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7.1.4 routing in protools and production suite

Hi, I'm from Mumbai, India and we have built a new 7.1.4 HE mix room with Protools 2018.12 ultimate and Qsc passive speakers and amps for near field atmos mix. I have been playing around with Protools and Dolby atmos production suite and have noticed that even though Protools allows max 7.1.2 as beds (ltf and ltr being a stereo pair and rtf and rtr being a stereo pair), the Production suite allows 7.1.4 mixing with 7.1.2 bed renders and moving sound individually in the 4 over heads. I'm my setup, the ltf and ltr are setup in a parallel mode in their amp so any sound fed to one of them, plays in both speakers. Similarly for rtf and rtr. In Protools io setup bus page, i have changed the default Atmos template quad overhead assignment to stereo To be able to pan a Sound in the overheads and use all 4 speak individually, should i remove the parallel mode in the overhead speaker amps? If i do that then my 7.1.2 beds will only play from 2 overheads - ltf and rtf or ltr and rtr. Please help on how I can use stereo overheads in the bed while also maintaining individuality when moving objects. Regards Rigveda

Dear Adam and ajp, Thanks for your responses. have changed my speaker wiring settings to make them individual. I have a few questions regarding the RMU installation. 1. Could please share with me what are the devices and licenses that the pre-configured system include along with the server? 2. What kind of service support do you provide? Or only the vendor supports? 3. Are there any prerequisites for the installation process? Between Mutec mc3+ and Rosendahl Nanosync, which clocking device is recommended or both are fine? 4. Does the RMU need its own dedicated mouse/keyboard and monitor or can it be used over remote desktop with our Mac studio machine? 5. Does the RMU fit into a standard server rack? What would be its height? 6. For our normal 5.1/7.1 mixing setup, our Protools Mac is for mixing and stems playback and same is used as a dubber machine (for printmasters as part of our "in-the-box" workflow). From your experience with the RMU workflows, do the 7.1/5.1/2.0 re-renders from the RMU need to be printed back in Protools and monitored in realtime switching the Atmos mix or are offline renders created from the RMU once the master file is created? 7. Would the same Mac pro dubber machine be sufficient to print and monitor the re-renders if we have an HDX3 setup or do you recommend a separate dubber machine?

Hello,


1.  There are three configurations of Rendering and Mastering Workstations:  

  • PC w/MADI I/O (Custom Dell 2RU workstation of standard depth with RME MADI Cards and TCO Synchronization card)
  • PC w/Dante I/O Custom Dell 2RU workstation of standard depth with Focusrite Dante Card)
  • Mac w/Dante I/O.  Min spec on MacPro or MacMini with qualified expansion chassis and Focusrite Dante Card)
These are supplied as configured and tested by authorized resellers.
The US and UK dealers can sell Internationally.   There is currently not an authorized dealer in India but this may change in the future.

2. Dealers provide first level support with the knowledge base and forums supplementing this.   Dolby local/regional offices can provide additional support at their discretion.   Facilities that apply, qualify for and purchase Dolby Atmos Home Theater Certification receive direct support via email and a few yearly engineering and training visits.   See program details in the attached file.   Anything in excess of these onsite visits is charged at standard engineering rates at the discretion of Dolby local/regional offices.  

3. There are general customer pre-requisites including an adequate DAW (i.e. Pro Tools 2019.5+ w/ 2 x HDX and SyncI/O),  appropriate clocking, appropriate 7.1.4 monitoring.    For those applying for Dolby Atmos Home Theater Certification there are additional requirements for certification for both equipment, room, and speaker placement.   See attached.   We do not specify particular master clocks but both of the items you mentioned would work.

4.  The Renderer comes with a Remote Renderer application that can run on an external PC or MAC and controls the Renderer running on a Rendering and Mastering Workstation with a Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite license.   For additional functionality it is up to user preference.   A MAC Rendering and Mastering Workstation can additionally be accessed via Mac screen sharing from the DAW.   KVM or direct connected KVM can be used for PC workstations.   Once configured with storage shared there isn't much need to access the workstation directly beyond what the Renderer Remote can provide.   The exception is the PC/MADI configuration where the framerate is changed manually in the RME Hammerfall DSP application.

5.  Yes for PC.  2RU.    If using a MAC approved expansion chassis are supplied with the system from a dealer and vary in height/depth.

6. This is really up to user preference.   Fullmix downmixes can be switched and monitored from the Rendering Workstation speaker outputs in realtime without having to come back into Pro Tools.  In general it is a good idea to bring a 5.1 fullmix re-render back into the DAW for realtime loudness metering.    For most other use cases the offline re-renders can be more efficient depending on the total number and complexity.   Re-Renders can be mono .wavs or interleaved and imported into Pro Tools as needed.   Realtime re-rendering increases CPU load on both Renderer and DAW but this is manageable.   If you do want to record multiple re-renders back into Pro Tools in realtime using a separate drive for this is recommended depending on the total track count etc.

7.  Per number 6.   Yes you can use the same system for playback, monitoring the Renderer, recording re-renders and monitoring via a third HDX card.    Alternatively you can monitoring fullmixes directly from the Renderer listening in 7.1.4, 7.1, 5.1, stereo or other on demand and offline re-render/import back into Pro Tools fullmixes and stems as needed.   Again what workflow you use depends on preference and what is deemed more efficient and desirable.    It also depends on your monitoring system and whether you want it fed from the Renderer workstation, Pro Tools HDX or use a system that allows for multiple inputs.

The specifics are on what Avid interfaces you have can also help determine this.   For example If you have a MTRX as one of your interfaces there are some very flexible monitoring solutions available with option cards etc.   

Hope this helps.

Best,
Adam

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I think i have posted in the Mastering Suit Forum wrongly. How do I delete my post?

Hi Rigveda,   Don't worry about it.   The applies to both the Mastering and Production Suite.   Your amps should not be wired in parallel for the front and rear speakers.    Lts/Rts are inputs 9/10 to the Renderer when using a 7.1.2 bed by default.   If you have  7.1.4 defined in the room setup window of the Renderer than any signals sent to bed channel Lts or Rts will come out of the front and rear left overhead speakers.  Lts and Rts will only feed a discrete speaker if your room setup in the Renderer has Ltm/Rtm defined.   Otherwise it will alway be split between Ltf/Ltr  and Rtf/Rtr.    Hope this helps.    

Best,   Adam 

I haven't setup anything in the production suite renderer. how do I go about it? Also I'm having difficulty understanding the 2 aux tracks for object 11 in the template. One has a send plugin? Could you please share how are they exactly working to send the sounds to the renderer? Also the return aux tracks for monitoring 7.1, oh and binaural outputs- are they same as the re-renders? I routed them to audio tracks to print the outputs. Do I need to print them? What is meant by Qc of Atmos tracks and since software renderer is also able to make a damf and export the bwav file, do I need the Rmu? Regards Rigveda

@Adam, Thanks very much for your detailed reply. I have followed the Dolby HE Certification specs that you have shared for designing our Atmos room and speaker alignment using the DARDT sheet. Local Dolby tech liked the execution very much.


Somehow, due to my inexperience, my projector Epson Tw650 is medium throw and placed just above the head of the mixing engineer. Its 29dB noise level at eco mode due to exhaust fan, which i thought would be low enough. Its noticeable in only very quiet scene. Local Dolby technician measured the NC values and came at 28dB instead of target NC25. I cant move it and was hoping to find a solution to come down to NC25 and be certified.


Any suggestions?

1.   There are three configurations of Rendering and Mastering Workstation:

  • PC with MADI I/O (Custom Dell 2RU workstation with RME MADI cards and TCO Synchronization Module)
  • PC with Dante I/O (Custom Dell 2RU workstation with Focusrite Dante card)
  • Mac with Dante I/O (min spec MacPro or MacMini with approved expansion chassis and Focusrite Dante card)
All three are provided as fully configured systems by authorized dealers.
US and UK dealers can sell internationally.   There is currently no authorized dealer in India but this may change.

2. Support is provided by the dealer supplemented by the knowledge base and forums.   Additional support is provided at the discretion of the local/regional Dolby office.   Facilities applying for, qualifying for and purchasing Dolby Atmos Home Theater Certification are entitled to ongoing support including engineering and training onsites visits.   See attached.  Onsite visits in excess are charged at engineering rate at the discretion of the local/regional Dolby office.

3. General prerequisites include a suitable DAW (i.e. 2 x HDX Pro Tool 2019.5+), appropriate clocking, appropriate 7.1.4 monitoring and control.   Facilities applying for Home Theater Certification additional must meet requirements for room dimensions, speaker placement, spl etc.   See attached.   We don't spec specific master clocks but both that you mentioned would work.

4. The Renderer installer comes with a Remote Renderer application that can run on Mac or PC.   This provides control over software functions.   Additional workstation control can be via Mac screen sharing or for PC KVM or direct connections.   Once set and configured direct control is generally not required with the exception of the PC/MADI configuration where the framerate is set with the RME Hammerfall DSP application.

5. PC = 2RU standard depth.  Mac depends on model and use of approved expansion chassis.

6.  This is really up to user preference.   Fullmix downmixes can be switch and monitored from the Renderer speaker outputs.   It is good idea to bring a 5.1 fullmix re-render back into Pro Tools in realtime for loudness measurement but the offline re-render can also be used.   For other downmixes and stems it is often more efficient to use the offline re-renders and import into Pro Tools as needed.   This depends on the number and complexity of re-renders.   Realtime re-renders increase the CPU load on the renderer and drive throughput requirements on the DAW.  This is manageable.   However if multiple re-render are recorded back into Pro Tools in realtime a separate record drive would be a good idea.

7.  Yes you could use an 3 x HDX system to playback/printmaster and monitor fullmixes from the renderer as well as re-renders.   Alternatively you can monitor fullmixes in 7.1.4, 7.1, 5.1, stereo and others from the Rendering and Mastering Workstation and use offline re-renders for fullmixes and stems and import into Pro Tools as needed.   It really depends on user preference to determine which is more efficient taking into account existing workflows and also the type of 7.1.4 monitoring system being used and how many inputs or input configurations it has.   For example if an MTRX is one of your HDX interfaces there are a variety of options depending on the option cards installed.  Other outboard monitoring scenarios can be equally flexible and allow monitoring from both the Renderer and Pro Tools.

Hope this helps.
Adam@dolby

Hi.   There aren't two aux tracks for Object 11.    There is an audio track that has the audio toggle to object with the audio send to Object 11.   There is an aux track with the input set to Object 11 that has the Renderer Send plug-in assigned to Send 11.     In the bus page Object 11 is also mapped to Renderer Input 11.


Every audio track toggle to object and sending audio to an Object defined in the I/O bus page has a corresponding aux track with the Object input and Renderer Send plug-in set to appropriate send.


The aux tracks with the Renderer Return plug-in can be set to Speaker Returns or Re-render returns in the Renderer return plug-in drop down menu.   


You don't need to print the speaker returns.   They can just be buss out to your monitoring.    The Re-Renders can be printed or you can export the from the Renderer off-line.


The Production Suite is not design for mastering though you can create damf (.atmos) and export ADM BWF.    For high complexity content it is more appropriate to use the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite with a Rendering and Mastering Workstation.

Dear Adam,


Thanks very much for the detailed explanation.  So if i understand correctly, the "7.1.2 no way and 7.1.2 no way out" are dummy busses not actually doing anything? Can they be set to no input and no output?


If i toggle the object 11 audio track between bed and object 11 output, im getting a volume difference, which ideally shouldnt happen since my volume and pan settings are the same.


also now a weird thing is happening. I updated to rendered 3.2 version yesterday and my stereo output from the renderer has stopped and no longer showing up in the meters. what could be the issue?


Also netflix public domain guidelines is asking for mix minus narration and mne mixes. So Im guessing, once for Full mix, i do a realtime full pass of the content of say 1 hr in the renderer, then for mix minus narration and mne, i need to mute dialogues and do a full re pass recording again in the renderer.


Is there a way to avoid such multiple passes?

Hi Adam


headphone output meters are not showing up in the renderer main page now and my fps is locked at 23.976 and unable to change it.

Close any open master file and you can change the frame rate from preferences.   You can also enable the headphone output in the preferences.   Volume changes can happen depending on the panning and what if any 5.1downmix modes are set.


A second pass to master without narration would be required.   This is no different than a 5.1 workflow.


The Re-Renders are enabled in preferences and defined in the Re-Render window.   


I know not all of this is obvious but I would encourage you to spend more time with the Renderer UI and the documentation to familiarize yourself with the setup and operation.

Thanks Adam. Your reply was very helpful.
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