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Posted on Mon, Jun 29 2015 00:51
by matthieu.lechowski
Joined on Thu, Nov 13 2008, Posts 42

Hello,

I used to work with MIR Pro in Stereo, and now I need to work in surround (5.1) for movies. I have Cubase 7.5

1/ As far I understand, unfortunately I cannot use Vienna Suite plugins anymore, since they are stereo. Which surround plugins can I use ? I saw for example the Flux ones, are they good (and CPU efficient) ?  Vienna Mir Pro Equalizer is in surround, but not easy for me (no vizualization of the signal, if at least I use it correctly...)

2/ Is a surround version of Vienna Suite planned in the future ?

3/ Are they tricks to use stereo plugins on 5.1 channels ? (in VE Pro and/or in Cubase)

4/ Cubase Pro 8 seems to have new surround plugins (Compressor, Limiter...), but I did not see any precise information on Steinberg site or google. Is it true ? Are they good ? But it does not solve my problem, as I need surround EQ and compressor in VE Pro...

5/ I prefer to build/mix my music in stereo, since I always need stereo mixes and since surround requires more CPU and/or memory (my PC is on its knees : I planned to buy VI Pro and SSD in order to reduce the RAM, but for CPU I can not do anything I believe...). Converting the project from stereo to surround is well done in VE PRO (with the function "Convert Project Channel Configuration"), but in Cubase it's a pain : as I have to delete my VE Pro Stereo instance, all midi ports connections are lost, and I have to relink all (for my personal conveniance, I'm using 22 Midi ports to dispatch the whole orchestra). Have you a trick to avoid this step ?

6/ Is it normal that the Channels L and R have more power than the C, LFE, SL and SR ones ? (with "5.1 Triple-8 Spaced DEFAULT" on primary, and "5.1 115° (Rears only)" on secondary) I think it could be, in order to have a subtle spacing of the sound, with a dominant stereo feeling, but I would like to be sure.

Sorry for all these questions. Thanks !

Matthieu

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Posted on Mon, Jun 29 2015 22:57
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1716

Hi

First of all you should know from your film producer what he is expecting. As a basic layout of all the tracks you can take:

L/R  = Music

SL/SR = Effects

C = the text, the voices

LF (5.1) = Low Frequencies of the sound effects

I didn't produce realy big films more smaller productions. So the producers where not Steven Spielbergs as well. So I had a free hand to make the best of the sound. What I did was:

1. I mixed the music with a bit of delay and reverb to SL and SR

2. I also mixed a bit of the sound effects from SL/SR to the front L/R with some effects (delay etc.)

3. I used the LF channel also for mixing some subbass from the music into this channel.

4. In some cases I mixed the Center Channel to the SL/SR channels through some Room effects (Reverb). If the actors are speaking in a large hall it could be nice to have some roomextension into the back- (side) speakers.

So seeing this concept you will make out that you have two independent stereo tracks L/R and SL/SR no problem to use the Suite Effects. for the mono tracks C and LF it works as well.

REVerence or also MIR (as far as I know) can produce 5.1 Room.sounds but they are not really asked here. Nevertheless, because you have 6 output channels (5.1) you always can mix also the output signals of those Reverbs to the output.

A lot of the Cubase effects are 5.1 such as the limitters, some compressors, EQs etc.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Some last remarks:

A) Keep in mind that the music and the effects always should be so loud that the voices can clearly stand over all the other sounds.

B) Keep in mind that the levels in the film business should be not as loud as possible as we know it from some music genres! Use the K20 Scale from Bob Katz where -20dB stands for loud situations (forte). The whole headroom above (+20dB) is for really loud things like explosions etc.

C) Forget to produce in Stereo and the to convert the result after that with a PlugIn (Anymix) into 5.1. You will obviously get a 5.1 file but this is not really spectacular. You just will have the very low frequencies in the LF channel, some mono components in C and some stereo information in the SL/SR channels. But thats far away from what you can get with the divided signals I mentioned above.  I use the Anymix of Isono myself which is one of the best PlugIns on the market. So I really know what I'm saying here.

D) Use the Surroundmixers in Cubase for mixing all the stereo and mono channels into the correct 5.1 output.

E) I higly recommend to produce such 5.1 projects with a 5.1 system.  So this beginns with an audio interface with 6 analog outputs and a 5.1 system. I use the Logitech Z906 (nice sound so far, low price). For mastering the tracks I use my main monitors because you either have stereo or mono tracks which can be nicely controlled with the main system separately.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK I didn't answer directly your questions but you got a lot of information which will clear up the situation as well - at least some points.

All the best

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Tue, Jun 30 2015 07:41
by matthieu.lechowski
Joined on Thu, Nov 13 2008, Posts 42

Thank you very much for all these informations. Indeed not directly my questions, but I will consider all these interesting things !

Like you I have not Spielberg in my clients, but as I am asked to produce 5.1 for broadcasting on theatres (short films) and having MIR, naturally I would like to try and produce 5.1 "natively" in MIR.

Yes I realized that some Cubase effects are able to work in 5.1, even if it's not explicitely written. And yes, I have the chance to have a 5.1 system to monitor (RME Hdsp9632 + extension of 4 analog outputs, and 5 Yamaha HS50M + 1 sub).

Posted on Tue, Jun 30 2015 10:07
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1716

Hi Matthieu

Fine, you seem to have all the necessary hardware.

If you only have to produce music in 5.1 without effects and voices it is probably the best solution to use a room system which directly uses surround IRs such as obviously MIR and REVerence (Cubase) and others of cours...

This would be still a better solution than a converter.

Further you always are free to mix the stereo signal from L/R via a stereo reverb or/and delay to SL/SR. I would try this. There are fortunately no really rouls how loud you should do this. Do it with your ears and your well adjusted 5.1 system. Make sure as well that the "5.1 circle" is properly given. 5.1 is still a very open field - free for doing experiments. It counts the result.

You probably can cancel The Center Speaker for just the music and the LF-Channel I would use for the frequencies below 80 Hz of the music. This is possible without any converter. As mentioned above the 5.1 Mixer in Cubase can do a lot. Once you have opend stereo and 5.1 outputs you can easy handel each track with those mixers.

Best

Beat

BTW: I believe that REVerence only produces 4 Channels (L/R and SL/SR). No problem to get out the subbass from L/R.

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Thu, Jul 02 2015 17:30
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7258

Hi Matthieu,

sorry for the slightly delayed reply.

Originally Posted by: matthieu.lechowski Go to Quoted Post

Hello,

I used to work with MIR Pro in Stereo, and now I need to work in surround (5.1) for movies. I have Cubase 7.5

1/ As far I understand, unfortunately I cannot use Vienna Suite plugins anymore, since they are stereo. Which surround plugins can I use ? I saw for example the Flux ones, are they good (and CPU efficient) ?  Vienna Mir Pro Equalizer is in surround, but not easy for me (no vizualization of the signal, if at least I use it correctly...)

There are only a few dedicated surround plugin bundles on the market, most notably Waves' 360°-bundle, which is quite old, but very good and useful nonetheless.

Vienna MIR Pro's own equalizer will indeed adapt to all formats up to 8 audio channels, but it doesn't allow for individual grouping of single tracks (e.g. front/rear etc.). 

A little-knows fact is that MIRacle, MIR Pro's algorithmic reverb add-on, offers a full-blown surround engine with several unique features.

Quote:
2/ Is a surround version of Vienna Suite planned in the future ?
 

Yes. As a matter of fact VSL software engineers are supposed to work on it right now. :-)

Quote:
3/ Are they tricks to use stereo plugins on 5.1 channels ? (in VE Pro and/or in Cubase)

Re: Cubase: Yes, several! It is beyond the scope of this forum to cover them in detail, but look out for two topics either in Cubase's manual or on the web:

- plugin routing (as part of the Channel Editor) 

- VST3 plugin specification (which can allow for automatic channel count adaption) ... not all plugin adhere to this standard to its full extent, though.

I attached a screenshot from a little example I just creaetd in Nuendo 6 (which is quite similar to Cubase). It shows a surround-capable VST3 plugin in the first insert slot, and three other ones which are using the routing feature I mentioned.

***

Re: VE Pro: Vienna Ensemble Pro needs "true" surround plugins for multi channel work. It comes with a handful of basic, built-in multi-channel processors, namely Surround Matrix, Surround Balance and Surround Pan. Other than that you need dedicated surround plugins - there's no proper way to use stereo plugins for real multichannel work.

Quote:
4/ Cubase Pro 8 seems to have new surround plugins (Compressor, Limiter...), but I did not see any precise information on Steinberg site or google. Is it true ? Are they good ? But it does not solve my problem, as I need surround EQ and compressor in VE Pro... 

I haven't used Cubase 8 up to now, sorry to say so.

Quote:
5/ I prefer to build/mix my music in stereo, since I always need stereo mixes and since surround requires more CPU and/or memory (my PC is on its knees : I planned to buy VI Pro and SSD in order to reduce the RAM, but for CPU I can not do anything I believe...). Converting the project from stereo to surround is well done in VE PRO (with the function "Convert Project Channel Configuration"), but in Cubase it's a pain : as I have to delete my VE Pro Stereo instance, all midi ports connections are lost, and I have to relink all (for my personal conveniance, I'm using 22 Midi ports to dispatch the whole orchestra). Have you a trick to avoid this step ?
 

Many professional mixers who do lots of commercial surround work will tell you that they start the other way 'round: 5.x is their "basic" format, and they do controlled downmixes for "lower" delivery formats. (Personally I prefer an even more elaborated approach when time (and budget!) allow for it: I do dedicated stereo and surround setups in parallel which are fed from the same sources, but treated individually - but that's another story).

I understand the reasons why you would prefer to work "bottom up", but I can't give you good advice regarding the restrictions of Cubase and the VST plugin format when changing the delivery format. - It won't help you, but one of the reasons why many colleagues of mine prefer ProTools for surround work is its ability to change the channel count within one track "on the fly".

... BTW: I wrote "5.x", because many industry professionals will work in 5.0 rather than in 5.1. The ".1" is an effect-channel and NOT a bass extension. Especially in the case of music mixing, the five main channels should be treated as full range signal chains (or at least the front speakers). The LFE has very little use in this context, and it is common practice to make sure that a mix can't be ruined by a misaligned (or missing!) subwoofer.

Quote:
6/ Is it normal that the Channels L and R have more power than the C, LFE, SL and SR ones ? (with "5.1 Triple-8 Spaced DEFAULT" on primary, and "5.1 115° (Rears only)" on secondary) I think it could be, in order to have a subtle spacing of the sound, with a dominant stereo feeling, but I would like to be sure.
 

Yes! Under most circumstances, this will be the expected behaviour. There are cases when you want to have distinct signal sources from the back ("Circle" --- or rather "Circus Surround"! ;-D), but most of the time the surround format is used for an enhanced stage impression with a clear bias in the front speakers.

... that said it is worth noting that many modern scores are mixed in 4.0 rather than in 5.0 (or 5.1). The only "true" surround signal is the main microphone system from the orchestra recording(s). Everything else is mostly assigned to either the front or the rear L/R speakers, with little to no correlation between them.

***

Surround sound is an exciting topic in music production, but it's a vast area, too. I hope that I could shed some light on it! :-)

Kind regards,

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/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Jul 02 2015 18:13
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7258

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
... that said it is worth noting that many modern scores are mixed in 4.0 rather than in 5.0 (or 5.1). The only "true" surround signal is the main microphone system from the orchestra recording(s). Everything else is mostly assigned to either the front or the rear L/R speakers, with little to no correlation between them.

... I should add that I don't like that too much. :-) I love the sensation of being embraced by the sound from the sides, too.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Jul 02 2015 22:02
by matthieu.lechowski
Joined on Thu, Nov 13 2008, Posts 42

Thank you very much for all these precise answers. I am relieved from some questions, and I have now more matter to think about !

And the Vienna Suite Surround project is a very good news ! I am not confident in sound engineering, so I like Vienna Suite for its intuitive, visual and pleasant UI and for its (Vienna oriented) presets which are a start to learn by myself.

Matthieu

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