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Appendix E.  Surround Mixing in SX

Appendix E. Surround Mixing in SX

Cubase SX offers the possibility of mixing in several surround modes, as well as in stereo mode. Mixing in surround, however, requires a multiple output sound card to monitor the signal sent to these additional outputs. It also requires an external monitoring system that supports surround sound. Surround refers to a multichannel positioning system rather than a standard stereo (left/right) positioning. The advantage of mixing in surround is that beyond the left/right field available in stereo mixes, you can literally place your sound anywhere in space around the listener by using various surround configurations. For example, an LCRS multichannel configuration offers a 4-channel setup, and a Surround 5.1 configuration on the other hand offers a 6-channel configuration. How you position the speakers depends on the standard you wish to use and the room for which you are mixing. For example, movie theaters often place the left and right channels behind the screen, close to the left and right walls, while the center channel is also behind the screen, but in the center of it. The LFE channel (for bass effect) will also be behind the screen, while the left and right surround channels will be along the three other surfaces of the theater itself.

To use surround mixing in Cubase, you need to create a surround output bus that is connected to a multioutput sound card. You may also create a surround input bus, but an audio channel does not have to be surround in order to be sent to a surround output bus. When you do send an audio channel to a surround output bus, the Surround Panner appears at the top of the channel in the panning area, offering you control over more than the typical left and right channels. You may also choose to route an audio channel (disk-based, VSTi, Rewire or FX channel) to a specific set of outputs within the surround bus channels. In that case, the pan control would remain the same as if you were routing the signal through a mono or stereo output bus. Figure E.1 shows how an audio channel displays the pan control when it is assigned to a surround output bus.


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