Can't import correctly 5.1 WAV and DSD (.dff) audio files


I’m using Windows 8.1 x64 and Audacity 2.1.0.

I have a 477MB WAV audio file that has 6 channels. I can play it with MPC-HC, VLC and any other player. But when I try to import it to Audacity, it happens what always happens when Audacity seems not to open a file correctly:

It does not even recognizes that it has 6 channels. Here’s the media info:

And this is what happens when I import it as RAW… data:

I even have to select manually the number of channels. In both situations, the audio is just noise, like pink noise. With the DSD (.dff) file I have the same problem. Actually, I don’t even know how to play a .dff file, cause MPC-HC neither VLC recognizes it.

What am I doing wrong?

DSF/DFF are file types for the Direct Stream Digital SA_CD format.

If you obtain a shared library of FFmpeg 2.3.x and point Audacity to it you may be able to import DSF. See

FFmpeg supports the standalone DTS format but it’s known that neither FFmpeg or libsndfile can import DTS encapsulated in WAV. You can compile Audacity with GStreamer support if you like - you can find details on audacity-devel. GStreamer can import DTS in WAV. GStreamer support is considered experimental but it may (possibly) be implemented in the Audacity release after next (2.1.2).

Alternatively you can transcode the WAV you have to linear PCM WAV. For example you can do that with Foobar2000 if you add the Foobar2000 DTS decoder.


Hi Gale, thanks.

I already have installed LAME 3.99.3 and FFMPEG 2.2.2. But as you said 2.3.x or newer, I downloaded this latest release:

I also downloaded version 2.3.6:

I still don’t know how to import the 6 channel WAV to Audacity. I’ve pointed in the library all the dll’s available, but the imports are the same wrong thing.

Did you convert the file with foobar2000?

Your original file is not a “regular” WAV file which would be uncompressed PCM. You have a DTS encoded WAV file (which is perfectly compliant but somewhat unusual). That’s also why RAW doesn’t work… Your raw data is DTS encoded and like any encoded/compressed audio data, it sounds like pure noise when played directly without the appropriate decoding.

You might have another issue with regular PCM WAV. There is a size limit (of GB or 4GB depending on which spec you read) and your uncompressed file may exceed the limit. If that happens, try converting to FLAC. BWF or RF64 are also possibilities, but I’m not 100% sure that FFMPEG supports these.

Thanks DVDdoug.

Yeah, I used foobar2000, but I don’t know If I’m doing something wrong. In any case, the resulting WAV file that Foobar2000 was creating had only 1 channel, stereo.

I don’t know how to convert this weird wav file to a 6 channel FLAC file.

And the WAV file can be played through MPC-HC with the K-Lite codec mega pack installed or VLC, but the .dff files can’t be even played through foobar2000 neither MPC-HC neither VLC.

I don’t know how to convert this weird wav file to a 6 channel FLAC file.

:frowning: I don’t know either… I’ve never had my hands on that type of file. I know that kind of file is used to make a DTS CD which really isn’t standard either… A DTS CD disc has to fake the CD/DVD player into thinking it’s playing a regular CD and then it relies on the receiver recognizing the digital audio stream as DTS and decoding it.

You might try [u]TAudioConverter[/u] which can convert between many different formats.

Or you can try [u]SUPER[/u] which converts between many audio and video formats. But if you try SUPER, beware that it wants to install crapware so be careful about what you click when you install it and maybe run your anti-virus or anti-malware after installing it.

AFAIK there isn’t any free conversion tool left. Even DSD players are commercial and are slowly abandoning DSD.

DSD is a bit of a scam. It is technically superior to PCM, but there are no DSD sources. Only a handful of studio’s have invested in DSD recording and they are mainly converting old analog master tapes to DSD. Only a very small number of studio’s are making real new DSD recordings, mostly classical music. The big guns (record companies) don’t do DSD. More than half of what you can find, are upsampled PCM recordings. And even if that may sound better than the original, the market is minimal.

And when it comes to multi channel DSD, it’s even worse. Channel allocation isn’t really standardized, and the recording method for 3 or more channels isn’t either. So multi-channel DSD will not make it to the living room…

Let’s face, 6 loudspeakers have a far lower WAF than 2, so most music lovers won’t get them. And most people are very happy with CD quality, so HD-audio is also only interesting for a very small group of people.

FFmpeg 2.3.x is the latest that works in Audacity for importing files. So FFmpeg 2.7 won’t work for import.

You have to point Audacity to “avformat-55.dll”.

Audacity with FFmpeg 2.3.x “should” import DSF. You might possibly need to convert your DFF to DSF using If you need help with that, ask here:

I do know that conversion of DTS WAV to PCM WAV retaining all six channels can be done in Foobar2000. If you can’t figure it out, ask here: If they give you a reply or point you to a tutorial, please post the link here.


Wow, I can see that. Indeed I’m starting to hate DSD files, they’re so incompatible.

The thing is that I’ve never listened to a 5.1 audio file in the music industry, and I just wanted to check what these 6 channel WAV and DFF files have in each channel. I’m so curious about it.

FWIW I just converted a 5.0 WAV containing DTS to 5.0 PCM WAV in Foobar2000. All I did was install the DTS component, choose WAV output and made sure no DSP to downmix to stereo was enabled. Audacity can play that file now.

But you have the Hydrogenaudio Forum link I gave you if you cannot get it to work.


Wow, that sounds great. But I can’t accomplish that. First, I download a dff decoder for foobar2000, and all I got is a .dll file that I don’t know how to use. I’ve been looking to the foobar2000’s preferences, but there’s no such a thing as “Decoder” menu where I can select a file extension and point the downloaded dll file.

I have been pointing you to solutions that I have read will work, but converting DFF to WAV in Foobar 2000 might work too. See Foobar2000:How to install a component. Audacity does not provide support for Foobar 2000. That is provided on Hydrogenaudio.


All right, thanks, now I’ve managed to play dff files in foobar2000 installing the component! Thank you Gale!

As I already knew how to add a decoder/encoder to Audacity, pointing Audacity to the dll file, I was unzipping the zip/rar files of the components, obtaining the dll files and not knowing how make foobar2000 to point to them. But it was as simple as not unzipping the components, you just select the zip file and foobar2000 adds the dll file automatically.

Now I’m gonna try to convert dff and the wierd wav to something audacity can work with. Thanks for all your help. :smiley:

YEAAAAAAAH!!! I’ve done it. Thank you GALE, you’re a God I definitely will pray to! :mrgreen:

PD: Once you added to foobar2000 the dff file (after installing the dff decoder componenrt), you just have to right-click the file, convert, Quick convert, then select WAV (that’s what I selected) and then convert. DONE!

A 6 channel WAV right there importable into Audacity.

Good. :wink:

Because of the weird 1-bit DSD format, converting to PCM from DSD isn’t completely lossless. So, conversion from DFF to DSF using the tool I mentioned should (as I understand) be lossless. But if you used that tool then imported the DSF into Audacity (pointed to FFmpeg 2.3), you would get the slight loss at that point.

As a reference point, that Foobar2000 DFF component does not seem to play DSF files.