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  #1  
Old 08-29-2016, 03:08 PM
rmccam rmccam is offline
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Default 5.1 Interleaved Files

Hey Everyone,

I've searched around and haven't been able to come up with an answer that's not years old so I thought I'd ask...

I've always delivered 5.1 as discrete mono files to ensure that there's no issues with path order but as of late I've been mixing a lot for broadcast and am being asked to deliver interleaved files. So unless I'm wrong, we're back at that antiquated issue of Pro Tools only exporting 5.1 interleaved files as L/C/R/Ls/Rs/LFE, correct? If that's the case, what third-party software is everyone using to re-order their interleaved files these days?

Funny enough, everything seems to work fine with Premier because it seems to look at the .L, .C, .R,... suffixes and re-order the files to SMPTE when importing for layback. I'm amidst checking about Media Composer, and I guess I should see about FCP, but it's probably wishful thinking.

Thanks,

Ryan
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2016, 12:35 AM
GuidoHelbling GuidoHelbling is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Hi Ryan

PT supports interleaved audio (I think since PT10??). But you have to define it when starting a new session and cannot change it later as far as I know. There is a checkbox with interleaved files in the same dialog when defining the bit and freq-rate.

If you want to convert from split to interleaved, there are a couple of tools. You can use Wave Agent from Sound Devices as a freeware tool, you could do it with Quicktime or a bit more professional with Soundminer V4 Pro: https://www.avosound.com/en/sound-ar...ndminer/v4-pro

Quote:
software is everyone using to re-order their interleaved files these days?
I'm not sure what you mean with reordering. If you want to reorder the channels, you have to rename the file-endings: for example Audio.C.wav into Audio.L.wav. But that means, the center-channel from PT will then play from left.
Also there are tools for batchprocessing, for example the freeware NameChanger tool. But be aware: there's a lot of potential to make a big mess...

Guido
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:16 AM
StonehengeX StonehengeX is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

I've had this issue myself. To get around it I record my 5.1 mixes down in my session then split the track into mono. I reorder the mono tracks into SMPTE order and move the rearranged clips onto a blank 5.1 track. Then I export that clip as file (this is found in the Clip bin drop down menu). The exported file will have the clips (channels) in whatever order you've put them into.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:09 AM
rmccam rmccam is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Thanks for the suggestions.

Here's the kicker with reordering in PT though: If you reorder the tracks and export it, the ".L", ".R", ".C", etc., that gets appended will be incorrect to what they actually are, which wouldn't be an issue except that certain editing programs (ie. Premier), will reorder them according to the channel designated that's been appended to each file within the interleaved file. So, if I send out an interleaved file from Pro Tools (which is always the Film standard: .L, .C, .R, .Ls, .Rs, .LFE), Premier is smart enough to reorder them on import, so that they're in the correct SMPTE order. I'm not an editor so I'm not sure why it does that but it does. Premier CC, anyway. Again, Im trying to see about Media Composer and FCP because I work with editors that use them all. If all the editing software is smarter than PT and just takes care of this, then fine, but regardless, it's a nuisance to not be able to know 100% that the file you're sending out is going to be interpreted correctly. That's why the files within the interleaved file need to have the correct appendage, or none at all I guess (which PT can't do).

I tried Wave Agent before posting here and could never get it to work correctly for some reason. It's also quite clunky (ie. I couldn't expand the columns to see the entire file names).

Thanks again. Hopefully we'll get more ideas here.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2016, 10:39 AM
StonehengeX StonehengeX is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

If you reorder the tracks and put it on a new 5.1 track and export as interleaved then the file won't have .L.C.R etc. appended to the end of the file name. As far as the NLE is concerned it will just see 6 channels and maintain there track order.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:14 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Yeah, I think this is all good info. BTW, you can toggle "interleaved" in Session Setup on and off anytime you want and it will behave accordingly until the next toggle - doesn't have to be only at the creation of a session.

Myriad, and some other batch utilities will interleave/deinterleave, but they don't give user control over order. If anyone knows of a good utility that's currently supported that allows user control over all parameters I'd love to know about it.

best,
rich
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2016, 02:26 PM
rmccam rmccam is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by StonehengeX View Post
If you reorder the tracks and put it on a new 5.1 track and export as interleaved then the file won't have .L.C.R etc. appended to the end of the file name. As far as the NLE is concerned it will just see 6 channels and maintain there track order.
I wish that were true, but it's not, or at least not exclusively. If you reorder the mono tracks, move them down to an empty 5.1 track so they're in SMPTE order, then export it as a 5.1 interleaved file, Pro Tools will add the .L, .C, .R, ... to the mono files that are embedded into that interleaved file. As a test, if you re-imported that interleaved file into Pro Tools and split it out to mono, you'd see what I mean. Again though, here's the issue... Check out this screen shot from Premier:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2...XpRdzQ5bFprbUE

The first file, which is "A4 PT FILM EXPORT", is how Premier interprets the regular 5.1 interleaved file from Pro Tools (so the one without any changes, that gets exported in Film order). Notice that it's in the correct SMPTE order though. My guess here is that Premier is smart enough to notice that something a'int right with the PT export and just interprets it based on the .L, .C, .R, ... appendage. When you try to trick PT by reordering the mono tracks so that the interleaved file is the correct SMPTE order (but gets stamped with the incorrect .L, .C, .R, ... appendages), Premier interprets it incorrectly, as you can se in the second track, "A5 PT SMPTE EXPORT". In other words, funny enough, if you don't mess with anything, then it's fine.

Again though, here's my issue: I feel really uncomfortable leaving this behind the scenes magic to Premier, because the reality is that the file is incorrect. And I don't know how other editing software will interpret the regular PT 5.1 interleaved file. So you might send out the file to a Premier editor and it'd be fine, but then for a Media Composer editor it might not. I don't know.

In an ideal world, Pro Tools (or not as ideal, another intermediary piece of software), would export a 5.1 interleaved file in SMPTE order, with the right appendages.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2016, 06:13 AM
StonehengeX StonehengeX is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

AH, I see the problem now. Protools is writing metadata to the file identifying the speaker/channel layout. If you can open the file in Switch or MediaInfo or something and change the speaker tags to "Unknown" that might force the NLE to open the file in the top down order.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2016, 06:57 AM
Pete Gates Pete Gates is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Yes, I've been looking at this too (as part of some software I'm writing) , Pro Tools is setting the channel mask to 63 which is 5.1 SMPTE/ITU layout. It should be set to 0 for unspecified if the channel layout is anything else, it is basically a bug if the channel layout is not in the Microsoft defined order - which is SMPTE for the first 6 channels (then there are loads of other speaker channels).

Pete
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2016, 06:28 AM
rmccam rmccam is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 Interleaved Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Gates View Post
Yes, I've been looking at this too (as part of some software I'm writing)
I would love for some to write a simple program that addressed this. Keep us posted!

Ryan
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