11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2012 10:37 AM by the_wine_snob

    How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?

    civex Level 1

      Okay, that's my question.


      I have a Zoom H2n which captures two stereo channels from its 5 microphones and it creates a pair of stereo audio files. I would like to import them into Premiere Elements 10 on my Mac (OS X Lion on a desktop Mac), create a video and export the video and audio to a DVD with surround sound.


      Is this possible? I have a 5.1 video camera, and the sound from that is exported correctly to DVD, so I know Premiere Elements handles existing 5.1 sound correctly.

        • 1. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          In PrE, you can Import fully-compliant DD 5.1 SS, but you cannot Export to that Audio Stream. Even PrPro cannot do so, without the Minnetonka Audio SurCode DD 5.1 SS Encoder plug-in (~ US $300 additional), or similar.


          Now, this ARTICLE might prove helpful, but as I have several licenses for the SurCode plug-in, and use PrPro for my DD 5.1 SS Audio Projects, I have never tried it.


          Good luck,




          PS - IIRC, Sony Vegas Pro includes DD 5.1 SS Encoding/Export, but you might want to check out my memory on that subject.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
            civex Level 1

            HI, Bill,


            What took so long? :->


            Dang. That's not the answer I was looking for. Vegas Pro appears to be Windows only, and it's six hundred bucks.


            Are you (or is anyone reading this thread) aware of Mac software that will take my H2n surround files and generate 5.1?

            • 3. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              You can go load 5.1 audio into Vegas Movie Studio HD also and, along with DVD Architect Studio, it will create a 5.1 audio DVD -- all for about $100.


              But, once again, it's PC only.


              Unfortunately, with a Mac, your choices are much more limited. Sorry.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                What took so long? :->

                It took me 3 mins. to find that article by TerraChild...


                Sorry, but I am a PC-only guy, and except for the various X-platform programs, know almost nothing about Macs, and what might be available for them.


                Also, as I use PrPro w/ the SurCode plug-in, I really have not looked much farther. Kind of like TerraChild's workflow, and even Vegas Pro, I can only pass along what I have read in other threads.


                I can imagine a workflow, with both PrE and Adobe Audition (now ported for the Mac), where one would basically edit the Video in PrE, and rip the Audio (Audition should be able to do this) from the muxed files, containing the DD 5.1 SS, and then Export the Video-only portion from PrE, to be Imported into Audition as a "reference file," where the Audio would be edited to match. One could then Export the Audio in a multi-channel format (like WMA for the PC), and finally Encoding that multi-channel Stream to DD 5.1 SS AC3, for use in an authoring program, like Encore. Rather round-about, and certainly not ideal (do not know of an inexpensive DD 5.1 SS stand-alone Encoder, though SurCode has at least one - though not inexpensive). This is sort of like the workflow that I use to create a DTS Audio Stream for DVD's, except that I do all of the initial editing, both Audio and Video in PrPro, then only use Audition for the assembly of the WMA multi-channel Streams into my SurCode DTS Encoder, which is a stand-alone program. It's actually not as hard to do, as it is to write about, but still has two additional steps, over my internally edited, and Encoded DD 5.1 SS w/ PrPro and that SurCode DD 5.1 SS plug-in.


                Now, and again from memory of other, older threads, but I think that one of the Nero programs does do 5.1 SS, but it is not Dolby Labs certified. However, if one is not doing commercial DVD's/BD's, that certification might not be important, so long as it works. What I do not know is whether the Nero programs are X-platform, or not.


                I wish that I could be more helpful, but my PC-only experiences limit me here. If you DO find the right programs, and a workflow for the Mac, many will benefit, if you post the details to this thread. I will be sure to link to it, to help others.


                Good luck,



                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9



                  Being the X-platform guru, that you are, I was holding out hopes that you might have a Mac option here.


                  Thank you for the mention of Vegas HD (I thought that only Vegas Pro handled DD 5.1 SS, so I just learned somethiing), and also for verifying that DVD Architect could work with a DD 5.1 SS AC3. That is all good new for me.


                  Thanks, and glad to see that your avatar is back!



                  • 6. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                    civex Level 1

                    > It took me 3 mins. to find that article by TerraChild.


                    The mention of Audacity in that article was interesting. I have the latest version, and I used it to import the sound from my Canon video files. They show up on 5 channels, and I can see by the waveforms that it's the sound from the video I'm using as a sample. However, Audacity won't play the audio, so I'll parse through their support and see if I can figure something else.


                    Thanks to Steve and you for your help. I expect to get more information during the workweek.

                    • 7. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Curious that Audacity will not play the file.


                      Now, IIRC, there are some MPEG plug-ins for Audacity. AC3 is a flavor of MPEG, so that might be all that is needed?


                      I use Adobe Audition most often, and though I have had Audacity for years, cannot recall the exact limitations, and the fixes, but I would look in the support docs. for "MPEG."


                      Good luck, and please report your success,



                      • 8. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                        civex Level 1

                        > please report your success


                        Confident, aren't we? :->


                        Audacity would import the sound from the .mts files that my Canon saves video and surround sound to, but Audacity couldn't play the sound. It was there in the waveforms, but just a click came out. C'est la vie. I just went directly to my H2n files, and it works fine with them.


                        I shoot a video using a regular mic, and I also record the sound externally to my Zoom H2n. I use a finger snap or clap as my clapper board. I have the H2n set to 4 Channel, which means it records two stereo audio streams, one with a name ending in MS.WAV, and the other ending XY.WAV. I use the MS stream as my front, and the XY as the surround. I also make sure the H2n is recording at 48000.


                        I copy the two .WAV files to my Mac. I copy the video to my Mac.


                        The current version of Audacity is 1.3.14, which I used. Other versions may vary in how to set them up. You'll need current versions of LAME and FFmpeg, and Audacity directs you to the correct locations to download and install them, if you need to. Then you follow the directions to tell Audacity where to find the files; when all is correct, Audacity displays the version numbers instead of asking you where they are.


                        In the OS X version of Audacity, go to File -> Import -> Audio ... and locate the MS and XY files. Select them both by command clicking them, then select Open. I get two warning dialogue boxes about working on original files, so I work on copies, click OK both times. Audacity then shows its main window with two files, each having 2 tracks of audio. I do no processing in Audacity, but you may choose to if you wish.


                        I select File -> Export and in the resulting dialogue box I choose as my format AC3 files (FFmpeg). Choose a file name in the Save As box, then click Save.


                        Now is the hard part. I get a window for Advanced Mixing Options. Because I have four streams of sound, the window defaults to four channels. However, I need six channels, so I slide the slider over to get the six. For my Mac and Audacity versions,

                           Channel 1 is left front

                           Channel 2 is right front

                           Channel 3 is center

                           Channel 4 is low frequency effects (LFE)

                           Channel 5 is left surround

                           Channel 6 is right surround

                        By clicking the boxes you connect or disconnect MS left to Channel 1, MS right to Channel 2, XY left to Channel 5, and XY right to Channel 6. Then I click to OK button, and Audacity writes the .ac3 file with the name I gave it.


                        Start up Adobe Premiere Elements; I'm using 10, and I use the timeline. I import the video file and the .ac3 file. I double-click the video and shorten it to the first useable snap. Then I double click the .ac3 file and do the same.


                        I drag the video to the timeline and play it just o make sure it's where I want it and to watch the waveforms from the audio portion. Then I drag the audio to the narration track and sync its snap to the snap on the video's soundtrack. If I remembered to record at 48000, all is in perfect sync.


                        Right-click the video and select Unlink video and audio. Then select only the audio track that is with the video and delete it. Then select the video and .ac3 tracks and link them. Export to DVD, and I get a 4-channel surround sound with the video.


                        I understand from Audacity forums that the assignments of the various channels to left, right, center, and LFE have changed between versions. Be aware the assignments may not be correctly reported here and that they may change with later versions of Audacity.


                        Audacity is free, and so are LAME and FFmpeg. Audacity lives here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ and its wiki is here: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audacity_Wiki_Home_Page

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Great details, and thank you.


                          Now, though one would assume that with current chip technology, and the internal clocks, all current video cameras and all separate audio recorders would be 100% in-sync, but they usually are not. Many users of separate audio recorders, like the Zooms, have found that they need to alter the recorded audio by just a bit. This takes some time, and experimenting, but once that correction has been found, and noted, it should not change, unless something goes wrong with the recorder.


                          One PrPro user, Jim Simon, found that his Zooms (same for all of his units) were out of sync by about 100.4% (IIRC) from his Panasonic cameras. After his testing, he just altered the rate of his Zoom audio by that factor, with Maintain Pitch checked, and from that point on, everything was perfectly in-sync.


                          Note: back in my cine days, we always had 100% sync between our silent cameras and our Nagra recorders, because they were tethered by a cable, and we could choose to use the clock in the camera, or the clock in the Nagra, as the Master, controlling the other unit. With our wonderful electronic units, that are not tethered, one would think that all mfgrs. would use the exact same clock chip, and all would match. However, that does not seem to be the case. So much for technology!


                          I would carefully test your Zoom's audio and your camera's, and determine if there IS an OOS issue between them. If so, experiment with adjusting the Zoom's audio files, to find the difference (probably quite small, but can be noticed with longer Duration), and make a note of that - should be the same adjustment forever.


                          Good luck, and thanks for reporting.



                          • 10. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                            civex Level 1

                            Yes, I assume all device clocks are off a smidgen vis-a-vis each other, which is why tethering to a master controller is necessary in pro work like yours. I'll bear your comments in mind if I ever run into the problem of losing sync later in files. Currently my videos are so short it seems unlikely, but I'll remember to  uh ...




                            • 11. Re: How do I create surround sound 5.1 audio in Premiere Elements 10?
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Well, the old cables have pretty much gone the way of the dodo, even with film work.That was "then," and this is now, where wireless of some sort, is the way that most of it is done. With a remote audio recorder, you are ahead of the game, by slating w/ your finger snap, and all you have to think about is any OOS between the danged clocks. Personally, I'd assume that the mfgrs. could get together and get the sync to 100%, but that does not happen, as often, as I'd like.


                              Good luck,