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Now that I have my Surround Sound mix, what do I do with it???

Surround sound is a great way to add a new level to your production By Kevin McAuliffe

A while back I wrote a tutorial about surround sound mixing in Soundtrack Pro, and let me tell you that I have never received as much mail about any one article as I did about that one, and almost all the questions were the same. "Now that I have my surround sound mix, how do I get it onto my project (tape/DVD/etc)?" I thought that for this article I would look at three very common ways to get your surround sound mix out to tape/DVD. One method for DVD, and two choices depending on your equipment setup for tape.

Before I talk about output methods, I want to address the other common question I got about that article, and that was "how do I monitor in surround sound, as my device is greyed out in my Audio Midi Setup (in Utilities)?" For all you editors and soundmixers out there working on either an iMac, MacBook Pro or a system that doesn't have a higher end capture card, this is a scenario that you have probably run into, and there is a piece of hardware out there that can help you. The Roland Edirol FA-101 is a FireWire unit that will let you monitor in surround sound on your iMac, MacBook Pro, and your MacPro tower as well, and you can find it at many internet retailers for about $380 US.  

Edirol FA-101

With that out of the way, let's look at how to get our surround sound mixes onto our finished masters. I have taken a six channel music mix from Soundtrack Pro (STP), and exported it as an .AIF file for us to work with.

Six channel music mix in Soundtrack Pro.

Before we jump right in, I want to remind everyone that for television, you need to configure your channels in the following way:

Channel 1 : Left
Channel 2 : Right
Channel 3 : Center
Channel 4 : Sub (LFE)
Channel 5 : Left Surround
Channel 6 : Right Surround

with an optional

Channel 7 : Stereo Left
Channel 8 : Stereo Right

This is the most common configuration for surround mixes, and if you look at your meters in STP, you will see below each of the "speakers," a corresponding track number.


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Related Keywords:audio , surround sound, sound track pro

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  • Now that I have my Surround Sound mix, what do I do with it??? by DMN Editorial at Jan. 29, 2008 10:32 pm gmt (Rec'd 4)

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