Bass Manager. How to set up? whats the LFE section good for?

Hi Folks.
The manual doesn’t really offer a procedure for the bass manager. How do you properly set it up?

The plug-in guide just says: “you can use Bass Manager in the Control Room inserts”

Which inserts exactly?

This is what I´ve done:

  1. VST Connections - outputs: add 5.1 bus. Connect the 5.1 monitors accordingly, including plugging the subwoofer to the LFE channel
  2. VST Connections - Studio: activate ctrl room, add monitor channel in 5.1 format, and select the ports according to the way the monitors were connected in step 1
  3. Control room mixer - setup tab - main section - insert slot 1: select “Bass Manager”
  4. Work the mix, using VST multipanner’s LFE knob to send signal from some channels to the LFE output
  5. In bass manager, activate “mains” and setup frequency cut and gain. In the Subwoofer section, modify the lo and hi pass filters to enhance the subwoofer output.

Is this the correct procedure?
Did I insert Bass Manager in the right section of the control room mixer?

BTW what do you use the LFE section for? I don’t quite understand why would one bleed some of the LFE signal into the mains or center speakers? What practical situation would call for this?

Thanks!

It looks as if you connected your speakers in that first step, in the “output” tab in “VST Connections”. Typically we leave those NOT connected, and instead we choose that output as a monitor source in the “Studio” tab, and then connect the monitors to outputs in the studio tab.

Conceptually you’ll want to keep “LFE” and “Bass management” separate, even though they both involve a subwoofer. Your last question about what the LFE section is used for is a mix question that has nothing to do with bass management. I have done little 5.1 mixing, but when I have there have been few cases where there was any need for any specific Low Frequency Effects. It’s just because of the type of content I was mixing. So I’ve rarely used the LFE. But when I’ve done that however I have made sure that everything sounds fine without the LFE engaged, and that the LFE content adds to the experience. So in any case where someone plays back my 5.1 mix without the LFE channel present for whatever reason the mix will still sound fine. You could think of an explosion in a film; without the LFE you should still feel the punch and weight of the explosion, but with it the explosion will be more impressive and ‘rumbly’ maybe.

Bass management is something you set up for a monitor environment that doesn’t have full-range speakers. If I understand correctly certified movie theaters have L/C/R as full range channels/speaker setups, and the LFE is just separately enhancing that. No bass management. But in a smaller setup like mine at home the LCR speakers only have 5.5 inch woofers. So I extend their range using bass management. It is separate from mixing and has “nothing” to do with the LFE.

Yes, it appears your bass manager plugin is placed correctly in the control room ‘mixer’. I don’t know if you have anything else in your inserts so I can’t tell if it’s best for you to keep that plugin in the first insert slot.

Hello hesca116,

Bass management is normally used only for monitoring. Assuming your Lf,Rf,Ctr,Ls,Rs (5.0) speakers don’t have adequate LF response to be audible in the lowest octave or so, bass management redirects that LF energy to your subwoofer. Think of a small consumer-grade 2.1 system, the signal goes into the sub so it can “pull off” the LF energy, then sends the remainder to the small LR satellite speakers, this is the studio-grade application.

So now you have your lowest frequencies going to your sub so they’re audible. Don’t confuse LFE with Bass Management. LFE is a dedicated channel feeding a subwoofer. The Bass Management adds the LF from your 5.0 speakers to the LFE channel and feeds them both to your sub. Do some research on the LFE purpose, it’s used in movies and tv extensively.

Also read up on Dolby’s alignment procedures for a 5.1 system including LFE alignment. It’s a specific process, I’ve generated some calibrated filtered pink noise signals to align our control rooms to make it a little easier than the Dolby methods.

Based on what you wrote you’re starting from scratch so there’s a bunch of research to do but keep in mind -

  • Bass management is usually only for monitoring.
  • “LFE” and “subwoofer” are not the same.
  • Room calibration takes some skill and practice.

Good luck,
Hugh

Thanks guys, I think I finally understood it.

Bass manager is for monitoring only. It does´nt generate audio on the LFE channel that can be exported.

For that, you have to use the LFE knob in the surround panner.

Thanks a lot!

Or rather make dedicated LFE tracks, routed straight to .1 and edit lowest frequency stuff there. Remember to high cut these LFE tracks… Plenty on info available.

https://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/Assets/US/Doc/Professional/38_LFE.pdf

Thanks!