24 Replies Latest reply on Aug 30, 2010 6:03 PM by the_wine_snob

    Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital

    martigen Level 1

      Hello, i'm new here, have a question, don't know if it's been asked before, but here it goes:

       

      Is there any big difference between Dolby Digital and Surcode Dolby Digital when you encode on Media Enconder, if i just encode with the regular Dolby Digital will it be 5.1? is it really a noticeable difference from the Surcode?

        • 1. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          The Minnetonka Surcode plugin in PR (you have 3 trial uses before you need to buy it) gives you 5.1 sound.

           

          The Dolby Digital encoder in EN does only 2.0 encodes. It may well be from Minnetonka as well but the major difference is that Encore only encodes to stereo while from PR you can encode, provided your master audio track is 5.1, to full surround sound, which Encore leaves intact.

          • 2. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            As Harm points out, the difference is 4 channels extra in the SurCode DD 5.1 SS encode. If you buy the Minnetonka Audio SurCode plug-in, be sure to buy it from within PrPro, as you will get a "user" discount of !US$50.

             

            Note: unless En CS4 changed things, and I do not believe that they did, you can only monitor your DD 5.1 SS in stereo within En. In PrPro, you can monitor it in full 5.1 if your Audio sub-system supports it. En will, however, pass-through all DD 5.1 SS encoding to your DVD/BD, regardless of what one can hear, while doing a Preview - remember, this is in En.

             

            Both Dolby stereo and 5.1 (properly encoded) will be AC3 Audio. That makes the files DVD-compliant, as it is standard (along with PCM/WAV) in both PAL and NTSC-land. You do NOT ever want any flavor of MPEG Audio encoding, as it was only "optional" in PAL, and that is falling away. En will try to ingest and convert MPEG Audio, but often has real problems doing so. Good advice is to do all conversions of any MPEG Audio before En. PrPro often has problems with it as well, but does work with it better than En. Still, conversion BEFORE PrPro is wisest.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

             

            PS another way to look at it, besides the numbers of channels is:

            Dolby Stereo = free

            Dolby 5.1 SS = $ (Minnetonka Audio SurCode plug-in)

            Both work with DVD/BD

            • 3. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
              prateek jitendra Level 1

              Surcode is usefull if you want audio in your output to be of 5.1 channel or of more than 2 channels. Using Dolby Digital, you can only export to stereo audio, but Surcode Dolby gives you an option of exporting audio to channels ranging from mono to 5.1. If you want 5.1 audio in your output and you have a setup of 5.1 speakers, you should go for Surcode Dolby. If you are satisfied with the stereo audio itself, then i would suggest you can use the Dolby Digital itself. Please note that using Dolby Digital, you won't be able to get 5.1 audio output.

               

              thanks,

              Prateek

              • 4. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                Steck1 Level 1

                I have a question, will I get 5.1 if I get the surcode and use the Adobe Dynamic Link to En enstead of exporting to a file?

                • 5. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  That is a good question, and one that I cannot answer. While I do DD 5.1 SS in most Projects, I do my Export from PrPro, and then Import into En. I'm sure that someone else will have the exact answer for you, and I'll be reading too, so I can learn something. For me, if not, that would preclude using ADL for getting my Projects into En.

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                    Steck1 Level 1

                    Yea it would take a big chunk out of the time too export vs just using the link,,,if it's a big project with alot of sequences exporting could add days to the project!

                    • 7. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      I'm waiting for Harm, or Jeff, to jump in. As I don't have CS4, I can't even check for us.

                       

                      You are correct that it would save a lot of time. Right now, on PrPro 2.0 and EncoreDVD 2.0, I run through my Sequences, Exporting as DV-AVI (Video-only) and then back through them Exporting as AC3 (Audio-only) DD 5.1 SS files. These are then Imported into EncoreDVD 2.0, with the AVI's as a Timeline and the AC3's as Assets. Once done, I marry the AC3's to the appropriate Timeline. Just did a Project with 24 Sequences, so I know what you mean!

                       

                      Waiting on the experts to add their comments...

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Well, I just got word from the "Jedi Master," and it is not good for ADL:

                         

                        Encore won't accept 5.1 audio via Dynamic Link.  It won't accept anything more than 2-channel audio.  You still have to export a separate 5.1 .ac3 audio file from Pr if you want to use En to author a multi-channel DVD/BD.

                         

                        -Jeff

                         

                        That was what I suspected, and feared, but now it has been confirmed. I guess it's back to the "old-fashioned" way of doing it: Export/Import, but at least, one does get the DD 5.1 SS. Maybe CS5?

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                          Maybe CS5?

                          Not unless En CS5 includes a multi-channel audio encoder.  Dynamic Link sends information on what's in the Pr sequence, but it doesn't actually send the media files.  That means that En has to take the info from DL and do something with it.  Through DL, En knows where the source media files are so that it knows what to show you as you author your disc, and what media to use when transcoding the sequence and building the disc.  Since En handles the transcoding of the dynamically-linked sequence, the only video and audio options that you have for transcoding are those included in En.  Currently, En only has a 2-channel Dolby Digital encoder available.

                           

                          -Jeff

                          • 10. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Jeff,

                             

                            Thank you for the info. If I understood everything, then one would need a SurCode DD 5.1 SS plug-in specific to Encore too.

                             

                            Also, as Encore only has passthrough capabilities for DD 5.1 SS, and it cannot be monitored there, it would also seem that Encore would have to be rewritten in the Preview module, to accommodate the 5.1 SS playback.

                             

                            With the "old-fashioned" method, one could easily monitor their DD 5.1 SS in PrPro, just not once it is Imported (AC3 DD 5.1 SS) into Encore, though it will write to DVD/BD.

                             

                            Now, one other consideration - $. The Minnetonka SurCode plug-in for PrPro prices out with little profit for Minnetonka. They pay enough in licensing fees to Dolby Labs, that even a second license is not discounted beyond the Adobe-user discount. Then, the user would have to acquire a separate plug-in for En, at about another US$250. I wonder how many would shell out a possible total of US$500 to use ADL for DD 5.1 SS, even if it WAS available?

                             

                            Until such time, we can just Export/Import and go get that cup of coffee! At least for US$250, we do have a workflow, albeit one with a few more steps.

                             

                            Appreciated,

                             

                            Hunt

                             

                            PS - all of a sudden ADL between PrPro & En does not temp me quite so much.

                            • 11. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                              Steck1 Level 1

                              Thank you for all your replies gentlemen, I'm going to get the surcode and just do it

                              the ole fashion way but atleast I found out and didn't get it thinking it would work and

                              waste my time and BD's trying it out. So any news when CS5 will be out? And the

                              new fectures it may have?

                              • 12. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                So any news when CS5 will be out? And the new fectures it may have?

                                 

                                There is a nice THREAD open now on some possible enhancements that might make it into CS5. No date, even rumored, yet on a possible release.

                                 

                                Good luck, and glad that Jeff could save you disappointment and BD discs.

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                  OWoman Level 1

                                  Jeff, I finally have my first edit rendered and ready for Encore CS5.  I changed the audio to AC3 so it would fit but now I have no sound.  Do I need to convert it to something?

                                   

                                  thanks,

                                  Janice

                                  • 14. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    Is this 2-channel or 6-channel DD AC3?

                                     

                                    Are you using ADL (Adobe Dynamic Link), to get the Sequence into En, or are you doing an Export/Import?

                                     

                                    Good luck,

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    • 15. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                      OWoman Level 1

                                      Hi Bill, I am exporting out of Premiere CS5 using Jeff's settings for 1080 60i except I changed the audio from PCM to dolby digital at Jeff's suggestion to get it to fit on a DVD.  I did get some of the audio after transcoding it in Encore but watching the dvd it drops out about 1/4 of the way into it.  I'm not sure if it is 2 channel or 6.  I will look in Premiere and see if I can tell what the default settings are.

                                      • 16. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        A fully DVD/BD-compliant DD AC3 should Import and work perfectly in En.

                                         

                                        As a test, Export that Audio stream as a PCM/WAV and try that in En. There IS a space saving with AC3, but you can set the Audio Stream Transcoding to AC3 in En, so you can still benefit there.

                                         

                                        En has some issues with other MPEG Audio, but I use DD AC3 5.1 SS Audio all the time, and it has never given me one issue. My only guess would be that there is a setting issue in your Export from PrPro, but that is just a guess. Let's try PCM/WAV, and then set the Audio in En to AC3.

                                         

                                        Wishing you luck, and let us know if that works better,

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                         

                                        PS - are you Exporting elemental/elementary streams, i.e. one Video-only, and one Audio-only file? If you are Exporting a muxed (combined Audio & Video), try elemental streams, instead.

                                        • 17. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                          OWoman Level 1

                                          Bill, I could do that as a test.  Right now my renders are between 30 and 40 hours!  I have been working almost 3 weeks on 7 dance recitals and do not have one finished.  The output quality just is not good.  If I could get it close to what I would get with a normal SD camera I would be very happy.

                                           

                                          I think I will export stereo audio from now on.  Not sure what happened to the AC3 audio but I do have the PCM from a previous render that I pulled in.  Worried about the project rendering on my laptop (I'm using 2 computers) as it only has 8 hours left of the 25 hour render and it too is doing AC3.

                                           

                                          I believe it is elementary... only one video and audio.  Are you talking about tracks (layers)?

                                          • 18. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                                            I believe it is elementary... only one video and audio.  Are you talking about tracks (layers)?

                                             

                                            In this case, no. I am talking about Exporting two separate files: one Video-only for just the Video Stream, and one separate Audio-only file for just the Audio Stream.

                                             

                                            The other Export method is to mux, or combine both the Audio Stream and the Video Stream into one file. This is done by Multiplexing (muxing) the two Steams into a single file.

                                             

                                            Encore works perfectly with the Video-only and Audio-only Streams. One would Import the Video-only file as a Timeline, and then Import the Audio-only file as an Asset. From the Project Panel in En, one just drags the Audio-only file to the appropriate Timeline, where it will snap into place.

                                             

                                            Hope that helps,

                                             

                                            Hunt

                                            • 19. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                              OWoman Level 1

                                              I see what you are saying and yes I am exporting the video and audio separately.  Hopefully it won't happen on the other export I am doing. 

                                               

                                              thanks

                                              • 20. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                                OWoman Level 1

                                                I am exporting a video file and a separate audio file.

                                                • 21. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                  Excellent. In 99.9% of all cases, that works perfectly. For an SD Project, it gets no better than Export DV-AVI Type II Video-only and 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio-only, and Import those into En.

                                                   

                                                  In the days of ADL (Adobe Dynamic Link), that is the "old-fashioned way," but when things get a bit wonky, I always recommend going to it, even if only as a test. If that does not work perfectly, then something is really amiss, and we can move on to other possible issues - usually back in PrPro and the Project, or Assets.

                                                   

                                                  Good luck, and with those Export/Transcode times, I hope that all goes well, so you can get some of these Projects out the door.

                                                   

                                                  Hunt

                                                   

                                                  PS - looks like a new avatar?

                                                  • 22. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                    There have been some questions on the Track Order differences between files Exported to DD 5.1 SS AC3 w/ the SurCode DD plug-in encoder, and the Track Order in WMA, or the Standard for 6-channel. This will show the Track Order:

                                                     

                                                    SurCodeStandard/WMA
                                                    Track 1 - Left FrontTrack 1 - Left Front
                                                    Track 2 - CenterTrack 2 - Right Front
                                                    Track 3 - Right FrontTrack 3 - Center
                                                    Track 4 - Left SurroundTrack 4 - LFE
                                                    Track 5 - Right SurroundTrack 5 - Left Surround
                                                    Track 6 - LFETrack 6 - Right Surround

                                                     

                                                    Hope that this helps someone,

                                                     

                                                    Hunt

                                                    • 23. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                                      Danielpremiere Level 1

                                                      Hi,

                                                       

                                                      I have a couple of questions about using the Surcode Dolby Digital, which I have been using for some time.

                                                       

                                                      Firstly, (using CS3)

                                                      I export from Premiere using MPEG2 video, and 5.1 audio using the Surcode. (generally I will export the work area - rather than the whole timeline)

                                                      When I import these into Encore (using the m2v at "Timeline" and ac3 as "asset") the audio appears to be either a frame or so longer or shorter than the video. Now the renders may be up to 1.5 hours, and a frame isn't a lot over that timespan, and it doesn't seem to cause a problem, but should I be worried?

                                                       

                                                      Secondly,

                                                      Some of my audio (speech) seems to be experiencing something which feels like SLIGHT automatic level compressing - as in during a silence between sentences you can hear the background noise increasing. I can go into a lot more detail if necessary regarding this, and to be honest I haven't yet tried to figure out why/how this is happening - just wondering if anyone else had had a similar thing!

                                                       

                                                      Thanks

                                                      Daniel

                                                      • 24. Re: Dolby Digital or Surcode Dolby Digital
                                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                        Daniel,

                                                         

                                                        You have likely noticed the difference in the block size between the MPEG-2 and the DD AC3.

                                                         

                                                        I always Export as elemental/elementary streams, i.e. one video-only and one audio-only file. Encore can have issues with muxed files, especially MPEG files. I eliminate that issue. It is not a constant, but has tripped up several users.

                                                         

                                                        Also, with DD 5.1 SS, Dolby suggests allowing 02 sec. of silence at the beginning of a DVD Timeline, to allow time for DVD players to "lock onto" the signal. I find this is more a case with higher-end players. I also finish my Timelines with some silence too. This allows the Video and Audio streams to match.

                                                         

                                                        In a DVD, you will have issues, if your Audio Track is longer than the Video, even by a few Audio Units.

                                                         

                                                        Good luck,

                                                         

                                                        Hunt