How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek output

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Piotr Wozniacki

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How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek output

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 11:20 am

I know, RTFM :) - but could anyone please just tell me whether it's possible in Fairlight to route my 4 channels of audio (stereo front (FL-FR) plus mono lavarier (FC) plus mono-omni rear ambience (LR+RR)) to my speakers, connected to the on-board 7.1 Realtek sound card via analog direct connections (so that I have a 5.1 speaker setup, driven directly i.e. without any encoding/decoding to Dolby, DTS or similar)?

I used to do it successfully in Vegas; panning each channel to its desired position enabled great separation (e.g. a channel, panned to the mono FC position, only was playing on my Center (Front) speaker and so on)... I'm quite new to audion in Resolve, so I can see two main rpoblems to overcome:

- is driving a sound card with speakers connected directly to all those 5.1 outputs at all possible in Fairlight?

- do I need to direct the channels through some additional buses, each driving one channel of my sound card?

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 11:39 am

Set your audio setup in Resolve preferences and see if you can output audio from all the channels. Also make sure that your Realtek device is set to output as 5.1 in Windows settings.

Also RTFM is a pretty good step.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 1:00 pm

OK - thanks; the Realtel card is set OK for all 5.1 speakers however in Resolve Preferences, when I define my setup, there are "OUTs" to be assigned. Sorry for lame questions, but how do I define OUTs in Fairlight? This is about my second question above; my audio channels are INs of course and without doing anything else, just panning the channels according to my monitoring setup - ALL channels come from the Front Center speaker only... How to redirect the others to the other speakers (channels on my Realtek card)? This step was not necessary for mixing 5.1 in Vegas Pro, hence my total lack of knowledge :(

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 2:22 pm

OK - made some progress, but since the philosphy of audio editing/mixing in Fairlight differs considerably from what I was used to with one of the best NLEs (as far as audio goes) - Vegas Pro, mi million dollar question is this:

- with my 5.1 mix, should I end up with a single track with channels asigned appropriately, or
- as with Vegas Pro, should each of those channels ocupy its own track?

So far, I managed to created such a simple 5.1 track but I don't seem to have much power over the individual channels (panning doesn't do much, for instance even if I pan dead on to the FC (front center), the remaining channels are not muted (or even made considerably lower in volume:
5.1 track in Resolve.JPG
5.1 track in Resolve.JPG (37.48 KiB) Viewed 501 times

Another mystery for me is the use of Input settings:
input assignment in Fairlight.JPG
input assignment in Fairlight.JPG (42.24 KiB) Viewed 501 times

And finally, I can't find a way to redirect sound (below some frequency threshold) from all my audio channels to create the mix' LFE channel ... I'd appreciate any help; of course details will still have to be found in the Manual - but this task would be easier if I knew the basic philosophy beforehand. TIA,

Piotr
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 5:19 pm

OK, all is clear now - it works almost exactly as Vegas Pro does. No special settings necessary in Preferences; with the channels I described in the OP, I need as many stereo tracks in my project as there are speakers (minus one, as one of the tracks contains two channels - FL and FR); just activate the right channel(s) in each of them and I can pan each output independently.

Works like a charm. Thank you for trying to help:)

Piotr

PS. Still a lot to be learnt though!
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 6:00 am

Well, so now when I started reading the Fairlight chapter in the Resolve manual, I realize how much there is to learn :) No offense to the author of the manual, but it's written in a way which doesn't let me leran much, though...

What's the difference between the Room and Studio setups in the Preferences? When should I use which?

How do I direct channels in the 4 tracks of my 5.1 projects? I'd like each track's Pan control to only work on the outputs, each corresponding strictly to the right one of my 5 speakers (directly connected to my sound card - works fine in Vegas Pro).

There is so much question a tutorial would be necessary; the Manual is useless :(

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 7:36 am

Good guys, could someone direct me to a good video tutorial on how to properly create a 5.1 mix out of a certain number of tracks (some stereo, some mono)? I really need to grasp the idea quick, and the Manual doesn't help much. TIA!

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 8:36 am

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:the Manual is useless :(
The Manual is fine.

You're learning a new skill and that requires time and patience (and a little thought).

What's the difference between the Room and Studio setups in the Preferences? When should I use which?
Page 88 of the Manual discusses the function of the Monitor Circuit.

“Monitor Circuit: Lets you choose which monitoring circuit, of two available, to define a set of speakers for. The choices are Control Room, which corresponds to the room the audio engineer inhabits, and Studio 1, which corresponds to the recording room the talent inhabits. This way, you can set up separate monitoring speaker setups for each area, as necessary.”

How do I direct channels in the 4 tracks of my 5.1 projects?
That depends almost entirely on the Project layout, the content of the audio tracks, their channel width, is processing required (or is it a 1:1 Delivery?), and what the delivery specification is.

This could be accomplished one of a multitude of ways.

I'd like each track's Pan control to only work on the outputs, each corresponding strictly to the right one of my 5 speakers (directly connected to my sound card - works fine in Vegas Pro)
Look at Page 1198 of the Manual which indicates the signal flow.

A Mixer channel's Panner routes the signal derived from that channel to the Master Buss it has been assigned to (e.g. A1 is routed to M1, panned hard left and hard front which will route to the Left channel of a Multichannel Master Buss).

The Master Buss, in turn, is automatically routed to the Control Room section of the Mixer's Meters Panel as specified in the Monitoring Menu (page 1194 of the Manual), which uses the channel output designation as specified in the Speaker Setup section of Video & Audio I/O in Preferences (page 88 of the Manual).
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 11:09 am

Thanks very much, Reynaud.

Please bear it with me a little longer; not having any experience with Fairlight whatsoever (or with any other serious audio processing application apart from Vegas Pro), I have deliberately started with a 5.1 mix creation because if I manage to make it working, I'll be able to say I have grasped the main signal flow, assignment and mixing techniques in Resolve...

So please answer some basic questions for me - but first, a short description of what I'm dealing with soundwise in this project: my audio comes and is recorded from (my channels numbers are a bit messed up due to the fact that I'm recording on Shogun Inferno, which takes all embedded audio channels plus two analog ones and for some reason, the latter will always occupy channels 1 & 2):

1. A stereo ambiance mic facing forward (recording to channels nr 3 (LF) and nr 4 (RF); if I don't change it in my clip properties both seat within a single stereo track)

2. A single microphone facing forward (either a super-cardioid shotgun or a radio lavalier), which is recorded as channel nr 2 within a mono track, destined for the CF channel of the mix

3. A single omni-directional mic facing backward, again recorded in a mono track as channel nr 1 and planned to be sent to both my rear speakers

My hardware is a Realtek 7.1 card with 5.1 speakers set-up properly (tested not just in the Reatek control panel, but also in an actual application - the exactly same 5.1 project set up and properly working in Vegas Pro (in fact, it should be called 4.0 to be exact as I have no separate sources for LFE - instead, this channel is created from all 4 channels' low frequencies; also I have no 2 separate sources for LS and RS - the rear 2 speakers are both fed the same channel 1).

I'm able to create such a 4.0 (didn't try to define my LFE in Resolve yet) mix, properly using my 5 speakers, in two ways:

- either as a single track of the 5.1 (or LCRSS) type, where the proper channel numbers are assigned to all outputs (speakers)
FairLight clip properties for single 5.1 track.JPG
FairLight clip properties for single 5.1 track.JPG (37.46 KiB) Viewed 424 times


- or as 3 separate tracks: one stereo contains channels 3 & 4 for LF and RF, one mono containing channel 2 for CF, and one stereo track with my "surround" channel 1 duplicated (not sure whether the duplication is necessary)
FairLight clip properties for 3 separate stereo tracks.JPG
FairLight clip properties for 3 separate stereo tracks.JPG (38.04 KiB) Viewed 424 times

However, none of the above ways of creating my mix allows to use panning and actually check whether or not each channel finds its way to the right speaker; in fact panning has no effect at all. Questions:

1. Which T/L format is right?
2. With 3 separate tracks, should I change the format of my Main bus to 5.1 (or LCRSS - what's the practical difference between the two), or
3. Should I leave the format of my M1 as stereo, and add two other buses?

Tried both - still no panning possible which means I'm missing a critical part here; I suppose I should use some patching... But nothing works :(

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 12:25 pm

The simplest approach is often best.

In Resolve's Preferences > User > Editing > New Timeline Settings:
Number of Audio Tracks: 1
Audio Track Type: Mono

Image

Drag your source clip in to the Media Pool, right click and select "Clip Attributes" and set the following to match your source clip:

Format: Mono
Tracks: 6

Image

Drag the source clip to the Timeline to automagically create 6 mono audio tracks and place a mono audio clip on each track automatically.

Rename your Audio Tracks to match the source clip configuration.

Image

Open the Bus Format window, create a 5.1 Buss:

Image

You can now pan your source audio tracks as required to the Master Buss.

Resolve automagically routes the Mixer channels to the Master Buss when it is created (as indicated by the blue "1" button below the Panner, which matches the colour assigned to the Master Buss as specified in the Bus Format window).

Image

In the Control Room set the Source to the 5.1 Buss (which Resolve does automatically).

Image

This monitors the Output and routes to your speaker configuration as configured in
Preferences > Video & Audio I/O > Speaker Setup.

Image
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 1:46 pm

Thanks so much!

Indeed, it can be very simple. May I ask you just one last question:

The procedure gets lost with Channel 5 (which should be RR, but I only have one channel for both rear speakers of the 5.1 mix; even though I indicated it in both the RR and RL channels, only Rear Left plays it back (correctly - on the rear left speakers when I pan it extremely towards it). The Channel 5 (RR) is mute, as is my LFE channel...

With LFE I will try to solve the problem, but what's the work-around for a single recorded channel to be used by 2 outputs (Rear Left and Rear Right in this case)?

Thanks again,

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 2:07 pm

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:but what's the work-around for a single recorded channel to be used by 2 outputs (Rear Left and Rear Right in this case)?
Reselect the source clip in the Media Pool, right click the clip and select "Clip Attributes" once again.

Set the Audio Clip Attributes as follows:
Format: Mono
Tracks: 1

Select the Embedded Source Channel you would like to use (i.e. the "omni-directional mic facing backward" which you want to effectively double up).

Image

Simply drag the source clip from the Media Pool to the Timeline.

Now you have a mono Audio Track with a Mono Audio Clip containing the Omni Mic channel beneath all the other tracks. Move the Track up to the other Omni Mic track, and Pan as required.
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 2:15 pm

:)

THX

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 2:48 pm

This simple procedure will map channels correctly provided the FL=audio 1, FR = Audio 2, FC ->audio 3 end so on, right? Please confirm!

So if my Inferno screwed this order and my Center ambiance (FC) has been recorded as audio 2 instead of 3 - the panning will not work correctly is that right?

Because this is what I'm getting here... BTW, my (only) Rear channel is Audio 1, FL->3, FR->4 and FC->2

So I cannot just leave the channels in the numerical order in clips Audio Properties, can I?

Uff... A new thing to me this FairLight, and additionally complicated by the Shogun mixing up (pun unintended) with the LCRSS audio channel assignment, plus only a single rear channel - all added up to my confusion...

Piotr
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 4:00 pm

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:This simple procedure will map channels correctly provided the FL=audio 1, FR = Audio 2, FC ->audio 3 end so on, right?
You're overcomplicating.

It does not matter which ordering scheme the source clip uses, as this will be changed once you have placed the source clip on to the Timeline.

Map the source clip's channels in the order as they appear within the source clip ("My Dog Barking") in the Clip's Attributes, as previously illustrated.

The Clip Attributes ordering is only an initial step to keep things simple, it is not the final channel ordering or panning.

"My Dog Barking" Channel 1 (FL) (Ambience Left) will become Timeline Track 1 (A1)
"My Dog Barking" Channel 2 (FC) (Centre Mic) will become Timeline Track 2 (A2)
"My Dog Barking" Channel 3 (FR) (Ambience Right) will become Timeline Track 3 (A3)
... and so on.

Once the source clip has been placed on the Timeline, rename the Tracks so you can easily identify their content.

For example:
A1 = Track 1 = "FL" (Ambience Left)
A2 = Track 2 = "FC" (Centre Mic)
A3 = Track 3 = "FR" (Ambience Right)
...and so on.

Now, re-order Tracks in a more convenient order. i.e. Move A3 "FR" (Ambience Right) up below A1 "FL" (Ambience Left), for example, so that the two ambience mics are grouped together (Ambience L+R).

The new channel order becomes:
A1 = "FL" (Ambience Left)
A2 = "FR" (Ambience Right)
A3 = "FC" (Centre Mic)
...and so on.

So if my Inferno screwed this order and my Center ambiance (FC) has been recorded as audio 2 instead of 3 - the panning will not work correctly is that right?
Forget about the Inferno's channel configuration.

The Tracks on the Timeline will determine routing to the Master Buss based on your Panning.

So, in this example:
A1 = "FL" = Ambience Left = Panned Hard Left (Auto-Routed to Channel 1 of Master Buss)
A2 = "FR" = Ambience Right = Panned Hard Right (Auto-Routed to Channel 2 of Master Buss)
A3 = "FC" = Centre Mic = Panned Center, Hard Front (Auto-Routed to Channel 3 of Master Buss)
...and so on.

You could also pan the Ambience L+R tracks (A1 and A2 in this example) to the Back Left and Back Right, to auto-route those channels to Channels 5+6 of the Master Buss, if you so required.

The original Inferno source file's channel configuration is a distant memory, and now has absolutely no bearing on your preferred channel configuration.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostTue Dec 05, 2017 4:58 pm

This is the fragment in the Shogun Inferno manual that caught my attention when I connected the 2 analog audio inputs for the first time:

"Please note that if analogue audio is recorded it will be placed as the
first pair of audio tracks in the recorded file
."

To make sure this is so (but long before I even touched the FairLight page in Resolve 14, I disconnected the main stereo mic (FL and FR in this discussion) and only had one mic connected to the Inferno via one of its analog inputs. After I loaded the clip into Resolve, out of all the audio channels present, only Channel 2 was active - so it looks like indeed the analog mic (the one I'm referring to as FC) was recorded on Channel 2...

Now, it so happens that in the "LCRSS" Main bus format, the C for Center is also on the second position... But on the other hand, the channels on the Inferno audio monitor are numered so that embedded audio channels start with 1,2... and the analog two channels are at the end of the channel sequence; the above note from the manual I understood that when actually recording both analog and HDMI/SDI embedded channels, for some reasons the channels get re-numbered and now the Channels 1 & 2 are the analog channels. Otherwise, why would they put this comment with a red "Caution" flag?!!

Still confused,

Piotr

PS. Also Channel 1 sounds to be my rear ambience analog mic, as when panned forward it gets muted... Nevertheless - whether I use the channel numbers sequentially as in your examples (Audio 1, Audio 2 through Audio 6), or try to replace channels 1 and 2 so they correspond to the physical placement of my analog mics - I still cannot get quite there with panning in my 5.1 (or 4.9 I created for simplicity, as I have 4 separate audio channels recorded) mix :(
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 6:49 am

Hello Reynaud at al;

I have recorded yet another clip with my microphone setup - this time making sure that each of them is recording something distinctively recognizable and in a continuous way, so that it's audio channel is always easy to be heard and identified in the mix. And guess what; due to the quirk with channel output sequence Inferno is doing with those 2 additional analog channels vs. the ones embedded in the HDMI signal from camera, I did have to re-map the channels sequence in both the clip audio Properties AND my output definition in Resolve Preferences. The sequence for the 5.1 LF-CF-RF-LFE-LR-RR mix must be following:

audio 3 (left channel from my front stereo mic)
audio 2 (my front central shotgun/lavalier)
audio 4 (right channel from my front stereo mic)
unassigned channel for LFE
audio 1 (my rear-firing ambience mic)
audio 1 (my rear-firing ambience mic)

But this time its been a full success; all 4 mics are in their proper position in my 5.1 mix (I doubled the rear mic mono channel, and upon applying the 5.1 Main format I can hear the identical audio 1 channel, one panned to rear left and the other - to rear right.

So the channel mapping for 5.1 mix I managed to learn - thanks for your help. What I need now - as a natural next step - is:

1. Learn how to redirect lower frequencies to the (now empty) LFE channel (Vegas Pro does it automatically, and you can set the freq threshold when turning this option on - is anything like this possible in FairLight? Or any other way of achieving the same result?)

2. Try to manipulate the 2 instances of my Audio 1 channel, so that the Rear Left and Rear Right outputs differ slightly - have no idea how to do that...some phase/delay changes, or what?

Thanks again, and will appreciate suggestions in the 2 points above :) Cheers,

Piotr
Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 8:10 am

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:1. Learn how to redirect lower frequencies to the (now empty) LFE channel (Vegas Pro does it automatically, and you can set the freq threshold when turning this option on - is anything like this possible in FairLight? Or any other way of achieving the same result?)
Page 1173 of the Manual.

Panner:
Boom: The send level of that track to the LFE part of the mix.
On: Enables this functionality.
Pre: Lets you adjust the “dry” part of the signal separately from the “wet” part of the signal when effects are applied.

2. Try to manipulate the 2 instances of my Audio 1 channel, so that the Rear Left and Rear Right outputs differ slightly - have no idea how to do that...some phase changes, or what?
Multiple ways of doing this, but the Haas effect is probably the easiest.

Just be aware, that while you can fake it to a certain extent, it will always still be a mono derived effect, no matter the technique employed.

FreeHaas:
http://www.audiopluginsforfree.com/freehaas/
.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am

Thanks again! Your help has been much more effective than RTFM-ing - now I will of course read this chapter thoroughly, but will understand much better what's written there :) I stand by my opinion that the Manual - while certainly exhaustive - is difficult to swallow for a single but all-important reason: examples practically non-existent...

Piotr

PS. Just bought the plugin and inserted to the rear channels - and BOOM!
Resolve 14 has crashed on me - for the first time EVER :(
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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 11:46 am

A couple more observations for those - like myself - who only just started using Resolve for audio processing:

1. It happens that a 5.1 mix prepared as per my message above - after closing the project, and re-opening it later - loses the audio channels assignment I worked so hard on :) No specific pattern of this behavior observed yet; sometimes one of the two instances of mono "surround" stops working (it's muted, even though its meter moves). Once it even happened that upon opening a perfectly working project with such a mix, the two stereo front channels get swapped (???), etc. I think it's all bugs in this early implementation of FairLight in Resolve; opinions?

2. Something that worries me more (as it never works quite correctly, I'm afraid) is extremely weak separation of the main front stereo mic (the Rode Stereo Videomic Pro). When used alone, it's capable of great stereo sound with enough (and adjustable) stereo separation - but when ALL channels (including the stereo one from this mic) are contained in separate mono tracks (for the 5.1 mix creation purposes), sometimes I'm not even 100% sure there is ANY separation at all between my FL and FR channels (even when listening through headphones). Either this simple method of mixing to 5.1 is flawed, or I'm still missing something... It's a pity, because with the main FL/FR channels so close to each other the presence of the FC channel/microphone is useless...Thoughts?

And a disclaimer: no, the above misbehavior has nothing to do with the crash I mentioned after inserting FreeHaas plug-in...

Piotr
Grading system: DaVinci Resolve Studio; Asus X-99 Pro/USB3.1; i7-5960X CPU; 64 GB RAM; 2x GTX 1080 8GB GPU; 480 GB SSD system drive; 4x 3TB WD Black in RAID 0; 1TB M.2 NVMe cache drive; Decklink 4K Extreme 12G driving Samsung SUHD calibrated monitor
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: How to direct each audio channel to separate Realtek out

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 1:33 pm

This thread has long become a monologue of mine, but I certainly hope someone will benefit and/or join the discussion to help.

I realized why the speaker separation sounds so weak in my FairLight 5.1 mix when compared with what I can very easily accomplish in Vegas Pro: the latter's Panning Boxes have the useful option of turning OFF completely the "unwanted" speakers by simply clicking at their symbols (it's a toggle switch). So when I pan my FC channel all the way to the front center, after I switch off all the speakers apart from the FC one, I'm getting my FC channel sound coming precisely from "its" speaker (and no other); similarly - in my FR channel Pan box, I can de-activate ALL speakers leaving only the FR one and my FT audio will come from the front right speaker ONLY. This mechanism must be implemented on the sound card hardware level, as the channels also can be muted or soloed in Vegas so it would be redundant otherwise.

One might say this is an artificial tool, as in a real-life mix speakers are not toggled on and off - but this option in Vegas Pro helps immensely in preparing a mix and checking it for routing errors. But being so new to Fairllight, I must ask: perhaps FairLight also does have the option of turning individual speakers (NOT CHANNELS!!!) on and off? If only for testing purposes....

But wait - would it only be useful for testing purposes? And how about special effects, like a sound travelling between the speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 set - the illusion of it coming from a single speaker only is essential! How do we achieve it in FairLight? Is there a toll to eliminate crosstalk between channels?

Piotr
Grading system: DaVinci Resolve Studio; Asus X-99 Pro/USB3.1; i7-5960X CPU; 64 GB RAM; 2x GTX 1080 8GB GPU; 480 GB SSD system drive; 4x 3TB WD Black in RAID 0; 1TB M.2 NVMe cache drive; Decklink 4K Extreme 12G driving Samsung SUHD calibrated monitor

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