Stereo & surround mixes in same project?

Quick question. I’m not super familiar with the routing and mixer features of Nuendo 7.

Is it possible to set up a project so that I can make a stereo and surround mix from the same tracks in the same project? I’m thinking something along the lines of the API Vision, where you hit a button to audition the stereo or surround version of the same mix. It’s not a mixdown/folddown, but separate mixes using the same tracks (and often same processing) in the same project. I.e. the same source tracks get the same processing and treatment, but are bussed to separate outputs (with some processing tweaked for each separate set of outputs).

I recall I set up a template years ago in Nuendo 4 or 5 where I used sends to create a stereo mix from the surround project, but expect there are probably easier/better ways to do so today with all the development that’s happened.

Can anyone point me to the relevant section of the manual, or share a template I can examine?

Thanks,
Thor

Look into direct routing? It will automatically downmix surround to whatever configuration you direct route it to. Or just use the Mix6to2 plugin?

I second the Mix6to2 plug-in. Do the 5.1 mix first. Then insert the plugin on the 5.1 output channel and adjust the levels. During mix down, select the L/R Channel option. You may be able to do these (5.1 and stereo) concurrently, but I haven’t explored that option.

Much easier with direct routing.

-Create your Groups/stems, all in 5.1
-Create a 5.1 output and a stereo output.
=> Route your groups to the 5.1 output and the stereo output

or

-Create all your Groups in 5.1
-Create your STEMS, your 5.1 output and a stereo output.
=> Route your groups to the STEM Outputs
=>Route your STEMS to 5.1 output and the stereo output

That way you can easily export all your stems.
I even create outputs for dipped and undipped stems.
And outputs with different compression/output levels. (For example a R128/EBU output and a -9dB limited output)
Downmix from 5.1 to stereo is done automatically by MixConvert. So you never have to worry.

You can do pretty much whatever you want…

Fredo

Big thumbs up, Fredo. Thanks!

Thanks for the tips. Back from Easter break and will give them a try!

A quick heads-up though; not all direct outs use global pan law, only the first if I remember correctly. Very unfortunate, but as long as you set everything up with that in mind you’ll be ok.

Thanks for the tip, Mattias!

Piggybacking on this thread…Is there a way to simultaneously export an LtRt file using the Surcode plugin? Was thinking I could use Direct Routing to send to another 5.1 output, and insert the Surcode plugin there. But then I would have to check “export L&R channels only” option in the export box. But of course this would not give me the 5.1 file I also need.

Could I check “separate channels” on the export dialog box and then just delete the C LFE Ls and Rs waves?

I’m a bit confused…

You should be able to tap any 5.1 signal at any point in the chain, so you can get the “5.1 file” anyway. If you’re routing via a send from one 5.1 output to another, then just select the first for the 5.1 file export.

As for the second, only getting L/R… Couldn’t you either just try what you said (separate channels) or route again to another set of tracks, but this time only L/R? Or use “child buses” or something?

Doesn’t that Surcode on the second 5.1 output bus renders 2 audio channels only ? LtRt is so.
What would happen in you don’t check any of the boxes ?

This is a good idea. I’ll try this and report back.

I’m a bit confused what you meant here. What’s the difference between Groups and Stems. I thought your groups are the stems? So you have a group for dialog, a group for SFX, a group for music. Aren’t that simultaneously your stems? Or could you elaborate a bit on this setup, how this would look? What am I not getting?

Also, you can route a group only to one target, how do you route a stem to 5.1 AND stereo? One direct routing, one send?

thx
Chris

So first of all, I think the terms are used slightly differently in different markets and at different points in the post production chain. But the gist of what Fredo is saying - I think - is that “groups” refer to the group channels in Nuendo, and they get sent to the “stems” which are what you are told to deliver. The “stems” then combine to create the full mixes of whatever channel-count is required.

Just so you have an idea of what it looks like for me (I just pulled up an older template for stereo):

Groups (these are “group channels” in Nuendo):

  • Narration
  • Interviews
  • Dialog A
  • Dialog B
  • Nat
  • SFX hard
  • SFX soft
  • MUS A
  • MUS B

So, as you can see there are actually four groups that contain speech, and the reason they’re separated is a) because it’s sometimes easier to deal with them separately that way when processing, and b) because the delivery requirements vary per client (network).

The way I do it personally is then route the above to any deliverable I need. It just so happens that I prefer to keep my deliverables on Nuendo’s “output channels”. So my “output channels” look like this:

  • Full Mix Stereo
  • Full Mix Mono
  • Mix Minus Narration - Dipped
  • Mix Minus Narration - UNdipped

So the above four would probably be considered “mixes” by many people, and the remaining outputs “stems”:

  • Music & Effects (which includes “nat” group)
  • Dialog
  • Narration
  • SFX
  • Music
  • Nat

So the difference here is that many people will go from the groups in my first “category” and route to the “stems” at the end here, and then from the stems to the “mixes”. So you would adjust your stems accordingly. The benefit of that is that you can create an M&E stem first, and you can dip that for narration. The output of that M&E + dialog + narration will be your full mix. If you then send from the M&E pre-fader, you have the M&E UNdipped which is often a requirement.

All of that gets a bit complicated and annoying and there are different ways of going about it, but I think the gist of what Fredo was saying was that you create your overall “foodgroups” first, and then you combine them into the stems you need to deliver, and then from there to the mixes you need.


Several direct routings. You can have up to eight destinations.

That is correct.
Little side-note. Stems are not always part of the deliverables, but it sure is common practice for international productions. And even if stems are not part of the deliverables, then mostly you create & export them for your own convenience.


Here’s a example of how it is done. Or can be done. This example will not work for undipped stems.
Routing_STEMS.jpg


Fredo

Nice screenshot. Thanks for sharing it.

(On a somewhat separate note: I’ve never ever understood the logic in using the “X” in “DX” and “MX”. For “FX” it makes sense, because it’s close to how the word sounds, but “Dialog” and “Music” doesn’t have those sounds. I find “DIA” and “MUS” to be more obvious and logical personally… just a curiosity that pops up into my head every time I see those letters…)

I use these terms because I think they sound more international/multilanguage.
Working on international projects, these stems go to any place in the world, so I have the impression that these names “translate” best into any other exotic language.

And they are clearly indicating that these are STEMS. Anything with an “X” is a STEM.
Just like I label all my groups with the preface “GR_” and my VCA’s with “VCA_”
I just helps to keep things clear in my head.

Fredo

Well, maybe I’m overthinking it. I understand that for a fair amount of users it’s a convention, but I really don’t see the logic in the actual choice of letters. Sure, “D” for “Dialog”, but there’s nothing in “X” that indicates that it means “stem”. There’s no “x” in “stem” or “dialog”.

Curiously, in the only US delivery specifications I’ve seen where they actually demand a specific spelling of the rendered channels I’ve seen the following:

MU (music)
MnE (Music & Effects)
OCD (On-Camera-Dialog)
FXST (Effects Stereo)
NAR (Narration)

And when I don’t get told what to do I typically deliver something like “[project/mix name] - Dialog Stem”

I just find the “X” odd, and I’ve come to the conclusion that just spelling the whole thing out makes it virtually impossible to misunderstand what it is, and part of it is that I find the “abbreviations” are more understandable between us engineers, and much less so for other people. And unfortunately we’re dealing more and more with video editors etc that use our stems (and mixes).

Anyway, just curious…

I use the MX/DX convention; “X” to me means “mix”.

But, on the other hand, I never understood why, having worked in food service at multiple times in my general timeline, chicken is often represented as “CHX” in communication with the kitchen. Used it myself because everybody else did, but never knew why.

Hope never to again, by the way…

Just scratching through…

Chewy

Thanks MattiasNYC and Fredo for the clarification. I have some configuration work to do…
^o^