5.1 Surrond Mix Lab Setup

Daily setup for the 5.1 Surround Sound Mix Labs at VFS:
(custom prep for the Theater mix lab)

– Create a blank session at 48 kHz / 24Bit

– Session Setup : SYNC : 23.976 Time Code
– I/O Clear all Outputs and Bus paths

– Set default path order to Left,Right,Center,Lfe,L.Surrond,R.Surround (SMPTE)
– Set New Path “5.1 Speakers”
– Set 6 Individual Sub paths / Mono/ for each individual channel
– Seat Audition paths at : 5.1 Speakers (5.1)

Bus Paths:
– Set 5.1 Default path order to 5.1 SMPTE
– Create a 5.1 Bus – L,R,C,Lfe,Ls,Rs
– Close the I/O setup window

In the Pro Tools edit window:
– Create One Mono Audio Track
– Set the Output to 5.1
– Click on the Track Fader : You will have a 5.1 panner available to audition speaker arrangement
– Insert a “Signal Generator” on the Track and add Pink noise to the track
– Isolate each individual speaker by selecting it Output MONO with Pink Noise

To SHOOT the Room:
-Set the SPL Meter at 80
-Deselect the DIM/Mute all switch on the Control 24
-Send Pink Noise individually to each speakers solo on a Mono out

-Shoot the LFE first
-Shoot the the front three monitors.
-Keep the Main monitor level on 0 for 85db
-Shoot the two Surrounds at 81db

Tune the Mix Lab: EQs

-Create One 5.1 Master Fader
-Insert a MultiMono TDM plugin EQ : Q10(mono)
-Deselect the Master link button
-Import the “Theater Translator EQs” and Assign them to each individual channel L,C,R,Lfe,Ls,Rs

Creating an LCRS Mix with Dolby Encoders + Decoders:

-Under I/o, Create a New Path and call it it LCRS
-Duplicate this path order under Bus
-Create 4 Individual Sub Paths L,C,R,S – Mono
-Set the Audio Paths for LCRS
-Deselect your 5.1 path

-Create 4 new Audio tracks and 1 Aux track
-Make the 4 new Audio tracks L,C,R,S
-Bus the L track to the L Bus and continue to separately assign each track to its corresponding Bus
-On the new Aux insert a Multichannel TDM plugin – Sound Field – SurEncoder
-Add a second Insert on the same track -Multichannel TDM plugin – Sound Field – SurDecod Stereo/LCRS



Training with Ray Beckett

Here is the link for my VFS blog post:
Training with Academy Award Winner Ray Beckett

Here are some of the Pre Production, Production, and Post Production ideas that Ray discussed with us:

Pre Production:
-Meet with Director – Learn about their Philosophy on ADR
-Production Meeting – Communicate with Post production – Anticipate problems + set working Parameters
-Recces (Location Scouting):
-A presence at all Recces –
-Liason with locations to anticipate sound issues
-Liason with gaffer to establish positioning of the ballasts/generators

Equipment Check : Test all equipment
Location scan of the proposed radio mic frequencies for interference – a range test for any intermodulation between chosen channels.
A sync test using proposed audio flow – looking for any drifting

-Be your own worst critic – Listen to your rushes
-Headphones are important
-Maintain a constant headphone level
-Maintain high quality working relationships
-Flexibility for you and your team on set

-Record Room Tones + Sfx right away if possible
-Boom 6 Feet above peoples heads – starting point and then adjust

-Record Dialogue wild takes
-Meticulous recording of info about takes and meta data as you go
-Prompt delivery of Dailies
-Recording of Atmospheres.

Post production:

-Make contact with Dialogue editors
-Listen through Headphones and through good monitors
-Rustle from Low end frequencies might not be as bad over loud speakers
-Give post sound editors a list of mics used in location sound.
-Try to attend the rerecording session to learn how your Tracks will be mixed.

Here is some of the items that Ray recommended a location sound recordists have on hand for every recording opportunity:
-MK41 Hyper cardioid
-Knuckle Joint
-Putty Scraper
-Gaffer Tape
-Surgical Tape
-Velcro Tape
-Passive transformer

– John

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