Avid Technology PRO TOOLS MIX 51 Specifications

Avid Technology PRO TOOLS MIX 51 Specifications
Mix 51 Surround Panning and
Mixing plug-in for Pro Tools™
Plug-In Users Guide
Version 1.1 for Pro Tools HD/LE/M-Powered
Systems on Macintosh OS X and Windows XP
Created By Neyrinck
San Francisco, CA USA
[email protected]
Technical Support (USA)
[email protected]
Product Information (USA)
[email protected]
This guide is copyrighted ©2007 by Neyrinck with all
rights reserved. Under copyright laws, this guide
may not be duplicated in whole or in part without
the written consent of Neyrinck.
HD”,“PRO TOOLS LE”, and “PRO TOOLS MPOWERED” are trademarks or registered trademarks
of Avid Technology, Inc.
Dolby and Pro Logic are trademarks of Dolby
Laboratories, Inc.
Product features, specifications, system requirements
and availability are subject to change without notice.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1
System Requirements
Important Latency Information
Chapter 2
Installing Mix 51
Authorizing Mix 51
Removing Expired Plug-Ins
Chapter 3
Quick Start Guide
Chapter 4
Surround Mixer Plug-In
Connecting the Outputs
Description and Use Of Controls
Chapter 5
Surround Panner Plug-In
Panner Controls
Chapter 6
LFE Send Plug-In
LFE Send Controls
Chapter 7
Pro Logic™ || Movie Mode Monitoring
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 1
Welcome To Mix 51
Mix 51 is a suite of 5.1 surround
panning and mixing plug-ins for Pro
Tools LE and M-Powered systems
with six or more outputs such as
Mbox 2 Pro, 002, 003, and M-Audio
interfaces such as the Delta 1010 or
FireWire 410 or for use with stereo
output systems such as Mbox
connected to a 5.1 Pro Logic™ II
decoding system. Unlimited Mono
and Stereo Panner plug-ins can be
placed on track inserts to pan, mix,
and send to the Mix 51 Surround
Mixer busses. The Mix 51 Surround
Mixer plug-in provides 30 channels
of outputs grouped as three, 5.1
main busses and three, quad send
busses so you can easily manage
dialog, music, FX, and quad reverb
send submixes. Both the Mix 51
Surround Panner and Surround
Mixer feature fully automatable
controls which can be migrated to
Pro Tools HD systems for
compatibility with world-class
surround mix facilities.
The Mix 51Surround Mixer Plug-in
RTAS surround mixing to three
5.1 summing busses and three
quad summing busses for a total
of 30 mix bus channels.
Automatable volume, mute, and
solo controls for each main and
send output bus.
Volume, mute, and solo
automation compatible with Pro
Tools HD systems version 7.2
and later.
Output level metering.
Outputs conveniently appear as
track “plug-in” inputs
Stereo LtRt Downmix output that
is compatible with 5.1 Pro Logic II
home theater systems.
The Mix 51 Surround Panner Plug-in
Unlimited number of RTAS mono
and stereo panners (limited by
RTAS system usage).
RTAS 5.1 surround panning and
mixing to one of three 5.1 main
RTAS quad surround panning
and mixing to one of three quad
effect send busses.
Volume, mute, solo, send level,
output bus, and output send bus
automation compatible with Pro
Tools HD systems version 7.2
and later.
Input and output level metering
System Requirements
To use Neyrinck Mix 51, you need
the following system:
• A Digidesign-qualified Pro Tools
LE/M-Powered or HD system
running Pro Tools 7.0 or later.
• Pro Tools LE/M-Powered I/O
interface with six or more outputs
such as 002, 003, or Mbox 2 Pro
or a stereo interface connected to
a 5.1 Pro Logic II decoding
Important Latency Information
Mix 51 uses the host CPU to perform
the surround panning and mixing. It
introduces latency that is equivalent
to one buffer of audio based on the
Pro Tools H/W Buffer Size. The
latency in seconds can be calculated
with the formula (Buffer
Size)/(Sample Rate). For example, if
the Pro Tools H/W Buffer Size is set
to 512, the latency is 512/48000 =
10.6 ms at 48 kHz sample rate. To
set the H/W Buffer Size, open the
Playback Engine dialog and set the
control labeled H/W Buffer Size.
Important Pro Logic II Monitoring
Mix 51 provides a stereo LtRt
downmix that is compatible with 5.1
Dolby Pro Logic II decoding systems.
It is very important that the Pro Logic
II decoder be set for Movie Mode.
Chapter 2
Installing Mix 51
Installers can be downloaded from
the Neyrinck website
Installation steps are essentially the
same, regardless of the bundle,
package, or system you purchase.
To install Mix 51:
1. If Pro Tools is running, Quit Pro
2. Locate and open (double-click) the
plug-in installer.
3. Follow the instructions presented
by the installation software.
4. When installation is complete,
click Quit.
When you open Pro Tools, you will
be prompted to authorize your new
Authorizing Mix 51
Mix 51 requires an authorized iLok
USB Key to be connected to your
computer when using Pro Tools.
The iLok authorization needs to be
obtained online and downloaded
onto your iLok USB Key. You will
need an iLok.com account to
complete the process. If you do not
yet have an ilok.com account, visit
www.ilok.com to set up an account
for free.
The iLok USB Smart Key is not supplied
with your plug-in or software option. You can
use the one included with certain Pro Tools
systems or purchase one separately.
Removing Expired PlugIns
If you let a demo version of a plug-in
expire, you should remove it from
your system. Otherwise, each time
you open Pro Tools you will be
prompted with a message that the
plug-in has expired.
To remove an expired plug-in:
Open the Plug-Ins folder on your
Startup drive (Library/Application
Support/Digidesign on OS X or
\DAE\PlugIns on Windows XP).
Drag the expired plug-in to a different
Chapter 3
Quick Start Guide
This section guides you through
steps to create a Pro Tools session
that will pan one audio track to a 5.1
main bus and a quad reverb effect
send which will be monitored out six
channels of your Pro Tools system.
When finished, your Pro Tools Mixer
Window should look similar to this:
Right. This picture shows an
example I/O Setup using the SMPTE
recommended ordering;
New Session
Create a new session to start using
Mix 51. Mix 51 will operate at all
sample rates supported by Pro
Tools. Film and video projects
typically use 48 kHz sample rate.
Music projects use 44.1, 88.2 or 96
kHz depending on many factors. If
you are delivering a mix to a client,
be certain to ask for delivery
specifications so you can use the
correct sample rate from the start.
I/O Setup
It is important to set up your Pro
Tools system for surround output
monitoring. Because Pro Tools
LE/M-Powered is limited to stereo
output busses, you must configure
three stereo outputs for a total of six
output channels to connect to your
5.1 monitoring system. We
recommend you order the output
channels as per SMPTE
recommendations: Front Left, Front
Right, Center, LFE, Rear Left, Rear
Add The Surround Mixer
Create a mono audio track and a
mono aux track. Route the audio
track into the aux track (using bus 1
for example) so that the Mix 51
Panner will operate after the main
track fader. Insert a Mix 51 Surround
Mixer plug-in by clicking on the first
plug-in insert popup and selecting
RTAS Mix 51 Surround Mixer. The
Mixer plug-in simply passes the
audio through unchanged – its
purpose is to provide outputs that
can be routed into other tracks, as
we will see.
Connect The Outputs
Create five stereo auxiliary tracks
and change the track names to:
Dialog Front, Dialog C LFE, Dialog
Rear, Reverb Front, and Reverb
Rear, respectively. Then set the
track outputs to Front, Center-LFE,
Rear, Front, and Rear, respectively.
Finally, set the aux track inputs to
come from the Mix 51 plug-in as
Main Bus 1 – L R, Main Bus 1 - C
LFE, Main Bus 1 – Ls Rs, Send Bus
1 – L R, and Send Bus 1 – Ls Rs,
Review The Session
Now you are ready to use the Mix 51
system. Check the Pro Tools Mixer
Window and make sure that it is set
up the same as the picture at the
start of this section. When you
playback the session, you should
now be seeing/hearing your audio
track being mixed into the Mix 51
Main Bus 1 and coming through the
aux tracks. Try moving the surround
panner control or adjusting fader
levels in the panner or mixer plug-ins
to experiment with your new
surround mixing system.
Add A Quad Reverb
Create a quad reverb by inserting
two D-Verb plug-ins on the last two
auxiliary tracks.
Add A Surround Panner
On the last plug-in insert on the first
aux track, insert a RTAS Mix 51
Surround Panner plug-in on the last
insert position. Locate the Send Bus
popup menu control and set it to
Send Bus 1. (The main output should
default to Main Bus 1).
Add Some Audio
Import or record some audio on the
first track for playing thru the Mix 51
Panner and Mixer.
Pre-Fader Send Alternative
To create a pre-fader send to the Mix
51 send bus (so that your ProTools
track fader does not affect the level
to your send bus), insert a Mix 51
Surround Panner on the audio track,
route the Mix 51 main output to “off”
and the Mix 51 send bus output to
Send Bus 1. (The Mix 51 pre/post
button should also be clicked on, so
that the Mix 51 main fader is not
affecting your send level). Now you
have a pre-fader send to your Mix 51
send bus along with a post-fader
panner running on the aux track.
Chapter 4
Surround Mixer Plug-In
The Surround Mixer is implemented
as an RTAS plug-in and can be
placed on any mono or stereo track.
Because a single instance of the
Surround Mixer plug-in manages all
Mix 51 surround inputs and outputs
in a Pro Tools session, it is not
necessary to insert more than one
Surround Mixer. Because its inputs
come from Surround Panner plug-ins
and its outputs appear as Pro Tools
track inputs, it is not critical where
you place the Surround Mixer plugin. However, due to the way Pro
Tools is designed, the Surround
Mixer outputs will not appear on the
track where the Surround Mixer is
located. The Surround Mixer plug-in
does not process any audio on the
track where it is located. The audio
is simply passed thru from input to
output. Open a single Surround
Mixer window on a plug-in insert on
any audio track. The plug-in is
located in the Sound Field category
or the Neyrinck manufacturer
Connecting The Outputs
Once the Surround Mixer plug-in is
open, the Surround Mixer outputs
appear as inputs on Pro Tools
tracks. To monitor the outputs, you
must create auxiliary tracks and set
the inputs to come from the Surround
Mixer outputs. After creating or
selecting an existing auxiliary track,
click on the input popup select and a
set of thirty Mix 51 outputs are
available in the plug-in sub-menu.
Description and Use Of
The Surround Mixer user interface
provides master output control of the
three 5.1 busses and three quadsend busses. Each bus has volume,
mute, and solo controls.
Surround Mixer Controls – Default
When the Surround Mixer plug-in is
opened, the controls default to unity
gain with no muting or soloing. You
can change the default settings by
using Pro Tools ability to save a user
preset and set it as the default
setting. Please consult the Pro Tools
Plug-Ins User Guide for more
Each volume fader controls one of
the Mix 51 buses and has a taper
similar to the Pro Tools faders. This
allows you to copy/paste automation
moves to/from regular Pro Tools
volume faders using the “Paste
Special” “To Current Automation
Type” feature of Pro Tools. Use the
option-click (OS X) or alt-click
(WinXP) to reset the faders to unity
gain. Also, holding down the
command/apple key (OS X) or the
control key (WinXP) will allow for
fine-tuned adjustments.
Use the mute button for each bus to
silence the outputs for that bus. Use
the solo buttons to only pass the
audio for buses that are soloed.
CPU Usage Optimized
It is important to note that Mix 51 is
optimized to only perform mixing
operations when necessary – if you
do not connect the bus outputs from
Mix 51 into an aux track, then Mix 51
will not mix to those outputs (and you
will not see any meter activity in the
Mix 51 Master Outputs window for
that particular bus).
Chapter 5
Surround Panner Plug-In
The Surround Panner plug-in
operates as an RTAS plug-in on
mono and stereo tracks. It will
simultaneously pan to one of the 5.1
channel main busses and to one of
the quad-channel effect send
busses. It provides panning,
volume, mute, solo, LFE, and
divergence controls that are fully
automatable using the Pro Tools
plug-in automation system. The
controls are configured to operate
conveniently with control surfaces
available to Pro Tools. By default,
the Mix 51 Panner does not output
any audio to the normal Pro Tools
mixer channel. By using the
“bypass” button the Panner will pass
the signal through to the Pro Tools
mixer for an additional stereo mix
(while also continuing normal Mix 51
operation). This also allows two
panners to operate on a single track
in case you want a track to be mixed
to two different Mix 51 Main Buses or
Send Buses for example.
the Send Buses using the Send Bus
popup menu. Choose “off” if you
donʼt want the signal to be sent to
any of the Send buses.
Volume/Send Faders
Use the volume fader to adjust the
track level into the bus you have
chosen. Similarly, the send fader
adjusts the level going to the send
bus you have chosen. (This level
might also be affected by the main
volume control, depending on the
choice of pre or post fader,
discussed next).
Panner Controls
Output Selection Menus
Select the destination bus for the
track by clicking on the Main Bus
popup menu. Select one of the Main
Buses (1, 2, or 3) as the destination
or “off” if you only want to send the
signal to the Send Bus. Select one of
Mute/Solo/Pre-Post Buttons
The mute buttons will silence the
trackʼs contribution to the main bus
and/or send bus you have chosen.
The solo button will only allow the
audio through for this track and any
other soloed tracks. If you want other
tracks coming through the Mix 51
mixer, then they need to be soloed
also. The “PRE” button is used for
allowing the level going to the send
bus to follow both the main volume
fader and the send fader (“postfader”, when the “PRE” button is not
selected). When the “PRE” button is
clicked/highlighted, the level going to
the send bus is not affected by the
main volume control.
5.1 Panner
This is the two-dimensional panner
(“X/Y” panner) that allows Mix 51 to
perform true surround panning into a
left-center-right plus leftsurround/right-surround set of
outputs. Either click on the orange
“+” control and drag around to
perform panning moves, or use the
sliders on either the bottom or side of
the panning grid. Place the panner
control completely into one of the
speaker icons to do a “hard” pan to
one of the outputs. The text displays
below the panner show the positions
in values from -100 to +100 for both
the Left-to-Right and Front-to-Rear
Center %
The center percent control adjusts
the amount of signal that goes to the
center output versus how much goes
to the left/right outputs. For example,
with center % set to zero, a centerpanned signal will be an equal blend
between the left and right outputs,
with none going to the center output.
In contrast, a center % of 100 means
that a center panned signal will be
completely in the center output, with
none going to the left or right
outputs. Less than 100 means a
blend of center output along with
left/right when a signal is panned to
the center.
Divergence Controls
The Front, Rear, and Front/Rear
Divergence controls allow you to
“bleed” some of the signal into other
channels without having to pull the
panner into the middle of the grid.
When the Divergence controls are
set to 100 they are essentially “off”,
whereas 0 means “send the signal
everywhere”. The blue box drawn
inside the panner display shows the
effective “limits” of the panner
depending on the settings of the
Divergence controls. For example,
when the F/R Diverge control is set
to 50%, part of the signal will always
be sent to the rear speakers even
when the panner is set to be fully in
front. Similarly, the other Diverge
controls will “bleed” signal across the
front speakers or rear speakers
depending on the setting. Grab the
Diverge knobs with the mouse and
move up/down or side-to-side to
adjust the level.
LFE Control
Use the LFE fader to adjust the track
level of LFE into the bus you have
chosen. This level is post-fader (from
the main volume level), so if you
need to send a signal to the LFE
channel only, you should use the
LFE panner plug-in.
Opt-click (OS X) or alt-click (WinXP)
to reset any control to the default
position. Hold down the cmd key (OS
X) or the control key (WinXP) to
perform fine-tuned adjustments.
Chapter 6
LFE Send Plug-In
The LFE Send plug-in operates as
an RTAS plug-in in mono or multimono for stereo tracks. Its purpose is
to allow you to send a track directly
to the LFE channel without having to
also mix the signal into the main
L/C/R/Ls/Rs outputs. Like the
Panner, the Mix 51 LFE Send plug-in
does not output any audio to the
normal Pro Tools mixer channel. By
using the “bypass” button the LFE
Send will also pass the signal
through to the Pro Tools mixer
LFE Send Controls
Output Selection
Select the destination bus for the
track by clicking on the Main Bus
popup menu. Select one of the Main
Buses (1, 2, or 3) as the destination
for the LFE signal.
Volume Fader
Use the volume fader to adjust the
trackʼs LFE level into the bus you
have chosen.
Mute/Solo Buttons
Use the Mute button to silence the
signal going to the output, and the
Solo button to listen to only this track
(and other Soloed tracks) going to
the Mix 51 Mixer.
Opt-click (OS X) or alt-click (WinXP)
on the fader cap to reset the fader to
the default position. Hold down the
cmd key (OS X) or the control key
(WinXP) while dragging to perform
fine-tuned adjustments.
Chapter 7
All of the Mix 51 parameters can be automated using standard Pro Tools plug-in
automation. Click the “auto” button in the Mix 51 plug-in window header and add
the controls you would like to be automated. When the track is in “write” mode (or
other modes which write/update automation) you should see a red box drawn
around any controls you have chosen to be automated. When you play back your
session, any changes made will be written as automation, which can be played
back when the track is in “read” (or “latch”, etc) mode. Please see your Pro Tools
guide for more details on plug-in automation.
Migrating to Pro Tools HD
The Mix 51 plug-ins can be used in Pro Tools HD, but you can also use the
“paste special” feature of Pro Tools to copy the control automation from Mix 51
into a regular Pro Tools surround panner. The Mix 51 panner is an X-Y panner
which means it has two controls for panning: left-to-right and front-to-rear. The
Pro Tools HD panner has three controls. Like Mix 51 it has a front-to-rear pan
control. But it has two separate left-to-right controls for the front and rear. But it
can operate in X-Y mode which “gangs” the two separate left-to-right pan
Panner with all controls in “write” automation enabled mode
Thus, to migrate the Left-Right panning automation of Mix 51, you must copy it
into the Front Position and Rear Position pan automation tracks of the Pro Tools
panner. To do so, select the track automation for the Mix 51 Left-Right pan
control and copy it. On the track you wish to copy this automation to (a track
routed to a 5.1 output for instance), select the Front Position pan automation for
that track and using “Paste Special” “To Current Automation Type” you can paste
the Mix 51 L-R automation into the track. Then select the Rear Position pan
automation for that track and use “Paste Special” “To Current Automation Type”
Similarly, copy the Front-Rear control using the same technique to finish copying
the X-Y panner movement into a Pro Tools HD surround track. You can then use
the same method to copy divergence controls, center percent, LFE, and volume
Chapter 8
Pro Logic™ II Movie Mode Monitoring
Mix 51 provides a stereo, matrix
encoded, LtRt output that is
compatible with Dolby Pro Logic II
decoding systems. This allows you
to use a stereo Pro Tools LE system
with a 5.1 home theater system for
monitoring. Pro Logic II decoders
will expand the stereo signal out to
5.1. Because Pro Logic II is not a
discrete encoding system, the 5.1
decode will not be precisely the
same 5.1 mix that Mix 51 creates.
You can use Google or Wikipedia on
the internet to learn more about Pro
Logic II.
To use this feature, create a stereo
aux track, set its input to “LtRt
Downmix,” and set the output to your
stereo interface output. Then
connect the stereo output to a home
theater system using an analog,
SPDIF, or Optical connection. It is
very important to set the home
theater system to “Pro Logic II Movie
Chapter 9
Not Seeing Meters on Tracks With a Mix 51 Panner
The default behavior for Mix 51 Surround Panners/LFE Send plug-ins is to mute
the signal going through the plug-in to the track it is running on. If the trackʼs
output destination is also set as one of the surround mix outputs, you probably
donʼt want the track being mixed in twice. If you do in fact want the signal to
come into the main Pro Tools mixer (perhaps as a separate stereo mix), then
bypassing the Mix 51 Panner/LFE Send will allow the signal to pass through.
Not Seeing Meters in Mixer Plug-In/Master Outputs
The mixer outputs must be connected to a destination (input to an aux track for
example) in order to actually perform any mixing. If a mixer bus is not connected,
then the CPU is not utilized for that bus and metering information is not
generated. Create a stereo aux track and select an input from the “plug-in” sub-
menu which shows the various Mix 51 outputs available (from each of the Main
Bus outputs and Send Bus outputs).
Panner or Mixer Not Getting any Signal
The track must not be set to “no output”, or else the Mix 51 plug-ins will not
receive any input signal (even if you donʼt want the main track to be routed
anywhere, you need to have it go to an unused bus or perhaps a separate stereo
Canʼt Send to LFE Without Also Mixing into Main
Use the Mix 51 LFE Send plug-in for this purpose – the LFE fader in the Mix 51
Surround Panner plug-in is post-fader.
Not able to set up a surround Reverb
Please see the Mix 51 demo session for an example of how to create a send bus
mix and bring it back into your main set of outputs.
Hearing Audio Glitches
You might be hitting the limits of how much RTAS processing can be done on
your system. Try increasing the HW Buffer size setting in the Pro Tools Playback
Engine dialog (note that this does increase the latency of processing in Mix 51).
Removing some other RTAS plug-ins could help as well (use the AudioSuite
version of many plug-ins to process the file for example, or record the processed
track and remove the RTAS plug-in to reduce the load on the CPU).
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