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Forums Audio Engineering Multi-channel AES/EBU to consumer digital surround converter?

  • Multi-channel AES/EBU to consumer digital surround converter?

  • Marco Solorio

    August 19, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Hi all,

    I’ve been Googling around to see if there’s a converter for this, but no luck. I’m hoping someone might know of a black box that will do the trick. I basically want to input four pairs of AES/EBU digital audio (multi-channel as 5.1 or 7.1) and convert it to consumer digital audio (fiber or coax) as a single 5.1 or 7.1 stream. This is purely for monitoring, so nothing too crazy is required.

    Input: 8 channels (4 pairs) of 110Ω AES/EBU XLR or 75Ω BNC
    Output: Single consumer Fiber Optic TOSLINK or Caoxial S/PDIF 5.1/7.1 surround stream.

    Am I dreaming?

    Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | Codec Resource Site | Cinesoft | Media Batch

  • Jean-Christophe Boulay

    August 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I don’t know of any device that would do what you want in the direction you want. TOSLink-to-AES is more common in QA products. If anyone could get you a definitive answer for that, it would probably be a Dolby pro audio rep. It’s right up their alley, though the Dolby devices I know don’t have the consumer optical output. Chances are such a device would pretty darn pricey, too. It can’t hurt to try, as I’ve always had great experiences with Dolby pro audio reps.

    You can find the closest Dolby offices here:

    If I had to mount such a system, it would probably imply a dedicated computer, some Dolby encoding software and two audio interfaces. Not to mention a few headaches and late nights. I haven’t done the research to confirm it would even work, though.

    Good hunting, Marco!

    JC Boulay
    Audio Z
    Montreal, Canada

  • Jeff Mack

    September 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Not dreaming at all. Try this

    I use these (two of em) to get my 5.1 audio out of my MBPro and final cut pro into my home theater receiver. You also need 4 transformers like this


    P.S. about $800 total

  • Marco Solorio

    September 30, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Many thanks for the reply. This looks very close to what I need. Funny thing too is that we’re an “AJA facility” utilizing much of their hardware (Kona 3s, Ios, converters, et al) but I’ve never seen this converter of theirs before!

    So how are you using two of them to sum to a single 5.1/7.1 feed/stream to your surround receiver?


    Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | Codec Resource Site | Cinesoft | Media Batch

  • Marco Solorio

    September 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the reply, JC. But if I had to use a Dolby transcoder device for this, my fear is that the cost of such a device of theirs would cost more than my ProTools HD system! :-O

    Thanks again.

    Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | Codec Resource Site | Cinesoft | Media Batch

  • Jeff Mack

    September 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Marco,

    I am a videographer and do a lot of concert videos. I get my audio mixed into discrete 5.1 channels and put them on my final cut pro timeline. I then map the output of the 6 channels on my timeline to my IOHD (AJA product) and output via AES/EBU since the IOHD only has 4 analog outputs. This way with 8 digital outs, I actually put the 5.1 files mapped to 5.1 outs and then an HD PCM stereo for the other two digital outs and then in Final cut pro I can mute the 5.1 and hear stereo or vica versa. You have to watch your pad on output though.


  • Marco Solorio

    September 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Yup, I understand the discreet digital output part from FCP. We’re outputting from a couple of Kona 3s (using the K3 breakout boxes) via its AES/EBU ports as separated channels.

    What I don’t understand is how you’re then taking those individual digital outputs, inputting them into the two ADA4 boxes and summing to a single 5.1 or 7.1 digital output to then input into, say, a surround receiver with a single digital coax input.

    Thanks again,

    Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | Codec Resource Site | Cinesoft | Media Batch

  • Jeff Mack

    September 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm


    Forgot to mention the converter comes with a d sub breakout cable. On the one end of the box you input the d sub connector. The other end of the d sub connector are 8 xlr connectors ( 4 in and 4 out) With two converters you get 8 in and 8 out. You plug the transformers onto the xlr and then the bnc for the aes into your interface (kona) or in my case the IOHD. So in your case, I believe the kona 3 comes with similar breakout cable. The xlr out should carry two channels. I do not know how to deal with that. Now I am getting confused.

    My workflow is:

    MBPro to IOHD. IOHD 4 digital AES outs to transformer. Transformer to xlr to d sub cable which takes two channels and splits into 4 outputs. Since I have two converters, I get 6 analog ouputs. I map outputs in final cut pro timeline to each aes output on IOHD. What comes out on other end are 8 discrete channel. My receiver has 8 discrete inputs (I use an xlr to RCA cable.

    Hope this helps.


  • Marco Solorio

    September 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks again for the reply. I see what you’re doing, and unfortunately this is different than the workflow I’m trying to do.

    You’re taking the individual digital outputs from the AJA device and converting them to individual analog outputs, then inputting them into your receiver as individual 5.1/7.1 analog inputs.

    What I’m trying to do is take those individual digital output from the Kona3 and mux them into a single digital stream so that it can then be connected to a 5.1 or 7.1 digital coax input (like a surround receiver or any other device that accepts a single surround digital input). For example, the digital coax output on any DVD player is a single 5.1/7.1 digital stream. That’s the kind of stream I’m trying to convert to from my Kona’s digital outputs.


    Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | Codec Resource Site | Cinesoft | Media Batch

  • Jeff Mack

    September 30, 2009 at 10:31 pm


    I don’t know any receiver with 1 aes input. Are you sure your stream would not be a dolby encoded signal or DTS? Either way, I don’t know of an aes into a receiver. They have optical inthat can take 8 channels and hdmi


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