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Old June 29th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #1
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How to set 5.1 surround

I am doing five camera shoots with 1 lav on a person that moves around, 1 lav that is stationary capturing ambient noise and a shotgun mounted on the camera. All the action is constrained to an 18' x 12' space, there is some dialog behind the viewing area that is captured by the ambient mike.

In post is there a "rule of thumb" for the settings in the 5.1 pan? For example, if the person moves from left extreme to right extreme and as far away as possible should the pan be set to start at the front left speaker and move to the front right speaker, or stay in the middle of the "room" moving left to right.

I have ambient noise, which is set to stay in the "middle". The dialog from behind is set to be center 0, rear 100%? The person moving should be set to ?

I hope this all makes sense, it confuses me and I wrote it!

Thanks guys
Jim
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Montgomery
I am doing five camera shoots with 1 lav on a person that moves around, 1 lav that is stationary capturing ambient noise and a shotgun mounted on the camera. All the action is constrained to an 18' x 12' space, there is some dialog behind the viewing area that is captured by the ambient mike.

In post is there a "rule of thumb" for the settings in the 5.1 pan? For example, if the person moves from left extreme to right extreme and as far away as possible should the pan be set to start at the front left speaker and move to the front right speaker, or stay in the middle of the "room" moving left to right.

I have ambient noise, which is set to stay in the "middle". The dialog from behind is set to be center 0, rear 100%? The person moving should be set to ?

I hope this all makes sense, it confuses me and I wrote it!

Thanks guys
Jim
First of all, can you be certain that everyone seeing the film will be viewing it it in 5.1 surround? Unless you're showing it yourself or it's going to theatrical release you really can't count on your audience having anything but old fashioned low-fi mono when they see it. Even a lot of "stereo" consumer TV's are really mono even if they have two speaker grills on the front.

General opinion seems to be that a scene like your describe all dialog should be mixed dual mono, a mono dialog mix sent equally to the left and right channels (and the centre for 5.1). As a main character moves to one side of the frame or the other you might pan it a hair in that direction but keep the majority of the energy front and center. If your subject moves back into the scene away from the camera and to the left, for instance, it's much more important to use some equalization to change the frequency balance and maybe add some reverb in order to give a sense of distance as he moves away than it is to pan to the left speaker. Same for on-camera FX. Off camera FX can go to anywhere according to its supposed direction in the scene. Music should go in stereo on the front channels but very little if any to the rear. Walla would use stereo on the front channels with maybe a little to the sides and rear depending on how it feels in the mix, for instance if the scene is supposedly taking place in the middle of a crowd and the camera is fairly close to the subject then some crowd sounds from the rear would be natural. The rear channels are essentially for ambience, reverb, and FX - like the 'copters in the opening of Apocalypse Now that sweep in from the rear, and circle around before entering the frame from the side over the camera's shoulder.

At least that's my opinion.
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