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how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro

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Ayan Banerjee
how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 20, 2017 at 12:17:03 pm
Last Edited By Ayan Banerjee on Aug 20, 2017 at 12:32:25 pm

I was editing a short movie, where I had several audio stereo tracks (Ambience 1, Ambience 2...Foley1, Foley 2...., Music1, Music 2...etc) and a few mono tracks (Voice over 1, voice over 2, ...etc). I was happy with a stereo audio output, until some festivals are demanding a 5.1 audio export. I don't want to be too fancy. So here is what I did.

1) I combined all the ambiance, foley and music tracks and exported them into one stereo wav file (lets call it Ambience stereo)
2) I combined all Voices and exported as 1 mono wav file (call it voice mono) .
3)I split the stereo file into two monos (Say Ambiance Left and Ambiance Right)
(So I have three files now.)
4) I added a multi channel sequence with six mono tracks.
5) Then I mapped those three files in the following way:

Front Left- Ambiance Left
Front Right - Ambiance Right
Centre - Voice mono
Ls- Ambiance Left
Rs - Ambiance Right
LFE - No idea what to put here.

Question1 : What do I put in LFE (Should I leave it blank, since I cannot filter out Low frequency sounds from the movie now)
Question 2 : Is my process correct? Or is there a better way to achieve it?
(I am just looking for a short cut method, so that the movie just plays okay in the 5.1 theater, and is not a total disaster. Please do not suggest too complicated ultra professional methods)


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Brent Marginet
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 20, 2017 at 6:39:29 pm

5.1 and Stereo are two completely different and independent mixes.

Left Front should contain at least - Left Music, Effects, Foley and some Dialogue.
Right Front should contain at least - Right Music, Effects, Foley and some Dialogue.
Centre is primarily Dialogue but can contain other audio elements.
LFE is the Sub Woofer Channel which is generally anything below about 120hz.
Left Surround should contain at least - Left Music, Effects, Foley and some Dialogue.
Right Surround should contain at least - Right Music, Effects, Foley and some Dialogue.

This should be properly mixed as a separate session and the idea with 5.1 is that if something is moving across the screen it moves across the speakers. Dialogue and say a plane going over head will move around the room.

My point, they will likely reject what you are trying to send them and would prefer a Stereo Mix over some Jerry Rigged 5.1 mix.
A Stereo Mix split up like this hardly makes it a 5.1 Mix.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."


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Ayan Banerjee
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 21, 2017 at 6:39:40 am

Yes Brent, I am pretty sure, this is not going to be the ideal 5.1.

The festival won't accept stereo, since in their theaters, the center channel has to have the voice tracks, and it cannot remain silent. They said, even if a 5.1 is not possible they could accept a left, center, right, but in no way a stereo. My movie is a very basic drama film, with simple sound effects. So I am just looking for some method to deliver an acceptable format to the festival.


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Brent Marginet
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 21, 2017 at 12:06:06 pm

Give them a Left - Centre - Right with the Left and Right at full levels.
If you give them an L, R, C, LFE, LS, RS Mix then make sure to pull down the L, R, LS and RS each by 3db or there cumulative levels will make them 6db hot. That would make the Left and Right twice the required volume and could drown the Dialogue channel out somewhat. As for the LFE just leave it blank.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."


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Ayan Banerjee
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 22, 2017 at 5:34:06 am
Last Edited By Ayan Banerjee on Aug 22, 2017 at 5:48:14 am

Thanks Brent. I think I would go with the Left Center Right. That way I would have lesser chance to mess up. So I guess my configuration should be:
Let: Ambience(L) + Music(L) at full levels
Right: Ambience(R) + Music(R) at full levels
Center: Voice at full level.
Is that right? Is it a norm for a 3 channel configuration to have NO VOICE at Left and Right and NO MUSIC/AMBIENCE at center?(Excluding special intended situations)


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Brent Marginet
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 22, 2017 at 11:00:42 am
Last Edited By Brent Marginet on Aug 22, 2017 at 11:28:20 am

Send them both a Stereo and your Sudo 2.0 Mix.
You will however need to take the Centre (Dialogue Channel) and boost it by 6db.

If it were a Stereo Mix both the Left and Right would have the Dialogue at the same Level.
The identical portion of the audio combined from two speakers will give you a 6db boost in the perceptual level.
Now if it's being played from one speaker you will need to boost it by 6db to give it the same perceptual level as the two speakers in the Stereo Mix.

Do a test, play tone out of one speaker at -20db then play back the tone from two speakers at -20db.
You will notice that the additive level of these identical signals is substantially louder. (i.e. 6db hotter or twice the volume)
Now compare playback of the tone at -20 from from both speakers and -14db from just one.
You will notice that the level seems identical.
This is all part of the laws of audio levels and the cumulative effect of identical signals.
Just do some searches on the db scale and you will see what I mean.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."


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Ayan Banerjee
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 22, 2017 at 12:09:25 pm

That's a lot of valuable info Brent. Had no idea of the volume adjustments before. Looks like I have to go through a few trials. I will give it a shot, and see what happens. Thanks again.


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Brent Marginet
Re: how to convert stereo tracks to output 5.1 in premier pro
on Aug 22, 2017 at 11:16:47 am

[Brent Marginet] "If you give them an L, R, C, LFE, LS, RS Mix then make sure to pull down the L, R, LS and RS each by 3db or there cumulative levels will make them 6db hot. That would make the Left and Right twice the required volume and could drown the Dialogue channel out somewhat."

Actually this was incorrect.
The L, R, LS and RS would need to be pulled down by 3db and the Centre would need to be boosted by 6db.

In the end this will likely cause level issues no matter what and some Theatres have slight delays in the LS and RS channels so that will cause other issues. As you stated earlier you are not able to make a true 5.1 Mix so stay away from it altogether.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."


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