5.1/7.2 Surround music mixing and Mastering

5.1/7.2 Surround music mixing and Mastering

     We offer encoding/decoding services for movies with genuine (as opposed to simulations by delaying or phase shifting otherwise identical tracks) 5.1 /7.1/7.2 surround sound mixing and mastering, complying to either Dolby or DTS standards.

Modern cinema producers present their audio fields for playback on 5.1, or higher, surround sound loudspeaker systems. The surround sound technique enhances audience’s perception of spatial origins of sound, thereby providing a more realistic one-way virtue reality experience to the viewers.

A) Surround Sound Multi-Channel Recording

     To achieve the best playback effects on a 5.1/7.2 surround Sound loudspeaker arrangement we process original recording with multi-channel recording techniques for thematic music, instrumental accessary, orchestra layout, sound field, and circumstantial ambience. In actual processing, this can be achieved through real-time, parallel multi-microphone surround sound recording as well as through mixing down high-fidelity recordings of component original sounds into 5.1/7.2 surround sound format.

Please refer to Recording and Advanced Recording for additional information.

B) 5.1/7.2 Surround Sound Music Mixing

     Starting with audio materials recorded by either real-time multi-channel recording or multi-track recordings of individual instruments and vocals, mixing engineers can mix these materials for playback on 5.1/7.2 systems by reallocating each sound sources to their corresponding speaker channels that convey to the listener images of their respective spatial locations through optimal Instrument panning and reestablishment of the high fidelity immersive surround acoustic field.

With the assistance of dedicated audio signal processor, hardware, software, encoders, decoders, plug-ins as well as professional 5.1/7.2 monitoring meters, our experienced acoustic engineers perform accurate surround sound effects production.

The 5.1 surround sound system applies far more complex standards and principles than the stereo system when monitoring and player systems are concerned. While it is seemingly similar for the HD Audio system adopted for digital teletransmission, the 5.1/7.2 Surround Sound system for cinema, the Home Theater system, and audio Surround Sound production, there are immensely different guidelines for recommended sound pressure (Loudness Unit) and other parameters for these applications. Different broadcaster standards (e.g., ITU vs. EBU) further complicates media production and raise compatibility issues.

The incipient surround sound mixing product needs encoding before they are completed, these coded data will then be decoded during playback to regenerate the audible surround sound that reproduces the acoustic field mapped over the production process. Two mainstream codec technologies, the Dolby Digital and the Digital Theater systems, dominate the audio industry. They are based on independently developed technologies, working principles, standards, and empirical parameters. The adoption of one or the other codec technology entails the application of corresponding solutions with affiliated technological settings and parameters, these various codec solutions also set a hurdle to beginners.

As a result, the specifications of hardware owned by, the mixing engineer’s experience of an production studio, and its headroom for flexible rearrangement together largely predetermined the optimal playback format and quality of the final product to be created in a surround sound mixing project. A project at its outset needs to set its targeted audio standard (DTS, Dolby, and 5.1/7.2), product type (cinema, music, or television), marketing geological regions (EU vs. US regulations, ITU vs. EBU), and the production procedures for recording, mixing, and mastering. Other preliminary considerations include the ultimate disseminating media, output versions, goal and format of the product; these preliminary boundary conditions set the direction for selecting monitoring acoustic systems, production parameters, choice of codec specs, and production procedures. All these choices have a very high impact on the quality of the resulting surround sound mixing product.

Please refer to Recording and Advanced Recording for additional information.

C) 5.1/7.2 Surround Sound Music Mastering

     Original acoustic components preserved by either real-time multi-channel recording or multi-track recording of individual instruments and vocals are processed through professional surround sound mixing and mastering, according to its playback criteria for cinema soundtrack, drama score, or Hi-Fi surround sound music, into the final surround sound product that can be marketed for end user applications.

At Muscene, we apply K-20 acoustic monitoring system to preserve the maximum dynamic range possible for film thematic surround sound music on the one hand, and to assure compliance to standards adopted by the Hollywood film industries on the other hand.

As for surround sound recordings for TV broadcasting, we apply either K-20 or K-14 monitoring systems that best fit the targeted purpose, and we follow customary coding conventions throughout our mastering processes to assure full compatibility of our products with the end purposes.

For blue-ray audiophile production, K-20 monitoring system is adopted to secure the maximum dynamic range possible without compromising acoustic fidelity. EQ and compressor hardwares are used in our production procedures to present the best quality achievable.

We adopt ITU standards in producing products aimed for playback on devices complying with US regulations and for global marketing aims. On the other hand, EBU standards are adopted in producing products aimed for Eurasia continental regions and China to ensure ultimate compatibility with regional standards of the end users.

Please refer to Mastering and Advanced Mastering for additional information.

D) Dolby or DTS Encoding and Decoding

     The most common surround sound mixing output files conform to either 6-channel (5.1 surround) or 9-channel (7.2 surround) multitrack wave/aiff formats; these are not compatible with the blu-ray and DVD formats.

Depending on the quality and acoustic field arrangement demanded by the targeted playback systems, either Dolby or DTS standard will be selected for encoding your mastered soundtracks. At this point the technical standard and parameters used in the preceding surround sound mixing stage, such as those on acoustic pressure, needs to be taken into consideration to properly encode the soundtracks into the final product that conforms to the decoding systems used by the end users.


◎Surround Music Mixing

NT $8500~65000/each song (US $293.95~2250/each song)

◎Surround Music Mastering

NT $2200~6500/each song (US $75.99~229.99/each song)

NT $25000~80000/Album (US $865.25~2765.25/album)

◎Dolby/DTS Multi-Channel Audio Encoding

NT $4000/each song (US $140.25/each song)

NT $40000/Album, 10~15 tracks (US $1399.99/Album, 10~15 tracks)

◎Dolby/DTS Multi-Channel Audio Decoding

NT $4000/each song (US $140.25/each song)

NT $40000/Album, 10~15 tracks (US $1399.99/Album, 10~15 tracks)

Important information:

*To provide you with the highest quality mixing service for your pre-recorded soundtracks, please remove all labels from your tracks and tag your soundtracks with filenames describing the content of each respective tracks, for example, Bass, EGtr1, etc.

*In the process of surround sound mixing, we will provide you with intermediate Multi-Channel mp3 soundtrack file as a reference for your timely opinion and input towards improving the final stages of the mixing process to your full satisfaction. At the completion of the surround sound mixing, we will provide you with the final product in Wave or AIFF format per your request. You may also request Stem Mix audio tracks at a surcharge.

*If you have a strong personal taste towards stereo down mixing, or you wish to have your own version of stereo mixing, please inform our engineers early in the process. This non-standard operation we provide to match your specified measurements can be provided at additional charges for production and hardware adjustments. Extra charging also applies to start from scratch, independent Stereo Mixing.

*If your choose advanced surround sound mastering service form us, the Muscene Studio will provide you with either Dolby or DTS coding service at no extra charge; and you will receive properly encoded soundtrack files as the final product.

*A final note here is that the tone quality of the surround sound mixed product will be distinguishable from surround sound Blu-ray and DVD music EPs you purchase as commercial product; this arises from the lack of the additional Mastering stage that precedes marketing of the product. Professional Mastering bestows on your audio products additional attraction and competitivity through one additional stage of polishing and rendering of your material.

Contact us for any further information