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stereo to 5.1
Old 24th October 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
stereo to 5.1

Hello,

I'm quite new at mixing 5.1 commercials. Here's my question:

I did a stereo mix of a TV commercial. This spot is going to be played once in a movie theater. The client dosn't want the spot to be specially remixed to benefit the surround playback of the room. But the technical sheet of the event precisec that the spot should be sent in six files.

Is it better to bounce my project in 5.1 multi-mono leting 4 channels silent or should I add the mono content of the spot and place it on the center channel. So my mono information is on the L-R channels plus the Center channel.
Does that make sense or is ridiculous ??

Thanks for your advises
Old 24th October 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
here's a few choices to convert stereo to 5.1

Unwrap:
Introduction

SoundField:
SoundField: UPM-1 Stereo To 5.1 Converter

Penteo:
Penteo, LLC:Β The Cleanest 5.1 Surround Sound in the World
Old 25th October 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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reid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
And not forgetting Waves UM225 & UM226. I used them a couple of times for cheap(ish) and cheerful upmixes to surround and got acceptable results.

Wouldn't want to make a habit of it though - definitely not on a par with the real thing.
Old 25th October 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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jafbox's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
with alot of experimentation, i've actually found the results of the UM226 to be really good for upmixing music.
Old 26th October 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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neilwilkes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jafbox ➑️
with alot of experimentation, i've actually found the results of the UM226 to be really good for upmixing music.
No. You might mean "acceptable-ish" but no upmix is as good as a proper, discrete surround mix from the original source/multitracks.
Upmixes should carry a warning too - exact wording is recommended in the RPG ducuments, but should be something along the lines of
"The surround performance on this disc has been electronically simulated without the benefit of the original multitracks".
Now, having said this there are a very small number of people who can create convincing upmixes. They generally tend to do this by creating their own "multitracks" though, by means of various extractions from the stereo.
But speaking as a 5.1 mixer, this type of frankenstein surround when applied to music is doing much more harm to the format than it is good. There is nothing that can quite describe the horrible sinking feeling when you play a new 5.1 disc to discover it has been rapidly stuffed through Unwrap or something similar and is essentially "big stereo" and nothing remotely like true surround.
I feel ripped off every time this happens. If it happens to new arrivals in the surround scene, it will put them off.

To make matters even worse, there is a nasty habit these days of repurposing Dolby Digital files, for crying out loud! DD stereo to 5.1? Give me a break!
And for all those involved in the appalling practise of taking a film with a mono soundtrack & then attempting to put that into 5.1? Just stop. Now. It's not clever, and it's not desirable either - leave it alone.

Sorry to rant, but I hate upmixes.
Old 26th October 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ok guys,

But what if I don't want to benefit and remix my stereo in surround ??

My question is: Is it ok to send six discret files, which four of them will remain silent ?
I don't want to spend time remixing the spot, cause client dosn't want to pay for that service.
So is it ok to have only L and R sounding ? Or shoul I had the mono content, (that I would export with an MS plugins) and add this material to C.
My guess is will my mix benefit from the spread it will give, or will it ruined my balance knowing that mono will be doubled ??

Sorry...is this clear ?

What would you do please ?
Old 26th October 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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neilwilkes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjonsson ➑️
Ok guys,

But what if I don't want to benefit and remix my stereo in surround ??

My question is: Is it ok to send six discret files, which four of them will remain silent ?
I don't want to spend time remixing the spot, cause client dosn't want to pay for that service.
So is it ok to have only L and R sounding ? Or shoul I had the mono content, (that I would export with an MS plugins) and add this material to C.
My guess is will my mix benefit from the spread it will give, or will it ruined my balance knowing that mono will be doubled ??

Sorry...is this clear ?

What would you do please ?
Sorry - I ranted and did not answer. Please forgive.
I honestly do not really know what to suggest. If you and your client are categorical about not wanting a 5.1 stream, then perhaps it might be a good idea to call the theatre & check with them. I cannot see any serious flaw in your idea though - but I suspect it would be a good thing to check & be certain.

Summing the mono material to C channel will certainly alter the mix dynamic.
Other options available to you would be faux surround (via TC 6000 unwrap, or the Lexicon equivalent - I assume you will not have the "dedicated fake surround" boxes available) or else a Dolby ProLogic 2 file.
If you have a DPLII Decoder, you could slot this into your 5.1 master buss, and run the stereo mix through it & adjust the balance until you get a stream you are happy with. This method works just as well as most others & better than a lot of them.
Old 26th October 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Since its a spot (therefore short) and you have the original material, I would at least do a quicky L-C-R mix. Would probably take no longer than messing around with upmixing, and at least then you have the control.
Old 27th October 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ok guys,

Thank you. I realise it worth it at the minimum having the voiceover on C and not change anything on the rest of the stereo !

Thanks for your inputs
Old 27th October 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The client is king, but if it gets rejected by the distributor, you'll probably be blamed for it, so if there are delivery specs, it's a pretty good idea to follow them.

I assume this is for the advertisements that run before the trailers. I do quite a few of these and the distributors have been asking for 5.1 discreet and LT/RT prologic. They also ask for it to be mixed at a 79dB reference as the ads are playing at a lower level than trailers and the feature.

The funny thing is that according to Dolby, they play from a server to an aux input on the Dolby Cinema Processor. Unfortunately, I don't think they are monitored by the theater technicians as I have heard them play mono out the left front, mono out the right front, mono out the center and full 5.1. I've never heard them play stereo only, but who knows what they are doing once it's out of your hands. To be honest, I've only heard them play correctly in one AMC theater here in Los Angeles.

If you don't want to do a complete remix, make a mix minus VO or an M&E if you have dialog along with voice over. Put the VO/Dialog on a separate center channel and use the M&E for the Front L/R. I'd give them the M&E down 12 dB or so in the rears just so there is something there. Unless it's a big action promo with a lot of shots that might need the extra oomph, you can leave the LFE alone.
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hey thank you Rick,

It's a good idea you're giving to me there. I'll do that.
But let me ask you something else...

You are talking about 79dB. I assume it is dB leq M you are talking about.

Well I don't have possibility to measure it. I know my commercial mix sounds loud...I would say on a good average (meaning almost no dynamic

I have though measured its dB leq A weighted with AudioLeak. My result is -19.2 dBFS (with maximum peaks at -9dBFS).

Could this give me a clue on what's gonna be like on dB leq M ??

Thank you for your help, I sure appreciate it.
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwilkes ➑️
Other options available to you would be faux surround (via TC 6000 unwrap, or the Lexicon equivalent -
Logic 7..Noooooo....just say "Nooooooo". You can get seasick from the "swimmy" front image. Unwrap is much, much better.
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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neilwilkes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➑️
Logic 7..Noooooo....just say "Nooooooo". You can get seasick from the "swimmy" front image. Unwrap is much, much better.
Whoever said Logic 7?
Yuk - I am a Nuendo head.....
I meant the Lexicon 960L hardware box........
(sorry about the misunderstanding!)
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Jfriah's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjonsson ➑️
I don't want to spend time remixing the spot, cause client dosn't want to pay for that service.
You just found your own solution.

-Jeff
Old 28th October 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjonsson ➑️
Hey thank you Rick,

It's a good idea you're giving to me there. I'll do that.
But let me ask you something else...

You are talking about 79dB. I assume it is dB leq M you are talking about.

Well I don't have possibility to measure it. I know my commercial mix sounds loud...I would say on a good average (meaning almost no dynamic

I have though measured its dB leq A weighted with AudioLeak. My result is -19.2 dBFS (with maximum peaks at -9dBFS).

Could this give me a clue on what's gonna be like on dB leq M ??

Thank you for your help, I sure appreciate it.
Actually it's your monitoring level. There is a complete discussion of it on the stickies at the top of the forum. I tend to mix the theatrical ads with a bit more compression than I would do for a trailer, as they are played back at a lower level and people are talking and moving about in the theater during the ads. More like you'd do a television promo or commercial.
Old 29th October 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwilkes ➑️
Whoever said Logic 7?
Yuk - I am a Nuendo head.....
I meant the Lexicon 960L hardware box........
(sorry about the misunderstanding!)
Ha! Just couldn't resist <g>.
Old 29th October 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
jafbox's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwilkes ➑️
No. You might mean "acceptable-ish" but no upmix is as good as a proper, discrete surround mix from the original source/multitracks.
Upmixes should carry a warning too - exact wording is recommended in the RPG ducuments, but should be something along the lines of
"The surround performance on this disc has been electronically simulated without the benefit of the original multitracks".
Now, having said this there are a very small number of people who can create convincing upmixes. They generally tend to do this by creating their own "multitracks" though, by means of various extractions from the stereo.
But speaking as a 5.1 mixer, this type of frankenstein surround when applied to music is doing much more harm to the format than it is good. There is nothing that can quite describe the horrible sinking feeling when you play a new 5.1 disc to discover it has been rapidly stuffed through Unwrap or something similar and is essentially "big stereo" and nothing remotely like true surround.
I feel ripped off every time this happens. If it happens to new arrivals in the surround scene, it will put them off.

To make matters even worse, there is a nasty habit these days of repurposing Dolby Digital files, for crying out loud! DD stereo to 5.1? Give me a break!
And for all those involved in the appalling practise of taking a film with a mono soundtrack & then attempting to put that into 5.1? Just stop. Now. It's not clever, and it's not desirable either - leave it alone.

Sorry to rant, but I hate upmixes.

it depends i guess on how you approach the Um226. if you expect it to unwrap a music mix into discrete 5.1 channels, yes you will be disappointed. however if you approach it as more of an effect, which is what it is essentially, you will find it can yield interesting results on certain material.

i have found that source material that is heavily limited and/or electronic really opens up with careful filtering/surround delay and the UM226 actually adds to what is there in a positive way. acoustic and/or classic rock is a little tougher though. can tend to sound hollow..

i wouldnt ever upmix lets say, an album of music and call it surround mixed.. that would be silly. but for use as a tool in post, for situations where discrete in unavailable, i like alot.
Old 29th October 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
neilwilkes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➑️
Ha! Just couldn't resist <g>.
Out went the bait, and up I came like a brook trout.
Reeled in again

Nice one!
πŸ“ Reply

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