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Old 02-15-2000, 08:17 PM
Pepperland Pepperland is offline
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Default Pro Logic Surround Mixing

Does anyone know of any references or FAQ's on the subject of surround mixing for video releases? I want tech info on how it works. How do I get stuff in the center speaker, rear speakers, etc. Is it simply panning and phase tricks?

Can I do this easily with a PTIII and PT4.3 or PT5 software? In other words do I really need a surround mix plugin or can a lot of placement with the built-in features of ProTools?

Aesthetic pointers are also welcome. Does anyone have a favorite horror film with a great Pro Logic music track?
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Old 02-15-2000, 09:04 PM
SFXCraig SFXCraig is offline
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Default Re: Pro Logic Surround Mixing

We do Pro Logic mixing at the studio I'm at. You can't really do it without a plug-in.. well, maybe you could with some tricky panning and sends, but you can't do encoding. We use the Dolby Surround Tools with our ProTools III TDM system and it works great. You're limited to the number of surround panners you can activate, but if you're creative with your sends, you'll have no problems. The way it encodes Pro Logic is how anything is encoded in Pro Logic - the center is basically what is panned equally to left and right, and the surround channel is encoded 90 degrees out of phase, so the decoder picks it out of the L/R mix. Or something like that. I forget, there's a very detailed description of it in the manual. Tried www.dolby.com yet? Also, Kind of Loud looks like they have a solution for enabling more than one or two surround panners.. plus.. they do 5.1 panning - it goes "behind the scenes" to set up the six discrete stems.. just as the Dolby plug-ins set up the 4 stems for Pro Logic.

-Craig www.creativesoundstudios.com
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Old 02-17-2000, 07:12 PM
Pepperland Pepperland is offline
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Default Re: Pro Logic Surround Mixing

Thanks Craig,

I checked into the Dolby tools and I can't believe it costs $1500! It doesn't seem like what it is doing is that complicated. Maybe I'll snag a used plugin if someone wants to part with it. All it's doing is the rear signal right? Seems like I can just throw a few tracks out of phase and bring them up and down in the mix. I need a $1500 plugin for that? (I read the technical stuff. I know there's a 7k lowpass and a 100 hz high pass) What does the plugin do that makes it work $1500?
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Old 02-19-2000, 06:46 PM
ripple FX ripple FX is offline
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Default Re: Pro Logic Surround Mixing

FWIW, the Dolby Surround Tools license allows you to legally use the Dolby "Double-D" trademark on your product.

That's worth....something...isn't it????

ripple FX

[This message has been edited by ripple FX (edited February 19, 2000).]
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Old 02-19-2000, 08:18 PM
SFXCraig SFXCraig is offline
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Default Re: Pro Logic Surround Mixing

Yeah, $1500 is quite a sum, especially when you consider that you really should use an external decoder (we use the SDU-4) which runs about $3k. Dolby Digital is even more expensive, and there's no encoder plug-in available yet! SmartPan ($900) will pan it for you, but then you have to encode the stems in Dolby's $3600 box, then reference decode it in their $3000 box. But that's just for DVD or other one-time encode/decode process. If you're delivering it to HDTV stations, well, that's another $6600 for the encoder/decoder set for Dolby E, which is what you have to use to deliver 5.1 to TV (due to multiple decodings/re-encodings down the road with adding commercials, bumps, affiliate stuff, etc. Regular "Dolby Digital" encoding compresses the audio too much to be able to decode and re-encode it more than 2 or 3 times.) I guess that's why a lot of places mix in 5.1, but may not choose to encode it.

But as for the plug-in.. if you're doing a serious surround mix, there's no real way around getting the Dolby software. It'll work 100% of the time in all the Pro Logic decoders out there. But if you get a bunch of clients that want surround, your studio rate for posting something in that format should at least partially cover the investment. I guess that's the only bright side to it..

-Craig
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