Question: Quadraphonic music conversion project!

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Hello all:

I have read the FAQ, and I believe I have done my 'due diligence' to
post without having asked the same question that a curt "RTFM" or
"GFI" would normally solve. Unfortunately, my research has not
produced the answers I seek, so I turn now to you.

I am neither an audio engineer nor a computer hardware/software
engineer, yet I seek to do something that may require specialized
knowledge from all these disciplines. To wit - I have a number of old
quadraphonic Reel-to-Reel tapes that I would like to convert to some
form of modern-day surround-sound and store in a digital format, such
as on a CD or a DVD, which would then be capable of being played back
on standard Home Theater (DTS/Digital Dolby) or SACD/DVD-A equipment.

I have the tapes, as I mentioned. I have aquired an elderly Sony
4-track, 4-channel R2R machine, which I am having restored by a
professional. It reads tapes in 3 3/4 or 7 1/2 IPS format and outputs
them as four discrete channels into standard consumer-audio RCA jacks.
With quadraphonic pre-recorded R2R music tapes, there is no
conversion or decoding required prior to output - unlike the various
methods (SQ, Matrix) used by LP records to encode and decode quad
sound. So the sound output is simply four channels; Left Front, Right
Front, Left Rear, and Right Rear. The output is just like a stereo
cassette deck or CD player - just four RCA jacks instead of two (for
those who may not have been around in the early 1970's - the heyday of
quad sound).

I could simply aquire a quadraphonic playback unit such as an amp or a
receiver and just enjoy them as-is; and I may do so at some point.
But as a challenge, and because I think it *can* be done, I would like
to bring these four channels into the digital domain.

I have done some research and I believe that an M-Audio Delta-44 might
do the job - it has 4 channels of input, although the inputs are 1/4"
tip-and-ring jacks. I believe that I can get converters to turn the
1/4-inch jacks into consumer-grade audio RCA jacks, and as I
understand it from reading the owner's manual pdf from M-Audio for
this unit, I can choose an input value that matches the line-level
output from my elderly quadraphonic tape deck.

* So my first question(s) - am I correct that the M-Audio Delta-44
would be a good choice for this application? If not, is there another
unit that would be better/cheaper/easier-to-use?

I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford. I am
hoping that I can find software for Linux or Windows that will:

a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
WAV, etc, file.

b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.

c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

* My second question(s) - is there such software? Is this only
available in the realm of the professional audio engineer / sound
studio, or can an enthusiastic amateur/dabbler manage such a thing
(and within a several-hundred-dollar budget)?

Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
recording.

* My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
to a CD/DVD and what would that be? I understand that most CDROM
burners don't do SACD or DVD-A, but I have heard of people burning
their own DTS-encoded CDROMS that are 'understood' and decoded
properly by a standard DVD player that has DTS/Digital Dolby playback
capability. Am I wrong on this? What software should I seek out to
do this? I have standard CD-burning software and some experience
burning them, but have never seen this capability in the standard
consumer-grade stuff such as Nero or Easy-CD Creator.

My goal, as you can see, is to find and resurrect old quadraphonic
music and move it into a more accessible format for my own enjoyment.
I realize I could not sell such things - I have no desire to violate
anyone's copyrights or cheat any artists. This would be more along
the lines of storing old and soon-to-be-forgotten classics in a format
that might be more accessible for my family in the coming years,
making 'fair use' archival copies of commercial pre-recorded music
tapes that I own. I don't intend to break any laws here, or ask
anyone's assistance in doing so.

I am reasonably sure that it would be fairly trivial to do this if I
were converting old LPs to CD - there are lots of FAQ's on that. Same
thing if I wanted to mix down the quadraphonic sound to two channels.
But since there ARE four channels available, it seems a shame to throw
away that surround information when it might be translated into a more
modern format and enjoyed as surround sound again.

Thank you for any help you might be able to give. If there would be a
more appropriate forum on which to ask these questions, please help
point me in the right direction!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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All of what you want to do is do-able.

Your challenge at this point is what are you willing to
spend to do this? If I've been keeping up with surround like
I should be, all of the surround formats extant are
"licensed". Software encoders are available from a number of
vendors that will do what you want to do. For example,
Minnetonka (http://www.minnetonkasoftware.com) has a range
of encoders as well as DVD authoring solutions. Pricing for
the encoding software runs from about $500 to $5000. There
are others out there. Google "software (surround, encoder)"
for other examples.

You may be SOL in terms of Linux (I'm hoping that perhaps
something is available ...).

The Surround Conference in L.A. is later this month, and
more info and products may be forthcoming, but as far as
something cheap, until a public-domain format in included in
playback systems, you're going to have to consider the cost
to the value of your project. I hope to be pleasantly
surprised at the conference, but not holding my breath.

Maybe somebody slogging around out there in surround has
more/better info (?)



Toivo Maki
Intermedia
Riverside, CA



The Bill Mattocks wrote:
>
> I have read the FAQ,

> I have a number of old
> quadraphonic Reel-to-Reel tapes that I would like to convert to some
> form of modern-day surround-sound and store in a digital format,

<thorough project description snipped>
 
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In article <411148F7.673D5E98@pe.net>, tmaki@pe.net says...
>
>
>All of what you want to do is do-able.
>
>Your challenge at this point is what are you willing to
>spend to do this? If I've been keeping up with surround like
>I should be, all of the surround formats extant are
>"licensed". Software encoders are available from a number of
>vendors that will do what you want to do. For example,
>Minnetonka (http://www.minnetonkasoftware.com) has a range
>of encoders as well as DVD authoring solutions. Pricing for
>the encoding software runs from about $500 to $5000.

Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP. I've used it (to do
exactly what you are trying to do -- transfer old quad recordings); it
works. It does not support MLP or Dolby Digital coding, which, in
practice, limits the tracks to 48 kHz / 24 bit linear PCM without DVD-V
playback compatibility. However, a considerable amount of evidence has
appeared indicating that 48/24 is all we need, and that there is no
audible difference between 48/24 and higher sampling frequencies.

The program requires your four channels to be encoded as either WAV or
AIFF files. It is very easy to use and will work with most any DVD
burner. The Minnetonka website has a list of supported burners, but mine
(a Memorex DVD+R/DVD-R), although not listed, worked like a champ.
 
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Well, that's some good news. Thanks for that. (Haven't
checked their site in a while. I gotta get less busy...)



TM

Robert Orban wrote:
>

> Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
> DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP.
 
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The Bill Mattocks <bmattock@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
>with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
>software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford. I am
>hoping that I can find software for Linux or Windows that will:
>
>a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
>store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
>WAV, etc, file.

Sure, this is easy to do.

>b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
>5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.
>
>c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
>what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
>into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

You don't really need to do either of these. In fact, if you just use
four channels, leave the center alone, and let the playback system do
all the bass management, you'll be fine, and it will sound like the
original was supposed to sound.

>* My second question(s) - is there such software? Is this only
>available in the realm of the professional audio engineer / sound
>studio, or can an enthusiastic amateur/dabbler manage such a thing
>(and within a several-hundred-dollar budget)?

Yes.

>Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
>these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
>media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
>back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
>DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
>recording.

THAT is the hard part. You now need software (or hardware) that will do
the conversion from discrete channels to an encoded dts or Dolby Digital
bitstream. This is where the problems come in.

I don't know of any inexpensive encoder out there.

>* My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
>to a CD/DVD and what would that be? I understand that most CDROM
>burners don't do SACD or DVD-A, but I have heard of people burning
>their own DTS-encoded CDROMS that are 'understood' and decoded
>properly by a standard DVD player that has DTS/Digital Dolby playback
>capability. Am I wrong on this? What software should I seek out to
>do this? I have standard CD-burning software and some experience
>burning them, but have never seen this capability in the standard
>consumer-grade stuff such as Nero or Easy-CD Creator.

Right. If you have an encoded dts bitstream, you can just write it
as a CD volume and go, without any problems. The problem is the encoder,
and I don't know of a cheap one. But I'd start looking on Dolby's web
site.

Sonic Solutions is probably the standard way of doing this, but it's not
cheap, and you don't really need 90% of the system anyway and should not
have to pay for it.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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The Bill Mattocks <bmattock@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Hello all:

> I have read the FAQ, and I believe I have done my 'due diligence' to
> post without having asked the same question that a curt "RTFM" or
> "GFI" would normally solve. Unfortunately, my research has not
> produced the answers I seek, so I turn now to you.

> I am neither an audio engineer nor a computer hardware/software
> engineer, yet I seek to do something that may require specialized
> knowledge from all these disciplines. To wit - I have a number of old
> quadraphonic Reel-to-Reel tapes that I would like to convert to some
> form of modern-day surround-sound and store in a digital format, such
> as on a CD or a DVD, which would then be capable of being played back
> on standard Home Theater (DTS/Digital Dolby) or SACD/DVD-A equipment.


you could also go to

http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=18

and pick their brains
 
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In article <a534b8d4.0408041136.192c6035@posting.google.com> bmattock@earthlink.net writes:

> I have a number of old
> quadraphonic Reel-to-Reel tapes that I would like to convert to some
> form of modern-day surround-sound and store in a digital format, such
> as on a CD or a DVD, which would then be capable of being played back
> on standard Home Theater (DTS/Digital Dolby) or SACD/DVD-A equipment.

> I have aquired an elderly Sony
> 4-track, 4-channel R2R machine, which I am having restored by a
> professional.

> I have done some research and I believe that an M-Audio Delta-44 might
> do the job

That will do part of the job, the job of getting your four channel
recorder into your computer.

> I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
> with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
> software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford.

It is, and I'd recommend it. Linux is still an experimenter's domain.
There are some multitrack recording programs for Linux, and there are
even some drivers for the more common sound cards, maybe even the
M-audio line. But with Windows, you just plug it in. Kind of the
universal, resaonably priced does-everything-you-need program is Adobe
Audition, but N-Track Studio is a $50 Shareware program, and the low
end program from Magix (Music Studio, I think it the name) isn't much
more and is remarkably close to Samplitude and Sequoia from the same
company.

> a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
> store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
> WAV, etc, file.

It will store four files.

> b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
> 5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.

You can certainly mix the left and right front channels to create a
new "center" channel, but it may not make any difference other than to
put some sound in that center speaker.

> c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
> what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
> into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

You could, but there's not much point to that. The LFE channel isn't
just a place to hook a subwoofer, it's for low frequency effects that
were put there in the recording. Most surround receivers have bass
management that will put something there for you, so you don't really
have to do it yourself.

> Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
> these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
> media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
> back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
> DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
> recording.

That's the hard part. Software that will encode and write a
multi-channel DVD that you can play in a DVD player is still pretty
expensive.

> * My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
> to a CD/DVD and what would that be?

Take a look at what Minnetonka Software has to offer. But I think
you're talking about a grand for the software, plus a DVD-RW drive.

> My goal, as you can see, is to find and resurrect old quadraphonic
> music and move it into a more accessible format for my own enjoyment.

You might consider putting together a living-room sized computer,
perhaps based on the Shuttle PC motherboard, put a big hard drive in
it, and use that as your "DVD player" when you want to listen to those
recordings. Or better yet, just set up your Sony tape deck and play
the tapes from that. That's what it was made for.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message news:<cerggp$4kc$3@reader1.panix.com>...

> you could also go to
>
> http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=18
>
> and pick their brains

I've been there, and have been reading avidly. Apparently, I'm asking
just a LEETLE bit too much - no really helpful information yet. But
I'm still digging!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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T Maki <tmaki@pe.net> wrote in message news:<411148F7.673D5E98@pe.net>...
> All of what you want to do is do-able.

That's good to know - up to now, I've been getting a bunch of 'why do
you want to do that?' instead of any real assistance. I was beginning
to think I just wasn't asking in the right way.

> Your challenge at this point is what are you willing to
> spend to do this? If I've been keeping up with surround like
> I should be, all of the surround formats extant are
> "licensed". Software encoders are available from a number of
> vendors that will do what you want to do. For example,
> Minnetonka (http://www.minnetonkasoftware.com) has a range
> of encoders as well as DVD authoring solutions. Pricing for
> the encoding software runs from about $500 to $5000. There
> are others out there. Google "software (surround, encoder)"
> for other examples.

I'm the type who might just spend $500 if the solution is REALLY what
I need, but more likely I'll wait if that is indeed the case until
prices drop - as they tend to. $5,000 is really RIGHT OUT for me,
sadly.

> You may be SOL in terms of Linux (I'm hoping that perhaps
> something is available ...).

One can always hope, but I am not an OS bigot - I'll tend towards
Linux but use whatever works best/cheapest for any particular
situation.

> The Surround Conference in L.A. is later this month, and
> more info and products may be forthcoming, but as far as
> something cheap, until a public-domain format in included in
> playback systems, you're going to have to consider the cost
> to the value of your project. I hope to be pleasantly
> surprised at the conference, but not holding my breath.

> Maybe somebody slogging around out there in surround has
> more/better info (?)

I appreciate the information you've shared, thank you!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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On Wed, 04 Aug 2004 12:36:32 -0700, The Bill Mattocks wrote:

<snip>
> * So my first question(s) - am I correct that the M-Audio Delta-44
> would be a good choice for this application? If not, is there another
> unit that would be better/cheaper/easier-to-use?
>
> I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
> with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
> software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford. I am
> hoping that I can find software for Linux or Windows that will:
>
> a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
> store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
> WAV, etc, file.
>
> b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
> 5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.
>
> c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
> what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
> into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.
>
> * My second question(s) - is there such software? Is this only
> available in the realm of the professional audio engineer / sound
> studio, or can an enthusiastic amateur/dabbler manage such a thing
> (and within a several-hundred-dollar budget)?
<snip>

Hiya.

If you would like to use Linux to do this, use Ardour. The
M-audio delta-44 is supported.

I would record the four tracks as four mono tracks first, then use a low
pass LADSPA filter over a buss of them all to make the sub track.
You could then use whatever plugins/phase inversion and bussing to make
the centre track.

For me, this would involve clicking on the Ardour icon, setting up a song
with four tracks ready to go, then hitting record.
For someone with no Linux experience, it could be months of frustrating
pain. Make your choice. :)

Planet CCRMA is a good place to start for Linux audio packages. Ardour and
SWH plugins should get you started.

I know nothing about burning the actual 6 channel audio DVD after the
tracks have been made.
 
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Robert Orban <donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote in message news:<4-idnW5YkZHl6IzcRVn-gQ@giganews.com>...
> Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
> DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP. I've used it (to do
> exactly what you are trying to do -- transfer old quad recordings); it
> works. It does not support MLP or Dolby Digital coding, which, in
> practice, limits the tracks to 48 kHz / 24 bit linear PCM without DVD-V
> playback compatibility. However, a considerable amount of evidence has
> appeared indicating that 48/24 is all we need, and that there is no
> audible difference between 48/24 and higher sampling frequencies.

This is very good news, thank you! I will leave it to the true
audiophiles to argue about the higher bit-rates. I will be happy if I
can have higher sampling/bitrates, but I will take what I can get for
now. It encourages me greatly that there is someone else actually
transfering old quad recordings. Very cool! I see it almost like the
folks who are saving old movie reels by digitizing them - in the nick
of time in some cases.

> The program requires your four channels to be encoded as either WAV or
> AIFF files. It is very easy to use and will work with most any DVD
> burner. The Minnetonka website has a list of supported burners, but mine
> (a Memorex DVD+R/DVD-R), although not listed, worked like a champ.

I will presume for the moment that the M-Audio device I mentioned will
be able to work with software that will save the incoming channels to
a WAV file, or that I will be able to use a software application that
will massage 4 discrete files into one combined (and correctly
time-aligned) WAV file. Hope that's true as well, but it seems like
it would be.

Thanks again!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote in message news:<cermr2$mpm$1@panix2.panix.com>...
> >a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
> >store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
> >WAV, etc, file.

> Sure, this is easy to do.

It sounds encouraging, thanks!

> >b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
> >5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.

> >c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
> >what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
> >into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

> You don't really need to do either of these. In fact, if you just use
> four channels, leave the center alone, and let the playback system do
> all the bass management, you'll be fine, and it will sound like the
> original was supposed to sound.

Ah - I did not know that. Thank you! That could be a huge
time-saver.

> >Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
> >these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
> >media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
> >back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
> >DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
> >recording.

> THAT is the hard part. You now need software (or hardware) that will do
> the conversion from discrete channels to an encoded dts or Dolby Digital
> bitstream. This is where the problems come in.

> I don't know of any inexpensive encoder out there.

One poster in this thread just mentioned Minnetonka Diskwelder Bronze
for $99 - I am attempting to gain more information on this product as
I write this. However, I see on their website that they have a
Diskwelder Steel for ~ $500. Not cheap - but I could myself doing it
if there were no other alternatives. I'd have to think long and hard
about how much I wanted this before spending that kind of loot,
however.

> >* My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
> >to a CD/DVD and what would that be? I understand that most CDROM
> >burners don't do SACD or DVD-A, but I have heard of people burning
> >their own DTS-encoded CDROMS that are 'understood' and decoded
> >properly by a standard DVD player that has DTS/Digital Dolby playback
> >capability. Am I wrong on this? What software should I seek out to
> >do this? I have standard CD-burning software and some experience
> >burning them, but have never seen this capability in the standard
> >consumer-grade stuff such as Nero or Easy-CD Creator.

> Right. If you have an encoded dts bitstream, you can just write it
> as a CD volume and go, without any problems. The problem is the encoder,
> and I don't know of a cheap one. But I'd start looking on Dolby's web
> site.

I will keep looking - but writing to a DVD is do-able - I do have both
a DVD and a CD burner.

> Sonic Solutions is probably the standard way of doing this, but it's not
> cheap, and you don't really need 90% of the system anyway and should not
> have to pay for it.
> --scott

I appreciate all the advice!

It seems - I could be wrong - that I may be asking these questions at
the right time. Software is becoming available in the consumer arena
that may do what I want to do - and I don't have to step up to the
'pro' level or become a subject-matter expert to be able to do it.
That is a good thing for people like me - enthusiastic pre-amateurs.
Call me a 'dabbler' as I'm not even what you could call an amateur
yet. I read 'Mix' and 'EQ' and miss 90% of what they're talking
about.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in message news:<znr1091660359k@trad>...
> In article <a534b8d4.0408041136.192c6035@posting.google.com>
> > I have done some research and I believe that an M-Audio Delta-44 might
> > do the job

> That will do part of the job, the job of getting your four channel
> recorder into your computer.

Very cool. Do you know of any devices that might do the job as well
or better, which I might also or alternatively consider? I don't want
to limit myself if there are better choices for what I want to do -
this is just what I found through searching online that I thought
*might* work.

> > I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
> > with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
> > software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford.

> It is, and I'd recommend it. Linux is still an experimenter's domain.
> There are some multitrack recording programs for Linux, and there are
> even some drivers for the more common sound cards, maybe even the
> M-audio line. But with Windows, you just plug it in. Kind of the
> universal, resaonably priced does-everything-you-need program is Adobe
> Audition, but N-Track Studio is a $50 Shareware program, and the low
> end program from Magix (Music Studio, I think it the name) isn't much
> more and is remarkably close to Samplitude and Sequoia from the same
> company.

I will check out the software applications you mentioned, thank you!

> > a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
> > store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
> > WAV, etc, file.

> It will store four files.

Really? Is there a common or standard way to bring these four files
back into one time-aligned file, such as a WAV file?

> > b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
> > 5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.

> You can certainly mix the left and right front channels to create a
> new "center" channel, but it may not make any difference other than to
> put some sound in that center speaker.

I see your point - thanks!

> > c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
> > what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
> > into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

> You could, but there's not much point to that. The LFE channel isn't
> just a place to hook a subwoofer, it's for low frequency effects that
> were put there in the recording. Most surround receivers have bass
> management that will put something there for you, so you don't really
> have to do it yourself.

Well, with a typical HT setup using modern-day loudspeakers, typically
the surround speakers are tiny little things - I'd hate to tell them
to try to reproduce earth-shaking bass - when I could route that to
the subwoofer. However, another poster mentioned that my HT processor
should do that job for me anyway, so both of your points are
well-taken - I did not know that.

> > Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
> > these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
> > media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
> > back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
> > DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
> > recording.

> That's the hard part. Software that will encode and write a
> multi-channel DVD that you can play in a DVD player is still pretty
> expensive.

As you can probably see from other respondants, that situation may be
changing. However, I can see that we are early in the
'consumer-grade' applications that can do such things, so I quite
understand your response.

> > * My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
> > to a CD/DVD and what would that be?

> Take a look at what Minnetonka Software has to offer. But I think
> you're talking about a grand for the software, plus a DVD-RW drive.

Unless the 'Bronze' software application from Minnetonka will do the
job - this has been indicated but I have not yet confirmed it.

> > My goal, as you can see, is to find and resurrect old quadraphonic
> > music and move it into a more accessible format for my own enjoyment.

> You might consider putting together a living-room sized computer,
> perhaps based on the Shuttle PC motherboard, put a big hard drive in
> it, and use that as your "DVD player" when you want to listen to those
> recordings. Or better yet, just set up your Sony tape deck and play
> the tapes from that. That's what it was made for.

Well, the 'store it on a hard drive and replay it at will' option may
well work for me - and I *do* plan to build an HTPC soon enough. But
the 'R2R in the living room' concept is a non-starter for a couple of
reasons.

The first is the W.A.F. (Wife Acceptance Factor).

The second is the fact that these quadraphonic tapes were all made in
the early 1970's, so they are thirty years old now. Probably in
better shape than used quad LP recordings, but still delicate and
subject to the depradations of time. Playing them repeatedly will do
them no good - so I'd really like to archive them so that I can enjoy
them as over and over without degrading the original media any
further.

Finally, although I am having my R2R deck professionally restored, it
is still a thirty-year-old piece of hardware with lots of moving parts
and fiddly bits - the chances of it breaking again are not small. I'd
like to use it as little as possible to maintain its ability to keep
transcribing quad tapes into the future for as long as possible.

Thank you for your advice!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
 
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In article <4-idnW5YkZHl6IzcRVn-gQ@giganews.com> donotreply@spamblock.com writes:

> Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
> DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP.

That's good to hear. For some reason I had the impression that Bronze
was only good for two channels. Maybe that's because the only people I
know use it (all two of them) are only using it to make playable disks
of stereo 96 kHz recordings.


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However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
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"Robert Orban" <donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote in message
news:4-idnW5YkZHl6IzcRVn-gQ@giganews.com

> Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
> DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP. I've used it (to do
> exactly what you are trying to do -- transfer old quad recordings); it
> works. It does not support MLP or Dolby Digital coding, which, in
> practice, limits the tracks to 48 kHz / 24 bit linear PCM without
> DVD-V playback compatibility.

Will the program code 24/96 and 24/192 if you're willing to tolerate a
reduced playing time due to the absence of MLP compression?

> However, a considerable amount of
> evidence has appeared indicating that 48/24 is all we need, and that
> there is no audible difference between 48/24 and higher sampling
> frequencies.

Agreed. http://www.pcabx.com/technical/sample_rates/index.htm , and all
that.

> The program requires your four channels to be encoded as either WAV or
> AIFF files. It is very easy to use and will work with most any DVD
> burner. The Minnetonka website has a list of supported burners, but
> mine (a Memorex DVD+R/DVD-R), although not listed, worked like a
> champ.

If the program burned 24/192 DVDs with reduced playing times, it could still
be used for demos and tests.
 
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"The Bill Mattocks" <bmattock@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:a534b8d4.0408041136.192c6035@posting.google.com

> I could simply acquire a quadraphonic playback unit such as an amp or a
> receiver and just enjoy them as-is; and I may do so at some point.
> But as a challenge, and because I think it *can* be done, I would like
> to bring these four channels into the digital domain.

Not a bad idea. Could be fun.

> I have done some research and I believe that an M-Audio Delta-44 might
> do the job - it has 4 channels of input, although the inputs are 1/4"
> tip-and-ring jacks. I believe that I can get converters to turn the
> 1/4-inch jacks into consumer-grade audio RCA jacks, and as I
> understand it from reading the owner's manual pdf from M-Audio for
> this unit, I can choose an input value that matches the line-level
> output from my elderly quadraphonic tape deck.

This can work - I have a Delta66 which is the same card as a Delta 44 with
added digital I/O. The M-Audio cards are easy to match up with consumer gear
because they support three different signal levels, -10, *consumer*, and +4.
In the case of the Delta 44, 66, and 1010LT, this is just a software
setting.

If I were going to get at all serious about multichannel, I wouldn't stop
with just 4 channel analog hardware. 7.1 is the current *maximum* consumer
multichannel format, and that would be nicely handled by an 8 channel card
like the 1010LT. The 1010LT has the additional advantage of having mostly
RCA jack I/O. If you get one on sale, it isn't really that much more than a
Delta 44 at regular retail. A good transparent digital output port like the
one on the 66 or 1010LT would also be helpful, for experiments with
outboard decoders.

> * So my first question(s) - am I correct that the M-Audio Delta-44
> would be a good choice for this application? If not, is there another
> unit that would be better/cheaper/easier-to-use?

If you want to go cheap (which seems to contradict the effort you are
putting into the analog playback side of the project), you can skip by using
something as inexpensive as a Turtle Beach SantaCruz. For your $40 or so you
get 4 really pretty clean independent analog ins and outs (actually stereo
pairs, but you know what I mean). Personally, I'd rather see you pick either
a TBSC or a 1010LT and skip the 44 or 66, because the 1010LT is the better
total solution. The low cost of the TBSC makes it a great introductory
option that can leave plenty of money for future upgrades.

> I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
> with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
> software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford. I am
> hoping that I can find software for Linux or Windows that will:

I don't get this Linux thing for consumers, but that's just me. I very much
get Linux for projects like Google, but maybe its my basic lack of ambition,
I like mainstream software. I like to run as few experiments at one time, as
possible.

> a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
> store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
> WAV, etc, file.

All of the software options I list below can do this.

> b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
> 5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.

Not a problem with software like Audition. However, I think that even
Audacity would let you do this with some cleverness on your part.

> c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
> what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
> into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.

Not a problem with software like Audition. Again, Audacity might do the job.

> * My second question(s) - is there such software?

Sure, lots of it. Possible candidates include Audacity (freeware) and I
think it supports Linux, N-Track (way under $100) AFAIK Windows-only , and
the Windows-only Audition (ca. $300) software once known as CoolEdit.

> Is this only available in the realm of the professional audio engineer /
sound
> studio, or can an enthusiastic amateur/dabbler manage such a thing
> (and within a several-hundred-dollar budget)?

As they say, do the math. ;-) At the low end try the TBSC and Audacity and
get change from $50. At the higher end, run a 1010LT, Audition, and the
Minnetonka DVA-A converter with a DVD burner, and you will burn a pretty
clean hole in and throughout $500.

> Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
> these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
> media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
> back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
> DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
> recording.

The higher end approach I mentioned, or several mix-and-match combinations
of lower cost options, should get you there.

> * My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
> to a CD/DVD and what would that be? I understand that most CDROM
> burners don't do SACD or DVD-A, but I have heard of people burning
> their own DTS-encoded CDROMS that are 'understood' and decoded
> properly by a standard DVD player that has DTS/Digital Dolby playback
> capability. Am I wrong on this?


> What software should I seek out to
> do this? I have standard CD-burning software and some experience
> burning them, but have never seen this capability in the standard
> consumer-grade stuff such as Nero or Easy-CD Creator.

Here is a discussion of some relevant options you may find interesting:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t16282.html


> My goal, as you can see, is to find and resurrect old quadraphonic
> music and move it into a more accessible format for my own enjoyment.

Seems like a worth goal. I'd love to take a bunch of raw tracks from old
quad tapes and dump them into Audition for the remix. I had a lot of
reservations about the old 4-channel format. I never liked it, spectacular
as it could be. There were lots of negative comments about the philosophy of
the old 4-channel recordings, and it would be fun to see what could be done
to reformat them into something more natural.

> I realize I could not sell such things - I have no desire to violate
> anyone's copyrights or cheat any artists. This would be more along
> the lines of storing old and soon-to-be-forgotten classics in a format
> that might be more accessible for my family in the coming years,
> making 'fair use' archival copies of commercial pre-recorded music
> tapes that I own. I don't intend to break any laws here, or ask
> anyone's assistance in doing so.

> I am reasonably sure that it would be fairly trivial to do this if I
> were converting old LPs to CD - there are lots of FAQ's on that.

You might want to warm up your new toys and tools by means of the
time-honored "walk before you run" technique. Do some LP or analog 2-channel
tape transcriptions to get your feet wet.

> Same
> thing if I wanted to mix down the quadraphonic sound to two channels.
> But since there ARE four channels available, it seems a shame to throw
> away that surround information when it might be translated into a more
> modern format and enjoyed as surround sound again.

Agreed.
 
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On 4 Aug 2004 12:36:32 -0700, bmattock@earthlink.net (The Bill
Mattocks) wrote:

>Hello all:
>
>I have read the FAQ, and I believe I have done my 'due diligence' to
>post without having asked the same question that a curt "RTFM" or
>"GFI" would normally solve. Unfortunately, my research has not
>produced the answers I seek, so I turn now to you.
>
>I am neither an audio engineer nor a computer hardware/software
>engineer, yet I seek to do something that may require specialized
>knowledge from all these disciplines. To wit - I have a number of old
>quadraphonic Reel-to-Reel tapes that I would like to convert to some
>form of modern-day surround-sound and store in a digital format, such
>as on a CD or a DVD, which would then be capable of being played back
>on standard Home Theater (DTS/Digital Dolby) or SACD/DVD-A equipment.
>
>I have the tapes, as I mentioned. I have aquired an elderly Sony
>4-track, 4-channel R2R machine, which I am having restored by a
>professional.

If you didn't have a machine, someone here might have suggested a
Tascam 34 or even older Teac 2340, 3340, or 3440 over the Sony, and
you can get any of these in the $100 to $200 range. OTOH, prerecorded
tapes are probably not such super quality that it would make much
difference. Are all the tapes 7 1/2 IPS? These machines all do 7 1/2
and 15 IPS except for the 2340, which does the slower speeds.

>It reads tapes in 3 3/4 or 7 1/2 IPS format and outputs
>them as four discrete channels into standard consumer-audio RCA jacks.
> With quadraphonic pre-recorded R2R music tapes, there is no
>conversion or decoding required prior to output - unlike the various
>methods (SQ, Matrix) used by LP records to encode and decode quad
>sound. So the sound output is simply four channels; Left Front, Right
>Front, Left Rear, and Right Rear. The output is just like a stereo
>cassette deck or CD player - just four RCA jacks instead of two (for
>those who may not have been around in the early 1970's - the heyday of
>quad sound).
>
>I could simply aquire a quadraphonic playback unit such as an amp or a
>receiver and just enjoy them as-is; and I may do so at some point.
>But as a challenge, and because I think it *can* be done, I would like
>to bring these four channels into the digital domain.
>
>I have done some research and I believe that an M-Audio Delta-44 might
>do the job - it has 4 channels of input, although the inputs are 1/4"
>tip-and-ring jacks. I believe that I can get converters to turn the
>1/4-inch jacks into consumer-grade audio RCA jacks, and as I
>understand it from reading the owner's manual pdf from M-Audio for
>this unit, I can choose an input value that matches the line-level
>output from my elderly quadraphonic tape deck.

Yes, you can just use RCA cables and four RCA female to 1/4" plugs
(you only need tip and shield, the Delta 44 is "impedance-balanced" or
"balanced-compatible" but not actually balanced - the ring connection
on the jacks just goes through a resistor and cap to ground).

>* So my first question(s) - am I correct that the M-Audio Delta-44
>would be a good choice for this application? If not, is there another
>unit that would be better/cheaper/easier-to-use?

There's something cheaper, the Turtle Beach somthing-or-other with
four inputs and four outputs, reviewed at http://pcavtech.com/ but who
knows about Linux drivers, or whether that card is even made anymore
(the review is a few years old, and you know how fast consumer
products turn over thesedays) - go ahead and get the Delta 44, it's
your best bet, and it's still a current product even though it's been
out for a while.

>I plan to use Linux if I can - however, if I find myself struggling
>with it too much, I may revert to Windows XP and purchased commercial
>software if it is within the realm of a mere mortal to afford. I am
>hoping that I can find software for Linux or Windows that will:
>
>a) Accept all four channels of input (LF, RF, RF, RR) and allow me to
>store it in that manner as a file, instead of as a mixed-to-stereo
>WAV, etc, file.

The four channels would be stored as two stereo .wav files, or four
mono .wav files (you can choose which in the recording software. ISTR
that the .wav standard allows more than two channels in a single file,
but I've never seen this done). The DAW software will create a "song"
file that says these two or four files belong together and are to be
recorded and played back in sync.

>b) Allow me to concoct some front center channel (such as found in a
>5.1 Home Theater system) by summing or averaging LF and RF channels.
>
>c) Allow me to split off all music below a certain frequency (not sure
>what the rolloff should be) for ALL channels and sum it and put it
>into a 6th channel - the subwoofer or .1 channel.
>
>* My second question(s) - is there such software? Is this only
>available in the realm of the professional audio engineer / sound
>studio, or can an enthusiastic amateur/dabbler manage such a thing
>(and within a several-hundred-dollar budget)?

N-Track Studio is cheap Windows shareware and can do all of this.
You can download a demo to learn on:

http://www.fasoft.com

There are several other programs that will do the same, varying in
price from free to $400 (and up), maybe even one or two that run on
Linux.

>Assuming that I can do all the above; I would then like to gather
>these six new channels (5.1, essentially) and burn it to some digital
>media such as a CD or a DVD in such a manner that it could be played
>back on a standard Home Theater DVD or specialized CD player (SACD or
>DVD-A) and enjoyed as if it were a modern surround-sound musical
>recording.
>
>* My third question(s) - is there a means by which I could burn this
>to a CD/DVD and what would that be? I understand that most CDROM
>burners don't do SACD or DVD-A, but I have heard of people burning
>their own DTS-encoded CDROMS that are 'understood' and decoded
>properly by a standard DVD player that has DTS/Digital Dolby playback
>capability. Am I wrong on this? What software should I seek out to
>do this? I have standard CD-burning software and some experience
>burning them, but have never seen this capability in the standard
>consumer-grade stuff such as Nero or Easy-CD Creator.
>
>My goal, as you can see, is to find and resurrect old quadraphonic
>music and move it into a more accessible format for my own enjoyment.
>I realize I could not sell such things - I have no desire to violate
>anyone's copyrights or cheat any artists. This would be more along
>the lines of storing old and soon-to-be-forgotten classics in a format
>that might be more accessible for my family in the coming years,
>making 'fair use' archival copies of commercial pre-recorded music
>tapes that I own. I don't intend to break any laws here, or ask
>anyone's assistance in doing so.

Two alternatives to all this: 1) Move your Sony R2R recorder into
the home theater and connect its four outputs into the "receiver" - if
the thing doesn't have the six (or five and 1/10th) external inputs
for this, get a converter for it (presuming these things exist) or get
a receiver that has the analog inputs.
The second alternative is record everything to your computer with
the Delta 44 card, and then use the computer and Delta as the playback
device as above. This is more convenient in that you can put
everything (quite possibly EVERYTHING released in discrete
quadraphonic R2R) on one big hard disk, and not have to change discs
nor tapes.

>I am reasonably sure that it would be fairly trivial to do this if I
>were converting old LPs to CD - there are lots of FAQ's on that. Same
>thing if I wanted to mix down the quadraphonic sound to two channels.
>But since there ARE four channels available, it seems a shame to throw
>away that surround information when it might be translated into a more
>modern format and enjoyed as surround sound again.

Burning DVD-audio has been the missing link, and it appears Robert
Orban gave the response you're looking for.

>Thank you for any help you might be able to give. If there would be a
>more appropriate forum on which to ask these questions, please help
>point me in the right direction!
>
>Best Regards,
>
>Bill Mattocks

-----
http://mindspring.com/~benbradley
 
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In article <coydnUCgtv64vo_cRVn-rQ@comcast.com>, arnyk@hotpop.com says...
>
>
>"Robert Orban" <donotreply@spamblock.com> wrote in message
>news:4-idnW5YkZHl6IzcRVn-gQ@giganews.com
>
>> Minnetonka now has a $99 program (DiskWelder Bronze) that will author
>> DVD-A (up to 5.1 channels) using Windows XP. I've used it (to do
>> exactly what you are trying to do -- transfer old quad recordings); it
>> works. It does not support MLP or Dolby Digital coding, which, in
>> practice, limits the tracks to 48 kHz / 24 bit linear PCM without
>> DVD-V playback compatibility.
>
>Will the program code 24/96 and 24/192 if you're willing to tolerate a
>reduced playing time due to the absence of MLP compression?

The problem with non-compressed PCM (as Minnetonka describes it in their
manual for Bronze) is staying below the approximately 9 Mb/sec maximum data
transfer rate from DVD-A. 96/24 runs 1.656 Mb/sec/channel. So this should
actually allow 4 channels of 96/24 but will not quite do it for 5.1. (My
original post was too conservative.)
 
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"The Bill Mattocks" <bmattock@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:a534b8d4.0408051036.5b9a04db@posting.google.com
> S O'Neill <nospam@nospam.org> wrote in message
> news:<cetgqd$4sl$1@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>...
>>> Not that I would LIKE to use the M-Audio Delta 44, as much as I
>>> think it will do what I want to do - and I hope that if I'm wrong,
>>> someone will steer me right.
>
>> If it's 4-in/4-out, wouldn't you like to listen to what you're doing
>> in
>> 5.1, meaning you need 6-out?
>
> If I was taking the audio OUT of the PC again, yes. But I plan to
> bring it IN as 4-channel, and then burn a DVD or CD while it is in
> there. No coming out. If I was going to try the (has been suggested
> here) HTPC method, then yes, I'd need another audio card (maybe a
> second one?) that would output 5.1 in some manner acceptable to the
> "don't steal from me" Godz.

You might find that it really helps to hear what you're mixing before you
commit it to media. Therefore, the ability to output 5.1 - 7.1 from your
mixing tool (e.g. multitrack editor) could come in handy.
 
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