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Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?

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Chris Borjis
Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 17, 2017 at 11:04:16 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Nov 17, 2017 at 11:05:02 pm

Running CC 2017.3 (MAC) but I found it happens on 2015 as well.
Exporting a quicktime with embedded 5.1 surround stems.

The panning and channel assignments are all correct.

The mixers are all at zero as they should be.
There has been no changes to the gain settings (all are zero)

I have done this sort of thing a lot in the past
and with FCP 7, there were options for lowering,
raising or leaving it be.

I see nothing like that in premiere (been a user since CS 5.5)
to tell it to leave the sound mix alone and NOT be lowering
it on export.

For stereo sequences, this never happens.

So what's going on? Anyone else have this issue?

All of the surround stems are pro-tools mixes..I don't want
them being lowered. They are already at the correct level.



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Chris Wright
Re: Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 18, 2017 at 12:38:21 am

its the dumb audio panning law. that's why I export mono channels.

In premiere, make sure you have each surround stem in a mono track and NOT
a multichannel mono track. Otherwise, when you export the stem, the audio levels will be lowered considerably.

make sure each one is properly channel routed in the mixer
and panned:

L (1&2)pan left
R (1&2)pan right
C (3&4)pan left
Lfe (3&4) pan right
Ls (5&6) pan left
Rs (5&6) pan right

This is a standard SMPTE 5.1 track order


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Chris Borjis
Re: Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 20, 2017 at 5:19:33 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Nov 20, 2017 at 5:32:22 pm

Thanks Chris, that is exactly what I do/did to get it to go out for blu-ray and dcp
(mono channels) but for the quicktime export I have to raise the audio mixer +3db
to get it to export at the right level and keep the channel routing intact.
Fortunately there is headroom for that and when re-imported the levels and channel
routing are correct.

I did hear someone mention something about the "Panning Law" thing before.

Oddly FCP 7 never seemed to have this problem as you could set
each channel to 0 (default was -3db on each i think)

How are you able to export a quicktime though with embedded
surround using mono channels? You can pan sure, but the channel assignment
is missing in that setup. My workaround I used was raising the audio mixer
channels +3db as mentioned in the first paragraph above.


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Chris Wright
Re: Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:54:07 pm

only programs that obey the panning law have this issue, in which case, you have to manually change the audio mixer yourself as it is not metadata but actual encoding.


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Chris Borjis
Re: Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 20, 2017 at 7:08:46 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Nov 20, 2017 at 7:14:48 pm

[Chris Wright] "you have to manually change the audio mixer yourself"

Not quite sure I follow...can you elaborate?

I know I have to manually set things like panning and channel assignments,
but the channel assignments are locked to 1 & 2 only on a mono audio mixer setup.
(the option is gone to assign more channels beyond 1 & 2)

How are you getting around that in the case of a quicktime with embedded surround
within a set of mono channels sequence?



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Chris Wright
Re: Why do surround exports get lowered by -3 db?
on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:49:26 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Nov 20, 2017 at 9:53:44 pm

sorry if I wasn't clear, just continue to do your 'workaround' with embedded surround if you have no choice.


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