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Old 02-07-2018, 11:50 AM
SPC SPC is offline
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Default Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

Hi All,

I'll be doing a stereo mix of a 90-minute movie on my stereo PTs setup. Afterwards, I need to create a 5.1 mix from it at a different studio that is set up for 5.1 and I have the following questions...

1) I've seen some discussion online about plugins that can up-mix from stereo to 5.1, like Halo by Nugen. Is that a reliable consideration for this?

2) In going from my fairly simple stereo setup which basically is using the Waves WLM meter and recording the various stereo & mono stems to record tracks in my session, a) would the same WLM plugin recognize the additional outputs/interface and show me an option to meter all 6 channels of the 5.1? b) Is it better to use record tracks in the session for the 5.1 stems or bounce 5.1 interleaved files? P.S. There are a whole bunch of various stem requirements!

3) Going from my modest stereo I/O setup to the 5.1 at the other studio, are there notorious output setup or level issues that I need to watch out for before getting burnt in delivering things properly? It's been a long time since I mixed 5.1! Thankfully, it's a heavy dialogue mostly film, focusing on about 4 characters only.

4) If I remember correctly, Bluesky has some calibration docs for 5.1. Has that changed... is there a more reliable setup process for 5.1 these days?

Any additional thoughts, advice or wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2018, 12:41 PM
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MIKEROPHONICS MIKEROPHONICS is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

that's a ton of questions....

1) Nugen Halo or Penteo by Perfect Sound are the best choices for upmixers.
Best results come from treating the stems separately or using your stereo session as the source and running quite a few instances of the upmixers. But having said that, perfectly acceptable results can be had (despite the the cries of "oh-no" from the peanut gallery) by upmixing the stereo mix only, as long as you are careful and not silly. These plugs are very clever.

The key to this all is understanding your delivery requirements.

2) WLM? Can;t comment as I use Nugen for metering (they are 'the daddy of loudness plugs'!).

Make seperate stem record tracks for your deliverables (such as Dx, Mx, Fx, DME, M&E etc). Pro Tools will never internally make polywavs, just multitrack surround tracks that play the collection of mono L, R, C, LFE, Ls, Rs etc. Meters can be put on these record tracks and you can monitor in input safely these days. Personally I use stem monitoring by Neyrinck to simulate the DFC.

I never send out interleaved files as PT can't measure them, I send out mono files.

Presumably you will have mixed the stereo version to your delivery loudness specs before going to the other studio? Listen to your mix in stereo there, get familiar with the monitoring in their cal level, then just do your surround thing.

Keep your upmixers "stereo compatibility" safety switch in - and the down mix of your umpire should be identical to the stereo mix you have already made. It's hard to go wrong unless you are silly. Keep the dialogue up the middle, lay off panning dialogue (unless you are really sure of what you are doing).
It will take a while to get used to real centre speaker rather than phantom centre. Do not go bonkers with surround. Too many mixers get carried away in the play pen at first and it can get very jarring. Personally I mono up any sync reverbs. Its a pet hate to have stereo LR reverb on a mono centre source, it makes your adr stick out like a sore thumb.

Keep an eye out on your loudness and you will be fine.

re line=up. Many schools of thought here. The ratio of LCR to LsRs should be set up by the studio. Many mix at 79 for TV, many others at 82. Do what works for you. Get some Dolby pink noise and pop it in your session and take along an SPL meter so you know where you are. Ultimately though, mix at your chosen cal, but don't be too dynamic though just because the screen is bigger. Many fall foul of that.

Have fun.

Just don't overuse the LFE. I often route some very low level signal to prevent "nothing in the LFE" fails. Not that there is a requirement to use LFE when mixing period drama, but the tech report morons don't get that unless you SPELL IT OUT for the hard of thinking.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:46 PM
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reichman reichman is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

I have to say, it's so much easier to mix in 5.1 and then downmix to stereo. Even if you don't have a 5.1 monitoring system, if you design your session with 5.1 at the front, the sound quality will be better than going through an upmixer at the end.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:55 AM
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TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

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Originally Posted by reichman View Post
I have to say, it's so much easier to mix in 5.1 and then downmix to stereo. Even if you don't have a 5.1 monitoring system, if you design your session with 5.1 at the front, the sound quality will be better than going through an upmixer at the end.
Just because I could!! I have made "blind" 5.1 mixes down mixed to stereo and only monitored stereo. As the network required only stereo.
I went back and listened to the 5.1 and it was good!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:21 PM
seanmccoy seanmccoy is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Just because I could!! I have made "blind" 5.1 mixes down mixed to stereo and only monitored stereo. As the network required only stereo.
I went back and listened to the 5.1 and it was good!
By "blind" you mean you were routing logically for 5.1 but always monitoring in stereo?
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:24 AM
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TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

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Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
By "blind" you mean you were routing logically for 5.1 but always monitoring in stereo?
Correct, I was using my 5.1 with 2.0 downmix mix template, only monitoring the 2.0.
I wanted to have 5.1 stems in case it was ever requested in the future.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:55 AM
seanmccoy seanmccoy is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Correct, I was using my 5.1 with 2.0 downmix mix template, only monitoring the 2.0.
I wanted to have 5.1 stems in case it was ever requested in the future.
Great idea. I'm leaning toward just making that my MO for any longer-form project that has even the remotest chance of showing up at a theater or on TV. Other than a slightly more complex initial setup, I can't really think of any disadvantages to it.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:25 AM
simonyeah simonyeah is offline
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Default Re: Going from Stereo to 5.1 for a TV Movie

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Correct, I was using my 5.1 with 2.0 downmix mix template, only monitoring the 2.0.

I wanted to have 5.1 stems in case it was ever requested in the future.


I don’t know if it is something I can ask but being new to 5.1 mixing (but experienced in stereo mixing) I would love to have access to such a template 5.2 session with stereo mixdown. Do you think it is possible ?
Many many thanks in advance
Simon


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