What are the meters actually displaying in 5.1

5.1 mix bus being fed with quad audio- that’s how the project was started and mixed previously in quad and all went fine.

i set up 5.1 mix bus and assigned bus ch’s to hardware outa and that’s good.

set up individual tracks to use direct out 5.1 mix bus by changing them from orig quad output that’s works

the question. - what are the meters showing on the mix bus because either the planners are being wonky or the mix bus meters are in non standard order. read the. manual there is nothing . no tools tips, no UI labeling . that all needs to be fixed.

the problem. i have levels on ch 1/2 only with track panned “center” and the LR on each side.

so is the meter order L,R,C Lr, Rr and the sub ch ??? or are the meters correct L,C,R Lr Rr and sub ???

if i move the center pan hard right i get something on ch3 which is C or ??? manual and UI aren’t telling… or are the planner buggy and not mixing correctly?

S

It’s a bit difficult to follow ('cause I’m tired and dumb) so maybe you could grab some screen shots of routing and panner(s) and meters.

I don’t typically work with quad but the standard layout for 5.1 is L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs. If I route a stereo channel straight into a 5.1 track it occupies L/R, i.e. channels 1/2. Like I said, I don’t really know how quad functions.

You can probably test this some way. Like set up a quad Group track and set the output to your master 5.1 out. Create a track with a test generator that feeds the Group and make sure you pan into one path only in the Group. Then pan and note how signal moves in the 5.1 output track.

Also give the section on the panner a read through again maybe. Just so you’re sure you know what the controls are and how they work.

thanks but i know how the panners work. not my first time in a surround format,

the question is what order the mixer meters are displaying, are they standard order or something non-standard. or does the planner have a bug in doing incorrect mix the actual ch order swapping C and R ch2 and ch3

What do you mean by “If i move the center pan hard right”? And in which panner?
As far as I know “the panner” works fine. No swapping.

Is this what you’re talking about:


yes the circled center pan node. I see the same odd ch assignments there too.
so what are the meters showing then ? LRC or LCR and the panners doing odd things. and sub ch ? would be nice if this was documented

As far as I can see there is nothing wrong or odd going on. Maybe the confusion is around what you call the “center pan node”. In the image the quad group contains no audio in the center since there is no center, just a phantom image in front L/R. So that “center pan node” is really just a way of moving the quad image around within the 5.1 sound field, sort of like a “handle” to grab onto.

If you look at the image you’ll see that the yellow node has moved to the right as I dragged the center node, and the yellow node is the front-left channel within the source and it carries signal whereas the center does not. So once the center node is fully right the yellow will be in the center and the signal flows to the center channel in the 5.1 output. That’s why output #3 gets signal. In my image above #1 / Left still gets signal because I haven’t fully moved the yellow (front/left in quad) node away from that front left 5.1 channel.

So again, L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs and panning seems correct to me.

ok I did a bit more testing today. on the bottom of the panner panel, control labeled front (bottom row ) . if you raise it, then ch3 on the meters comes up. so the metering is non-standard LRC Lr Rr .

Then what about sub ? I found the bottom right control labled in a tiny 5 pixel hight font, LFE. raise it up and CH4 is assigned as LFE :frowning: . I know there are several “standard” ch configs for 5.1, but over time the DVD standard of LCRLrRr LFE is pretty much the norm. When apps deviate from this all sorts of problems happen. Overall the UI for 5.1 should just work by using the Mixing panel panner and not need the multipanner open. This will be a serious pain with a 32 track or so project to redo panning automation :frowning:

Now the back story of why I’m converting my original quad mix. Quad was simple and used with my playback hardware ( decklink 4K with 4 analog audio outs ) to feed 4 self powered speakers in venues. my speakers, cables, etc. its simple, worked, least amount of hardware, venues weren’t setup for any sort of SRS so this all worked great.

Now new show, new venue. this new mix is for a show running for 6 weeks in a venue with brand new 5.1.2 system the main AV person there doesn’t have tech specs for. Ok, they got delivered and installed a spec for an ATMOS compatible system , and it technically works, until you ask how things are actually patched / wired, and how to feed it. I’m told the HDMI audio channels from playback can be patched in digital matrix box to whatever speakers, but I want to get the ch assignments correct as I can’t bet how this is setup. In theory all 8 HDMI audio channels should just flow through their matrix / amp (ATMOS decoder ) / speakers. I’m planning to hand off a test file this week just to see what happens with a simple media file with 6 audio ch’s and see what comes out of speakers and is it really patchable if its not right.
So starting in Cubase, I need to get the ch assignments to 5.1 ch’s right, otherwise who knows what will come out of venue speakers with their “standard” setup. Final mix is being done in Resolve with correct ch assignments + 8K video into one file. I can re-arrange the individual audio tracks in Resolve if I have to in order to get correct tracks on correct ch’s.

I’m hoping to avoid having to get involved with an actual ATMOS media file as that seems to be a real rabbit hole of very little information, but likely a lot of experimentation to figure out. I know I can output a BWAVE ATMOS file from Cubase, but if its not married into the video file its not useful, which may require the ATMOS media encoder app to produce a proper media file , but too many things to go wrong, waste time and money on.

I don’t think I agree. Any and all specs I’ve seen over the past decade has had SMPTE order: L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs. Literally all of them. All major US networks, Netflix, Atmos. All of them.

With Atmos being a growing deliverable it doesn’t make sense to default to something else, and with most 5.1 setups also doing stereo work it makes 100% sense to let the order be LRC instead of LCR, simply because we can patch a stereo signal ‘directly’ to L/R that way.

Well if your previous mix was Quad at the output and you now have 5.1 available all you really have to do is decide just what you want to send to the center and LFE. LFE is I think best left for actual effects dedicated to that channel since everything else should be full-range (using bass management in the venue if needed). And as for the center channel I would think that not everything has to live there, so automation might not need to be rerouted at all for a fair amount of sources, just whatever you feel should go to the center channel.

L C R Ls Rs LFE = Film / DVD Order
L R C LFE Ls Rs = SMPTE order
DAW UI -
image

I’ve been setup, delivered for DVD / film spec for a very long time. It’s what I’ve normally had to create. Even more fun is that there are other variants out there which thankfully don’t show up anymore. So this is messing with me to consider changing wiring and other things. This isn’t being sent to TV or streamer so those specs don’t mean anything for what I’m doing. OTH as venues start to install ATMOS I will be forced to change the way I’ve worked for 20 years using a layout that doesn’t make logical sense. At least if Cubase labeled the audio ch outputs on the meters this wouldn’t be a guessing game which config they were using.

Well if your previous mix was Quad at the output and you now have 5.1 available all you really have to do is decide just what you want to send to the center and LFE. LFE is I think best left for actual effects dedicated to that channel since everything else should be full-range (using bass management in the venue if needed). And as for the center channel I would think that not everything has to live there, so automation might not need to be rerouted at all for a fair amount of sources, just whatever you feel should go to the center channel.
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Thats what I was hoping is that most of the quad mix would not need much changing. However due to a change in how the screens are being installed, I will need to pan some things into the center ch to match that screen layout. prev versions of the show had voices panning around based on person speaking / screen they were on. There are 3 screens running in sync which have been in L shaped layouts, this time it’s more C shaped. Ah the fun of this…

While researching this, I did find some information that each audio track has meta data in it to tell a decoder what speaker it should go to, so in theory you could have these in any order in the media file if the player is reading the metadata and doing the right thing, but I know better than to trust that.

Thanks for the help though, at this point I think I should be able to get this laid out correctly at least on this end, and hopefully works on the other. I’ve got a. little bit of time on this for once to allow for some testing.