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What audio option do you prefer for these films?
My FreeSurround 7.1 decoded upmixes
Hardware Dolby Atmos Surround/DTS Neural:X decoder (AVRs)
Purist Dolby Surround 4.0 decoders
Plain stereo playback
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Studio Ghibli Dolby Stereo decoded FreeSurround 7.1 upmixes

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FreeSurround is a surround decoding component for foobar2000 that sounds fantastic and even better than most Dolby decoders out there like the one with ffdshow, as ranked by this binaural experiments chart. foobar2000 can do up to 16.1 decoding, which is even more channels than the most common Dolby Atmos setup of 11.1, but I only upmixed to 7.1 as there is probably no way to encode homebrew Dolby Atmos mixes yet unless some brave soul decides to buy the Dolby Media Producer Suite.

I have put them up as FLAC 7.1 tracks as I do not have any knowledge on encoding with DTS-HD MA but feel free to make your own DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD versions. I will not upmix the audio to 16.1 unless some people really want them for whatever reason because I am working with limited disk space, a 16.1 mix would take up over twice the size as a 7.1 mix, and I am working with limited disk space.

The films included with purist 7.1 upmixes are:
- Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
- Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
- Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
- Only Yesterday (1991)
- Porco Rosso (1992)
- Pom Poko (1994)

As you can see, these films were originally in Dolby Stereo and the Blu-ray has these original mixes. I did not do 7.1 upmixes of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Ocean Waves because they are not Dolby Stereo (the first two are mono and the latter is stereo, and Cagliostro already has a 7.1 mix on the 4K UHD).

I did not do 7.1 upmixes of the later films either because the current surround mixes are already good enough, and their 2.0 mixes on Blu-ray are not the original Dolby Stereo SR mixes they were shown with but rather stereo downmixes made from the 5.0/5.1/6.1 discrete surround mixes.

Here is my Google Drive link with all of the Dolby Stereo upmixes:
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-26, 02:07 PM by Hydra Spectre.)
If you want to upmix a Dolby Stereo track, best way IMHO (and others here, too) is to use an hardware Dolby decoder (the older, the better) - for example the Dolby DSU4 is one that could be found quite easily at a low price nowadays - and leave the revamped Dolby Surround a.k.a. DSU or DTS Neural:X alone. Still, it will decode 4.0, as it should be. A 4.1 track would be good, too; but what to put into the .1? Center, or left and right, or all of them?

The 5.1 implies a stereo surround that was not in the original track; 7.1 adds to that another pair of surround channels.

AFAIK Freesurround is a good upmixer; still, even the best upmixer may only "guess" 7.1 channels from a Dolby Stereo track, unless it's encoded in 7.1, which, to my knowledge, should not be the case for movies, in particular to older one, but only for (few?) videogames.

Don't get me wrong, personally I'm grateful you did this project, and I'm pretty sure it will be appreciated by some (many?), BUT I would not call these tracks "purist 7.1 upmixes" - this definition is, simply put, wrong!

It's just a constructive critic - to me, you have only to call these track in a different way, that's it!

(sorry for the overly punctuality, I know I'm often a pain in the... neck!) Big Grin
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
Hello Hydra Spectre, I've seen you on the BD.com fourms.

FreeSurround is a good option and is one that separates sounds and places them in various channels. However, I found that when it upmixes a 2.0 source to 5.1+ it separates the sound field a bit too much and make things wispy with lots of ringing artifacts. I found a combination of Foobar's center cut - Sides, along with Audacity's Channel Mixer and Vocal Reduction and Isolation work the best, but it depends on the 2.0 mix even for the same movie.

An example is Flash Gordon (1980). The very first Image DVD uses a LD master Universal made from an IP and has the Dolby Stereo mix in a 2.0 container. When I use Audacity's Channel Mixer at Mid-Side Decode on a dupe of the LR track, it gives me a clean center on the left channel that I fold down to mono and discard the right. Then Vocal Reduction and Isolation gets used on another 2.0 dupe to remove the center channel and bring out the rears. StudioCanal's recent 4k master also has the Dolby Stereo mix, but their sound element was not transferred correctly and dialog bleeds in all channels even on the 5.1 upmix.

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