Recording 5.1 surround

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rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi all

Just moved up to Vegas Pro 10 from Adobe Premier Elements 4. Vegas has the option to edit 5.1 surround. I'm still getting to grips with the new interface and video editing with Vegas but also want to start turning my attention to sound.

I film mainly wildlife and natural world, so if I give a couple of scenarios maybe someone could point me in the right direction regarding sound.

(1) Filming a natural world setting with Sony Z5 and or Sony V1, stereo mics plugged into camera recording the main front left and right ambient, portable Marantz with stereo mics for rear left and right ambient and back home to record narration track for front centre. Does that sound right or am I getting the whole thing wrong?

(2) Filming a woodland setting with Sony Z5 and or Sony V1, stereo mics plugged into camera recording the main front left and right ambient, portable Marantz with stereo mics for rear left and right ambient. Now the tricky bit. That Robin singing beautifully, I want to home in on that for the front centre. I have a ME66 I can use but how do I add that to the mix in the field without loosing the front or rear ambient? I can't for example plug a pair of stereo mics into say the Z5 to record stereo front ambient and add the ME66 for the mono centre track.

I hope the scenarios put it better than me trying to ask the question in long hand :D

Thanks in advance

Ron

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Virtually all 5.1 is produced in the post environment so I wouldn't worry too much about recording it on location, most pro audio for narration and dialogue is recorded mono with stereo wild or buzz tracks added in post.

It is rare that stereo is recorded at the same time and doing it this way allows you to control the sound field without having to worry too much about getting the right sound on location.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks Gary. Putting it that way makes sense and I'm guessing that a library of stock location sounds is worth going out collecting as you are always likely to have the right sound for the environment. That also leaves you to record an individual source when filming.

Thanks again Gary

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Yes you are right a library of stereo sound or audio recorded specifically will be the best bet as it allows you to control things far greater than trying to record reality in 5.1.

You would be surprised what audio I have used to create sound tracks over the past 20 years and for 5.1 it is all down to being creative and using the surround abilities to create a complimentary sound field to the pictures.

Remember as well that the sub bass is to be used for specific effect, that is why it is called the LFE, a proper 5.1 monitoring set-up should also have full range speakers for the LCR and rear pair allowing full range audio to be assigned and panned, then the LFE is kicked in as and when required to give the full effect.

Also bear in mind that if you then produce a DVD or Blu Ray or have to deliver 5.1 as a mixed stream you will need to invest in the necessary decoding plug ins.

Personally I use pro tools for all my 5.1 mixing with mix 51 software: http://www.neyrinck.com/Pages/mix51.html bear in mind that this is just to pan and set up monitoring I then have to pay for the decoding but do that in a proper dolby licenced dubbing suite.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks again Gary. Your suggestions regarding the LFE are duly noted and again something that I need to experiment with. It's clearly a little more complex than mixing to stereo though the planning and creativity are much the same. I'll 'play' a little, get to know what does what and sounds right given different, albeit mock, examples ... a kind of learn by doing if you will.

Quote:
Also bear in mind that if you then produce a DVD or Blu Ray or have to deliver 5.1 as a mixed stream you will need to invest in the necessary decoding plug ins.

I assume you mean on the video editing suit and audio editing system? A further assumption being that Vegas will encode in 5.1 and given the correct settings, which I know is not likely without some sort of audio software similar to yours, will in fact decode on a DVD or/and Blue Ray player with suitable AV system into 5.1 surround?

Quote:
bear in mind that this is just to pan and set up monitoring I then have to pay for the decoding but do that in a proper dolby licenced dubbing suite.

Not quiet sure what you mean there Gary, why does it need decoding, isn't this done at the viewers AV side?

Thanks again Gary

Ron

MAGLINK
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Normally if you are doing 5.1 for delivery to other people you have to decode to the dolby or other standards and that requires a software licence.

Some of the edit packages include pro logic 2 which is a form of 5.1 surround but to be compatible with the big boys it will need to be decoded to dolby digital.

If you take it up a level to cinema sound you can't even buy the software or hardware to do it and have to use a licenced dubbing theatre for DTS and THX etc.

Unless the world has changed as I always finish my 5.1 dubs in licenced dolby dubbing suite.

dominicwitherow
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Joined: Apr 2 2006

Final Cut Studio can encode to Dolby Digital 5.1 very easily and has the official DD seal of approval etc (that link will let you know what other software is approved too). I haven't looked into doing it with Adobe software yet, but have been doing it for years with Compressor. There are both stereo and 5.1 settings available within Compressor.

Just seen from that link that Vegas has approval too. D

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

I use Vegas and it has the official Dolby Digital 5.1 encoder included in the software which I have used before. It does say it is the consumer version so not sure how that differs from other versions but certainly works a treat.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks again Gary. Reading through the Dolby site I conclude from what I read and what you say that it's all to do with standards and a product being up to standard so that answers my last question on my last post.

Dominic. Thanks for the link, I was all about read out on Dolby but have taken a look at your link and the 'Dolby Logo Use Agreement Application (trademark agreement)' which I understand I would need to fill in if I want to use the Dolby logo(s) on discs or packaging ... that would be a polished look :) I skipped the Motion Picture Service Agreement (MPSA), somehow I doubt I'll be turning out the next box office best seller :D

Thank also Paul. I haven't got round to encoding anything in Vegas yet, I'm still learning and 'playing' but at least I know that it is genuine Dolby 5.1 however I have no clue as to the difference between consumer and I'm guessing professional versions. You may or may not know this ... does Vegas also encode to DTS? Just wondering now Gary has me reading up on these things ;)

Thanks all

Ron

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

DTS in Vegas - No.

Only Dolby Digital.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010
Quote:
DTS in Vegas - No

Thanks for that Paul.

Slightly OT. Interested in the Dolby part of the post ... (weird how one question seems to generate a wider subject) ... I took a look at the 'DVD Video' and 'Blu-ray' logo's and their use. I wasn't aware that you can't use these logo's without permission and that is highly unlikely unless you are a replicating company.

I know I'm not likely to produce the next box office blockbuster but it is interesting to note the hoops some of you guys must have to jump through just to get your work out to it's intended audience!

Thanks to all again

Ron

MAGLINK
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Well to throw some perspective on the whole surround thing I spent £500k on kit over ten years ago to build a state of the art dubbing facility in London, dolby would still not licence us for full surround as they deem you have to have a full sized cinema room and crap JBL PA system type horn loaded speakers that sound dreadful but can produce their required SPL levels.

I was Ok to do dolby E for TV or trailers but had to buy £3k's worth of their encode and decoders, you can get this in software now but you still have to pay a lot to get the plug in and even more to use their logos etc.

You can see the level of kit I had here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1DUmtDs2cI

To be honest most clients will just not pay for the extra time required to do surround so as I say if I ever get asked to do it my first question is what extra budget is available for the additional track laying and proper dubbing time.

Have a play with it if you like but as a money earner it is best to leave full 5.1 to the big boys who have the kit to do it properly.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010
Quote:
I spent £500k on kit over ten years ago to build a state of the art dubbing facility in London, dolby would still not licence us for full surround ...

Unbelievable Gary! Then just when you think you have a part of it covered (dolby E) they hit you with

Quote:
£3k's worth of their encode and decoders

They don't make it easy for anyone trying to break into the profession seriously to even get on the first rung of the ladder. Even the 'big boys' have to start somewhere and let's be honest, not all of those have a large budget to start off with but like most of us here an enthusiasm and creative drive that keeps them focused. They should encourage people to get on board, after all these people will be their bread and butter in the future. A small price I agree they should ask, the technology has to be developed, people have to be paid, but they should plan in a long term smaller return instead of a short term quick high return, that way they will always have a flow of new users.

I assume THX and DTS are the same?

Nice Neve there Gary, wouldn't get that in this room without having a mass clear out!

Thanks for the tour Gary, like a little bit AV heaven ;)

Ron

MAGLINK
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DTS is the sony system and THX is the one george lucas invented, to release a movie you pretty much have to do them all so end up paying for several licences.

As you say it should be more available these days but I suppose they want to keep the standards up for theatre release, the mix 51 software I have includes pro logic 2 so it makes it easy to get an encode and decode set-up for your monitoring and I suspect that the encoding that is included in FCP is also pro logic 2.

I bought another AMS Neve logic 3 five years ago and it was the one that Jumbuck studio used to do all the BBC sit coms such as my family etc, we paid £89K for that L3 at plus 8 in 1999 but I bought the one off Glenn Calder for £5k, my DFC is still in operation at Lip Sync on wardour st and mixer Paul Cotrell flies it mixing programmes such as Red Riding and United on it.
Paul was my runner at Oasis TV and Plus 8 so it shows how he has progressed in his career!:D

rt2000
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Quote:
Paul Cotrell flies it ...

It is a nice desk and it certainly needs flying, I think it would take me a few years to get my pilots licence for that beast!

The best I ever played with was an old Alice ... to many years ago to mention here :eek:

Quote:
DTS is the sony system and THX is the one george lucas invented ...

More money in licences than there is in producing the movie I'm beginning to imagine. I guess at the end of the day it's the viewer/listener experience that these companies are trying to enhance. If a film maker/producer etc. want to give the full experience then they will use the technology that these companies have worked on to do that. It works hand in hand I guess, as George Lucas proved with his THX system.

I just think that the future Spielberg's, Hitchcock's, Hughes's etc. are today's youngsters and it is a shame that they start with all good intentions in a possible career after doing a media course etc. only to find that once they have an idea they have to find lot's of £'s just to enable the technology that is a part of what they see in their creation/artwork. Having said that I do believe that standards should be kept.

Slips off my soap box :D

Cheers Gary

Ron

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010
quick update

Just thought I'd mention I've filled in an application form with Dolby to get permission to use a couple of their logo's. I recieved a reply saying it would take 4 to 6 weeks to process and that I would have to send some samples if they agree. No, I don't need a bottle just some samples of Dolby Digital and the Dolby Digital 5.1. from Vegas :D

Ron

MAGLINK
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Good luck and I hope they don't ask you if your dubbing suite is like this:http://www.adventuresinanimation.com/images/SoundbyLucasfilm/big_pano.jpg :D

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Cheers Gary. When did someone take that? :eek: I've made it clear ... no photographs unless I've emptied the bin :D ;)

The guy who mailed me back seems to think there's no problem. I'll feed back here and let you know how it all goes.

Ron

John Willett
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rt2000 wrote:
Hi all

Just moved up to Vegas Pro 10 from Adobe Premier Elements 4. Vegas has the option to edit 5.1 surround. I'm still getting to grips with the new interface and video editing with Vegas but also want to start turning my attention to sound.

I film mainly wildlife and natural world, so if I give a couple of scenarios maybe someone could point me in the right direction regarding sound.

(1) Filming a natural world setting with Sony Z5 and or Sony V1, stereo mics plugged into camera recording the main front left and right ambient, portable Marantz with stereo mics for rear left and right ambient and back home to record narration track for front centre. Does that sound right or am I getting the whole thing wrong?

(2) Filming a woodland setting with Sony Z5 and or Sony V1, stereo mics plugged into camera recording the main front left and right ambient, portable Marantz with stereo mics for rear left and right ambient. Now the tricky bit. That Robin singing beautifully, I want to home in on that for the front centre. I have a ME66 I can use but how do I add that to the mix in the field without loosing the front or rear ambient? I can't for example plug a pair of stereo mics into say the Z5 to record stereo front ambient and add the ME66 for the mono centre track.

I hope the scenarios put it better than me trying to ask the question in long hand :D

Thanks in advance

Ron

I think I would use a Soundfield mic. for this.

Either the ST450, or the cheaper SPS200

Record on 4-tracks and you can manipulate to 5.1, 7.1, stereo, or whatever in the DAW.

I have the SPS200 myself - excellent. :cool:

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi John

Thanks for the Soundfield (now bookmarked) link. Interesting site and loving the SPS200! The answer to not having to carry so much kit around. Price wise it's a little expensive for the short term future but certainly something I am interested in ... maybe next year budget permitting John unless the lotto comes up, but I won't hold my breath :D

Thanks for that.

Ron

MAGLINK
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I used to own an ST250 soundfield mic that I was given whilst I was working in customer support at AMS Neve.

We also had a room with KEF 104 loudspeakers where the soundfield could be demonstrated and hearing the last night of the proms was superb, I also got to spend a few afternoon's with the man who designed it for calrec.

Happy times but I sold my ST250 a few years ago and it is now used as a voice over mic in a post prod studio.

All the vocals on the Stock Aitken Waterman records were recorded with an ST250 and Lisa Stansfield also used one in her studio.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Just got round to following up your post Gary. Nice kit, I googled it and came up with:

this review and this which obviously is no longer available but a nice pic :)

Nice bit of kit and pretty compact. I noticed one on the bay went for £1,020.00 at the beginning of the month. Hold their price well by the looks of it Gary.

Ron

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

After a lifetime playing with this stuff there are only perhaps four mics or mic ranges I covet (and cannot afford) I recently had a SoundField ST450 here for review and that is probably at the top of the list. Only minuses are slightly excessive handling noise and sensitivity to air movement. Wouldn't say no to the digital version either. Next is a toss up between Schoeps and Sennheiser double M&S and lastly, the workhorse voice over mic, the Neumann U87. If I was being greedy I'd also like the very clever Schoeps Super CMIT.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Nice selection Rob and I'd drop into the 'cannot afford' bracket for those too ... in fact most things right now, I think I've spent my quota for this year and last for that matter and it's only a hobby for me, how my wife puts up with all this gear I have no idea :D I think she likes the getting out and about bit ;)

The SoundField ST450 is the successor for the ST350 and in turn the ST250 Gary mentioned from what I've read on their site. Even the second hand price for the 250 is high which speaks volumes about the unit. The U87 is a classic going back to the 60's I think, over £2k now if you want one new but I don't think I'd take that out on a trek :eek:

Ron

John Willett
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Rob James wrote:
After a lifetime playing with this stuff there are only perhaps four mics or mic ranges I covet (and cannot afford) I recently had a SoundField ST450 here for review and that is probably at the top of the list. Only minuses are slightly excessive handling noise and sensitivity to air movement. Wouldn't say no to the digital version either. Next is a toss up between Schoeps and Sennheiser double M&S and lastly, the workhorse voice over mic, the Neumann U87. If I was being greedy I'd also like the very clever Schoeps Super CMIT.

Use the ST450 in a Rycote with Lyres and use the extra flexible output cable - that should address both your reservations about handling noise and sensitivity to air movement.

I have the SPS200 and always use it in a Rycote mount and I purchased the extra flexible tail to decouple the mic. from any handling noise sent up the cable.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

MAGLINK
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I have been lucky to use pretty much any mic regardless of cost over the past 30 years but these days it's budget mic's for me and that just goes to show how lucky people are that there are now low cost alternatives out there.

Here's my top three budget mic's that I use all the time:

Main shotgun mic's (I have five of these) : http://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/audio-technica-at875r-condenser-microphone-p-70.html

Stereo mic: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-ECMMS957-Digital-Microphone-variable/dp/B00005QBUV/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1318324999&sr=1-1-catcorr

General purpose capacitor mic (I have four of these): http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TAKSTAR-CM-60-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphone-/260711226003?pt=UK_Music_Instruments_Microphones_MJ&hash=item3cb3999a93

Only other mic's I have in general use for broadcast are the two G2 radios with me2's and two new beyer M58's I got off e-bay for £130 the pair!

Rob James
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John, I was using a Rycote mount with lyres but not the ultra flex cable. Still felt that the handling noise could have been better. I.e. the capsule de-coupled more effectively from the mic body.
As for the wind noise, I suppose with four capsules that is always likely to be an issue even with the best that Rycote can offer.

That said, the quietest combination for handling and wind I've encountered so far was the Schoeps double M&S, again in a Rycote but this time with a conbox and very thin cable to the heads.

While I think about it, I've been meaning to ask you about the relative virtues of MKH 416, MKH 60 and MKH 8060. Although to answer my own question I guess if you want to do M&S or double M&S then the MKH 60 is probably the one since there is the partner MKH 30.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

John Willett
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Rob James wrote:
John, I was using a Rycote mount with lyres but not the ultra flex cable. Still felt that the handling noise could have been better. I.e. the capsule de-coupled more effectively from the mic body.
As for the wind noise, I suppose with four capsules that is always likely to be an issue even with the best that Rycote can offer.

How did you windshield the mic.?

I have found the flexible tail essential for my SPS200.

Rob James wrote:
That said, the quietest combination for handling and wind I've encountered so far was the Schoeps double M&S, again in a Rycote but this time with a conbox and very thin cable to the heads.

Yup - the Rycote windshield, suspension and decoupling leads really sorts this out.

Have you read this? "Keeping Microphones Quiet"

Rob James wrote:
While I think about it, I've been meaning to ask you about the relative virtues of MKH 416, MKH 60 and MKH 8060. Although to answer my own question I guess if you want to do M&S or double M&S then the MKH 60 is probably the one since there is the partner MKH 30.

The best is the 8060, followed by the 60 and lastly the 416.

Fig-8: Personally I would use the MKH 30 as this is probably the best on the market until Sennheiser produce the 8030 (no projected date yet, though).

An alternative - small and not too expensive - is the Ambient EMESSER ATE208 - I have one of these for review, but have not had a chance to fire it up properly yet.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Rob James
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Thanks John, and for the links, all very interesting. I will be most interested to hear what you think of the Ambient.
I could go on at some length about M&S experiments I conducted years ago and the conclusions but I would be off the original topic.
I was surprised that there was no mention in the IBS article about the use of exotic "gel" type materials for damping out movement. Whilst I accept the science behind the lyre I still think that isolating the lyre carrier from the handle with a carefully specified gel material would further improve the handling noise. For example something from an industrial manufacturer like :
http://www.gelmec.co.uk/GelmecAboutUs.html or http://www.greenfieldpolymers.co.uk/products.asp?parent=&id=125
I must find a source of thin Litz or similar cable and make up some isolating tails for some of my cheaper mics and see if it improves them.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010
Update

Hi Guys

Just a quick update as a follow on to this post. I had a shot at filling in the form to get permission to use the dolby logo an some of the work I hope to hand out to schools etc. (no financial gain involved, as most of you know, it's a hobby for me). That was back in September. I received a reply yesterday saying my application to use the trademark had been agreed. The next step is to supply them with demo DVD and artwork. Artwork to comply with set dimensions and layout etc. and the DVD for them to see that the audio work is up to their standards. I'll keep you posted.

As mentioned earlier in this thread and as some of you know I am now using Vegas 10 and DVD Architect. I can see the advantage of DVDA and in normal use will use it to produce a final product with menu's etc. However you can burn a DVD/Blue-Ray direct from Vegas (without all the menus etc.) so for demo purposes is there any difference between using DVDA and Vegas? I envisage a short lead in when the DVD is placed in the player leading into the main demo (no menus).

Cheers
Ron