My first 5.1 Mix -- Yay!

Many of you are pros, and this stuff is old hat to you, but I just completed my first 5.1 mix (with DVD author) this past weekend, and I just wanted to shout it out. I’m a picture editor by trade, but have been dabbling with Nuendo for a while.

This job wasn’t for final delivery, I’ll still leave that to the audio pros obviously, but we needed a screener for a cast and crew, and I took it upon myself to do a “screener mix.” Nothing like really having to do it to make you learn the tools. Definitely found I spent the better part of Saturday just getting my head around the basics, but by late afternoon I was making progress, and by 1am I had made a pretty decent pass across the whole short. Turned the clock back, thus buying an extra hour, and was back in the next morning at 6:30am to finish up and encode for the screening.

I spent a disproportionate amount of time tweaking in Sound Soap 2 Pro and iZotope RX (both of which I got my decidedly cheap client to pay for, which was nice), and enjoyed that as well. At first I wasn’t too impressed with SS, but as I tweaked it a bit more, I found it was very good at certain noises. I also REALLY liked the spectrum editing in iZotope RX for certain sounds (rogue cricket chirps, anybody?).

Bounced my mix as 6 discreet tracks and used the 5.1 encoder in Apple Compressor to build my encoded audio. Then authored in DVD Studio Pro and screened at 6pm. Huge success, and I gotta say, I was pretty proud of myself. Sounded great.

Nothing earth shattering, just weighing in on how much this relative newbie enjoyed the tools. I’m confident enough now that I might actually pursue a few more “festival” mixes to expand my skill set. I’m sure there are things I did that a pro would shake his head at, but I muddled thru. Definitely looking forward to expanding my knowledge of the software. Does anybody know of any good online or DVD tutorials for N5 automation?

Really enjoying the audio side of things, after doing picture for more than a decade.

BTW, using the new UR28M and enjoying the heck out of it. Nice having a volume knob to control all channels.

Chris Conlee

Hi Chris,

thanks much for sharing your experience with creating your first 5.1 mix. For a picture editor it is often not easy to dive into the audio part of the production, but it seems as you’ve been quite successful with Nuendo and all the other tools.

If you’d like to use Nuendo 5 DVD video tutorial material to get an even deeper insight into the program, there’re tons of information about Nuendo 5’s workflow out there. Beside our own website, you can find many tutorial videos. I don’t want to promote a special provide here, but if you type in “Nuendo 5 tutorial DVD” into your search engine, you’ll get many appropriate results.


Thanks Timo,

Yeah, I’m watching some online tutorials, and they’re helping. I’ve already made mental notes of things I’ll try on the next go around. Nuendo’s a great tool.

One other thing that excited me, and I didn’t mention before, is that I had fullscreen HD playback enabled through my Matrox MXO2 mini box and it was brilliant! I simply rendered an Avid DNxHD 36 (36 Mb/sec datarate) HD QT straight out of my Avid and Nuendo played it like butter, straight to my big client monitor in the bay. I was impressed.


Hey Chris.

That’s it now - you’re hooked (or soon will be).
5.1 is probably even more addictve than Universal Audio Digital’s crack is.

Welcome to the wonderful world of 5.1

Yeah, I am getting a bit obsessive about it. Looking at ads for plugins now. LOL. Lot’s of cool shtuff out there.


Try & get an old copy of the Surround Edition v2 - it is worth it for OctoMaxx alone, and the compressor is pretty cool too. You may also find the LFE Splitter helpful, and OctoQ is another great EQ - but most of all these plugins (and Voxengo to some extent) will show you how good surround plugins should be - and how bad steiny’s VST3 bundled ones are.
AltiVerb XL is a must too, but in the main I find I use the Surround Edition & Voxengo more than most in a 5.1 buss, simply for the split controls.