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How to convert Dolby DD5.1 to stereo

I’ll just cover the main points, the hardest part was to find appropriate software and to figure which sound channels to keep, the rest is just fairly trivial and usual stuff.

Get Audacity and the FFmpeg library (needed to import from usual video formats like MKV – for Audacity 2.0.6 pick ffmpeg-win-2.2.2.exe)
http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#ffdown
http://lame.buanzo.org/#lamewindl

Import the video file into Audacity (or audio, if you already have it as a separate file).

If the channels/tracks aren’t split already (in the MKV file I had, they were), split all channels to mono.

Keep channels 1 and 2 (remove 3, 4, 5 and 6). NB: apparently in some cases channel 3 should be kept instead of 2 – check them to be sure you keep the good one. In my case, the audio track visualizations showed that track 3 was obviously too different from track 1 to be the other side, so track 2 was good.

I’m not sure it’s mandatory but it doesn’t cost anything to do anyway: merge the 2 tracks you kept into one stereo track. To do so, select both, click one of the tracks’ drop-down menu and select “Make stereo track”. If you have trouble finding it, here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz23hdW9sWc

Export in whatever format you want. As of today, Audacity can’t export in Opus, so I chose to export in FLAC, and then I used fre:ac to convert from FLAC to Opus.

Source (for more details and some screenshots): http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/336694-Simple-Guide-How-to-convert-DD5-1-AC-3-448-640-to-stereo
Also, for the reverse operation (stereo to DD5.1, which seems quite pointless to me though, but still interesting to read): http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/335904-How-to-Convert-2-channel-stereo-wave-into-DD5-1-AC3-448-AC-640

Posted in multimedia, open source.


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