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Setting up 5.1 speakers with Pro Tools interface

Discussion in 'Media Production' started by Guest, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    So, I need soon to do 5.1 with:

    Pro Tools software & 8 ch interface
    A Digidesign ProControl
    Axis Panner
    6 x Genelec speakers

    Music for movies

    Stems back to PT?
    Or what else? Is there a new 'standard?'

    The ProControl's monitor section can handle the volume control of all 6 speakers..

    Anyone out there used the surround mixer in PT yet?? How is bass management organised?

    Any tips?


  2. Hi Jules,

    First off you need to create a 5.1 setup in the "I/O Setup" window. There should already be a couple of default 5.1 setups in the window. This will output each of the discrete outputs to an output on one of your 888s. Take the analog outs to the ProControl's monitor inputs. I can't remember off hand which these are but they are listed in the manual. The digital outs you'll probably want to take to a DA88 or some other multi-channel format for mastering.

    You will need to switch the mode of your ProControl to "Surround" from "Stereo" in the utility pages. You will then be able to adjust the monitor volume for each of the six channels by using the pots on the monitor section as described in the manual: Stereo pot, Headphone pot and Cue mix pot. A bit clunky but it works well enough.

    Bass management is functional, if rudimentary. A new and useful tool is the ability to assign a channel to more than one output at a time. This means you could for example assign you output stems to outputs 1-6 on your 888 as well as to say outputs 7&8. This results in your surround mix on channels 1-6 and an equivalent stereo mix on channels 7&8.

  3. Rog

    Rog Guest

    You might want to take a look at Nuendo. I've only used it for stereo but surround support does look excellent.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks very much all v usefull!!

  5. Andy Horka

    Andy Horka Guest

    I've been using Logic audio platinum 4.7.3, a motu 2408 and paradigm active 40 reference monitors/sub with really good results. Logic has very good 5.1 implementation, the motu interface is almost custom made for surround and the active40's sound as good as genelecs for half the price(personal opinion only).

    This is a cost effective alternative to a ProTools/Genelec system.
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just spent a leisurly 2 days setting up 5.1

    We organised:

    to record to 6 mono tracks in PT - so to 'master back' to PT. These were muted so as not to 'feed back'.

    Then using sends above those mono "PT 5.1 master tracks' we created a "tweakable" stereo fold-down of the 5.1 mix. (sprinkle C LS RS and Sub to the stereo mix to taste) We patched this audio in the last stereo monitor return available.

    Volume is controlled by one knob (cool!) and by having the ProControl's monitor status in 'select mode' we were able to toggle via 5.1 and our stereo fold down with ease.. We set up the speakers by ear, but know that an SPL meter and a tape measure to get the speakers spread out right, is needed to do a proper job of it

    We recorded and played back a 5.1 and stereo version of a trial mix.

    We recorded pink noise and several tracks from a test CD including classical pieces, sound FX and Yellows "the race".

    to make a 'suround sound' music effect we organised 2 stereo auxes each with the same input one for front reverb one for back reverb thus making quad reverb! (we didn't have a surround reverb to hand) It made it sound like you were watching a band at Wembly Stadium! If you moved to the back it sounded like you were at Wembly Stadium getting a hotdog!

    We used the track ball to pan around the speakers. We have an Axis Joystick panner, and we will try to hook that up tomorrow!

    I now understand why the Edit Pack has TWO MOTORISED PANNERS... but that is a lot of $$$!!!

    I am not sure I got all the above correct, I fear we probably have missed something.. like what the "fold down mix" is all about.

    But it sure was fun!

    we saved the template and demo session to CDR. I am confident thatwe could be up and running within a day should one of our clients want to mix in 5.1.
    By recording to PT, we can hire a DA78 or Genex just for the last day to print all the mixes onto..

    I wish my music clients had the budget for 5.1 ! The only real chance for it is my advertizing & film music chums... see what they can bring in..!


    Please give tips!!!!

    (From the forum a few above)


    to make this work we cheated with the folowing extra stuff..

    an extra 888
    a Cransong Hedd converter
    a Z-Sys digital router..
  7. Hi Jules,

    Obviously a surround reverb is the business. But using the setup you described, try delaying one of your stereo aux's. By introducing a delay to the front or back you can often create some interesting points of perspective.

    I tend to make my stems 3 x stereo as opposed to 6 x mono. This allows me to drop in an L2 plug on each of the 3 stereo outputs and master straight down to my DA98. I'm sure I don't need to say this but just to be safe: If you are using an L1 or L2 on each of your stems make sure the threashold and settings for each is identical!

    I'm not sure if you've got your stereo fold-down sorted. What you are doing doesn't sound quite right to me but I never have to play around with making fold-downs so I'm not the best person to give advice.

    Your speaker placement. If you are looking to get into 5.1 film stuff you will probably need to get some professional calibration done. It would also be worth your while to have a good nose around the dolby site (www.dolby.com). There are quite a few issues with frequency, bandwidth, bass management, etc., that you need to be aware of if you are going to work with 5.1 or LCRS.

  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks, I am told one can 'make' Dolby come visit and help you.. If you are on a film..!!!!
    Good advice as usual!
  9. << I am told one can 'make' Dolby come visit and help you.. If you are on a film..!!!! >>

    When I was making my first film I gave Dolby a call with a technical question. They offered to come to my studio and calibrate the system. Didn't cost me a penny so it would have been stupid not to have taken them up on the offer!

    Strangely enough I also had someone down from Genelec on the same day and there was a bit of a disagreement between him and the Dolby guy on speaker placement for 5.1. I learnt quite a bit from the discussion!


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