Question about 5.1 audio

richard-b wrote on 12/24/2019, 8:58 AM

Please could you bring me up to date with using 5.1 audio.

I remember reading that back long ago when Vegas Pro was a Sony product it had a Dolby rendering option which could render Dolby Pro 5.1 AC3 audio, which could then be used directly in DVD Architect to make Blu-ray disks with 5.1 sound. I don't know the version number of Vegas at that point.

Then when Magix acquired Vegas Pro the feature was dropped, I imagine there were licensing difficulties or excessive costs.

Does Vegas Pro 17 now have this feature again? Can it import media with 5.1 audio and render it so that DVD Architect can make Blu-ray disks with 5.1 sound without re-encoding it all? Is this now a standard feature? (I have been looking at the specs of V17 and I see a mention of 5.1 sound but it isn't clear to me if it now again does what I think the old Sony version did?

I hope I have explained my question properly, I am not an expert at this complicated subject. Thanks.



bitman wrote on 12/24/2019, 9:54 AM

@richard-b 5.1 ac3 audio is possible with Vegas 16 and 17, but it is not so straightforward.

With all the development of HW accelerated video rendering by GPU (e.g. NVIDEA or INTEL), audio development and support seems to be halted by the industry in favour of video (and rendering in mere stereo). I do not know why, or I maybe it is because the driving force nowadays is mobile phones with their tiny screens and their obvious stereo only.

Anyways enough rant, the only way you can make use of HW video rendering and have 5.1 ac3 sound is as follows (as far as I know):

step 1) make 5.1 project, place your soundsources to have 5.1 (you can listen to it while playing on the timeline (if your PC has a 5.1 soundsystem connected that is),

Step 2) next render out your video given one of the HW accelerated templates (the format will be in stereo),

step 3) next render your project again for the audio only (use a 5.1 dolby template).

step 4) If that is finished you can merge (=mux) the two rendered files together in an external application such as ffmpeg.

Note that it is probably possible to skip step 4 and use the 2 files in DVD architect, not sure on that one, I do not use DVD's, I only produce media files for streaming in a player.


Last changed by bitman on 12/24/2019, 9:56 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

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fr0sty wrote on 12/24/2019, 11:01 AM

There are things about the BD audio format that I really miss... uncompressed 8 channel 24 bit audio, for instance, I would LOVE to be able to take recordings of my band, make a nice surround mix in Vegas (which has all the tools needed for surround panning, automation, etc), render out 8 mono wav files of each channel's output, send that into DVDA, and it then authors a DVD Audio disc for me.

However, I know disc formats are dead, and beyond what DVDA can currently do, I do not see Magix taking any interest in devoting resources to upgrades.

It would be nice if someone would pull the industry together to develop a format that supports uncompressed, hi-res multichannel audio in one file, and can be read by all audio players. Something like DTS Master audio, but openly accepted by all hardware manufacturers... even cars. Until then, BD Audio (or just putting multichannel audio in with a BD video file) is about the only way I can see to do it and other people be able to easily play it back.

Dot wrote on 12/24/2019, 11:01 AM

But V17 does not provide for Dolby Pro 5.1, correct? It only has Magix version of AC3.

richard-b wrote on 12/24/2019, 11:10 AM

But V17 does not provide for Dolby Pro 5.1, correct? It only has Magix version of AC3.

So can Vegas Pro 17 render a Magix version of an AC3 file with 5.1 sound and can DVD Architect happily accept that file just like it used to accept the Dolby AC3 5.1 file long ago (without re-rendering)?

rraud wrote on 12/24/2019, 4:07 PM

SCS versions of DVD Arc had Dolby Pro. Magix versions do not.

The recent AC-3 thread may be if interest.

richard-b wrote on 12/24/2019, 4:27 PM

Thanks for the replies but I'm still rather confused.

@bitman says it is possible by a convoluted route, but says one uses a Dolby template, although @Dot says there isn't a Dolby template. Also @bitman is unsure if this will work with DVD Architect.

@rraud confirms there is no Dolby 5.1 encoding, but gave an interesting link. But the conclusion of that link implies there may be a way to adjust the software to do it using an old file, however even then it isn't clear if that works with Vegas Pro 17.

Although I know there is little interest now in optical media, surely I can't be the only person who wants a simple solution to encoding audio and video which is 5.1 and making a Blu-ray disk.

I'm beginning to think the only solution is an old version of SCS Vegas Pro.

What other software is there in the world that can do this seemingly simple task?



Dot wrote on 12/24/2019, 4:48 PM

If you have an older version you can import the audio into it and create the AC3 file. I still use V12 so I don't have a problem.


fr0sty wrote on 12/24/2019, 4:56 PM

Just output mono wav files from each channe's output (there's an option to in the wav export) and use this:


Joelson_Forte wrote on 12/24/2019, 9:30 PM


Dolby Digital AC3 Pro was taken from Vegas. But Dolby Digital AC3 Studio no.

Dolby Digital AC3 Studio 5.1 audio rendered in Vegas Pro 17 is fully compatible with MAGIX's DVD Architect Build 84 and Build 100 and it will not be necessary for Dvd Architect to do a new compression

You can also get 5.1 audio in Vegas Pro 17 by rendering audio to PCM format. DVD Architect is also fully compatible with this format and it will not be necessary for Dvd Architect to do a new compression. The only disadvantage of PCM audio is the file size.

Hope this helps and get your questions answered. For me it works well. Maybe I am lucky.

fr0sty wrote on 12/24/2019, 10:26 PM

Good to see that the 5.1 surround options are just hidden when not in 5.1 mode.

If you want to burn uncompressed 5.1 audio to blu-ray, you can mix your audio into a multi-channel WAV file (24 bit 96000hz 6 channels), then export it using Vegas (make sure you are exporting one wav file with all the channels in it, not separate mono wav files for each channel). Then you can edit video in vegas to go along with that audio, and export it as a blu-ray video stream, no audio. Then import the video stream into TSMuxer, then your multi-channel audio file you created, and mux them into a blu-ray ISO. You can then use DVDA to load the ISO and burn the disc (burn from previously prepared project), and you've got 5.1 channel 24 bit 96khz uncompressed surround sound with 1080p video. No menus, unfortunately, but it does work.

I have not yet tried to do this in DVD Architect, hopefully it does support the multichannel wav audio without recompression, then you could do the above with menus, etc.

richard-b wrote on 12/25/2019, 2:19 AM

Thanks everyone. I conclude from @Joelson_Forte that the Dolby Digital AC3 Studio which is included has 5.1 included in it and the output from that is compatible with DVD Architect, so that will be an easy way to do it.

And @fr0sty has given another method which may work with DVD Architect.

My needs are simple and I have no idea what extra options were available in the Dolby Pro encoders but I'm sure I would never have needed them. All I need is straightforward 5.1 through to Blu-ray and it is good that this is available again.

rraud wrote on 12/25/2019, 9:07 AM
rraud confirms there is no Dolby 5.1 encoding

I stated that Magix no longer included the Dolby Pro AC-3 encoder with DVD Architect. Multi-channel encoding is still an option.

richard-b wrote on 12/25/2019, 9:40 AM
rraud confirms there is no Dolby 5.1 encoding

I stated that Magix no longer included the Dolby Pro AC-3 encoder with DVD Architect. Multi-channel encoding is still an option.

Yes, I had been taking the "Pro" version to imply 5.1 and the non-pro version to not have it.

I now understand that the non-pro version does now have 5.1. (I don't think it used to?)


Film_Digital wrote on 1/21/2020, 1:51 PM

I use the "non consumer" version of Dolby to tune the sound parameters; in other words, 5.1 might be nice down the road but the ability to tune parms for voice, music, etc. etc. is quite valuable. This is, of course, no longer possible. Summary of my experience to attempt to get that functionality: 1) The "trick" of adding acplug etc. stopped working effective V17 (yes, I did it for V16 and it worked just fine). V17 immediately aborts when loading so it is no longer a viable solution. (Anyone au contraire please let me know 'cause that means I messed something up.) 2) The EncWAV to AC3 (a source is still works under Win10 despite the fact that the Aften foundation appears to no longer be in development. Just be sure to select the "right" engine (I think anything but the default; I've only tried Aften64 SSE3) as the default engine of Aften does not work under Win 10. UPDATE: tried trick again and it works! Messed up something 1st time around; success the second time. Now have two ways of ac3ing!

andreas-georgiou wrote on 2/28/2020, 11:13 AM

Latest Update of pro 17 b421 has broken ac-3 support all my projects are now silent, they played fine in version 16 and played fine in 17 build 381? I think. Although b381 had broken mvc/avc s3D import and editing.

s3D (Stereoscopic 3D) played at 23fps at preview quarter settings, now in 17 pro B421 plays back silent at 1.2fps on the same system.

Why do we pay for a pro software which seems to break functionality?

Has anyone reported this AC-3 broken issue to support?