown in this thread:

Am I on the right track, or completely out of my mind as usual? Thanks for the advice.

AR
I thought only the macOS, not Windows version of Audacity can record/play more than stereo???
 

zeerround

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google says: "Audacity does not support multi-channel playback"

Just FYI, it can record multi-channel, however.

I would recommend foobar2000, to play mch wav files.

First, get your device setup and working in the windows sound control panel:

1664829029821.png


Nvidia High Definition is my HDMI driver for the Nvidia output. Realiser A16 is what is plugged in on the other end of the HDMI (Note, you may need to have a monitor or TV plugged in to the output of your Oppo/AVR and selected (or pass through) before the High Def audio driver will show up in the sound control panel).

In the above, I am setting it up for 7.1 (LPCM over HDMI)

Then, in foobar2000:

foobar LPCM.png


FYI I use the waveform seekbar, as the only gui in foobar2000, it looks like this, with an 8 channel "ID" file:

1664829329224.png


But there are many other GUI possibilities. Foobar2000 is probably a deep subject, but to just play 5.1 wav or flac this is all you need.
 
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mandrix

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I only use HDMI between my pc and AVR. I can stream almost anyhing (flac/ISO/ etc) to my Oppo 103 but it's got jailbreak software so I won't get into all that.
Like @zeerround says Foobar is a good all around player, and you can certainly use it with HDMI, but I don't believe it actually bitstreams. (If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will tell me) but you still have to select your audio driver under preferences\output that your AVR /pc is using.

I use both the Intel & Nvidia drivers. This is because I have an HDMI switch that selects between my pc's motherboard HDMI output and my Nvidia graphics card, (and HDMI out from my second pc)
There are upsides/downsides to both depending on circumstances, but in general they both work well for bitstreaming, e.g. with VLC, PowerDVD, etc. For some audio applications I may use ASIO drivers, for myself I use ASIO4ALL. Of course the Intel driver I use with the motherboard (cpu graphics) and the Nvidia driver when I have the Nvidia gpu selected in other apps.

As for why I may use one driver over another, e.g. besides my monitor I have a 42" tv that also functions as a monitor, but for it I use the Nvidia driver because it recognizes the tv as a sound device and I can use the tv's speakers instead of the audio gear.

In some audio applications under WASAPI you might find your current primary audio driver you are using with HDMI, btw.

I would stay away completely from your motherboard built in sound drivers, for example Realtek, unless you are using the analog outs to analog in on your AVR.

Windows 11 is much more audio-friendly than Windows 10 in my experience. On my second pc running Windows 10 Pro, I'm only using the AMD driver or an ASIO driver, and I have one hell of a time getting it to produce mch sound as it always wants to default to stereo. Every time I get it working in mch, a Windows 10 update defaults it back to stereo output and at least on this pc it's a royal pita to correct, and the cpu's intel graphics seem to be deteriorating so I can't use the usually solid Intel driver. I finally just quit futzing with it. YMMV, though, depending on what hardware/software drivers you are using.

Not meant to confuse, but I'll throw this in. If I have my AVR setup for my Atmos 5.1.2 gear, before I can mix/monitor more than 6 channels of audio in apps such as Audition, I have to set the AVR for 7.1 pcm output instead of the Atmos setting in the setup program to use all 8 channels of audio from my AVR. Than you have to map your speakers to the outputs in Audition\preferences\channel mapping and of course select the HDMI or ASIO driver you are using.

HTH
 

barfle

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I know my OPPO105 will play 5.1 FLAC from my NAS through Ethernet. I suppose it will also play it from my PC’s hard drive, but so far the NAS works fine so no need for that.
 

mandrix

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I know my OPPO105 will play 5.1 FLAC from my NAS through Ethernet. I suppose it will also play it from my PC’s hard drive, but so far the NAS works fine so no need for that.
I had a hard time trying to stream anything to my 103 via Windows. It seems that people with a good NAS setup have less problems, But the old Oppo's I assume are more geared toward SMB v1, which has been pretty much deprecated in Windows. Even with my jailbroke 103 I turned to another solution. I use an NFS file system utility that I bought that basically takes the place of the old SMB protocols and works great. Since Windows supports the NFS protocol, I guess to be able to talk to the unix variants of file systems, I don't have to fight with the old SMB protocol anymore. Since I don't have a NAS setup, twenty-something bucks for the NFS utility has been well worth it.
Although these days, truthfully I don't use the Oppo's much anymore because it's just as easy to use HDMI to stream directly to the AVR. I know that some prefer going through the Oppo DAC's but I can't tell any difference.
 

zeerround

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I've been thinking/researching a little about network streaming. FFmpeg can do it. VLC can be both a server and a client, and modern AVRs can play network streams.

Anybody messing with that method?

I guess it wouldn't surprise me if AVRs only did stereo.
 

ar surround

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I guess it wouldn't surprise me if AVRs only did stereo.

I suspect that may be the case. This also may be the case with the HDMI Input of the Oppo 205. Using VLC and setting the output to 5.1, I only get stereo through the Oppo to the Marantz AVR. With Foobar, I only get stereo, but I did not see any place to select 5.1 vs stereo output. Or perhaps the sound card in this somewhat aged laptop doesn't handle multichannel?

Here's what the laptop is telling me is available for sound when connected directly to either the Oppo or the Marantz AVR. The setting, "Speakers (2-High Definition Audio Device) is the laptop's speakers.

oppo.jpg


marantz.jpg



Here's what Foobar is seeing:

Foobar.jpg
 

sjcorne

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In the start menu, type "change system sounds" and you should get something like this:

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.28.06 AM.png


Right-click your sound device and select "configure speakers" in the dropdown menu. You should then see something like this.


Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.29.18 AM.png


Click through all the setup pages and you should be set from there.
 

ar surround

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In the start menu, type "change system sounds" and you should get something like this:

View attachment 84237

Right-click your sound device and select "configure speakers" in the dropdown menu. You should then see something like this.


View attachment 84238

Click through all the setup pages and you should be set from there.
It works! It works!


Jonathan to the rescue yet again!
 

mandrix

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On my Windows 10 box it's pain getting mch to pass HDMI. MCH does not show as an option in the sound configuration.
On my Windows 11 not so hard.
Glad you got it going.

EDIT: My windows 10 machine has an old HD7950 gpu. They quit updating the drivers last year.
 

mandrix

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Something else I thought of. In Windows 10 if you can't get mch as an option, there's a process, but I never wrote it down. But basically when nothing else works to pass mch through HDMI you can uninstall all the sound drivers, reboot, go into the Device Manager and try to get Windows to load it's native sound drivers. Sometimes they actually work better (in Windows 10).
 

zeerround

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If you’re saying that a Windows 10 machine can record MC files in Audacity, can you show me the setup for that please Glenn, I’ve never seen it done?
Manual is here:


I think I broke mine, switching my loopBe audio loopback interface to a bitdepth of 32. I will switch back to 24 and reconfirm.

I'm recording 16 channels in Plogue Bidule, using that LoopBe interface. Dolby reference player to decode Atmos --> Plogue Bidule recording -> mch wav file.
 

zeerround

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OK it's working:

1664902187139.png


The secret sauce it to select WASAPI.

1664902488710.png


Things to note in the above screen shot.

Dolby Reference Player is using LoopBe audio interface to "Play"
LoopBe audio interface is configured to 48KHz 24bit 16 channels.
It's greyed out in windows sound recording properties --> advanced, because I have "locked" it in the LoopBe monitor.
Audacity is using the WASAPI LoopBe input, set for 16 channels (see first screenshot).
 
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