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Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems

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Trent Bingham
Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems
on Nov 20, 2010 at 9:14:10 pm

Hello everyone,

I record xbox 360 game footage through the BlackMagic Intensity Pro and have recently come across a problem in regards to gaming.

Surround sound is very important when gaming, specifically in first person shooters where it is important to know where sounds are coming from in relation to your character.

Because of this, I set my xbox audio to Dolby Digital 5.1 and use a surround sound headset in order to play. The problem with this is that it appears that when I record my gameplay while using dd 5.1 surround the audio track is loaded as pure static when uploaded to youtube or loaded into a video editor like vegas or premiere.

After searching and browsing several forums it appears that the blackmagic intensity pro cannot record dolby digital 5.1 surround sound.

The reason I am posting this thread is because when I load the .avi files recorded by the intensity pro into windows media player or zoom player or any other media player I hear the sound just fine. So the audio source must be there within the recorded file. If the audio is "there" why can't I load it into a video editor and edit my gaming footage?

I have had to resort to using total recorder to record the audio from software and play all of my files back within zoom player or media player. This is very inefficient and takes way too long just to extract the audio out of a file.

My only other alternative is to switch the audio on my xbox to regular digital stereo 2 channel sound... This allows the intensity pro to record the audio correctly but puts me at a disadvantage while gaming because I do not have full surround channels.

If someone can shed some light as to why I am experiencing this problem and if there is a way to fix it I would be greatly appreciative.

Sincerely,
Trent


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Jason Gragilla
Re: Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems
on Nov 30, 2010 at 6:36:20 pm

Hi Trent,

As you've been discovering, the Intensity Pro is incapable of DD 5.1 and this creates a headache when recording footage from the Xbox 360. I have run into this issue myself and have come up with a semi-acceptable workaround.

Leave your xbox setup the way it is with DD5.1 running to your headset, but connect an xbox360 audio dongle to your xbox and run composite audio (red/white rca connection) to your Intensity Pro and adjust the Intensity Pro recording settings to allow for HDMI video/composite audio capture. The 360 will output audio over both connections at the same time. This way you can have your cake and eat it too.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Jason

P.S. The 360 has a bug where it will occasionally default to stereo output when you power up the 360, even though it is set for DD5-1. You can get around this by going in the dashboard to console settings/audio and switching it from DD5.1 to stereo and then back to DD5.1....the xbox will re-initialize the audio and you should be good to go.


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Trent Bingham
Re: Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems
on Dec 2, 2010 at 7:47:41 pm

Thanks for the help Jason, A great solution to my problem.

It's interesting that the BMIP won't record dolby digital 5.1 because it seems that the audio is being recorded (as it can be heard in a media player) it just can't be edited or rendered correctly.


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Jason Gragilla
Re: Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems
on Dec 3, 2010 at 7:49:13 pm

No problem Trent glad I could help.

I am by no means the master when it comes to audio (I went to the school of Hard Knocks), but my understanding is that what you are hearing is the analog equivalent of a digital bitstream....i.e. the BMIP doesn't have a decoder that can process the format, and once it's no longer in the digital domain it can't be decoded. You would hear the same thing if you were to put a DTS cd in a player without a digital (fiber optic) output going to a receiver that could decode DTS.

It is what it is I suppose, but at least we have a workaround that will allow you to do what you need to do. Best of luck with the gameplay footage!

- Jason


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Kristian Lam
Re: Why can't you record Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with BlackMagic Intensity Pro? Static Track Problems
on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:05:08 am

Hi Trent,

Jason is correct. You're hearing the raw bitstream audio that has not been decoded. Media Express does not have a built in DTS decoder so the audio file will sound like static.

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design


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