Nowadays in 2009 almost everyone has a LCD or Plasma television and with huge amount of
movies on DVD, most people want to hear the sound in the quality that suits the screens.
And so a 5.1 receiver is soon added to get a decent Home Theater System (HTS) and enjoy
the movies in their full glory.
There is however a problem with playing stereo music on a HTS, because the needed setup
for your speakers is different for stereo and for 5.1. Most people have their left and right
speaker right next to the screen, which is absolutely not ideal for stereo music. There a
setup with the speakers wider from each other is preferred. Despite several attempts
with hardware solutions on the receiver, the result is not very satisfying. On the
"hardware vs software" page we will explain this further.
In the late 90's DTSOnline came with what was then the ultimate solution : DTS CD's .
Music mixed in the studio in 5.1 that sounded excellent on a HTS. Great examples of these
DTS CD's were Alan Parsons' "On Air", Sting's "A Brand New Day" and several others.
Unfortunately DTSOnline stopped making them in 2000 and some other companies soon stopped
too. With the introduction of SACD and DVDA the 5.1 music on HTS wasn't lost but unfortunate-
ly for SACD you needed a new player and for DVDA you could use your normal DVD-player to
listen to the 5.1 surround, but for the real quality you needed a real DVDA player. And back
then those players were not cheap !
Nowadays you can buy for under $200 a player that can play SACD, DVDA and DTS CD.
But there are still problems, because it fully depends on the recordcompanies if they want to
remaster the original sound from mastertapes into 5.1 and unluckily you will notice that that
favorite stereo CD you have, is not done by them !
This site will provide the solution ! You can learn here to convert your stereo CD's into real
5.1 surround suitable for DTS CD, DVD or DVDA.
In 1998 I received a surround 5.1 DTS CD from a friend from Argentina. I kept it till 1999 when I
bought my first surround receiver with the release of Alan Parsons'excellent "On Air" album in
5.1 DTS. I remembered the homemade disc, played it and ...... was hooked. I contacted the
fellow who made it but unfortunataly that was the only album he ever did and could only give
some very minimal guidelines how to make one myself. After a lot of puzzling and trying I
managed to do it myself with Cooledit and the Ambisonics Aurora Tools. I made a guide for it
and published it on Doom9, where it became the most visited thread in the audio section. It was
a huge succes and there I met my partner in The Dynamic Duo : Kempfand. From the beginning
there was a "click" between us and we decided to develop other methods together.
10 Years later now we're still busy with inventing new methods. Kempfand developed as the
technical genius behind the methods and I acted as criticaster of what he developed and as
inspiration for exploring new horizons with sometimes the most crazy ideas. Our first methods
were mainly based on Ambisonics and some on a slight bit of separation. With the coming of
new tools that we could implement in our methods, we developed the first real separation
method that delivered discrete channels. In one of our latest methods we found a way to
combine Ambisonics with separation, which gives almost perfect results.
The journey doesn't end here ! We will go on developing, but as almost everything we wanted, is
already developed, things go slower than in the beginning, when we had a new method almost
So visit this site regularly to see if we made something new !!
When you talk with people about making surround out of stereo with software, a lot reply by
saying : "I have Prologic 2 or Neo-6 on my receiver , so why should I ?"
There are several answers possible to this question :
- You cannot let your friend listen to it at his home on his non Prologic2 receiver.
- Prologic doesn't work on every stereo CD as good.
- Prologic does the same trick on every stereo CD, which makes it boring in the end.
- I can make my own surround DVD's and DVDA's !
- It's just nice to create something myself instead of presets by hardware !
- It's just a hobby !
Most don't get convinced by these answers and the only thing that rests then is to do a
comparison between his prologic receiver and your creation. A good handmade stereo to sur-
round conversion will beat the presets in the receiver !
Perhaps you think I say this because I'm biased ?
Well, of course I am, but I am biased because with 30 or more different methods, there will
always be one that beats everything and gives a damned good convincing surround sound !
Of course there are also disadvantages...... :
- You need to learn how to do it, which takes it's time !
- Although the guides are dummy-proof, some are difficult to learn and use !
- You need to invest in software !
BUT.... when you listen to your first own conversion, you will be proud ! and...... hooked !
With every guide we will describe which software you need and if it is freeware or
commercial software. Freeware will be as much as possible dowloadable right from the
guide. Of course we also place a link to the creators website. For commercial software
a link will always be placed.
There is however one program that you need for every guide and that's PLOGUE BIDULE.
This program is still beta-software and whenever they made a new beta version, you can
download a free full functional trial from their website. It's a MUST that you always
obtain the latest version, because some methods that worked in the 2007 version, won't
work in the latest without a lot of adjustments !
Converting stereo to surround is not a process that can be done without learning.
Unfortunately there is not a simple program where you put in stereo and get out
surround. You need to invest some time in getting to know Plogue Bidule and we
help you through it. The best way to use the site is to start with the 2 learning
guides, in which we teach you the ins and outs of Plogue Bidule. After that you
have enough knowledge to make simple adjustments in the published methods and
know how to use them. After your way through the learning guides, we advice you
to start using methods from the start. So : first try the first method...
When you move directly to the last methods, they might seem too difficult and a
lot of the needed software isn't there. We placed as much software in the first
guide and if similar software is needed in others, we won't repeat it in the
other guides. It takes you longer to get to the best methods, but some elements
of all methods are common and need some (minor) learning too.
If you're stuck or need advice : become a member of the forum ! The forum will
grow into a valuable place , with tips, new methods, new found VST's, help and
advice and where you can discuss how you converted an album into surround.
We wish you a lot of pleasure !