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Mastering Music for Involve Encoder

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SaltSpringStudios

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Dec 9, 2019
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Oakville, Ontario Canada
Hey Chucky, thanks for the like. As I have not heard from anyone else on this topic, I wondered if you wanted to chat about it here, or if you would prefer email? I have some technical questions and want to compare notes. Thanks.
 

chucky3042

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Messages
1,319
Hey Chucky, thanks for the like. As I have not heard from anyone else on this topic, I wondered if you wanted to chat about it here, or if you would prefer email? I have some technical questions and want to compare notes. Thanks.
Hi

Here is good with me.

Our real focus right now is getting our surround/ stereo format out into the real world. We are actually giving away evaluation encoder boards to studios. We hope that in around April we will have our software based "VST plugin" available at very low cost or free in some instances.

Would absolutely love some classical stuff released - even though I am more of a swamp, blues and rock a billy simpleton.


Regards

Chucky
 

SaltSpringStudios

New member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Oakville, Ontario Canada
Thanks. I think it might be a good reference for others to post here.

Firstly I wondered if you had any recommendations of line input levels for your test encoder. I have them set to -12db, and all seems fine, no clipping. I would also like to know of any special considerations you may recommend when mastering for this format.

I have noticed that masters I have produced for discrete four channel output are not automatically suitable for encoding. I generally mix to four stereo fields, and have found that a discrete four channel orchestral master will likely develop additional unitended harmonics when encoded. This is challenging with orchestral music, and has required some remixing. So if you have written the book on this by any chance, I would love to get a copy :)

To clarify, I am not writing classic music, I write cinematic scores. Although I work with others that perform classical. Cinematic scores add to the challenge as epic orchestral sounds are used with sound design. So I would love to learn what others have discovered. Wish I had done so in the heyday, but never had the opportunity.

Oddly enough I was very interested in four channel recoding then, getting my start in 1968, and working all though the 70s, until I had to get a real job.

Thanks in advance. And thank you for developing such wonderful tech. It is truly amazing.
 

chucky3042

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,319
Hi Again

I am a cretin on recording specifics, give me a day or two as I am casting around for smarter opinions.

In regard to record level it is fine to go to around 1,4 Vrms or around +1 db to maximise your signal to noise ratio/ dynamic range.

Regards

Chucky
 

Overture

Well-known Member
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
132
Thanks. I think it might be a good reference for others to post here.

Firstly I wondered if you had any recommendations of line input levels for your test encoder. I have them set to -12db, and all seems fine, no clipping. I would also like to know of any special considerations you may recommend when mastering for this format.

I have noticed that masters I have produced for discrete four channel output are not automatically suitable for encoding. I generally mix to four stereo fields, and have found that a discrete four channel orchestral master will likely develop additional unitended harmonics when encoded. This is challenging with orchestral music, and has required some remixing. So if you have written the book on this by any chance, I would love to get a copy :)

To clarify, I am not writing classic music, I write cinematic scores. Although I work with others that perform classical. Cinematic scores add to the challenge as epic orchestral sounds are used with sound design. So I would love to learn what others have discovered. Wish I had done so in the heyday, but never had the opportunity.

Oddly enough I was very interested in four channel recoding then, getting my start in 1968, and working all though the 70s, until I had to get a real job.

Thanks in advance. And thank you for developing such wonderful tech. It is truly amazing.
I am sorry to say that we haven't in fact written the book - when Suzanne Ciani Quadraphonic was mixed and mastered, it was done by KamranV and his associates, mad nutters for quad and highly experienced surround producers / engineers, and even they were discovering things they had to work around. Although all things considered it wasn't that much. Specifically it was one white-noise sweep across the front with some other sounds coming in behind it that caused an unintended peak near a tri-band crossover that had to be squashed slightly, but they were recording between 0 and -6db I believe, and it was one tiny bit to squash, so it sounds like you'll have less trouble. I think the best way to do it is encode it and decode it in real time and listen to the decode to get a feel for any problem spots, jump around the tracks a bit and see if anything stands out, or listen to the whole thing first-time if you haave the patience. I will contact Kamran for any other tips in the meantime and send you an email about it, and anything else that comes to mind.

I will be compiling these notes - finding studio tips for recording in the original formats has proven tricky, as it usually wasn't ever available to the public but I will keep looking.

~D
 

SaltSpringStudios

New member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Oakville, Ontario Canada
Hi

Here is good with me.

Our real focus right now is getting our surround/ stereo format out into the real world. We are actually giving away evaluation encoder boards to studios. We hope that in around April we will have our software based "VST plugin" available at very low cost or free in some instances.

Would absolutely love some classical stuff released - even though I am more of a swamp, blues and rock a billy simpleton.


Regards

Chucky

Hi Again

I am a cretin on recording specifics, give me a day or two as I am casting around for smarter opinions.

In regard to record level it is fine to go to around 1,4 Vrms or around +1 db to maximise your signal to noise ratio/ dynamic range.

Regards

Chucky
Thanks. It has been a very enlightening journey. I was hoping that perhaps we could form a braintrust.

Real challenges are the various types of decoding and playback systems people use. As a composer, I want to control every aspect, including channel playback. I have learned I can't do that.

Seems that the best approach is to wear an engineer's hat and produce the best quality for universal playback. Not ideal, but that along with a recommended approach "Best results will always be achieved with systems equipped with Involve Decode™" is a good direction.

There seems to be a lot of 5.1 systems out there with wimpy satellite speakers for RR and LR instead of four balanced speakers for proper quadraphonic playback. To me satellite speakers for RR and LR seems like a waste even for 5.1, especially for music.

I am also looking forward to checking out your VST plugin to better streamline the work flow. Although I do use a lot of outboard gear and have to bounce in realtime most of the time.

- Andy
 

SaltSpringStudios

New member
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Oakville, Ontario Canada
I am sorry to say that we haven't in fact written the book - when Suzanne Ciani Quadraphonic was mixed and mastered, it was done by KamranV and his associates, mad nutters for quad and highly experienced surround producers / engineers, and even they were discovering things they had to work around. Although all things considered it wasn't that much. Specifically it was one white-noise sweep across the front with some other sounds coming in behind it that caused an unintended peak near a tri-band crossover that had to be squashed slightly, but they were recording between 0 and -6db I believe, and it was one tiny bit to squash, so it sounds like you'll have less trouble. I think the best way to do it is encode it and decode it in real time and listen to the decode to get a feel for any problem spots, jump around the tracks a bit and see if anything stands out, or listen to the whole thing first-time if you haave the patience. I will contact Kamran for any other tips in the meantime and send you an email about it, and anything else that comes to mind.

I will be compiling these notes - finding studio tips for recording in the original formats has proven tricky, as it usually wasn't ever available to the public but I will keep looking.

~D
Great suggestion. Thanks for your input. Realtime encoding gives me a realtime stereo image as I go, which is very helpful. It would be great to actually be able to hear decode in realtime whilst encoding as well. I have the I/O, but have not set it up that way as yet. As it stands, I make the change on a patch bay.
 
Last edited:

J. PUPSTER

QQ Supporter
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
3,200
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
Hi

Here is good with me.

Our real focus right now is getting our surround/ stereo format out into the real world. We are actually giving away evaluation encoder boards to studios. We hope that in around April we will have our software based "VST plugin" available at very low cost or free in some instances.

Would absolutely love some classical stuff released - even though I am more of a swamp, blues and rock a billy simpleton.


Regards

Chucky
A “VST Plug-in”- you are serious about this right Chucky? Will it work in Reaper?
 

chucky3042

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,319
Thanks for your input. Realtime encoding gives me a realtime stereo image as I go, which is very helpful. It would be great to actually be able to hear decode in realtime whilst encoding as well. Not able to do that at the moment. I have the I/O, but not the ability to easily switch playback points. As it stands, I make the change on a patch bay. Might need to build a special room setup just for that with the ability to switch between playback modes. For now, I am encoding into stereo, then going back to decode and preview. Very time consuming, but it works.
I thought you have our encoder and decoder??????
 


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