17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2010 4:26 PM by the_wine_snob

    SurCode Track Assignments?

    conleec Level 1

      Hello All,

       

      I'm desperately trying to create a 5.1 BluRay of a feature film I directed. I have 6 discreet tracks from my post audio mixer and an Avid DNxHD Quicktime of my movie. Sync is perfect, etc. And I've purchased the SurCode plugin.

       

      My problem is that when I run everything thru Adobe Media Encoder, the AC3 file seems to be screwed up -- as if track assignments aren't correct, or something. My Quicktime has the following track assignments: L, R, C, LFE, LR, RR

       

      Is this correct? Do I have to feed Media Encoder from PP, or can't I just send the file thru as is? Or is the SurCode plugin expecting the tracks in a different order? I read some PP tutorials where they're saying something about the tracks should be in the order: L, R, LR, RR, C, LFE.

       

      I'm so confused; any help would be HUGELY appreciated.

       

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Chris

        • 1. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
          Kobi_Sargeant Level 1

          I can't help you specifically, but I would recommend creating a simple 30 sec test file, with mono files of you saying "left" "right" "back left" etc.  Put those in the channels you believe are correct, create your AC3, and play it back and see what ended up where ...

          • 2. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
            Jim_Simon Level 8
            Do I have to feed Media Encoder from PP

             

            Try it.  Report back the results.

            • 3. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
              conleec Level 1

              Problem is, I'm an Avid editor and have absolutely NO IDEA how to use Premiere. I was hoping I could just feed the QT with 6 tracks thru Media Encoder with SurCode and author in Encore. I've got a support ticket in with the SurCode folks, so hopefully they can shed some light on things Monday.

               

              Chris

              • 4. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                I started with Avid myself.  The beauty of Premiere is that the interface was similar enough that I had no trouble picking it up.  Certainly an experienced editor should be able to figure out a simple import/export job.  You won't be doing any editing.

                • 5. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                  conleec Level 1

                  I'm starting to think my CS5 intallation is corrupt, or something. I can import the various clips, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how to properly route a 5.1 mix. The monitoring doesn't seem to work, and I can't get the help file to launch. For now I've broken down and did an Audacity hack job on it. At least I now have a BluRay disk with surround that works, but it didn't give me the control I was hoping to have with the SurCode plugin. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the SurCode folks on the line and try to sort this all out.


                  Chris

                  • 6. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                    conleec Level 1

                    Okay, so I reinstalled my CS5 package, and called Minnetonka Audio. Here's what I've found:

                     

                    Apparently you cannot simply send an interleaved 6 channel wav/aif directly to Adobe Media Encoder, because it will not correctly assign the 6 tracks to the corresponding tracks in your resulting AC3. You MUST send it to Media Encoder from Premiere, with the tracks properly assigned and panned.

                     

                    However, this is where things get tricky.

                     

                    In the 'real world' 5.1 surround tracks are generally in the order: L, R, C, LFE, Ls, Rs

                     

                    However, for some reason, Adobe Premiere expects them to be in the order: L, R, Ls, Rs, C, LFE

                     

                    And they MUST be in that order if you want the SurCode plugin to properly encode your AC3 for surround playback. The guy I spoke with at Minnetonka wasn't an engineer and he's going to confirm this with an engineer. But in our dabbling, this is what we both found to be true.

                     

                    Another issue that's been well documented on these forums is that Premiere doesn't have a way to properly assign a discreet track as LFE only. Whenever an LFE track is placed it 'bleeds over' into all the other tracks. I don't know if this actually bleeds into the other tracks when run through SurCode or not, but it definitely does when monitoring directly from Premiere. Near as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a fix for this.

                     

                    The way I ended up doing this, with the direct participation from the Minnetonka support person, was as follows:

                     

                    1) I took my six discreet channels and loaded them into freeware Audacity in the following order: L, R, Ls, Rs, C, LFE.

                     

                    2) I then exported a 6 channel interleaved .WAV file.

                     

                    3) In Premiere I created a new project and set the Master Mixer to 5.1 and I created a single 5.1 track. No other tracks were added.

                     

                    4) I imported my 6 channel interleaved .WAV and drug it onto the single 5.1 audio track

                     

                    5) By hitting play, I could visually confirm in the mixer that all six tracks were bouncing around properly, and discreetly (ie, no bleed from the LFE track, etc) I had no control over the various channels at this point, but they were already prepared by my post audio facility, so I had no need to adjust them anyway.

                     

                    6) I selected this track and then chose to export it. Since I had no video, I deselected Video in Media Encoder. And for the audio I selected Dolby Digital, and SurCode with 5.1 and let 'er rip.

                     

                    Voila! After two weeks of screwing around with SurCode and Media Encoder I FINALLY have an AC3 file which properly decodes into all 6 channels.

                     

                    Hope it helps somebody.

                     

                    Chris

                    • 7. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      In the 'real world' 5.1 surround tracks are generally in the order: L, R, C, LFE, Ls, Rs

                       

                      Film ordering seems to be L, C, R, Ls, Rs, LFE.  Makes you wonder where Adobe got their ordering from.

                      • 8. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Here is how things sort out:

                         

                        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

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                          conleec Level 1

                          Interesting. I was told that the correct order for SurCode was L, R, Ls, Rs, C, LFE. I tested this configuration, and it does indeed seem to produce a proper encode. Where do you get your specs, Hunt?

                           

                          Chris

                          • 10. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                            Level 4

                            dolby.jpg

                             

                             

                            • 11. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              In my case, I created a 6-channel stream with six different SFX streams. Going back to the SurCode plug-in for PrPro 2.0, Minnetonka confirmed that channel arrangement, but did not offer any "why." I do not know if any changes have taken place over the years.

                               

                              Hunt

                              • 12. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Rod,

                                 

                                Looks like you got the DTS Encoder. Bet you love the Audio with that!

                                 

                                I wish that the DTS process was a tad more simple, but the rewards can be spectacular on a DTS-capable system.

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                  Level 4

                                  to be totally honest, I am not that happy with the sound stuff I have.

                                   

                                  I dont even have the simple treble and bass controls I had as a kid with a Fischer amp (sp? )... everything is presets and the EQ stuff is a joke with those presets.

                                   

                                  I really wish I had some basic pre amp and power amp controls I had 30 years ago....the eq a separate unit that I could control with pots instead of presets and software stuff....I just dont hear the same good quality on the stereo level, let alone what I must be missing with the dolby stuff.

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                    conleec Level 1

                                    Hunt,

                                     

                                    I tried feeding the SurCode plugin with your track assignments, and it didn't produce a correct encode in CS5. I guess the track assignments have changed since PP2.x

                                     

                                    Last night I also figured out that Apple Compressor actually has a Dolby Digital encoder built in, so it turns out I didn't even need to drop the $300. That's a bit of a drag, too. But anyway, I'm now able in both PP and Compressor to export proper AC3s for surround. That's all I wanted to do.

                                     

                                    Chris

                                    • 15. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      Chris,

                                       

                                      Thanks for the report. I now know that I will need to modify my little chart (taped to my monitor for my reference), when I upgrade to CS5.

                                       

                                      Appreciated,

                                       

                                      Hunt

                                      • 16. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                        conleec Level 1

                                        No problem. But please, doublecheck me when you do your first encode. It seems there are enough variables all the way around that Lord only knows if my formula will work for all parties involved. ;-)

                                         

                                        Chris

                                        • 17. Re: SurCode Track Assignments?
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          Chris,

                                           

                                          I will do just that. I still have the source files handy on the soon-to-be-replaced workstation, and will gather my donkey, pig, dog, woman laughing, deep rumble, etc., and see what pops out of the SurCode Encoder.

                                           

                                          Thanks for pointing this out to me and good luck,

                                           

                                          Hunt