27 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2008 7:58 AM by the_wine_snob

    5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio

      I have a HDV project with 2 channel audio. I edited the project in FCP and created a 5.1 surround .ac3 file using soundtrack pro. I want to burn a blu-ray but if I just import the quicktime file from FCP into premiere pro CS3 and send it to encore for burn, I dont get 5.1 surround. Any suggestions how I could get the 5.1 surround using premiere pro? Does the minnetonka encoder convert stereo to 5.1 surround?

      I am able to burn SD DVDs in DVD studio Pro with 5.1 surround since I can import the video and audio files separately from compressor into DVDSP. Can I do something similar in Encore?

      Thanks
        • 1. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Minnetonka Surcode.
          • 2. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
            Ruud Blauw Level 1
            >Can I do something similar in Encore?

            Yes. If you got a 5.1 AC3 file you can import in an Encore timeline.
            • 3. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
              Level 1
              I know the Minnetonka Surcode needs to be purchased. Does Premiere Pro CS3 offer anything like a soundtrack pro like final cut studio does?

              Thanks
              • 4. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                If you *already* have a 5.1 ac3 file, you don't need to transcode it again. That's audio suicide.

                Do like Ruud says and just import your 5.1 file into Encore. It won't preview as 5.1, but it will burn to disc as 5.1 - Encore won't touch it unless you have .mp2 or PCM set as your project audio formats.
                • 5. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                  Level 1
                  Thanks. How does the Minnetonka fare when it comes to creating the 5.1 surround from a stereo 2 channel audio? Wondering if its worth investing in Surcode or just keep on working with Sound Track Pro 2 (Since I do use final cut studio for post and premiere pro CS3 for Blu-ray burning)
                  • 6. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                    On the PC side, great! I don't know about the Mac side.
                    • 7. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                      Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                      I don't know if FCP creates logo-compliant DD 5.1 mixes, but the Minnetonka encoder does. If logo certification is important to you, the $200 for the Surcode activation is a real bargain.
                      • 8. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                        Ruud Blauw Level 1
                        >How does the Minnetonka fare when it comes to creating the 5.1 surround from a stereo 2 channel audio?

                        AFAIK Surcode only creates a Dolby certified AC3 file out of pre-mixed audio material. It doesn't do any kind of mixing itself.
                        • 9. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                          Correct, you have to mix it yourself.
                          • 10. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                            I'm so happy with the SurCode 5.1 plug-in, that I bought a second copy for my laptop, rather than living with it only on the workstation.

                            In Premiere, with the Audio Mixer, you can do a lot of positioning of your sound souces (make sure that you start your Project in 5.1 and that your Sequences are set to 5.1 Master), and if you're adding any additional Tracks, i.e. music, SFX, etc., you can do some nice source location. The SurCode plug-in is, as has been stated, an encoder for getting your AC3 out of Premiere for, say Encore. Encore will readily accept AC3 DD 5.1 (monitor only as pass-thru, as stated). Have not been able to get AC3 5.1 INTO Premiere, and have tried all sorts of plug-ins and filters and .dll additions. I can use AC3 stereo, just not 5.1 into Premiere. To OP, if you DO find a way to Import and maintain 5.1 AC3 into Premiere, I'd be glad to hear it. Going to Encore directly is the easy part.

                            Do not know about the DD 5.1 in FCP or on the Mac.

                            Hunt
                            • 11. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                              >Does the minnetonka encoder convert stereo to 5.1 surround?

                              No, it doesn't. That's called upmixing. The SureCode encoder will turn a 5.1 channel audio track into a Dolby Digital .ac3 file. But you have to start with the 5.1 mix.
                              • 12. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                Jim,

                                It does, but the upmixing is up to you. Ingest a stereo track into a 5.1 project and with the Surcode plug-in, you end up with a 5.1 sound track. The mixing is up to the editor using Audio Mixer or whatever you like.
                                • 13. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                  In my own experience trying that, all it ever created is a 5.1 channel track with sound only on left/right.

                                  But even if you could get sound on all channels, that won't be a true upmix, with vocals on center, instruments nicely spread across the front and ambience out the rears. What you would get is more like the 5 channel 'party' modes on receivers.
                                  • 14. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                                    Depends on your editing technique. Let's say you start out with the original footage on V1/A1. You add background music on A2 and voice over on A3, special effects on A4. You mix it in the Audio Mixer so the voice over is in the center speaker, the original sound (A1) comes for 70% from the FL and FR speakers and the special effects come 100% from the RL and RR speakers. Does that give you a 5.1 feeling?

                                    I have managed nice upmixing with a bus passing by using front left to front right mixing. It requires some effort, but it is similar to many Hollywood productions.
                                    • 15. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      In this case I was speaking more of using only the two channel camera recording. Unless you're walking around with two mics in ORTF configuration attached to your camera, which seems unlikely, that can't made into a genuine surround mix. And even if you had that mic config, you would still need some type of upmix software. SureCode only makes it Dolby Digital. It doesn't 'separate out' the 5.1 channels from a stereo source.
                                      • 16. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7
                                        That is what audio mixer is for.
                                        • 17. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                                          The audio mixer won't do it either. You need a way to extract 5 channels of audio from a stereo source. This requires complex algorithms not included natively with Premiere.

                                          An example is the DTS Neo:6 mode on a receiver. It takes a stereo source, processes it and ends up with a 6 channel mix which it sends to your speakers.

                                          You would need to add some type of software or plug-in to perform a similar operation on your stereo source to extract the multiple channels, after which you can steer/assign them using the mixer.
                                          • 18. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                                            Jim,

                                            I'm squarely with Harm on this. One can easily adjust the left-right and front-rear split with Audio Mixer. One can localize the signals, as they chose. Now, a location recording of rear channels will enhance the total impact, and I think that is what you are thinking of.

                                            One can also dupe the L and the R place them onto their own Track and add delay, and or reverb, to "simulate" a four channel original, plus add an LFE if necesary, or desired.

                                            Beyond the two Stereo signals, if one adds a music track, or an SFX Track, then 5.1 can really come into its own.

                                            Hunt
                                            • 19. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                              >One can easily adjust the left-right and front-rear split with Audio Mixer.

                                              I'm not debating that. What I'm saying is that doing so won't give you a genuine 5.1 mix. It's more akin to the 5 channel party modes that some receivers have. For a proper 5.1 mix from stereo sources, you need additional upmix software, either stand alone or plug-in. Premiere can't do it on it's own, and the SureCode won't do it either, which is what the OP asked.
                                              • 20. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                Level 1
                                                Any upmixing softwares to create 5.1 surround from stereo available for a reasonable price?
                                                • 21. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                  For a reasonable price, that's debatable.

                                                  Stereo to 5.1 Immersive Audio Conversion Tools

                                                  I've not used it, but from what I do know of audio, I can speculate that no plug-in will be able to give you a decent 5.1 upmix from your built-in camera mic. There's just not enough stereo separation in the signal. Using a recorded song from CD, that'll probably work great.
                                                  • 22. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Most of my audio is either going to be music from itunes or audio recorded through wireless and boom mics(for the speeches etc).

                                                    So, I may be okay correct? I dont have any audio using the built in mic in the camera.
                                                    • 23. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                      Coming from stereo music, that plug-in will probably do a very nice job. I plan to use it (or something like it) myself in the near future.
                                                      • 24. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                        Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                                        You can do a "cheapo" 5.1 using Audition:

                                                        1.) open your stereo .wav file and save it as "front.wav"
                                                        2.) clone the "front.wav" and save it as "center.wav"
                                                        3.) apply the Center Channel Extractor filter (full spectrum) to "center.wav"
                                                        4.) convert "center.wav" to mono (left: 50%, right: 50%)
                                                        5.) clone "center.wav" and save it as "subwoofer.wav"
                                                        6.) apply Scientific Filter to "subwoofer.wav" (Low Pass, 75Hz, order 5)
                                                        7.) apply Scientific Filter to "center.wav" (High Pass, 75Hz, order 5)
                                                        8.) copy "center.wav" and Mix Paste into "front.wav" (Mix (overlap), Left: 100%, Right: 100% -- be sure to check "invert" on both channels!)
                                                        9.) clone "front.wav", save it as "rear.wav" and apply some effects such as reverb or a 30ms delay

                                                        So, there you have front (stereo), rear (stereo), center (mono), LFE (mono)... ready to go. :)
                                                        • 25. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                          Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                                          Here's a free VST plugin I found:

                                                          http://www.stevethomson.ca/vi/

                                                          I tried it and it seems to work (the installer is a pain, though). I actually think my "cheapo" method (with modifications) provides greater flexibility, but this one is a little easier.

                                                          You need to make 3 copies of the .WAV and apply C+LFE, fLfR, sLsR to each, respectively. You then need to split the center and LFE signals to separate (mono) files.
                                                          • 26. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                            Nice find. May have to give that a try myself.
                                                            • 27. Re: 5.1 surround sound from 2 channel Audio
                                                              the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                              Dan,

                                                              Thank you for your step-by-step directions, and the link to the VST. I had not found that one, but will try it, if I can get past the pain in the installer.

                                                              One thing that Id like to add is that with the Minnetonka SurCode 5.1 Plug-in, you can Export (AME) to an AC3 (or WMA 5.1) from Premiere Pro. This workflow will create the 6 discrete files for you with most of that work done, from a Stereo source. Using the puck in Audio Mixer will get you close. Note that the Project needs to be setup as a 5.1 Master. Im usually adding SFX/Foley Tracks and Music, as well.

                                                              I Import the AC3 into Audition for fine-tuning, similar to what you recommend. A lot of the LFE work depends on whether ones audience will view/listen on a bass-managed home theater system, which is most likely.

                                                              One caveat: for some reason, unknown to me, the splitting of the 6 tracks is different via the SurCode plug-in.

                                                              The standard is: (Track number is same as the outline below)
                                                              1.) Left (front)
                                                              2.) Right (front)
                                                              3.) Center (front)
                                                              4.) LFE
                                                              5.) Left Surround (rear)
                                                              6.) Right Surround (rear)

                                                              SurCodes scheme is:
                                                              1.) Left
                                                              2.) Center
                                                              3.) Right
                                                              4.) LS
                                                              5.) RS
                                                              6.) LFE

                                                              Note these important differences. Also, when Audition splits the AC3, or WMA 5.1, you'll get Filename, Filename (1), through Filename (5). The reality is that Filename is your #1 (above) and the Filename(x) will be off by 1. Wish that it did not do it this way, but it does. Probably a Windows thing?

                                                              When Imported into Audition/Multitrack, I always have to refer to my above chart, so I can name and arrange the Tracks accordingly. No one has yet been able to give me an answer to why SurCode makes the changes. Once in Audition, I apply additional Low-pass Effects, similar to what you recommend, and often add some Reverb, or Delay to the LS & RS. In Audition, the export of the finished mix is a little bit odd and different. View>Surround Encoder. There you can Export in different formats and also have control of the placement of each file (yet again). Regular Export from Audition will not get you, where you want to be.

                                                              I usually use the Discrete 6 Files option, especially if Im going into the SurCode DTS encoder (stand-alone).

                                                              Off to try your VST.

                                                              Hunt