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  #1  
Old 10-02-2007, 08:54 AM
Joe Mendelson Joe Mendelson is offline
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Default Wave Format Extensible file format?

Anybody here know how to convert a 5.1 interleaved WAV file (or the 6 individual files) into the "Wave Format Extensible" file format? The client has very specifically asked for this - a regular interleaved WAV file will NOT do. I've done a brief bit of googling, and there appear to be some converters out there, but so far it looks like PC only. Can this be done on the Mac?

Any help would be appreciated -

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2007, 01:47 PM
Joe Mendelson Joe Mendelson is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

well, if anyone is interested (or for future DUC searchers), we think we figured it out.
with the help of this little piece of freeware:

http://people.bath.ac.uk/masrwd/mcto...l#INSTALLATION

you can convert a standard multi-channel WAV file in to a WAVE Extensible Format file.
it requires using Terminal on the Mac, which is less daunting than it first appears.

one thing we discovered, is that the conversion automatically created the file order:
L,R,C,Lfe,Ls,Rs

this was NOT how the interleaved file (bounced out of PT) was ordered. how do i know, you ask? because i was able to analyze the the new WAVE_EX file in QT Pro, and determine which file was assigned to which channel. (BTW - WAVE_EX is NOT readable by PT). PT appears to create interleaved files in the same order it displays them onscreen: L,C,R,LS,RS,Lfe. So back in PT, by splitting the original 5.1 into mono, re-ordering the files, copying back to a 5.1 track, and bouncing out again as an interleaved WAV file, THEN converting to WAVE_EX using the above linked software, WE THINK WE GOT IT TO WORK!
of course, we have not received confirmation yet from the client, but if anyone is interested, i will post the final verdict. but confidence is relatively high at this point...

this WAVE Extensible Format is pretty cool - it seems to carry some easily readable metadata which tracks the speaker routing of multi-channel files. up to 7.1, i think. very useful for certain situations, and some presentation/installation software appears to prefer it. so no doubt, it will come up again.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2007, 06:42 AM
Richard Fairbanks Richard Fairbanks is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

Glad to hear you got it going, Joe.

Quote:
one thing we discovered, is that the conversion automatically created the file order:
L,R,C,Lfe,Ls,Rs

After we talked, I did some more research. Because that file order is the EBU standard, it is the standard Microsoft followed when they created Extensible Wave format. It is the same order specified in numerous delivery contracts, and used by Dolby Digital, bla bla bla. Pro Tool's file order during multichannel export (LCRLsRsLfe) is rigid and has caused numerous complaints already. It should be a choice during export. You have to work around it by manually moving files around on the timeline prior to export, in order to make the rest of the world happy. Digi, it is time to ease up on file order restrictions!

Since Extensible Wave is a Microsoft semi-proprietary format, there has not been widespread support for it. Not yet, anyway. Good that you found a potential solution.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:35 AM
erikf erikf is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

Hey,

I've been messing with interleave multi-channel wav files for a video game client quite a bit over the past few months. what I've learned:

1. SoundTrack Pro appears to make an extensbile wav format file. I don't know this for fact but the following results tell me so. A. when you analyze a standard .wav file in QT pro it says it is 6 channels. When you look at a file made by ST pro is says 5.1 (with the layout order) B. The PS3 engine and did not like the SD pro files I had created, and it doesn't like extensible wavs. C. When the ST Pro files were analyzed on the PC in a little Utilty app it saw them as extensible wav. D. Protools will not import these files, nor will any other mac app w/o having to convert them.

2.Be careful that the process you are doing is truly changing the track layout - vs - just renaming the channels. I've found this to be the case with a few apps I've used. From what I can tell an interleave file does not retain the channel information in-bedded in it. so if an app works in SMPTE order by default it will open a file that was output in PT in Film order (LCRLsRsLfe) and tell you that is is in SMPTE order (LRCLfeLsRs) when it really is not.

3.There is a cool app I just found called Wave Edit - although it does not make the extensible wav files it is a very powerful app/utility. Including the ability to easily change channel layout with in the file quickly and easily.

-e
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:55 PM
Noiz2 Noiz2 is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

This was actually mentioned in another post. STP only (at the moment) outputs multitrack audio in the EBU/ SMPTE layout and PT only out puts in the film standard. It would be very smart of both to have options. If I remember correctly you can rearrange the channels in STP and thus convert a PT 5.1 format to the SMPTE format.


Quote:
Hey,

I've been messing with interleave multi-channel wav files for a video game client quite a bit over the past few months. what I've learned:

1. SoundTrack Pro appears to make an extensbile wav format file. I don't know this for fact but the following results tell me so. A. when you analyze a standard .wav file in QT pro it says it is 6 channels. When you look at a file made by ST pro is says 5.1 (with the layout order) B. The PS3 engine and did not like the SD pro files I had created, and it doesn't like extensible wavs. C. When the ST Pro files were analyzed on the PC in a little Utilty app it saw them as extensible wav. D. Protools will not import these files, nor will any other mac app w/o having to convert them.

2.Be careful that the process you are doing is truly changing the track layout - vs - just renaming the channels. I've found this to be the case with a few apps I've used. From what I can tell an interleave file does not retain the channel information in-bedded in it. so if an app works in SMPTE order by default it will open a file that was output in PT in Film order (LCRLsRsLfe) and tell you that is is in SMPTE order (LRCLfeLsRs) when it really is not.

3.There is a cool app I just found called Wave Edit - although it does not make the extensible wav files it is a very powerful app/utility. Including the ability to easily change channel layout with in the file quickly and easily.

-e
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2007, 06:10 PM
Joe Mendelson Joe Mendelson is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

hey erik -

if you download that app that i linked in my previous post, it is actually a suite of utilities which you run in Terminal on the Mac. One of the utilities is just a file analyzer and it will tell you, more or less definitively, i think, what kind of file you have. but what you are describing sure makes it sound like STP is outputting Wave Format Extensible. which is weird, because its a Microsoft format, and STP is Apple...not to mention the fact that other programs, like PT, can't import it.
anyway, i will check out Wave Edit. sounds useful.
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2007, 09:09 AM
mgrimm mgrimm is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

It's worth testing more, but it seems that in Sound Forge 9 you can manually reorder the tracks simply by dragging each channel into a new SF file in the desired order. This is of course a PC solution, but if you're in game development your using one for authoring and implementation at the least.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2008, 03:04 AM
Aslak Mildh Aslak Mildh is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

Hi Joe

Used the app. with succes for a 5 projector video/art installation. Could only get to work on a cheap
soundblaster sound card as opposed to the DIGI Mbox Pro I had intended to use though.
Any feedback from client regarding hardware comp. would be much appreciated.

Aslak
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2008, 06:18 PM
Joe Mendelson Joe Mendelson is offline
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Default Re: Wave Format Extensible file format?

hi aslak -

this job was a while ago, and the only feedback i remember getting was that it worked and they were happy. my best recollection was that they had some kind of fancy stand alone hard disk A/V playback device which required the wave_ex format. it was also a multi-screen deal, for a pretty high end museum installation. sorry, that's all i remember. but as for your gig, the wave_ex format will most certainly NOT wok with PT, which would explain why it wouldn't work with your mbox pro. however, you could have used regular old wav files. would have had to have been mono in LE, but you could have routed them to as many outputs as the mbox pro has...
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