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mgoorevich 27th June 2017 10:53 AM

Atmos for indie films in small mixing stage
 
So, Avid today announced an HD 12.8 version updating it with the Dolby Atmos capabilities.
Mixing in Dolby Atmos became pretty much a standard for commercial films today. But it seems that with some fair efforts, smaller mixing facilities can implement this technology in their existing environments thanks to collaboration of Dolby and Avid.
While I can understand in theory how to create a Dolby Atmos mix, I feel that practically there is a huge gap in understanding how to prepare my stage room to deliver Dolby Atmos masters.
So I am asking for advise of those people, who already jumped into this territory and wouldn't hesitate to share their thoughts on how to upgrade a room to the newer 7.1.2 standard.

What I have now is 7.1 equipped room (9m x 6m x 3m) with a projection on a large screen.
1. How many top speakers should I get? Will be enough 2 for the Lts and 2 for the Rts?
2. What interface? I currently use Avid HD I/O 888, I understand I'll need to get at least HD IOx16.
3. I currently use for monitoring D-Command+XMon+CP750 (latest for room EQ and delay). Seems that I should consider upgrading to something like Intonato.
4. Will the Dolby Production Suite be sufficient to deliver Dolby Atmos compliant prints? Or I must get a DMU box? As well as HD Madi for streaming audio into it.
5. If I can mix in the box, how I monitor Dolby Atmos? This is unclear for me as I uncertain what I should audition in real time: 7.1.2 or I must audition a decoded Dolby Atmos?
6. Does each top speaker requires its own power amp channel or there will be enough one channel for the raw?
7. Should I apply for any Dolby certificate?

Thank you in advance for any advice.

quadraphonics 27th June 2017 04:51 PM

1. How many top speakers should I get? Will be enough 2 for the Lts and 2 for the Rts?

The ATMOS room that I work in has 4 height speakers. We had Dolby out to help before the installation to get the placement correct. Please keep in mind that we only deal with Home Theater/Television ATMOS deliveries.

2. What interface? I currently use Avid HD I/O 888, I understand I'll need to get at least HD IOx16.

My room has an 888 and 2 MADI I/O. Each MADI I/O can only handle 64 IO on a single HDX card (I have 3). The 2 MADI boxes allow for the maximum of 128 inputs to the Dolby RMU.

3. I currently use for monitoring D-Command+XMon+CP750 (latest for room EQ and delay). Seems that I should consider upgrading to something like Intonato.

The Intonato would probably work well. I monitor my ATMOS work through the BLU806. I am feeding the BLU vai DANTE from a Focusrite MADI to DANTE box.

4. Will the Dolby Production Suite be sufficient to deliver Dolby Atmos compliant prints? Or I must get a DMU box? As well as HD Madi for streaming audio into it.

I might be mistaken, but I believe that the Production Suite will allow you to edit/mix and monitor in ATMOS using the Local Renderer workflow. In order to create ATMOS File Packages (DAFPs) or ADM .WAVs you will need access to an RMU.

5. If I can mix in the box, how I monitor Dolby Atmos? This is unclear for me as I uncertain what I should audition in real time: 7.1.2 or I must audition a decoded Dolby Atmos?

You will monitor in real time (with up to 129ms of latency) through a Renderer - either the RMU or Local.

6. Does each top speaker requires its own power amp channel or there will be enough one channel for the raw?

I would do a power amp for each overhead channel.

Randall

brandoncross 27th June 2017 04:58 PM

I have a lot of these same questions too. Thank you for the great responses!!

philper 27th June 2017 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12702893)
Mixing in Dolby Atmos became pretty much a standard for commercial films today.

Is this true?

mgoorevich 27th June 2017 08:11 PM

Randall, thank you for your help and sharing. Its very useful. DA deliverables for the DCP are different from what you deliver for the home Dolby Atmos?

kosmokrator 27th June 2017 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quadraphonics (Post 12703505)
4. Will the Dolby Production Suite be sufficient to deliver Dolby Atmos compliant prints? Or I must get a DMU box? As well as HD Madi for streaming audio into it.

I might be mistaken, but I believe that the Production Suite will allow you to edit/mix and monitor in ATMOS using the Local Renderer workflow. In order to create ATMOS File Packages (DAFPs) or ADM .WAVs you will need access to an RMU.

The Production Suite can at least generate the .atmos assets for Atmos4VR. I also think for home theater deliverables, but I'm not sure, can have a look at the manual tomorrow.

quadraphonics 27th June 2017 08:31 PM

I haven't had to deliver for DCP playback, only EC3 and AC4 - so I cannot really speak to that.

There are some differences between the Home Theater RMU and the Cinema RMU. I do not know what all of them are. Sorry.

Randall


Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12703901)
Randall, thank you for your help and sharing. Its very useful. DA deliverables for the DCP are different from what you deliver for the home Dolby Atmos?


originalscottyg 27th June 2017 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kosmokrator (Post 12703916)
The Production Suite can at least generate the .atmos assets for Atmos4VR. I also think for home theater deliverables, but I'm not sure, can have a look at the manual tomorrow.

It looks like the Mastering Suite can take the place of a physical HT-RMU, by running on a separate PC, and can generate Atmos for Home Theater printmasters. You will still need HD MADIs on the Pro Tools side and RME MADI cards on the "RMU" PC. Creating Cinematic Printmasters for DCP delivery still requires a physical RMU (cinema version not HT).

That's my first impression looking at the documentation. I apologize if my info is incomplete or incorrect.

rcutz 27th June 2017 11:14 PM

@ mgoorevich going thru it myself. What I found in a mix of long conversations with AVID Specialist and very brief emails from Dolby guy... Funny no?

There is "3 levels on it"

1) The Dolby Atmos Production Suite - U$300 Pluging "the local render". Totally in the box. This one will enable you to edit, mix and monitor all atmos thing. You can`t output any "delivery" with that level.
2) ADD the Dolby ATMOS Mastering SUITE U$1000. This software must RUN in RMU, that must be a very specific computer, purchase from a very specific supplier. It will allow you to make the TV/BLURAY atmos master etc...
3) Theatrical Level, only thru Dolby Approval, like to old days of DMU.

To be able to buy the US1000 soft, the computer must be the DOLBY APPROVED one. It must has RME MADI CARD and a timecode one. They Suggest you to buy a MTRX, because you will need to route 64-128 MADI between pro tools and the RMU. I also recommend because it pretty good ( I have DAD AX32)

If you install the 12.8 without any DOLBY Software you can`t see any atmos functions out of the large tracks size...
This pages has a very good resume soft wise
Dolby Announce New Dolby Atmos Production Suite And Mastering Suite — Pro Tools Expert

out of pro tools computers, cards, interfaces, speakers, cables, outboard gear to align everything, the computer/rme/software cost around U$10.000,00

ps: I`m not sure if you can totally be only level one. The Dolby guy simple did not answer that question to me.
ps2: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/professi...lby-atmos.html

mgoorevich 28th June 2017 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcutz (Post 12704305)
@ mgoorevich going thru it myself. What I found in a mix of long conversations with AVID Specialist and very brief emails from Dolby guy... Funny no?

There is "3 levels on it"

1) The Dolby Atmos Production Suite - U$300 Pluging "the local render". Totally in the box. This one will enable you to edit, mix and monitor all atmos thing. You can`t output any "delivery" with that level.
2) ADD the Dolby ATMOS Mastering SUITE U$1000. This software must RUN in RMU, that must be a very specific computer, purchase from a very specific supplier. It will allow you to make the TV/BLURAY atmos master etc...
3) Theatrical Level, only thru Dolby Approval, like to old days of DMU.

To be able to buy the US1000 soft, the computer must be the DOLBY APPROVED one. It must has RME MADI CARD and a timecode one. They Suggest you to buy a MTRX, because you will need to route 64-128 MADI between pro tools and the RMU. I also recommend because it pretty good ( I have DAD AX32)

If you install the 12.8 without any DOLBY Software you can`t see any atmos functions out of the large tracks size...
This pages has a very good resume soft wise
Dolby Announce New Dolby Atmos Production Suite And Mastering Suite — Pro Tools Expert

out of pro tools computers, cards, interfaces, speakers, cables, outboard gear to align everything, the computer/rme/software cost around U$10.000,00

ps: I`m not sure if you can totally be only level one. The Dolby guy simple did not answer that question to me.
ps2: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/professi...lby-atmos.html

Recardo, Thank you very much.
I was aware that there is a difference between the RMU box and the Dolby PS software. But I didn't know that there are 2 types of RMU: home theater and theatrical.
So does it mean that for being able to deliver the theatrical masters you must (again) sell your soul to Dolby AKA buy a DMU + get their rep in your studio?
Or technically speaking there is no difference between the home / theater DMU and there is a work around to deliver files for DCP's?

Regarding the MTRX, its a very nice box indeed but I have no S6 yet, so I am not sure I can benefit from all its features with my d-Command ES24.
I read all the articles in PT Expert and pass through the Dolby manual but still have more questions that answers.

rcutz 28th June 2017 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12704846)
Recardo, Thank you very much.
I was aware that there is a difference between the RMU box and the Dolby PS software. But I didn't know that there are 2 types of RMU: home theater and theatrical.
So does it mean that for being able to deliver the theatrical masters you must (again) sell your soul to Dolby AKA buy a DMU + get their rep in your studio?
Or technically speaking there is no difference between the home / theater DMU and there is a work around to deliver files for DCP's?

Regarding the MTRX, its a very nice box indeed but I have no S6 yet, so I am not sure I can benefit from all its features with my d-Command ES24.
I read all the articles in PT Expert and pass through the Dolby manual but still have more questions that answers.

Well I woukd imagine that RMU Wise it would resume to some license level, like bluray/tv authorization vs theatrical master authorization. I imagine that the hardware would be the same.

MTRX wise, you would only not benefit from the monitor features. When I purchase the DAD it eas cheaper taking in to consideration all I/O available at the base level plus the modularity vs the same amout of I/O using avid intefaces...

I got 16 aes/ebu; 8 DA; Dante; 64 Madi and the monitor license per 5kUsd. At the time just a avid madi i/0 was that price.

I will try to have dolby call later today, i will come back with any news.

Best

Sventeck 29th June 2017 02:13 AM

... just curious... have you had any demand for atmos in the indie film world? I have to tell most folks the difference between 5.1 and stereo... and nobody even knows what atmos is, let alone asks for it? ... not trying to dissuade you, just wondering if demand is higher in other parts of the world? Or are you trying to future-proof?

mgoorevich 29th June 2017 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sventeck (Post 12706929)
... just curious... have you had any demand for atmos in the indie film world? I have to tell most folks the difference between 5.1 and stereo... and nobody even knows what atmos is, let alone asks for it? ... not trying to dissuade you, just wondering if demand is higher in other parts of the world? Or are you trying to future-proof?

Well, I use a word "indie" in order to explain how the local market compares to EU or US ones. If in US $2-5M is calling an indie budget, locally its called a huge budget. In Israel the films I work on are $250K -$2M and only few go to 4-5M. Having said that, the quality of some of them is surprisingly good. I personally in a raw designed and mixed feature films which gone to Cannes and Berlinare festivals.
And I do have a great mixing stage competing with some western Europe ones (I worked in).
So in my situation its more philosophical question rather economical. This is my passion and I can't work in Europe or US but I honestly believe that my mixes can stand the most severe critic.
Some of my clients are aware of Atmos some are not.
I am sorry to see a snobby Dolby starting to dominate (again) more and more as a standard. But I don't want to moan ;-)
So I want to be prepared, so yes, future proof too.

Sventeck 29th June 2017 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12707286)
Well, I use a word "indie" in order to explain how the local market compares to EU or US ones. If in US $2-5M is calling an indie budget, locally its called a huge budget. In Israel the films I work on are $250K -$2M and only few go to 4-5M. Having said that, the quality of some of them is surprisingly good. I personally in a raw designed and mixed feature films which gone to Cannes and Berlinare festivals.
And I do have a great mixing stage competing with some western Europe ones (I worked in).
So in my situation its more philosophical question rather economical. This is my passion and I can't work in Europe or US but I honestly believe that my mixes can stand the most severe critic.
Some of my clients are aware of Atmos some are not.
I am sorry to see a snobby Dolby starting to dominate (again) more and more as a standard. But I don't want to moan ;-)
So I want to be prepared, so yes, future proof too.

Makes a lot of sense! Very cool.
Personally, my plan is to familiarize myself with the Atmos environment in the box, but monitor the 5.1 downmix (which my dolby rep told me I can do the the cheapest bundle) If a film comes in that I need to mix in atmos, I can do that for the grunt-work, and take to an atmos stage to finalize(there's a few within walking distance...) I think we're a long way off from atmos becoming a requirement... but I'm wrong a lot... haha

Deleted User 29th June 2017 01:10 PM

With Netflix now offering Atmos content, traditional surround sound configurations are fast becoming legacy formats.

2L the classical music label has offered Atmos PureAudio Blu-ray releases since 2014, so Atmos content isn't limited to film and the cinema. The same is true for Auro-3D, DTS:X and NHK22.2

rcutz 29th June 2017 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12707286)
Well, I use a word "indie" in order to explain how the local market compares to EU or US ones. If in US $2-5M is calling an indie budget, locally its called a huge budget. In Israel the films I work on are $250K -$2M and only few go to 4-5M. Having said that, the quality of some of them is surprisingly good. I personally in a raw designed and mixed feature films which gone to Cannes and Berlinare festivals.
And I do have a great mixing stage competing with some western Europe ones (I worked in).
So in my situation its more philosophical question rather economical. This is my passion and I can't work in Europe or US but I honestly believe that my mixes can stand the most severe critic.
Some of my clients are aware of Atmos some are not.
I am sorry to see a snobby Dolby starting to dominate (again) more and more as a standard. But I don't want to moan ;-)
So I want to be prepared, so yes, future proof too.

Same here in Brazil. Out movies span from u$600k to u$5mi. Mixture of personal passion, future commitment, VR demands... etc...

Doing some more consulting with the dolby cinema consultant instead of the broadcast consultant, seems that info about the RMU did not maje much sense for him. This is the seasoned guy on the block

mgoorevich 29th June 2017 01:58 PM

How can one reach Dolby?
I emailed them but don't get any response so far.
I know a local Cinema guy representing Dolby but he can't help me with the content (this is how they call it) department.

philper 29th June 2017 04:50 PM

Are the Atmos tools totally ProTools centric, or are there other paths available? The Dolby sites I found seemed more targeted at consumers (ie moviegoers) than mixers etc..

mgoorevich 29th June 2017 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by philper (Post 12708191)
Are the Atmos tools totally ProTools centric, or are there other paths available? The Dolby sites I found seemed more targeted at consumers (ie moviegoers) than mixers etc..

Seems like they chose the monopoly path since they collaborated with Avid and Pro Tools HD 12.8 now is the only DAW supporting natively Atmos.
The question indeed is: will Atmos survive as a standard for immersive format.
Dolby implement it in the TV/ Home Theater , so maybe it will become a cinema standard thanks to their hi-fi spreading.

Deleted User 29th June 2017 07:41 PM

Nuendo 8 supports Atmos:
The VST MultiPanner provides Dolby Atmos support, including a channel-based 9.1 bed-mix and an object-based Dolby Atmos mix when using a Dolby RMU. In Bed mode, the panner offers the same functions as if it is used without an RMU and allows you to create the audio bed of your Dolby Atmos mix, while in Object mode, the panner pans audio objects.
For utmost flexibility, you can change an audio channel between Bed and Object modes even at a very late stage in the project and without the need to reconfigure the entire track setup.

The MixConvert V6 of Nuendo 8 is capable of up and downmixing Auro-3D mixes. Dolby Atmos 9.1 beds can be converted to Auro-3D and vice versa.



Fairlight also provided Atmos support prior to the BlackMagic acquisition:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=KeKgIR03S2U
Dolby Atmos 3DAW can send Atmos meta-data to the Dolby Rendering and Mastering Unit and allows control of the audio objects within a mix.

BlackMagic's Fairlight page while not listing Atmos specifically, reads a lot like the 3DAW feature set:
The advanced Fairlight monitoring system handles buses up to 24 channels wide. Sources can be selected from internal buses or external inputs and sent out to 16 different sets of speakers! You also get customizable fold-up and fold-down when crossing between formats. For example, if you’re monitoring 5.1 on a pair of stereo speakers, it automatically folds down for output to 2 channels. For cinematic setups, you can add an optional B-Chain processor for installations with up to 64 speakers!

Fairlight audio features built in 3D audio support for working with spatial formats such as 5.1, 7.1, DTS multi dimensional array, Dolby and even 22.2. You get a 3D panner to position sound in space, 3D B-chain processing and 3D Spaceview™ visualization which provides a clear view of each object’s location in space. AirPan, which is exclusive to Fairlight consoles, allows you to reach out in space to place sounds where you want. Simply move your fingers in the air to pan, rotate, move and spread sound!


Of course there is also the Neve DFC3D and the Harrison Consoles with native Atmos support.

ProTools isn't the only workstation providing Atmos support, perhaps it is just more integrated now with 12.8 especially with ADM metadata support, and perhaps ProTools is simply the more recognised brand, but there was also talk that Dolby was considering integration with other systems such as Reaper. Time will tell if that ever pans out.

mgoorevich 30th June 2017 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deleted User (Post 12708514)
ProTools isn't the only workstation providing Atmos support, perhaps it is just more integrated now with 12.8 especially with ADM metadata support, and perhaps ProTools is simply the more recognised brand, but there was also talk that Dolby was considering integration with other systems such as Reaper. Time will tell if that ever pans out.

Ok, thanks for the heads up.
So the general principle is the same - audio is being sent to the RMU via Madi. But what is the return path? How do you render (or re-record) the Dolby Atmos back into the DAW? Or is it an internal RMU process?

brandoncross 30th June 2017 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deleted User (Post 12708514)
. there was also talk that Dolby was considering integration with other systems such as Reaper.

Really?? What are the chances of someone working in a 1/4 of a million dollar mix stage and using reaper?

Deleted User 30th June 2017 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgoorevich (Post 12710116)
So the general principle is the same - audio is being sent to the RMU via Madi.

Correct, the RMU is always the processing core.

Very brief demo:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=owMUpW54u6U
https://youtube.com/watch?v=8YZj5-ypOxg
https://youtube.com/watch?v=rSDQdMzpNuM

mgoorevich 30th June 2017 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deleted User (Post 12710325)

Yeah. Nice Yamaha commercial ;-) I understand that the RMU holds theses tasks. But what do you listen to in the studio? To a discrete 7.1.2 or some kind of decoded back DA? I still don't see where the actual rendering takes place? And I cant get this mysterious Dolby for consultation!

Dan Smith 30th June 2017 07:54 PM

It's like they're listening! RSPE just sent me an email about this. Not a ton of info there yet, but they are starting a blog series "Demystifying Dolby Atmos."

https://www.rspeaudio.com/demystifyi...-rmu-a/370.htm

They have done a number of videos on the S6, so I'm sure this will be a useful resource in the future.

RSPE has always been super helpful dealer to me in the past, so I wouldn't hesitate reaching out to them for clarification if you need more info.

dr.sound 30th June 2017 09:28 PM

RSPE are selling RMU's?
WTF! I got mine directly from Dolby for Feature Films.
You have to have your site ( Dub Stage specd out by Dolby to make sure you meet
the criteria for speaker layout, brand, spl, coverage etc).

I think many of you need to carefully think this through...
How many "Atmos Theaters" are there near you in your country?
Are the clients willing to pay the licensing fees and the additional costs for DCP's?
Also look at the rest of your equipment and make sure it's the best for the job.
888's are door stops and have no use being in any chain period! Buy a used 192 instead. They are very cheap (see Ebay).
Update your monitoring including Speakers, room EQ and monitor controller.
If you can't afford that you can't afford making your room a Dolby Atmos Theatrical Approved Stage.

I see a huge amount of opportunities in Atmos for the home instead.
No licensing fees, less speakers, less cost, more value for the vast majority of people reading this post.
Remember, this is from a guy who has ALL 4 Immersive Formats at
The Dub Stage, Dolby Atmos, DTS X, IMAX 12.0/6.0 and Auro-3D 11.1.

philper 30th June 2017 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brandoncross (Post 12710324)
Really?? What are the chances of someone working in a 1/4 of a million dollar mix stage and using reaper?

Today? Not so much. But if Dolby wants to "own" immersive then they might consider integrating into tools people other than large dubstages use, esp video editors like Premiere, and DAWs like Reaper. 360/VR tools (like Facebook etc) are free and avail for the tools many people use and talk to many edit+audio apps. That technology is already all over youtube etc, and my guess is that we'll see it in TV. Why would Dolby want to only be in the highest $ productions?

rcutz 1st July 2017 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dr.sound (Post 12710986)
RSPE are selling RMU's?
WTF! I got mine directly from Dolby for Feature Films.
You have to have your site ( Dub Stage specd out by Dolby to make sure you meet
the criteria for speaker layout, brand, spl, coverage etc).

I think many of you need to carefully think this through...
How many "Atmos Theaters" are there near you in your country?
Are the clients willing to pay the licensing fees and the additional costs for DCP's?
Also look at the rest of your equipment and make sure it's the best for the job.
888's are door stops and have no use being in any chain period! Buy a used 192 instead. They are very cheap (see Ebay).
Update your monitoring including Speakers, room EQ and monitor controller.
If you can't afford that you can't afford making your room a Dolby Atmos Theatrical Approved Stage.

I see a huge amount of opportunities in Atmos for the home instead.
No licensing fees, less speakers, less cost, more value for the vast majority of people reading this post.
Remember, this is from a guy who has ALL 4 Immersive Formats at
The Dub Stage, Dolby Atmos, DTS X, IMAX 12.0/6.0 and Auro-3D 11.1.

@ dr.sound
Yeah, it as a whole new game in town.
Still requires a good level o commitmment ($$$) but far less than the amount needed to do what you did in your studio... it should be, maybe, one of kind. NO?

Also, I did not understand why Dolby is not adopting Aoip? Dante, etc... One must purchase a computer, ok, but madi cards? so 2005... :)

brandoncross 1st July 2017 02:05 AM

It took me 3 sec to find a Dell Precision Rack 7810. It's a 1400 dollar computer. Any idea what the components are that need to be installed? I heard somewhere you need a few RME Madi cards.

brandoncross 1st July 2017 02:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcutz (Post 12711322)
@ dr.sound

Also, I did not understand why Dolby is not adopting Aoip? Dante, etc... One must purchase a computer, ok, but madi cards? so 2005... :)

Right!!!! I just want to plug in an ethernet cable or 2.