[MPA] Multichannel Interleaving

Luke Snarl luke at snarl.org
Thu Dec 11 16:54:44 PST 2003

the spec for WAV and AIFF and similar allows for any number of channels 
of audio as specified by a number in the header of the file.

most people only think of mono and stereo but you can of course have as 
many channels as you like.

A place I used to work in the past we commonly used 6-channel audio 
files. Or 8.

Basically they are interleaved 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc

Its up to your apps that use them to adhere to a standard way of 
choosing what channel number is for what. Typically however L=1 and R=2 
and everything after that needs to be agreed upon by all users of the 

We were doing 5.1 surround stuff and I seem to remember (it was like 5 
yrs ago) that there were two standards for where the channels went:

one was L, R, Ls, Rs, Center, Sub and the other was L, C, R, Rs, Sub, 
Ls I think (which goes against the L=1 and R=2 thing but its kinda 
clockwise round the room....)

anyhow hope that helps....

have fun!
Sub Bass Snarl sound system
Sydney, Australia

On Thursday, December 11, 2003, at 12:38 PM, quicktimeguy at hotmail.com 

> Does anyone know how audio with more than 2 channels is interleaved? 
> Stereo audio is usually interleaved like this:
> L R L R L R L R
> with a left sample coming first, followed by a right sample, etc.
> With more than two channels, though, how does it go?
> For four channel audio, say, is it
> L 2 3 R L 2 3 R
> or is it
> L R 3 4 L R 3 4
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