Update: Turns out that the latest version of Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo has now fully integrated FLAC into its import/export scheme … as a result, I no longer need the following tools. Just export as a 2.0 or 5.1 file and you’re in biz. Life gets easier!

Two days ago, I knew nothing about making FLAC surround files and was quite intimidated. With the help of a few friends, I found two possible programs to check out. Here’s the process that I went through:

Mac: TwistedWave $79
PC: Foobar2000 and Foobar Encoder Pack Free

What is FLAC?

1. First off, I quickly realized that the key to making multichannel FLAC was to encode your mix as a single multichannel interleaved stream (so that you end up with a single 5.1 soundfile). Without this, nothing happens with any converter that I know of.

2. Now that you have your file, load it into the program. On Foobar (which I’ve finally chosen as my final converter), You right-click on the imported soundfile and choose “convert”. Make the proper settings (compression level 5 gives a 50% lossless data reduction). Then set your file destination and, BANG, you have a surround multichannel FLAC file that’s ready to play.

3. Metadata (tags) can be added to the soundfile using foobar or any preferred program for adding tags and the file’s ready for distribution.

Note: Those of you who have a 5.1 setup that can play FLAC, here’s a sample from Chamberland … enjoy and get back to me with your findings and thoughts.

Click here to download a surround FLAC example (note: must have the required codecs and audio setup)


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