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Old 22nd November 2004, 00:56   #1  |  Link
ursamtl
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GUIDE: Using the V.I Stereo to 5.1 Converter in Nuendo and Cubase SX

The V.I Stereo to 5.1 Converter VST plugin works well in both Steinberg Nuendo and Cubase SX versions 2.0 and later. Below is the text for the guide. I'll post screen grabs and links to animated Shockwave demos, as soon as they become available.

The following assumes you have a good working knowledge of Steinberg Nuendo or Cubase version 2 or later. It also assumes you've installed V.I in the directory seen by Nuendo or Cubase as the Shared VST Plugins Folder available by choosing Plug-in Information from the Devices menu.

Creating a Template for V.I Projects
Since each user's setup is unique, rather than simply post a project file, the following directions guide you through setting up a template you can use whenever you want to use V.I in these programs.
  1. From the File menu, choose New Project.
  2. From the list of Templates that appears, select Empty and click OK.
  3. When prompted, select a directory for storing your files and click OK.
  4. From the Project menu, choose Project Setup.
  5. In the Project Setup dialog box, set the following:
    a. Length to 00:01:00:00
    b. Sample Rate to 44.100 kHz if your project is for a surround CD or 48.000 kHz if it's for a DVD audio project
    c. Record Format to 32 Bit Float
    d. Record File Type to Wave File
    e. Stereo Pan Law to -3dB

    Surround CD Project Settings


    DVD Project Settings
  6. From the Devices menu, choose VST Connections.
  7. In the VST Connections box, be sure that the Outputs tab is selected. If there is no 5.1 Out bus listed under Bus Name, click the Add Bus button, select 5.1 from the dropdown list in the pop-up Add Bus box, and click OK. Close the VST Connections box.
  8. From the Project menu, choose Add Track > Audio. In the pop-up Add Audio Track box, select Stereo and click OK.
  9. Press F3 to display the mixer.
  10. At the top of the Audio 01 track (second slider from the left in the mixer), click on Stereo Out and change it to 5.1 Out. This routes the Audio Track to the 5.1 bus.
  11. Just above the M button to the left of the Audio o1 track slider, double-click on the area just below the blue dot. This opens the SurroundPan dialog box.
  12. To the right of the LFE button, click on the words Mono Mix and choose Y-Mirror from the menu that appears.
  13. Two gray balls appear for the L and R channels. Click on one of these, hold the mouse button down and drag it to the top left or top right corner as appropriate. As you drag the ball, the opposite one moves to the opposite corner. Click the red and white X icon in the top right title bar of the SurroundPan dialog box to close it.
  14. To edit the output channel settings, click the little e (under the W) to the left of the 5.1 slider on the right of the mixer.
  15. In the VST Output Channel Settings - 5.1 Out dialog box that appears, click the top effect insert slot, i1 and choose V.I from the pop-up menu that appears.
  16. If you have the OctoMaxx plugin installed on your system, you can use this to prevent your 5.1 output from clipping. Install it in slot i7. If you don't have the OctoMaxx plugin, you could install 3 instances of the PeakMaster plugin and use the Routing mode display of the insert effects to route three six channels through the three PeakMaster plugins. Here's a link to a exe file that shows a Shockwave animation of Routing settings in Nuendo: Shockwave animation Nuendo Routing demo (387KB).
  17. From the File menu, choose Save As Template to save this project as a template for all future V.I projects.
Using the template
  1. From the File menu, choose New Project.
  2. From the list of Templates that appears, select the V.I template you saved above.
  3. Press Shift+B to ensure your current position is set to the beginning.
  4. From the File menu, choose Import > Audio File. Select the file you wish to import and click OK.
  5. In the pop-up Import Options box, Check the box next to Sample Size (16 Bit to 32 Bit) to convert the file to 32-bit format but do not check the box next to Split channels. The file opens and after a few moments, the image of the audio peaks appears.
  6. Right-click on the image peaks and choose Zoom > Zoom Full.
  7. Press P on your keyboard to set the left and right locators to the beginning and end of the file respectively.
  8. Press F3 on your keyboard to display the mixer.
  9. To edit the output channel settings, click the little e (under the W) to the left of the 5.1 slider on the right of the mixer.
    [/img]
  10. In the VST Output Channel Settings - 5.1 Out dialog box that appears, click the small e just above the V.I slot.
  11. The V.I controls appear. Press the spacebar to play the audio file and adjust the settings.
  12. When you're ready to export the file, from the File menu choose Export > Audio Mixdown.
  13. Consult your Nuendo or Cubase documentation for details on export options. If you have the AC3 or DTS plugins, you can export directly to these formats. Otherwise, export six mono files for encoding using other programs. In such a case, the individual file names are simply numbered. The channel order is as follows:
    • mixdown-1.wav => FL
    • mixdown-2.wav => FR
    • mixdown-3.wav => C
    • mixdown-4.wav => LFE
    • mixdown-5.wav => SL
    • mixdown-6.wav => SR
    (Thanks to CirTap for pointing this out. For more details, see CirTap's post)
Regards,
Steve.

Last edited by ursamtl; 15th May 2007 at 23:11.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 04:22   #2  |  Link
joseartur
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Plugin AC3

Hello Dear: ursamtl
i have Cubase SX v2.2.0.33
i have made all of your tutorial
and thanks for the work,
but i`am disillusioned. in export option, the result is,to all 6 channels have same name, best of this cubase, is Cool Edit Pro he make all 6 channels with the name FL,FR,C,RL,RR,LFE.
And I do not know which is the plugin AC3, an example please
thanks
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Old 2nd February 2005, 12:55   #3  |  Link
ursamtl
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I'm afraid I don't personally have the setup. I'll contact the person who gave me the screen grabs and did the V.I testing for me and get back to you. However, you should start by checking the help files that came with your software. These can often provide a quick answer. You could also check the forum at www.cubase.net. The Cubase users there can provide you with lots of details.

Regards,
Steve.
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Old 10th April 2005, 07:52   #4  |  Link
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Re: Plugin AC3

Holla Jose,
Quote:
Originally posted by joseartur
... i have Cubase SX v2.2.0.33
i have made all of your tutorial
and thanks for the work,
but i`am disillusioned. in export option, the result is,to all 6 channels have same name, ...
If you export to "n-split channels", the individual filename numbering is equivalent to these channels:
  • mixdown-1.wav => FL
  • mixdown-2.wav => FR
  • mixdown-3.wav => C
  • mixdown-4.wav => LFE
  • mixdown-5.wav => SL
  • mixdown-6.wav => SR
which is the same order given by the channel peak meter in the 5.1 bus strip as seen from left to right.


If you encode your AC3 fle with BeSweet you'd need to create sume ".mux" file like this:
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-1.wav
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-3.wav
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-2.wav
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-5.wav
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-6.wav
E:\footage\audio\AC3\mixdown-4.wav

(consult the BeSweet FAQ Q.31 for details)

Quote:
ursamtl
However, you should start by checking the help files that came with your software. These can often provide a quick answer.
In general this would have been the perfect advice unfortunately the manual just states the files are simply numbered, without telling what "channel" goes to what number %-| It only contains a note about adding a -L/-R suffix for stereo files using a "2ch-only" audio formats -- whichever that is...

Have fun,
CirTap
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Last edited by CirTap; 10th April 2005 at 07:55.
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Old 10th April 2005, 15:38   #5  |  Link
ursamtl
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Thanks for the additional info, CirTap! I've updated the guide.

Regards,
Steve.
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Old 15th May 2007, 18:01   #6  |  Link
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Don't import audio(44100Hz) into DVD Project Settings(48000Hz) -> some weird things would appear with vocal (i.e. male vocal would change to female)

Instead, import audio(44100Hz) to Project Settings(44100Hz) and than resample to 48000Hz.
Or convert 44100Hz->48000Hz - offline, and than import to DVD Project Settings(48000Hz).

Same thing for Sound Foreg 9 if you use it for stereo to 5.1ch, instead of Nuendo.

If you are for Surround CD Project Settings, you might wanna use SurroundDihter ( last slots in the VST Output Channel Settings - 5.1 Out ) for moving from higher to 16-bit resolution, 'cause Nuendo's internal bit-depth is 32bit (from help).

One more thing....When you import 16bit audio file, does Nuendo automatically convert it to 32bit?
Or this depend on Project settings bit-depth?
For examle, if Project settings are 24bit, does Nuendo convert 16bit audio to 24bit or 32bit?
And where's option for bit-depth conversation in Nuendo?

Last edited by SealTooGreat; 15th May 2007 at 19:59.
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Old 15th May 2007, 23:19   #7  |  Link
ursamtl
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Seal,

Thanks for your message. Actually, the guide simply states to use 44100kHz if your project is destined to be a surround CD or 48000kHz for a DVD. It assumes that the file you import will be at that sample rate. Of course, if it is not you have to either resample it before importing or use the program to resample. The sped up voices (men sounding like women) happens when you try to play back a file samples at 44100kHz when the project setting is 48000kHz.

Yes, use surround dither when going to 16 bit. However, do not dither down to 16 bits until the very last step in your process. Otherwise, you will hurt the quality of your project. By the way, if you leave your project at 24 bits (which is perfectly acceptable and even desirable when doing a DVD), you don't really need to dither. Technically it's not a bad idea but the results without won't be nearly as audible as if you don't dither when converting to 16 bits..

Yes, as explained in step 5 of my guide, Nuendo does convert a 16 bit file to 32 bits. What I documented in step 5 is the Nuendo bit-depth conversion (unless it has changed in the latest version).

Regards,
Steve.
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Old 16th May 2007, 02:30   #8  |  Link
SealTooGreat
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Thanks ursamtl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursamtl View Post
Yes, use surround dither when going to 16 bit. However, do not dither down to 16 bits until the very last step in your process.


Something like this?! - Just before FIle->Export->Audio Mix Down...
SurroundDither (Dithering:Type 1 ; Noise Shaping: Type 2). Help says that Dithering method depends on source.
iZotope Ozone x2 and SpectraPhy are stereo/2ch limiters. I've found that Ozone, with its presets, is very useful for some final master limiter tweaking (if i don't need tweaking, I'm using simple limiter without coloration like SpectraPhy).

Just to mention, I'm using SurroundDihter 'cause I do some DTS waves for CD - SurCode CD Pro DTS only accept 16bit wav files. Should SurroundDihter be used if I use internal Neundo's AC3 or DTS encoder - I don't know, maybe they accept higher bit-depth(32bit) - For example opensource Aften(AC3) does.
In an other word, SurroundDihter is useful when saving WAV_32bit to WAV_16bit, but question is what bith-depths are accepted by encoder?



Does this mean that Nuendo's AC3 encoder accept only 16bit?! Should I use SurroundDihter, while exporting to AC3 5.1ch?! btw, it seems that doesn't support EX flag.

In Nuendo's DTS encoder "Audio Coding Mode" option, there's a preset
C+L+R+SR+SL
but 5.1 Out bus is
L+R+C+LFE+LS+RS
...Should I change bus configuration or leave it as described?
I've couldn't manage Nuendo's DTS encoder to work, it keeps crashing every time I start encoding. But Sourcode works fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SealTooGreat View Post
For example, if Project settings are 24bit, does Nuendo convert 16bit audio to 24bit or 32bit?
And where's option for bit-depth conversation in Nuendo? - edit: Not using Project setting options ...is there any other way?
Could you give answers for these two questions?

BTW, you didn't use Remove DC Offset in this guide. (just to mention 'cause your other guides do.)

edit: Should I use Normalize on stereo audio files, before applying V.I chain filter?
Sorry for too much questions.

Last edited by SealTooGreat; 16th May 2007 at 05:29.
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Old 16th May 2007, 13:40   #9  |  Link
ursamtl
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Hi Seal,

I once contacted support at Surcode and asked them about what bit depths they support, and the reply I got was that 24-bit files are supported. 32 may not be, but 24 should work. I don't personally have the program, so I can't tell you. I've thought about buying a copy of Surcode CD since its $99 pricetag is a bit easier on the wallet than the DVD version. However, for my own personal use, the freeware AC3 encoders sound fine to me. I don't know about the Nuendo DTS as I haven't used it and I don't actually have Nuendo either. One of my friends runs a recording studio has Nuendo. He did all the screen grabs and testing for my guide.

As for DC Offset, good catch. I forgot to add it. Yes, it's a good idea to remove it.

As for normalizing, it can be tricky. If you use it, I would not normalize to anything higher than about -3dB. I know the tendency is to normalize to 0db. However, this can be a problem. I read something awhile back written by Bob Katz. He pointed out that some electronic equipment starts distorting before the signal running through it reaches full amplitude. Plus, some digital-to-analog converters may interpolate values above digital 0dB when trying to reconstruct the analog waveform. Some argue that to use the full bit resolution (especially at 16-bit depth), normalizing to 0 is desirable. However, I recently exchanged thoughts with mastering engineer Barry Diament (who worked for Atlantic records for years and mastered many popular and great sounding CDs over the years). He pointed out that as long as the material peaks over -6dB, all bits are being used (In 16-bit audio, each bit is the equivalent of 6dB, thus the 96dB dynamic range).

Consequently, I never normalize higher than -3dB. When possible, I also use something called Replaygain (or Group Waveform Normalize in Cool Edit Pro/Adobe Audition). This is like normalization but it takes into account psychoacoustic loudness curves to match the average perceived loudness of audio files. I'm frequently amazed at how well it evens out the differences between different tracks.
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Old 16th May 2007, 17:00   #10  |  Link
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^Thanks, Steve.
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Old 19th May 2007, 20:32   #11  |  Link
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Hi:

Some additional chat about DC-Offset

Last edited by kikatu; 25th September 2007 at 22:00.
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Old 9th July 2007, 12:23   #12  |  Link
Elektra999
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Problem with V.I in Cubase 4

Hello

I have the new version, of Cubase 4, but, does not work well with V.I. In the ROUTING the channels, they are not connected.

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Old 9th July 2007, 13:17   #13  |  Link
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That's strange. It seems to be seeing V.I as only a 2-channel plugin. I'm afraid I don't have Cubase 4 nor do I know anyone else with it. Anyone know what to do?
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Old 9th July 2007, 16:14   #14  |  Link
Elektra999
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With VI.I not problem



żI do not understand it....?
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Old 9th July 2007, 17:06   #15  |  Link
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That is strange. The problem with using VI.I in this way is that only two surround channels are showing up, and one of them may be the surround center instead of the left or right. It shouldn't sound radically different but may give slightly less width.
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Old 9th July 2007, 17:36   #16  |  Link
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With V.I, sound only, by the channels FL and FR. The channels Center, LFE, SL, SR without sound.

Yes, This is strange
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Last edited by Elektra999; 9th July 2007 at 17:38.
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Old 9th July 2007, 18:27   #17  |  Link
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Well, resolved problem
Clone three tracks and to connect in Routing, all the channels



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Old 9th July 2007, 19:13   #18  |  Link
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I'm sorry. This sound sounds fatally, distortion.
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Old 9th July 2007, 19:44   #19  |  Link
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This is very very strange
To select Proyect 5.0 and V.I works, but, without LFE.

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Old 13th August 2007, 19:59   #20  |  Link
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Hello
Today, I am experimenting with Cubase SX 3 and version 4.
I have worked, a few recordings A/D, it is possible to record directly in 5.1, though the source, it is stereo, is equal.

- In VST conections, add a bus of 6 channels mono, in IN
- And a bus 5.1 in OUTPUT
- Add 6 tracks mono
- In the EQ of IN 5.1, add V.I/VI.I, and to select the corresponding bus ( FL, FR, C, LFE, SL, SR ) for every channel mono.
- And to recording directly in multichannel 5.1
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Last edited by Elektra999; 13th August 2007 at 20:05.
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