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How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding

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Chris Huggett
How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 29, 2005 at 9:54:45 am

Hey guys

I have a client who wants to me to author a short film which will be supplied on Digital Betacam. He asked if i can encode his DVD with 5.1 Surround sound which they have mastered their project in.

Being one not to knock a job back even if i have no idea, i said yes. A quick search on these forums provides me with some answers of apps that can encode in 5.1 and Encore will accept that AC3 stream, but i have no idea how audio is supplied in the first place to encode it.

Will it come on the Digi Beta.... as far as i know the digi only has 4 audio tracks.......

What questions do i need to get back to my client with, to look like i have done this before.

Thanks guys

Chris


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Chris Huggett
Re: How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 29, 2005 at 9:58:17 am

i also forgot to ask.... how would i charge for this type of encoding?

its a short film of about 11mins.

Cheers
Chris


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drumrob
Re: How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 29, 2005 at 7:16:52 pm

Chris,

Typically the tracks for 5.1 surround would be delivered on a DA-88 tape. The timecode should match the timecode on the DigiBeta. You would then need an application that can take in all 5 or 6 tracks (depending on whether they created a discreet Low Frequency Effects track) and encode to dolby digital 5.1. As far as charging for your services, you will have to come up with that rate on your own. I know that in the early years of DVD authoring, companies charged per minute of material to encode. I'm sure some companies still do, though many just figure how long it will take them to encode and charge their normal hourly rate for audio work.

Have fun!

Rob

Rob Neidig
R&R Media Producttions
Eugene, Oregon


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Bob Cole
Re: How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 29, 2005 at 9:45:53 pm

I had a similar situation so I'll tell you what I did, and then by reading the other responses, I can learn what I should have done. Basically, I used Premiere Pro with its Surcode .ac3 codec.

Specifically: I used a Digital Rapids card, with the supplied Stream software to make mpeg files of each play. Then I used dBpowerAMP Music Converter to convert the .mp2 audio files to .wav files so that Premiere Pro could handle them. (PPro can't import the .mp2 files or the .pcm files from Stream.)

Then I imported .mpg (video) and the converted .wav files for each timeline into PPro. In PPro I created sequences with (I think) 5 mono tracks and 5.1 as the primary setting -- can't quite recall.
I made sure not to change the length of any of the tracks. In PPro, I arranged the audio around the 5.1 "space." (this is the only fun part)

I then used File/Export/Adobe Media Encoder to create surround sound (.ac3) files with Surcode codec. You get three tries at this for free; then you have to buy a license for about $300. I didn't convert the video files as they were already mpeg.

Then I imported the mpeg and the .ac3 surround sound files into Encore, and created a disk image (which I then burned with a nice program called DVD Encrypter).

-- BC


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Chris Huggett
Re: How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 29, 2005 at 10:17:46 pm

Sorry Bob, i seemed to miss the bit where you captured the footage.

Was it off a Digi Beta or off an digital audio tape?

Cheers
Chris


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Bob Cole
Re: How is 5.1 surround sound delivered for audio encoding
on Aug 30, 2005 at 1:39:34 pm

[Chris Huggett] "Sorry Bob, i seemed to miss the bit where you captured the footage.

Was it off a Digi Beta or off an digital audio tape?"


My situation differs from yours in that I create the surround sound effect from multiple mono audio tracks, inside Premiere Pro. I start with stereo audio and add audio tracks inside Premiere Pro. I'm guessing that your project may actually be easier as you already have the various audio tracks. If you have Premiere Pro with capture capability, but can't capture all five audio channels at the same time, just digitize multiple passes of your video/audio and sync them up inside Premiere Pro. Then assign the audio tracks their proper locations (frontleft/frontcenter/frontright/rearleft/rearright) with the Premiere Pro mixer, use the Surcode encoder, and you're done.

I apologize for my answer; it was way too specific, and tied to my particular situation, but I was trying to answer you quickly, so I just copied my notes-to-self about the workflow. (I wrote those notes because I figured it would be a while before another 5.1 project came up and I didn't want to forget!) My workflow is a bit cumbersome, because (1) I still edit on my great old discreet edit* NLE rather than my crippled Premiere Pro system, which has no capture card (waiting to afford Axio), and (2) I opted for the less expensive Digital Rapids card, which does not have machine control and therefore the easiest way to keep video and audio in sync is to encode them together. (I could use a beep/flashframe and avoid the whole audio encode/conversion step by syncing up the audio and video inside Premiere Pro.)


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