Multichannel Files

Microsofts wav file format allows up to 18 channells of interleaved audio (I think). RME’s digicheck can directly record multichannel files live. Is there any software that can open these files for basic editing, and then allow them to be saved in the original multichannel format. I’ve been Googling for about an hour with no success. Obviously Wavelab cant do this.


Depends what you mean by basic editing. I also use Sound Forge Pro 10 and it will currently import poly .wav files (such as generated by the Nagra VI or RME’s Global Record) and will do multi-channel (not multi-track) editing. Its mix-down facilities are rudimentary Samplitude and Sequoia will apparently likewise work with multi-channel files (I am about to look at the demo of Pro X). Pyramix (at another price level) also has this capability (according to a colleague).

Sound Devices Wave Agent Beta will allow you to separate a multi-channel file into components which WaveLab can enter normally. They can also be recombined if required. It can also produce a rudimentary mix by L/C/R channel assignment. RME has just released a similar to to support poly .wav recordings produced by its DirectUSB recording capability on the UFX, which I have just purchased and will be looking at ways to efficiently use that poly format in my workflow (up to about 12 channels)

Previous threads on this topic have indicated that multi-channel file capabilities for WL are under consideration - but PG has not given a recent update on any progress in this direction

Audition CS5.5 can open, edit and save multi-channel files (I haven’t tested the maximum channel count it works for); but it can’t create or record them, and if they are used in the multitrack view, they get folded down to stereo somehow (unless they are 6-channel, which is treated as 5.1). This is acknowledged to be work in progress, and more complete facilities are expected in the next version or two. At least I now have an affordable way to do spectral editing on my normal four-channel files.

SoundForge handles files of up to 64 channels - eighteen is simply the number of speaker positions that MS have thought of, not a limit on the number of channels in the format. MS say that speaker positions beyond 18 are reserved, but only because they haven’t defined them; but it is possible to use the WAV format with a different GUID and define the channel mask to mean something completely different, as is done in .AMB files containing ambisonic channel sets (NB: SoundForge rejects these because of the GUID; Audition recognises the GUID and opens them with a warning, but writes back with a standard GUID).


Thanks guys

I downloaded a demo of Soundforge after I posted so I know it does it. All I want to do is record my house kit as a BFD kit so I can add to any live drums after the fact. The files they use are 11 channel wav and the amount of editing I need is pretty minimal, just chopping up the files, checking the level for the hits, and checking the phase relationships between the mics. I’ve got Adobe Master so if Audition does it I might go for an upgrade as I’m on CS3. On the other hand I could try and use Kontakt to create the kit, or better still wait to use WL if it’s close tp implementing this.

I installed Sound Devices Wave Agent Beta, I have only given it a quick look but I think it might be good for a long file, though a bit time consuming for what I’m trying to do.

Nuendo will do this, as will Cubase.

I don’t think so Neil, not Cubase anyhow. It appears to let you edit the multichannel file but when you save (export) what appears to be a very different edited version and then open it again (import) the file is still the original version. I would love to be proved wrong though. The other thing is you can’t record an 11 channel file, though I can do this anyway with the RME software.

Looks like PT10 will do this, so problem solved.