How to create a 2.1 control room?

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How to create a 2.1 control room?

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No options available in the drop-down. How can this be accomplished so the same L R and LFE speakers are available without downmixing? I'd like to have a 5.1 and a 2.1 control room set up. Thanks!

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by Fredo »

2.1 is (AFAIK) no "format". This is a non-existing setup.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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No help Fredo. Whether or not "2.1" is an accepted standard, it is a very common speaker setup for stereo monitoring. I need to use the same main L R and LFE speakers for 2 channel stereo mixes as are used in 5.1. If Nuendo is so versatile, there must be a way to do this. If not, it should be added in the next update as stereo with subwoofer. I needed help with my application, not a curt dismissal. Does anyone else have an elegant solution?? Thanks.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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virtualux wrote:No help Fredo. Whether or not "2.1" is an accepted standard, it is a very common speaker setup for stereo monitoring. I need to use the same main L R and LFE speakers for 2 channel stereo mixes as are used in 5.1. If Nuendo is so versatile, there must be a way to do this. If not, it should be added in the next update as stereo with subwoofer. I needed help with my application, not a curt dismissal. Does anyone else have an elegant solution?? Thanks.
Not really.

The only thing I can think of is if your sub has both L/R and LFE inputs, and built in bass-management. IF you also have an 8 channel output interface, perhaps you can route outputs 7/8 straight to the sub, and then have them go from there to the L/R speakers. Of course, then you'd have to switch the speaker inputs somehow, unless of course they have multiple ins....

So, I'm not sure if that was elegant or not...

Strange at any rate that Nuendo doesn't allow it. It's not at all a weird setup.
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by Fredo »

Guys ...

There is a difference between Bass Management and a descrete LFE.
Even *if* you would want to build a 2.1 setup (which is not teh same as having bass management), what would you do with it? Your stuff would not be compatible with *anything* in this world. In other words, it would only sound good on your system.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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Focal Solo 6's or Twin 6's coupled with their Sub have a really elegant way of switching 2.1 with a footswitch...

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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I'm actually quite surprised that Steinberg does not want to listen to their users needs. It has nothing to do with mix compatibility in other studios and everything to do with a physical speaker setup in my studio. If a project is exported as a stereo mix, it will be ready to go in any studio anywhere... but the physical configuration of the speakers in any studio can be wildly different and must be calibrated to provide suitable consistency. My studio happens to have this particular configuration, and it is not an unusual one at all.

The crux of the issue is providing an elegant way to utilize the same speakers for either a 5.1 setup, or a stereo setup with a subwoofer. I don't care what you call it... discussions of LFE and bass management are not relavent. It appears that Steinberg has given some thought on how to elegantly provide for different monitoring switchovers quickly and easily in the control room section. Just not this one.

Instead of talking down to users (I'm an experienced engineer with 40 plus years, and have seen a lot of things come and go) please open your mind and consider what is being asked. Thank you.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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virtualux wrote:If a project is exported as a stereo mix, it will be ready to go in any studio anywhere...
Not if you build yourself a 2.1 system.
A system with Bass management (which is also a system with 2 speakers and a Sub) will provide compatibility.
The crux of the issue is providing an elegant way to utilize the same speakers for either a 5.1 setup, or a stereo setup with a subwoofer.
I think most people have such a setup. In this case, the subs (or speakers) have a switch which allows your system to perform as 5.1 (LFE is feeded as a discrete channel) and as a Bass Management system (Speakers are High Passed and that signal is routed to the Sub)
Again, a Sub is NOT an LFE.

I don't care what you call it... discussions of LFE and bass management are not relavent.
Well yes, it is very relevant.
An LFE is feeded a by a unique audio stream which is included in the format, therefore the .1 in the configuration.
A 5.1 audio stream has 6 channels, 5 for the "normal" speakers, 1 for the FLE.

What you want to build is a Bass Managed system with a Sub woofer.
The stereo signal is send to the Left and Right speaker, The speakers are Highpasses @ 80Hz (depending on the system) and that signal (Bass only) is send to the Subwoofer. That guarantees compatibility with other systems (that is, if your system is properly tuned ...). The stereo signal does NOT contain an extra LFE (or SUB) channel, it's a regular stereo file.

It appears that Steinberg has given some thought on how to elegantly provide for different monitoring switchovers quickly and easily in the control room section. Just not this one.
Simply because this is handled in your hardware, or it should be ...
Each speaker set is different, and bass management for each speaker set will be different too.
And only the manufacturers can possibly know how the speakers should be behaving in a Bass Management situation.

You can trick this though. Just create a 5.1 output set, only connect your Left and Right speakers, apply a Highpass to those. Then duplicate your stereo track and apply a lowpass, and send this signal to the LFE.
And I have seen a few plugins which do just that. But that is only to simulate a Dolby Surround (SR) setup.
(Which is not the same as a Dolby Digital (DDE) setup)
Software bass management in a DAW is, and will always be, a bad idea.
Instead of talking down to users (I'm an experienced engineer with 40 plus years, and have seen a lot of things come and go) please open your mind and consider what is being asked.
My apologies if you feel that way, but this is not my intention.
I only want to make clear the difference between a Sub and an LFE.

Let me explain it in another way.
The signal you send to an LFE is derived from the tracks in your project. You can choose to send any amount of signal from any track to the LFE. Send nothing, nothing will come out.

Question: How much signal are you gonna send to the LFE, and from which channels?
And since you will be mixing in stereo, how are you going to maintain and guarantee this mix (which only exists in your project, in your studio) on other systems?

Bass management derives the basses from your main speakers to a sub. This should be calibrated, so you get proper balance; a proper representation, or what is called a flat response. These levels never change, you can not touch them, other than for calibration. You do this once, and you never touch it again.
More good reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_management


I hope this makes it a bit more clear.
And for a good understanding, I am not looking down on you, I'm just trying to help.


Fredo

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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Fredo wrote:
It appears that Steinberg has given some thought on how to elegantly provide for different monitoring switchovers quickly and easily in the control room section. Just not this one.
Simply because this is handled in your hardware, or it should be ...
Each speaker set is different, and bass management for each speaker set will be different too.
And only the manufacturers can possibly know how the speakers should be behaving in a Bass Management situation.

You can trick this though. Just create a 5.1 output set, only connect your Left and Right speakers, apply a Highpass to those. Then duplicate your stereo track and apply a lowpass, and send this signal to the LFE.
And I have seen a few plugins which do just that. But that is only to simulate a Dolby Surround (SR) setup.
(Which is not the same as a Dolby Digital (DDE) setup)
Software bass management in a DAW is, and will always be, a bad idea.
Well, if this is what he wants to achieve, isn't that an argument for having a 2.1 then? You can call it what you want but the end result is the same - using software to do bass management to get the lows to the Sub. The usage of a 2.1 channel configuration would simply be for sake of simplicity.

I understand what the difference is between LFE / BM, but if he simply wants to use the same config as in 5.1 with software bass management then this would be preferable, no?

Or am I misunderstanding something here?
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by Fredo »

Lydiot wrote:Well, if this is what he wants to achieve, isn't that an argument for having a 2.1 then?
No, a point one (.1) means that there is a extra channel which contains the bass information.
In the case of a 2.1, that would be 3 channels. LFE= Low Frequency Effects channel.
Stereo only has two channels. Correct definition is everything.
You can call it what you want but the end result is the same - using software to do bass management to get the lows to the Sub. The usage of a 2.1 channel configuration would simply be for sake of simplicity.
You mean Bass Management through a plugin.

That is a very bad idea. As bad as tuning your monitors flat with an EQ.
Depending on the speakers, the highpass can be at any frequency, at any slope. That is something only the manufactures of the speakers can figure out. Speakers and subs need to be "matched". Just as you can't match a different brand of speaker with another, you simply can't match (or use) any brand/type of sub with any kind of speaker. When a set of speakers is designed for using a sub, the brand will have a sub available which you can connect directly to their speakers. Either with an extra piece of hardware, or build within the speaker.

A good sub will have input (s), output(s) (to connect to the speaker) and a switch to toggle between Bass Management and LFE. So you conncet your speakers through the sub. The filtering, delay compensation and any other process is done in the sub.
Or am I misunderstanding something here?
As simple as it might look, it isn't.
I can not come up with a better example than having two different speakers for left and right, and trying to match them with EQ's in your DAW. Your system will never be "correct". Even for 5.1 setups, equal speakers (or at least matched speakers) are a must. Mixing brands and types of speakers is not done. Same goes for using a sub.
And how are you going to "tune" your system? With an SPL meter? Spectrum analyser. Ear?

Another example. Suppose you have a bi-amped system. (a sub *is* a form of bi-amping) Would you be able to tune your speakers and split the sends to your amps through a plugin? No. the signals need to be filtered at the individual speakers, so each speaker in the cabinet is filtered the correct way. Only the woofer will be highpassed, the tweeter(s) and -maybe- the midrange won't be touched.



BTW, for stereo music mixing, I am -extremely- against using a sub. Simply because it is near to impossible to match the phase relationship between the sub and speakers. There are some good speaker sets on the market which are using a sub (bass management), but even those can't convince me. Good quality Full Range speakers are unbeatable.
Of course, 5.1 is a different story. To put it boldly, the quality of a .1 channel in a movie setup is not that critical, it's an effects channel. If the volume is matched correctly, not much can go wrong. That is not so with music. Just grab any 5.1 music DVD, you will notice that the LFE channel is used with *extreme* moderation. And mostly the .1 channel is not included in the folddown to Surround (DSP, PL, PLII, SR) or stereo.


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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by Tumppi Järnefelt »

Having full range monitoring system with or without sub is totally different than .1 channel.
Fredo has this spot on.

If your main monitors don't go low enough, then you need sub for lowest bass to be heard. And in that case you need bass management. Either as a plug in in your DAW software or in the sub itself as for example Genelecs have it. You route everything to sub. Sub takes what is its "area" and sends all the rest to correct main monitors. But the whole system is still "just" stereo.

These 2.1 consumer system sold in markets etc are not real 2.1 systems but just two main monitors that don't go low enough and that's why they have Sub. 2.1 is not a delivery format.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by virtualux »

Thanks for the lively discussion. All other well articualted positions aside, the request is really simple: the ability to provide a summed child bus from a stereo control room setup to drive the subwoofer right out of Nuendo.

This bus can then be routed to the same speaker as the LFE bus from the 5.1 configuration. Problem solved. Hardware can indeed provide the level, phase and low pass... once it has the summed signal... while preserving a stereo mix file.

Again, you still have a stereo file for export, but it satisfies a common speaker configuration problem in near-filed studios, where you have a sub for 5.1 work, but stil need that sub for the lowest 2 octaves in stereo work. A good control room software implementation in Nuendo should be able to handle such a common set-up without fuss. It would be a simple add to the code, and so much appreciated in the next service release! Thanks again for listening and considering!

BTW, I have been using Nuendo since version 1 was released on all my DAWs, and sing its praises to all the artists and engineers who come through here. I can hear the difference between it and all other platforms, and it has the flexibility to do just about anything. My clients are always happy with what they hear... from classical to rock.

I have worked (and indeed been a design engineer for high end pro audio gear for some of the biggest names in the field, and hand build for my own studio) with analog and tape for most of my years, and now believe that we are in the golden age with the best of analog at either end, and high quality digital in the middle. Thanks for helping to make that happen.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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Fredo wrote:
Lydiot wrote:Well, if this is what he wants to achieve, isn't that an argument for having a 2.1 then?
No, a point one (.1) means that there is a extra channel which contains the bass information.
In the case of a 2.1, that would be 3 channels. LFE= Low Frequency Effects channel.
Stereo only has two channels. Correct definition is everything.
No it isn't. You're just arguing semantics at this point. Think of it this way:

IF what he wants to do is do bass management to extend the range of his stereo speakers with a sub, and wants to do that in software, then you wouldn't call that 2.1 perhaps, but he'd end up using 2 channels/outputs + 1 channel/output to make it happen, right?

So while you argue that the actual use of the ".1" channel isn't really for "LFE work", since no such standard exists (2.1), it doesn't make a difference because that's not what he intended to do anyways.

IF on the other hand he indeed wanted to treat it like the .1 LFE channel in a 5.1 configuration (but 2.1) then I think you'd have a point other than semantics. That's why I wrote "if" above.
Fredo wrote:
You can call it what you want but the end result is the same - using software to do bass management to get the lows to the Sub. The usage of a 2.1 channel configuration would simply be for sake of simplicity.
You mean Bass Management through a plugin.

That is a very bad idea. As bad as tuning your monitors flat with an EQ.
You're "teaching" again. I already said I understand how this works.

First of all not all bass management is done in subwoofers. Some is done in hardware monitor controllers. Since we are teaching people I would think that is pertinent information.

Moving the BM from sub to monitor controller is conceptually the same as moving it from sub/BM to software. There's no difference. Once you do that you're no longer relying on the manufacturer of the speakers to do BM for you (unless it's like a Blue Sky branded device that is intended for their own brand of speakers, of course). I think it's fair to question the difference, assuming one is not using BM by the speaker manufacturer, between using hardware and software BM (?). Seems to me to be the same problem, yet I rarely hear people get as "heated" when discouraging a different brand hardware controller BM compared to a plug-in one.

Secondly, the point of saying it'd be for "simplicity" was that IF, once again, IF, he was to do BM through software, THEN I'd think it's easier to manage everything with a 2.1 channel in the control room section. It doesn't matter that it's "mislabeled" as a ".1", because the point is being able to affect L/R and Sub within one "channel strip". See? So rather than route everything to a stereo pair, do the filtering and send to a separate mono out (to sub) on a separate fader/channel, the latter could be consolidated into a 2.1. That was my point. I really don't see how semantics change that at all.....

Lastly, why do you insist on preaching the lack of value in doing something rather than trying to figure out a way to get it done? If this guy wants a different way of routing to accomodate his setup, is your contribution to the forum the most valuable by telling him why he's wrong or trying to figure out a way to get it done in Nuendo?

The difficulties of carrying out proper filtering in a stereo+sub configuration is completely besides the point. Setting up a 5.1 isn't a picknic either. But do you discourage people from doing that as well or do you try to help them as much as possible?

Like he says; just open your mind and try to see things from his perspective.
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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Tumppi Järnefelt wrote:Having full range monitoring system with or without sub is totally different than .1 channel.
Fredo has this spot on.

If your main monitors don't go low enough, then you need sub for lowest bass to be heard. And in that case you need bass management. Either as a plug in in your DAW software or in the sub itself as for example Genelecs have it. You route everything to sub. Sub takes what is its "area" and sends all the rest to correct main monitors. But the whole system is still "just" stereo.

These 2.1 consumer system sold in markets etc are not real 2.1 systems but just two main monitors that don't go low enough and that's why they have Sub. 2.1 is not a delivery format.

Bye / Tumppi
It seems to me that you might be describing exactly what he wants to do (I could be wrong though).

So it is a matter of "semantics" IF that's his intended use of that extra channel. See my previous post for what I mean....
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by psvennevig »

Hi,

As many are stating, systems usually called 2.1 isn't 2.1, but 2.0 with bass management.

If you want, you can design your own bass management with this Waves plugin
http://waves.com/Content.aspx?id=219

Then you can use a sub of your choice, and design the proper x-over

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by Tumppi Järnefelt »

It seems he's asking for a "bass management add on" as a part of control room. That might be a good idea to have.
But still correct terms are vital to be understood. 2.1 is not a delivery format AFAIK.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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Tumppi Järnefelt wrote: But still correct terms are vital to be understood. 2.1 is not a delivery format AFAIK.
Thank you. This is the first thing that needs to be understood.

It seems he's asking for a "bass management add on" as a part of control room. That might be a good idea to have.
Which, in my opinion is, an insult to any speaker manufacturer.


I'm getting old.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

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I'm getting old.

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by MattiasNYC »

Tumppi Järnefelt wrote:It seems he's asking for a "bass management add on" as a part of control room. That might be a good idea to have.
But still correct terms are vital to be understood. 2.1 is not a delivery format AFAIK.

Bye / Tumppi
Actually, it seemed to me to be more of a routing issue.
Fredo wrote:
Tumppi Järnefelt wrote: But still correct terms are vital to be understood. 2.1 is not a delivery format AFAIK.
Thank you. This is the first thing that needs to be understood.
Who didn't understand that, and how does it change what the OP wants to achieve?
Fredo wrote:
It seems he's asking for a "bass management add on" as a part of control room. That might be a good idea to have.
Which, in my opinion is, an insult to any speaker manufacturer.
How does that solve the OPs "problem"?
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by virtualux »

Fredo, I was probably designing phase coherent bass arrays when you were still playing with blocks. I'm not looking for opinions, but a solution within software. Don't call it 2.1. Just provide sub routing for a stereo pair. I'll worry about the rest. Thanks. This discussion has gone way past sensible. It's me who has gotten too old...

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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by psvennevig »

virtualux wrote:Fredo, I was probably designing phase coherent bass arrays when you were still playing with blocks. I'm not looking for opinions, but a solution within software. Don't call it 2.1. Just provide sub routing for a stereo pair. I'll worry about the rest. Thanks. This discussion has gone way past sensible. It's me who has gotten too old...
Check my Waves link further up!
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by MattiasNYC »

psvennevig wrote:
virtualux wrote:Fredo, I was probably designing phase coherent bass arrays when you were still playing with blocks. I'm not looking for opinions, but a solution within software. Don't call it 2.1. Just provide sub routing for a stereo pair. I'll worry about the rest. Thanks. This discussion has gone way past sensible. It's me who has gotten too old...
Check my Waves link further up!
Also possibly Voxengo: Here.

???
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by psvennevig »

Lydiot wrote:
psvennevig wrote:
virtualux wrote:Fredo, I was probably designing phase coherent bass arrays when you were still playing with blocks. I'm not looking for opinions, but a solution within software. Don't call it 2.1. Just provide sub routing for a stereo pair. I'll worry about the rest. Thanks. This discussion has gone way past sensible. It's me who has gotten too old...
Check my Waves link further up!
Also possibly Voxengo: Here.

???
Of course that one as well.
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by neilwilkes »

Wow - this one never seems to go away, does it?
Another great document to read (I hate wikipedia with a passion) is the one at Dolby Labs:
http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/zz-_ ... 38_LFE.pdf

The setup described (pseudo-2.1, even though there is no such thing) isn't really any use to anybody.
Summing at a cutoff point is simply not a great plan - low bass is not nearly as non directional as some folks think it is and to be honest you'd never catch me summing to a pseudo 2.1.
If that is really needed, it is far far better by a whole magnitude of difference to put a sub on each of the Left/Right outputs & set the crossovers as they need to be for seamless transition per channel. Just do not sum it, or the odds are extremely high that whatever you do simply will not translate properly anywhere else.
Club systems do not sum the low bass, live venues do not sum it, and neither should we. If it is truly that important, then have one sub per channel.
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Re: How to create a 2.1 control room?

Post by MattiasNYC »

neilwilkes wrote:Wow - this one never seems to go away, does it?
Another great document to read (I hate wikipedia with a passion) is the one at Dolby Labs:
http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/zz-_ ... 38_LFE.pdf

The setup described (pseudo-2.1, even though there is no such thing) isn't really any use to anybody.
Summing at a cutoff point is simply not a great plan - low bass is not nearly as non directional as some folks think it is and to be honest you'd never catch me summing to a pseudo 2.1.
If that is really needed, it is far far better by a whole magnitude of difference to put a sub on each of the Left/Right outputs & set the crossovers as they need to be for seamless transition per channel. Just do not sum it, or the odds are extremely high that whatever you do simply will not translate properly anywhere else.
Club systems do not sum the low bass, live venues do not sum it, and neither should we. If it is truly that important, then have one sub per channel.
I'm sure the OP is grateful for yet another post not helping him to achieve what he wants, and instead both assuming he's at least partially ignorant and then telling him why he shouldn't do what he wants to do.

What's wrong with simply trying to help the guy achieve what he wants to?
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