The SurroundByUs Newsletter
Issue #2 Winter 2010
In this issue:
• Introducing Audiomuxer!
• Development update for Mac users – your help is needed!
• Future SPEC and automation updates
• Forum cleanup and Wiki harvesting
• SPEC setup pratfalls
Welcome to our second SBU newsletter. We will be continuing to publish these newsletter and distribute them to registered forum members at least four times a year in order to summarize new developments in the world of stereo-to-surround, especially for those of you who are not regular visitors to our site. Our goal is to keep you interested and involved in the life of the forum, and for you not to miss out on forum developments.
Since our last newsletter in the fall, we have grown to over 500 registered members, and have maintained a steady flow of traffic and interest in the forum. Our analysis of the forum through the wonderful Google Analytics application shows us that people have found SBU through a variety of websites and keyword searches. We have also been successful in peaking your interest, as our “bounce rate” of people who look at one page and then leave is low. We want to thank you again for your support and hope to hear from more of you.Introducing Audiomuxer!
Our most exciting development since the last newsletter is the launch of Audiomuxer, a free software tool developed by Pl4yitLOUD which helps simplify the process of creating multichannel CDs, DVDs, and BluRay Audio discs. Audiomuxer can generate DVD, MPG or MKV files from a selection of MP3, Flac, (multi-channel) Wav, LPCM, DTSWav, DTS, DTS Master Audio, DTS Hi-Res, or AC3 audio tracks.
MKV files can be exported to AVCHD or Blu-ray, and an ISO file can be created from the DVD, AVCHD or Blu-ray structure. Audiomuxer can also be used to convert MP3, Flac, (multi-channel) Wav, LPCM, DTSWav, DTS, DTS Master Audio, DTS Hi-Res, AC3, TrueHD, or MLP audio files to AC3, DTS, LPCM/Mono-wav or Flac files.
Audio tracks can be split with a CUE sheet and images can be selected that will be shown during playback. These images can be encoded in a NTSC/PAL or HD 720p/1080p video format.
We hope that you give Audiomuxer a try, give Pl4yitLOUD feedback as to how to make it even better, and spread the word. We feel its application can go beyond the world of stereo-to-surround and have a use for all multichannel music enthusiasts.Development update for Mac users
SBU’s main mad scientist, Zeerround, has been hard at work on attempting to both port SPEC over to the Mac OSX operating system, as well as developing a solid, low-cost workflow for Mac users to be able to go from stereo to surround. While strides have been made, there are some challenges we are facing before being able to launch Mac support. One of them is lack of beta testers for SPEC on the Mac. If you are a Mac owner, and are interested in helping further test software compatibility (or you know someone who is and would like to upmix their favorite music), please let one of us know. Your help will be greatly appreciated.Future SPEC and automation updates
We are close to launching an update to SPEC, as well as a brand new automation method, which we are calling ZAG, which promises to be the easiest automated gain calculation method yet and actually does away completely with the gain calculation spreadsheet. The new version of SPEC gives the user additional control over center, front, and rear widths utilizing ArcTan, which will continue to provide for more control over where vocals and instruments get placed in the soundfield. We’ve extensively beta tested the update and can promise SPEC users they will be extremely pleased with what they hear.Forum cleanup and Wiki harvesting
We’ve been somewhat delayed on launching what we intend to be a periodic cleanup process with the forum in order to make information that may have become buried within threads easily visible and accessible. This will result in an expanded Wiki section. It may also result, however, in some past member posts being dropped from the forum in order to make access to information easier. If, moving forward, your single-smiley reply to an important piece of information is no longer there, this is the reason why.SPEC setup pratfalls
The initial setup of SPEC is probably the most common troubleshooting question we are encountering. We are finding that, while the guide we’ve provided is detailed, new users are often missing certain steps which affect their ability to install the programs. While we are always willing to help, and absolutely live by the “there is no such thing as a stupid question” adage, we ask that you please take a very close look as to whether you have followed every step in the guide before posting that SPEC is not working. From experience, we can honestly say that, once you get the hang of setup, converting with SPEC becomes a much easier process.
Thanks again for your support. See you in the coming months with whatever the next few months may bring in the surround world.River161 @ SurroundByUs
The SurroundByUs Newsletter is published minimum once seasonably and distributed via forum post and email to all subscribed members at www.surroundbyus.com.