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  #1  
Old 04-21-2012, 03:44 PM
mbt.fair mbt.fair is offline
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Default 5.1 mixing Pro Tools 10

Hi all.

I've been reading a bit about 5.1 mixing with PT 10 LE and I see there are some plugins which encode for Pro Logic 2, but is there a way to output files that Dolby Digital for theaters / Cinemas? Will a "htib" Pro Logic 2 mix work / upscale to Theaters / Cinemas?

Thanks
Mbt
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2012, 02:42 AM
Greg Malcangi Greg Malcangi is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 mixing Pro Tools 10

This is really a question for the Post & Surround forum.

You can create Dolby Digital encoded 5.1 mix, look at the plugins from Neyrinck. However, for theatrical release (35mm film) you need a Dolby Digital encoded Print-Master and this can only be created by a Dolby Approved mixing facility. For digital cinema a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is created which doesn't require any type of Dolby encoding, just straight wav files. The major problem is one of translation, a 5.1 mix created in anything other than a mix stage specifically designed for the purpose will not sound the same when played back in a cinema. The further you are away from the large theatrical mix stage, the further you're going to be from an acceptable translation. Even a professional (5.1 equipped) music studio won't do, so with a home or project studio you really don't stand a chance.

Pro Logic is a home (consumer) format rather than a format designed for theatrical release. Although it is closely related to Dolby Stereo, which is an old cinema format still created as part of the print-mastering process and printed on the 35mm film but today is almost never used for primary playback. I'm not sure whether Pro Logic II would actually work or not on a cinema decoder (probably, with certain limitations) but it's certainly not the primary method used to distribute a 5.1 theatrical mix.

G
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:59 PM
mbt.fair mbt.fair is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 mixing Pro Tools 10

Wow

Thanks that a really great reply. So maybe some of the plugins out there are okay for tv work, or pain old practice!

Thanks again.

M
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2012, 03:29 AM
Greg Malcangi Greg Malcangi is offline
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Default Re: 5.1 mixing Pro Tools 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbt.fair View Post
So maybe some of the plugins out there are okay for tv work, or pain old practice!
Not when it comes to Pro Logic. There is still a lot of requirement for matrixed mixes (Dolby Stereo, Dolby Prologic, etc), usually referred to as LtRt mixes. You often see LtRt specified for TV deliverables. If a TV station broadcasts in both digital and analogue they will often specify a 5.1 mix for delivery along with an LtRt mix which they use for analogue stereo broadcast. This is the most common usage of LtRt mixes today, as kind of backward compatible mix that still works well on a old analogue stereo TV. Depending on the station, TV deliverables for 5.1 mixes are either individual wav files, a polywav or in Dolby E format.

In all these cases, the 5.1 mix is usually created direct out from ProTools to the monitors, no encoding or decoding plugins used. For an LtRt mix (if required) AudioSuite plugins are usually used for speedy encoding from the original 5.1 mix. In other words, you really should not be hung up about using surround encoding plugins, you won't need them until you have TV delivery specs which specifically requires them and even then you generally only use them after you've already created an unencoded 5.1 mix.

BTW, you still need a good, calibrated monitoring environment for decent TV work but smaller room sizes and no Dolby Approval means that TV mix rooms are cheaper to build and equip than Film mix rooms.
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