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5.1 in Pro Tools to FCP

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Brad Stewart
5.1 in Pro Tools to FCP
on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:30:47 pm


I have been asked to come in and help an audio studio with a video edit that they have taken on. The edit is completely finished, it's a multicam project cut on FCP 7.0. They have a pro tools project that is 5.1 surround sound. I have never dealt with 5.1 audio. They need me to integrate the 5.1 surround into the FCP project. The final product is a Blu ray and a DVD.

What kind of file do I need from Pro Tools in order to import the sound into Final Cut?


Brad Stewart

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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: 5.1 in Pro Tools to FCP
on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:35:15 pm

If the final output is to DVD and BluRay, you'll probably be creating AC3 files with the 5.1 audio mix. The audio should be bounced to discrete channels. From those audio files, you can create the AC3's using Compressor or whatever encoder you use.

I think you should import that audio to your FCP project as well, so there is a final completed project to archive for later revisions. Just import the discrete channel mixes to your FCP project. They will be identified with tags in the filename ("Filename.L.aif" for example) so you can place the correct audio on the correct channel. Channel assignment depends on the delivery format so isn't too critical for you, since the delivery is AC3. If you don't know what assignments to use, SMPTE302M is what most people expect these days. That is 1.L, 2.R, 3.C, 4.LFE, 5.Ls, 6.Rs, 7.Lt/Lo, 8. Rt/Ro.

So you just need a multi-mono bounce of the audio and you place the channels as needed in FCP and for the AC3 conversion.


JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada

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Glenn Camhi
Re: 5.1 in Pro Tools to FCP
on Oct 10, 2011 at 9:18:19 am

My mixer sent me the mix in the order L, C, R, Ls, Rs, LFE. Should I switch it to the standard you mention? I do see that more often.

However, for the Settings, under "Audio Coding Mode" (in the Audio tab for the Dolby Digital Professional file format), the only option that has all the channels is "3/2 (L, C, R, Ls, Rs)" with a separate checkbox for LFE.

Is that the one to choose? Or "Automatic"?


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