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Penteo® Surround: The Definitive Stereo to 5.1 Technology
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
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Penteo® Surround: The Definitive Stereo to 5.1 Technology



THE DEFINITIVE STEREO TO 5.1 SURROUND TECHNOLOGY


YES
COLLAPSES 100% (PHASE NULLED) FAITHFULLY TO ORIGINAL STEREO SOURCE
DESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP WITH HD BROADCASTING IN MIND
SIMPLY THE BEST SOUNDING STEREO TO 5.1 TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE

NO

PHASE SHIFTING
CROSS-MODULATION
ARTIFICIAL PUMPING

Penteo® transforms stereo recordings, soundtracks and live television broadcasts into true 5.1 surround sound...
...like you have never heard before.

Our patent-pending technology process is featured in the blockbuster film, 'Watchmen', Eddie Murphy's upcoming film, 'A Thousand Words' for Dreamworks, Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglorious Basterds' and the upcoming Denzel Washington film, ‘Book of Eli’.




At the core of this system is our proprietary Stereo Panorama Slicing(TM) algorithm that creates a much cleaner, clearer, more discrete 5.1 surround experience than any other 5.1 conversion technology available today.



Most importantly, our surround masters down-mix back to stereo with absolutely zero sonic artifacts, making it perfect for HDTV broadcasts.


Penteo Upmaster is our premium audio re-mastering service for motion picture productions, computer games, music libraries, and record labels, to convert their existing stereo libraries into 5.1 surround efficiently and affordably.



We have also just developed the Penteo/RT broadcast appliance which converts live stereo broadcasts into 5.1 surround on the fly, giving broadcasters the ability to automatically send out all their programming as a 5.1 mix simultaneously with their stereo transmission. This new technology allows broadcast networks, TV stations, cable providers, satellite companies, and HD radio stations the ability to offer all their programming, including live events and commercials, in superior-quality surround sound whilst retaining perfect stereo compatibility.

Penteo/RT will be available in early 2010.




WHAT THE PROS ARE SAYING:

"One integral tool we used was the Penteo surround processor. This takes normal two-track recordings, from any decade, and outputs them into 5.1. It sounds amazing."
Mike Minkler, 3-time Oscar-winning Re-recording Mixer, 'Inglorious Basterds' (Post Magazine, August 2009)


"I have 3 words for you: A-MAZ-ING! Are you looking for investors?"
Tamara Johnson, Re-recording Mixer, Smart Post Sound


"It truly sounds great. It opens doors. You can use Penteo to play it like it is or to build from the original mix. It's better from the start than anything we finish with now."

Jon Taylor, award-winning Sound Re-recording Editor, 'Babel'


"The Penteo system maintained the original frequency spectrum flawlessly. It was great to hear some of those old recordings expanded out all around the listening field."
Will Eggleston, Marketing Director, Genelec


"When choosing an upmix algorithm to complement Orban's Optimod-Surround 8585 audio processor, I auditioned a number of different processes. Of these, only the Penteo Surround upmix sounded like discrete five-channel while preserving the balance of the stereo source without coloration. I was particularly impressed by its ability to place dialog firmly in the center channel even when the mix included other elements placed around the stereo soundstage. Penteo was the hands-down winner of my shoot-out."
Robert Orban, Chief Engineer of Orban CRL


"It was really exciting using this extraordinary new Penteo Surround system to demonstrate our new TB2S-A II series in a 5.1 setup at AES 2009. It created quite a buzz at the convention and boosted our presence on the show floor quite nicely."

Maurice Patist, PMC CMO and Strategic Sales Manager / Specialist Systems Group



We have pre-production Penteo/RT units in Burbank, CA and London, UK.
If you would like a demonstration, or have any questions about our services or products, please get in touch.




Old 20th November 2009
  #2
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Now demoing Penteo® Surround in London, UK and Burbank, CA

Hi There,

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are demoing Penteo's amazing stereo to 5.1 technology in London, UK and Burbank, CA.

Penteo is like nothing you have ever heard. No phase shifting, cross-modulation or pumping due to our patent-pending Stereo Panoramic Slicing technology. Also, it collapses back to stereo 100% faithfully to the original source (phase nulls).

People who have heard it are dumbfounded.

Why not have a listen for yourself, with your own material - and have a drink on us while you're at it!

PM me or get in touch via website.

Cheers,

Richard K. Vermeulen
Penteo Surround UK
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
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danijel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penteo® Surround View Post
Also, it collapses back to stereo 100% faithfully to the original source (phase nulls).
That sounds great, I just wonder if you're talking about collapsing back using some proprietary algorithm, or a simple standard mixdown, as one would find in a DVD player?
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Hi Danjel. No proprietary algorithm at all. For example, you can line the original stereo and Penteo processed L,C,R,Ls,Rs,LF files up in your DAW and group the Penteo processed channels to a stereo buss (keeping their L/R/C pan positions). Flip the phase, turn down centre channel by 3db and listen to it all disappear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel View Post
That sounds great, I just wonder if you're talking about collapsing back using some proprietary algorithm, or a simple standard mixdown, as one would find in a DVD player?
Old 21st November 2009
  #5
Gear Addict
Very interesting indeed!

Any chance to demo it in London?

Cheers,



Antti
Old 21st November 2009
  #6
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Hi Antti,

We are demoing the unit in London starting beginning of December. Still finalizing the precise location.

I will PM you with details of where and when asap.

Thanks!

Richard


Quote:
Originally Posted by antti View Post
Very interesting indeed!

Any chance to demo it in London?

Cheers,



Antti
Old 21st November 2009
  #7
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Penteo Demonstrations

I want to add that we are running demonstrations of Penteo hardware in London, UK and Burbank, CA, USA starting December.

We are 100% confident that Penteo is the cleanest, clearest and most natural sounding stereo to 5.1 conversion available...

...But we want YOU to hear it for yourselves!

Please PM me or get in touch via the websites.

All the best and thanks for looking,


Richard K. Vermeulen

Penteo UK
Old 21st November 2009
  #8
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Is it a dsp based system?
Old 21st November 2009
  #9
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

The Penteo R/T is a standalone hardware unit with digital and analogue i/o and a full complement of sync options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomer1 View Post
Is it a dsp based system?
Old 21st November 2009
  #10
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forgive my question if its too basic but is the purpose of this to take over dolby LT/RT? (5.1 would be better then the dolby solution) i.e we could do a standard fold down of a 5.1 mix and this thing does its magic instead of encoding lt/rt?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #11
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Hi J,

Penteo takes a standard stereo signal and extrapolates a 5.1 signal using our Stereo Panoramic Slicing algorithm. It's not an encoder/decoder device. 2 channels go in and 6 come out - rock solid and phase accurate.


Cheers,

Richard




Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm View Post
forgive my question if its too basic but is the purpose of this to take over dolby LT/RT? (5.1 would be better then the dolby solution) i.e we could do a standard fold down of a 5.1 mix and this thing does its magic instead of encoding lt/rt?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #12
Gear Nut
 

And apparently the cost is $100 - $300 per minute if you send in any work/files for them to process. Makes you wonder how much the hardware costs (and how they arrived at the pricing).
Old 22nd November 2009
  #13
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Hi There,

That is the price for material which is processed in Penteo's labs. It is aimed at old stereo recordings which need cleaning up and their Stereo Panoramic Slicing constantly adjusted.

Clients can have their material processed by Penteo for far, far less if constant tweaking and cleaning up isn't involved.

Finally, no, the hardware unit is not going to be cheap. This is because we have not compromised in the design or components one bit. These babies have to be able to take the pressure of live TV broadcast scenarios -No breaking down!



Quote:
Originally Posted by postfader View Post
And apparently the cost is $100 - $300 per minute if you send in any work/files for them to process. Makes you wonder how much the hardware costs (and how they arrived at the pricing).
Old 22nd November 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penteo® Surround View Post
...
Penteo® transforms stereo recordings, soundtracks and live television broadcasts into true 5.1 surround sound...
...like you have never heard before.
An upmix by definiton is never "true" 5.1 surround. If I were you I would tone that marketing language down a little bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penteo® Surround View Post
... These babies have to be able to take the pressure of live TV broadcast scenarios -No breaking down!
Why should anyone in a live scenario want to inflate stereo to surround through a costly processor rather than mike and mix it in surround with a real surround sound stage?

I can understand the upmix desire for reissuing preproduced archived stereo material, but not for live scenarios.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #15
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Hi There,

What I meant by 'live' is that the broadcaster would be running this archived material 'live to air' through the Penteo/RT box. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

You are of course right - discrete 5.1 mixing is preferable in nearly all cases. However, as you say, there is tons of TV and Music programming which is already mixed in stereo - where doing discrete 5.1 mixes would be either impossible (because the original multitrack audio masters are damaged / gone) or simply too costly to consider. This is where Penteo comes in.

Having said that, a lot of live television shows are produced under extreme pressure and often in mix rooms or trucks that don't have ideal monitoring conditions. The last thing the live mixer needs to worry about is exactly where various sounds will show up in the final 5.1 panorama while at the same time worrying about down-mix compatibility.

We have demoed Penteo on game shows, live football, news, comedy shows and commercials - people who have heard it are amazed.


Cheers,

Richard




Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
Why should anyone in a live scenario want to inflate stereo to surround through a costly processor rather than mike and mix it in surround with a real surround sound stage?

I can understand the upmix desire for remastering preproduced archived material, but not for live scenarios.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #16
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So how do you do it?
"100% collapsing back to stereo faithfully" leaves not many options...
THat would work for any downmix or only with a special procedure?

What is the sonic objective for creating the surround channels?
Obviously you can't put discrete sources there.

So far I have heard all the upmix processors and would in 95% of cases advise against using them at all if you have nothing discrete or at least original ambiance to use for the surround channels.

What's the point of 5.1 in these cases?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #17
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
So how do you do it?
"100% collapsing back to stereo faithfully" leaves not many options?
THat would work for any downmix or only with a special procedure?
This is what is so special about Penteo when compared to any other upmixing technology.

It will upmix a stereo source into 5.1 which can be collapsed back to stereo with no special decoders / processes 100% faithfully to the original stereo source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
What is the sonic objective for creating the surround channels?
Obviously you can't put discrete sources there.

So far I have heard all the upmix processors and would in 95% of cases advise against using them at all if you have nothing discrete or at least original ambiance to use for the surround channels.

What's the point of 5.1 in these cases?
The listener is immersed in a 5.1 surround listening experience. It is totally convincing and because there are ZERO sonic artifacts, it sounds natural.

When we were issued with a Penteo pre-production unit here in London, Tom Allom (at the helm of Penteo Surround UK/Europe) and I had a listen to various pieces of music by different artists. From Nine Inch Nails to Radiohead to Pink Floyd. We were completely floored by what we were hearing. It sounds beautiful. This is what made me want to get involved.

We then listened to various TV programming (football, gameshows, commercials, dramas) which we recorded onto DVD. Again, we felt completely immersed. No feeling of 'fakeness'.

For the record, Tom and I had just been mixing the audio for a major artist's live DVD in discrete 5.1 when we first had a listen to Penteo.

Here's how Penteo's Stereo Panoramic Slicing works (in a nutshell) as explained by John Wheeler who invented it:

On a stereo source, anything panned to the center will be dead-stable in the center channel. Material panned hard left will appear loudest in Penteo's left rear, and material panned hard right will appear loudest in Penteo's right rear. All other sounds fall into place in their respective positions in the 'penteophonic' panorama.

Once again, one needs to reserve judgment until one's heard it. It really does sell itself.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penteo® Surround View Post
...
Here's how Penteo's Stereo Panoramic Slicing works (in a nutshell) as explained by John Wheeler who invented it:

On a stereo source, anything panned to the center will be dead-stable in the center channel. Material panned hard left will appear loudest in Penteo's left rear, and material panned hard right will appear loudest in Penteo's right rear. All other sounds fall into place in their respective positions in the 'penteophonic' panorama.

...
If that's all it does, than I doubt it is patent worthy. I can do the same thing with a little M/S processing easily.
Anything hard left in stereo now rear left? Who wants that, but OK...

OK, this is how it works:

Stereo signal stays on L/R
additionally L/R through M/S matrix.
M signal feeds center
S signal goes to Rear channels.
adjust levels to taste.



Was that correct? heh
Old 22nd November 2009
  #19
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Nice try, but it's certainly not that simple!

Penteo's algorithm extrapolates the centre and surround channels based on where the material is in the stereo panorama. For example, the Penteo processed L/R channels do not contain what's in the Ls/Rs channels. They are separated. The processed Ls/Rs channels only contain material which was panned hard left and right. The processed L/R channels no longer contain that material.

Similarly, the Penteo processed centre channel contains ONLY material panned dead centre.

I appreciate you might be skeptical, but this is no snake-oil. If your theory was correct, there would be a lot of stupid looking professionals out there!

For many people, the only way to be convinced is to listen, first in 5.1, then to the individual 5.1 components... If you want, PM me your address and I will send you demo material.

---EDIT----

Or come to a demo and see the unit in action!



Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
If that's all it does, than I doubt it is patent worthy. I can do the same thing with a little M/S processing easily.
Anything hard left in stereo now rear left? OK...

OK, this is how it works:

Stereo signal stays on L/R
additionally L/R through M/S matrix.
M signal feeds center
S signal goes to Rear channels.
adjust levels to taste.



Was that correct? heh
Old 22nd November 2009
  #20
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"Certainly not"...
So - according to your information - when I feed your processor with a Beatles song that has 3 mono sources, hard left, center and hard right, your process would put those in Surround left, Center and Surround right, nothing would be in L/R, correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penteo® Surround View Post
Penteo's algorithm extrapolates the centre and surround channels based on where the material is in the stereo panorama. For example, the Penteo processed L/R channels do not contain what's in the Ls/Rs channels. They are separated. The processed Ls/Rs channels only contain material which was panned hard left and right. The processed L/R channels no longer contain that material.

Similarly, the Penteo processed centre channel contains ONLY material panned dead centre.

I appreciate you might be skeptical, but this is no snake-oil. If your theory was correct, there would be a lot of stupid looking professionals out there!

For many people, the only way to be convinced is to listen, first in 5.1, then to the individual 5.1 components... If you want, PM me your address and I will send you demo material.

---EDIT----

Or come to a demo and see the unit in action!
Old 23rd November 2009
  #21
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jimlongo's Avatar
 

Is there a plug-in or is this a service where we send you files and you send them back?

Thanks.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #22
Gear Nut
 

It sounds from their description as if they have an algorithm that allows a stereo image to be sliced from left to right - with higher/variable resolution on what each slice captures from the image - compared to say what you can do with M/S processing. So if you had a (more modern) dense mix with many instruments panned at varying degrees across the image, then the scheme of extracting some of those and placing them into the surround channels might work. But this logic might also be confused if there is spurious noise, or effects that change rapidly between the left and right channels, e.g., ping ponning of effects, etc. Maybe this could be compensated for by programming/changing the slicing parameters in real-time to ignore the "unstable" parts of the stereo image. But programming this per mix could get time consuming - so I could see how this work could get expensive.

I'd suspect old stereo recording (like the Beatles) - where there's a few tracks lumped in the center and most everything else panned pretty much lumped together hard left or right - might not fare too well in this scheme; it might not be possible to slice the image into small enough segments to extract/isolate anything useful.

I thought Lexicon's LOGIC7 is still used/licensed to synthesize surround in car stereos. I heard some interesting demos of this in the past, though I believe it was only available in hardware.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Looks like a piece of hardware from looking at their server. I wonder if there is a software plug to run with the hardware?


LEE G

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlongo View Post
Is there a plug-in or is this a service where we send you files and you send them back?

Thanks.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #24
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

Hi there and thanks for your interest Jim and Lee.

There are no plans to release a plug-in at this point.

Penteo/RT is the real-time hardware unit. It features digital / analogue i/o and full sync options.

Penteo UpMaster is the upmastering service where clients can send us files via FTP to be processed.

There are varying degrees depending on the work required. For example, if the master is on an old 1/2 inch tape, or Vinyl (as in Mr. Tarantino's case!) it will most probably require lab processing to correct the alignment before it is Penteo processed in order to maintain stable and solid panoramic field placement.

If the material is a modern digital audio format file / DAT / CD, our job is made easier and the price will reflect that.

Cheers,

Richard
Old 23rd November 2009
  #25
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Hi Postfader,

You are pretty much spot on. The algorithm indeed takes slices of the (L->R) stereo spectrum and the precise slice points are infinitely variable in the lab and to some degree variable on the Panteo/RT hardware unit.

Artists who want 5.1 surround mixes of old masters (in cases where the multitracks are no longer available or doing a discrete mix isn't practical) can have their material lab processed where the optimal slice points can be tweaked until perfect.

If the masters are coming off analogue tape or vinyl, they will almost certainly need to be time-aligned in the lab before Penteo processing occurs in order to maintain rock-solid surround panoramic field placement.

This is what happened to Mr. Tarantino's old vinyl records for the 'Inglorious Basterds' soundtrack.

Cheers,

Richard



Quote:
Originally Posted by postfader View Post
It sounds from their description as if they have an algorithm that allows a stereo image to be sliced from left to right - with higher/variable resolution on what each slice captures from the image - compared to say what you can do with M/S processing. So if you had a (more modern) dense mix with many instruments panned at varying degrees across the image, then the scheme of extracting some of those and placing them into the surround channels might work. But this logic might also be confused if there is spurious noise, or effects that change rapidly between the left and right channels, e.g., ping ponning of effects, etc. Maybe this could be compensated for by programming/changing the slicing parameters in real-time to ignore the "unstable" parts of the stereo image. But programming this per mix could get time consuming - so I could see how this work could get expensive.

I'd suspect old stereo recording (like the Beatles) - where there's a few tracks lumped in the center and most everything else panned pretty much lumped together hard left or right - might not fare too well in this scheme; it might not be possible to slice the image into small enough segments to extract/isolate anything useful.

I thought Lexicon's LOGIC7 is still used/licensed to synthesize surround in car stereos. I heard some interesting demos of this in the past, though I believe it was only available in hardware.
Old 24th November 2009
  #26
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

I merged the thread from the post-production forum with this one.
Old 26th November 2009
  #27
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum View Post
"Certainly not"...
So - according to your information - when I feed your processor with a Beatles song that has 3 mono sources, hard left, center and hard right, your process would put those in Surround left, Center and Surround right, nothing would be in L/R, correct?
Richard,

You mentioned that you and Tom Allom from Penteo Surround listened to variety of music from Nine Inch Nails to Radiohead to Pink Floyd. Did you folks listen to any Beatles or Hendrix tunes from back in the day?

I'm wondering if you were completely floored by that experience too.

I ask this because I too mix a lot of hard left, hard right stuff and was wondering how my mixes would sound through that device.

Please consider contacting me for a demo if and when you come to NYC.

Thanks and all the best on this project venture.


Can you please respond to the quoted statement comment on this statement for us?
Old 26th November 2009
  #28
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for your interest.

Tom and I have yet to listen to older material (panned rigidly C/hardL/hardR), but we certainly will when we're back in the studio.

I asked John Wheeler, the inventor about it. His reply was as follows:


"In the recent interview I did for Post Magazine, we talked about pre-1975 mixes vs. post-1975 mixes, when pan-pots really came into common use, and how Penteo separates the components out cleanly into their three original positions -- since that's all there were! As expected, the left rear/right rear and center emit separate, isolated, and even acapella sections, based on whether they were placed left, center, or right."


I will mention to the guys in the US about demos in New York. We would love you to hear it in action!

Cheers,

Richard



Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Richard,

You mentioned that you and Tom Allom from Penteo Surround listened to variety of music from Nine Inch Nails to Radiohead to Pink Floyd. Did you folks listen to any Beatles or Hendrix tunes from back in the day?

I'm wondering if you were completely floored by that experience too.

I ask this because I too mix a lot of hard left, hard right stuff and was wondering how my mixes would sound through that device.

Please consider contacting me for a demo if and when you come to NYC.

Thanks and all the best on this project venture.


Can you please respond to the quoted statement comment on this statement for us?
Old 26th November 2009
  #29
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Richard,

As I mentioned before, I do pan hard L and hard R, but rarely pan dead center.
I'm either just a bit off to the left or right, so I'm really interested in hearing how my work sounds through this process.

I look forward to a possible demo in NYC one of these days.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #30
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Penteo® Surround's Avatar
 

NEW YORK DEMOS 13th - 17th December

Hi Steve,

Just to let you know that a couple of Penteo representatives will be in New York from 13th - 17th of December and would be happy to demo the hardware unit for you - and anybody else who is interested in hearing what it can do!

Anyone interested, please PM or email me and I will pass your details on to the US team.

All the best,

Richard


Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Richard,

As I mentioned before, I do pan hard L and hard R, but rarely pan dead center.
I'm either just a bit off to the left or right, so I'm really interested in hearing how my work sounds through this process.

I look forward to a possible demo in NYC one of these days.
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