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How to Downmix 5.1 to stereo on Mac, Windows [Step-by-step Guide]

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Downmixing 5.1 to stereo is used to playback multichannel audio files at stereo systems. As rule, stereo headphones are used to music listening at portable audio players and mobile phones. Read about converting multichannel to stereo to reduce music file size for limited disk-drive space of portable audio player or other device.

How to convert 5.1 audio to 2.0

To downmix 5.1 to stereo:

  1. Launch 5.1 to stereo converter software AuI ConverteR 48x44.
  2. Open multichannel audio file(s): ISO (1-bit audio, a.k.a SACD ISO), DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, etc. to stereo DSF, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, etc. (check the channel-conversion-capable configurations).
  3. In main window select target directory at Directory output files field.
  4. Click Tools button.
  5. In Tools window click Downmix tab.
  6. To conversion of channel number check Downmix to stereo switch. To keep original channel number uncheck the switch.
  7. Select mixing mode (see details below).
        5.1 to stereo downmix levels are adjusted automatically.
  8. Click OK button.
  9. Select target file format, sample rate, bit depth.
  10. Select target directory.
  11. Click Start button and wait end of conversion.

 

 

How to convert with downmix 5.1 to stereo

 

 

Sound quality issues

 

Channel number reducing  is not pure technical procedure. The processing have element of art.

Played back multichannel record may have different sound depending on listening room, apparatus and its settings.

When in studio producers have original mono tracks of separate sound sources of the record, they can mathematically model spatial location in target channel number N for the each source. As result we get several N-channel tracks (track per the source), that are mixed to single N-channel bus (distributing record).

Audio converter or downmix plugin of digital audio workstation have the distributing record as input. So there are issues with the sound source separation. And channel number conversion is not the same as studio work, where sources may be separated.

Studio records may be provided in several variants with different channel number. As example multichannel and 2.0.

It is not possible to say what is better in general case: stereo variant of studio record or multichannel file, that downmixed in conversion software. There are many conditions: original stuff, quality of math modeling, converter's algorithm, other. In author's opinion, the best thing to do, compare target stereo records aurally.

 

 

Audio channel converter settings

 

Above we considered that no single "right" way to convert 5.1 audio to 2 channel file.

Therefore AuI ConverteR provide 2 alternative downmixing modes:

  • Mode 0 : artificial easy spatial expanding is applied.
  • Mode 1 : minimalistic processing is applied (developers consider it as more "natural").

5.1 downmix to stereo: Settings

You may select mode where you like sound more.

 

 

AuI ConverteR configurations

 

[5.1 (6 channel) to 2 channel] converter option is available in AuI ConverteR 48x44 PROduce-RD edition. You can check sound of the option in free DEMO edition.

For Modula-R edition added module "Downmix (add-on)" (purchased separately). For this add-on module need "Base (core)" module.

ISO-compatible configurations of AuI ConverteR allow to extract either stereo tracks from ISO or multichannel tracks with 5.1 downmixing to stereo.

 

Configurations for mixing 5.1 to stereo:

 

from WAV, FLAC, AIFF,... other PCM
to WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3,... other PCM (up to 24 bit/192 kHz according format):
 
 
Modula-R (minimal configuration)
 
 

 

from DSF and DFF (D64/128),... PCM
to WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3,... other PCM (up to 24 bit/192 kHz according format):
 
 
Modula-R (minimal configuration)
 
 

 

from DSF and DFF (D64/128),... PCM
to DSF (D64/128), WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3,... other PCM (up to 24 bit/192 kHz according format):
 
 
Modula-R (minimal configuration)
 
 

 

from ISO (1-bit audio only), DSF and DFF (D64/128),... PCM
to DSF (D64/128), WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3,... other PCM (up to 24 bit/192 kHz according format):
 
 
Modula-R (minimal configuration)
 
 

 

 

To configure AuI ConverteR Modula-R go to Easy Configurator >

 

 


Read more

How to Normalize Audio Loudness and Avoid Overload >

 

 

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