GenWav6: Multichannel 5.1 and Stereo Wave File Creation Utility

GenWav6.exe is a C# console application for Windows that creates a 6 channel or 2 channel uncompressed wav file for testing purposes with the following characteristics: Multichannel test wave files are useful for troubleshooting and testing multichannel audio equipment including sound cards. They are also useful in understanding multichannel busing architecture (for example studying the Creative Audio Creation Mode Console signal routing).

Download GenWav6 Version (19,776 bytes .NET 2+, Digitally Signed)

To use GenWav6 the .NET 2 or higher runtime environment must be installed if the OS is lower than Vista. The application installs no other files and provided that the .NET runtine environment is available, executes with no other dependencies. GenWav6 is executed from a console window. The command takes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 arguments (representing the frequency and amplitude of FL, FR, C, Sub and RL, RR channels in this order). For the 5.1 creation case, the arguments must be specified in pairs. If fewer than 12 arguments are specified, the remaining channels are set to zero amplitude in the output file. For the stereo creation case, exactly 4 arguments must be specified, the frequency and amplitude of the FL and FR channels. The frequency of the tone can be specified up to half the sampling frequency, and can be different for each channel (including the left and right channels of stereo). For a signed 24 bit value, the amplitude range is 0 to 8388607. For a signed 16 bit value, the range is 0 to 32767. The user is prompted for the number of output channels (2 or 6), the bit size (16 or 24), the sampling frequency (44100, 48000 , 96000 or 192000) in Hz and the file duration (up to 120 seconds). The application then synthesizes the sine-wave data and writes out either a 2 channel stereo or 6 channel wav file in standard RIFF WAV file format (see format details below). The wav file should be compatible with all applications capable of reading standard stereo or multichannel RIFF wav files at 16 or 24 bit and 44.1, 48, 96 or 192 kHz.

Typical command line invocations with the command response dialog follows for both 6 channel and stereo output cases. The wav file generated is assigned a name that is a concatenation of the bit-size, sampling frequency and the 2 or 6 frequencies specified:

6 Channel 5.1 Creation Example

genwav6 164.81 3000000 220 3000000 277.18 3000000 110 3000000 329.63 3000000 440 3000000

Enter the number of output channels (2 or 6) :

Enter bit size of samples (16 or 24) :

Enter sampling frequency in Hz (44100 or 48000 or 96000):

Enter time duration of wav file (maximum is 120 sec):

Finished calculating sine wave data
Writing 6 channel wav file with 384000 samples  (6912000 bytes)...

FL:     Frequency:  164.81 Hz   Amplitude:  3000000
FR:     Frequency:  220 Hz      Amplitude:  3000000
C:      Frequency:  277.18 Hz   Amplitude:  3000000
Sub:    Frequency:  110 Hz      Amplitude:  3000000
RL:     Frequency:  329.63 Hz   Amplitude:  3000000
RR:     Frequency:  440 Hz      Amplitude:  3000000

Wrote 24 bit 96000 kHz sample rate uncompressed 6 channel wav file:

Stereo Creation Example

genwav6 164.81 30000  220 30000

Enter the number of output channels (2 or 6) :

Enter bit size of samples (16 or 24) :

Enter sampling frequency in Hz (44100 or 48000 or 96000):

Enter time duration of wav file (maximum is 120 sec):

Finished calculating sine wave data
Writing 2 channel wav file with 88200 samples  (352800 bytes)...

FL:     Frequency:  164.81 Hz   Amplitude:  30000
FR:     Frequency:  220 Hz      Amplitude:  30000

Wrote 16 bit 44100 kHz sample rate uncompressed 2 channel wav file:
The 5.1 multichannel example above corresponds to the basic Amaj chord with each note specified as having equal digital amplitude of about 36% peak digital value. The screen shot below shows this wav file being played with the Creative MediaSource 5.26.02 Player and the same amplitude for each channel as displayed in Creative Audio Creation Console (ACC) monitor with identical input level settings (although each is at a different frequency). Although the wav file specifies which data samples are intended for each output "channel", using the Multi-Channel Wav tab in the ACC provides the capability to remap any of the audio source channels specified in the wav file to any combination of sound-card output channels. This is handy for retargeting different output channels than those specified in the 5.1wav file.

The screen shot below shows the digital audio data for the first few cycles of the Amaj chord sample above as viewed with Nero WaveEditor 3.10. The 6 channels are displayed from top to bottom in the order interleaved in the wav data section, i.e. FL, FR, C, Sub, RL, RR:

The 5.1 multichannel wav files created with GenWav6 can be copied to USB or CD/DVD data discs as test files. The 24 bit 48 kHz 5.1 wav files can be directly used as uncompressed audio tracks on DVD-Audio discs (with a bit rate of 6.912 Mbps). However the 24 bit 96 kHz 5.1 wav files with a data bit rate of 13.824 Mbps cannot be used directly as uncompressed DVD-Audio tracks and must be MLP encoded. Stereo wav files up to 192 kHz and 24 bits are supported in the DVD-Audio format.

File Format Details

Genwav6 writes RIFF wave files with the following properties. After writing out the initial RIFFWAVEfmt characters,


Split6: 5.1 to Stereo or Mono Wav File Splitter
Mos6: Mono and Stereo to 5.1 Wav File Converter
Multiple Channel Audio Data and WAVE Files
WAVEFORMATEX documentation