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Old 22nd May 2020
Here for the gear

Thanks Nathaniel,
This is the answer I have been waiting for....
You say that the meters don’t reflect what is going on Signal flow wise?
Maybe this is what is throwing me..

So you are saying If I,

Create a 7.1.2 bus.
Feed a 7.1.2 source into it.
Create a 7,1,2 Aux ,
Load a 7.1.2 effect into this Aux and feed the input of the Aux with the 7.1.2 bus.
The source and the FX loaded Aux feed the print track.
You can the feed any format , mono, stereo, LCR, 5.1 etc into this same environment (effect) and adjust their sends to glue and give rough POV to each source. Plus send follows pan of source, of course.
Standard old school practise.

That if I change the output to Smpte and I go back into the bus I/O and even if the 7.1.2 bus I created still reads as Film format,... it actually isn’t ? . Noting that you cannot physically swap the centre or right ie (LCR... LRC etc)...

Could you explain further, I must be thick the least it’s very misleading.
This certainly was an issue way back when 5.1 first started and the Pro Control had a different I/O layout. (It was actually selectable output format as “SMPTE Pro Control” back then)...
I would be very happy if this is actually the case....