Old 12-01-2010, 11:31 AM   #1
schwa
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Default >> v4: ReaSurround

ReaSurround is a 3D surround panner that supports any number of input channels and any number of speakers. You can use predefined standard speaker arrangements (such as 5.1 surround), or place speakers manually anywhere in the space. You can select multiple audio sources with the mouse (via clicking or right-click marquee), drag the sources to change their location or alt+drag to change their height, and use various controls to move the audio sources within the space.

To create a new surround track, use the action “insert surround track”, or simply create a new track and insert ReaSurround. Then select a surround format from ReaSurround’s dropdown box. The track will automatically have its channel count increased. You can then route other tracks to the surround track by dragging the source track’s I/O button onto the ReaSurround window. By default, sends created by dragging into the ReaSurround window will have the send destination channels set to 3+4, but this can be immediately changed in the send dialog that pops up when you drag the send.

To change an existing track into a surround track, insert ReaSurround at the end of the track’s FX chain, then select a surround format from ReaSurround’s dropdown box.

The master track can be changed to a surround track is created the same way: insert ReaSurround on the master, and select a surround format. The master will automatically have its channel count increased. The only usage difference between a surround track and a surround master is how you handle the source track sends. To send a track to higher channels on the surround master, open the source track I/O dialog and set the master track destination channels there.

There is also a new actions create a new surround track using the selected tracks as the audio source. The action will automatically set up the necessary track routing.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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Absolutely geat tool! Seems really complete and customizable.

I would just have like a bigger screen (and bigger icons) for the "virtual room" with speakers and sources.

Gonna go give it a try in our octophonic studio and give you some feedback on this.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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I see no obvious way to automate the Expand/Contract and Rotate parameters? Is support for that in the plans? I can see it being a bit tricky (especially the rotate, how would you automate such an "infinite" parameter)...
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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This is a really good plugin and has all the essentials for proper surround mixing. VERY nice.

One small thing I have noticed though. If I set up a 2 in 4 out quad configuration, highlight the two input channels in the GUI simultaneously, rotate them and then press 'reset', they both pan to mono instead of the default values.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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The "default" 5.1 configuration is not the ITU-775 standard speaker placements that most people who are doing surround mixing are using.

The FL and FR speakers should be 30 degrees off the center (so that they are 60 degrees apart) and the SL and SR speakers should be 110 degrees off center (so that they are 140 degrees apart in the back), and all speakers should be equidistant from the listener.

Also: I suggest that "Diffusion Rotate" be rotated along with regular rotate.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogy View Post
The "default" 5.1 configuration is not the ITU-775 standard speaker placements that most people who are doing surround mixing are using.

The FL and FR speakers should be 30 degrees off the center (so that they are 60 degrees apart) and the SL and SR speakers should be 110 degrees off center (so that they are 160 degrees apart in the back), and all speakers should be equidistant from the listener.

Also: I suggest that "Diffusion Rotate" be rotated along with regular rotate.
Thanks for that ... do you have a link for the specs for the standards for various formats?
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
Thanks for that ... do you have a link for the specs for the standards for various formats?
I've seen a number of layouts for 7.1, but I think the "standard" is for SL and SR to be at 90 degrees from center, BR and BL to be 150 degrees from center, so that the non-center speakers form a regular hexagon. SR and SL can also be at 110 degrees for compatibility with 5.1.

9.1... When someone releases a consumer format that's even capable of 10 channel playback (Bluray is limited to 8) we can talk about standardizing that. =D

More info here: http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/...ide/index.html
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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Is the "Stereo" mode for binaural panning? If not, can it be please?
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
Thanks for that ... do you have a link for the specs for the standards for various formats?
Here's the generally accepted placement for 5.1 monitoring...

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Old 12-01-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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A better way to let you define your own speaker positioning and save it as a preset is probably called for here. By default speakers should definitely be equidistant from the listener (though adjustable), and from there allow a horizontal and vertical angle adjustment, with the ability to tag certain speakers as "effects" speakers with their own individual gain and which are not included in the regular pan calculation. LFE comes to mind, and I know certain people will want to be able to have Center be isolated from the rest of the speakers as well (i.e. you just want lead vocals/dialog in center, and use the phantom center image to center anything else).
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:50 PM   #11
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Just one question, will it work well with those "5.1" headphones?
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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Actually, I think it sucks big time.... as I browse for friggin speakers to build a 5.1 setup. dammit.



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Old 12-01-2010, 07:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
Here's the generally accepted placement for 5.1 monitoring...

This is naturally for home surround setups, i.e. consumer setups. They are supposed to be placed along a virtual circle as shown.

Cinematic setups are different.

The adventurous can visit the Dolby site. There are plenty of documents on how speakers are setup in the cinema.

Quote:
Dolby Digital Surround EX adds a third surround channel to the Dolby Digital format. The third channel is reproduced by rear-wall surround speakers, while the left and right surround channels are reproduced by speakers on the side walls. Among the benefits are more realistic flyover and flyaround effects and a more consistent surround field throughout the auditorium.
7.1 configurations that do not use the SDDS standard (five front speakers, two surround, one LFE, plus its just about a dead standard)) place the standard LCR at the front, two surround channels on the side, and two rear channels, which mirror the front L and R channels, as well as the LFE.

It's good to get all the standards in there as speaker placement presets.

I spy interesting parameter modulations for ReaSurround.

One problem I see with the plugin approach for Reaper as it is now, is that you cannot visually place the plugin last in the insert list of the mixer. In other words ReaSurround is going to get lost a LOT like this in the fray.

This is one of the reasons I would have preferred this plugin to simply be another panner, though I do see the flexiblity in this approach being typically Reaper.

One possible solution is to let users visually arrange the plugins in the mixer, or perhaps ReaSurround and other plugins have a configurable 'tag' in the FX list that tells Reaper to visually arrange them at the bottom of the insert list in the MCP if it is in fact the last plugin in the chain.

Off to bed. Mixed 'till 3 am, and tomorrow ain't a short day, as much as I'd love to dive in to Reaper 4 some more.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
This is naturally for home surround setups, i.e. consumer setups. They are supposed to be placed along a virtual circle as shown.

Cinematic setups are different.
........
Actually, that is the ITU standard for film and music mixing. Here's another image....

[IMG]http://img224.**************/img224/5066/iturtl9.png[/IMG]
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:57 PM   #15
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Here's the common 7.1 configuration as utilised by Dolby and DTS...

[IMG]http://img224.**************/img224/9210/ddexub5.png[/IMG]
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:09 PM   #16
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Yeah , and here's a depiction of what cinemas actually look like and what people mix in.



Image taken from this document:
http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/A...Whitepaper.pdf

I'll ask around a bit. Perhaps adhering to the circle placement has become more common place now on mixing stages.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:20 PM   #17
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I guess it all depends whether it is a film dubbing stage or a smaller mix room.

Here's two pics both from Skywalker Sound.....




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Old 12-01-2010, 09:39 PM   #18
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The same surround channel is sent to both side surround and rear surround in the theater. In a typical seat in the theater, this means the surround channel seems to come from about a 110 degree angle from the screen. 7.1 just splits the back surround from side surround.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii
I guess it all depends whether it is a film dubbing stage or a smaller mix room.

Here's two pics both from Skywalker Sound.....
That was my impression as well so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogy
The same surround channel is sent to both side surround and rear surround in the theater. In a typical seat in the theater, this means the surround channel seems to come from about a 110 degree angle from the screen. 7.1 just splits the back surround from side surround.
It all points towards at least making the ITU standards the defaults. Thanks for the clarification Analogy.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:06 AM   #20
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What I'd find quite interesting is to remap channels, and to render multichannel audio to single mono files with an appropriate extension, such as audio.L.wav and audio.Ls.wav. Single channel mono files are generally safer for delivery because of the lack of possible confusion.


Some good reading I found on a quick scavenger tour:

http://www.tonmeister.ca/main/textbook/node775.html
http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/...ound_sound.asp

The 5.1 Channel Production Guide here:
http://www.dolby.com/DocLibTechLanding.aspx?taxid=186

In particular section 6.1 deals with channel-to-track allocation.
Some good starter information.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=56020
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:35 AM   #21
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First : this surround pan is going to be the ultimate one, some current features are already pure genius ! (like diffusion bias and diffusion rotate).

A remark considering the standards speakers positions and the objects that are represented in a surround tool : they DON'T have to be at the same place. It is a mistake that is often done, but a surround pan is a tool that is made for volume control, and that depends on sounds. This is why it is so important to be able to change the graphical representation of the speakers and their diffusion.
For example, having 60° between FL and FR is not very pratical and effective for volume control in a cartesian representation space (it is different in a polar representation of course). See what is done in Samplitude, Nuendo and others.

Considering the current build :
Bugs (?) :
- automation is recorded, but not read !
- when more than 16 inputs / outputs, the level meters S/M buttons are not visible
- if I reduce the number of channels in the track, the number of inputs in the plugin is not reduced too
- the number of inputs/outputs is not correctly updated on changes until the plugin window is closed and reopened
- when inserted as an item FX, the outputs that are superior to the file channels number are not sent to the track. For example, a 2 > 5.1 ReaSurround put on a stereo item in a 5.1 track
- when space size is set to the maximum value, the zoom setting is not enough to see the speakers that are "outside" (so increase the zoom values)

Requests / Improvements :
- actually, the "speakers diffusion" (is this the name?) is fixed and its radius is equal to a third of the total plugin space. It is good for a 5.1 setup, but the it might be adjustable for higher speakers numbers. Ideally, there must be a value for each one (like for the inputs) and one global offset value. The Space size can be used for this, but I would prefer a separate value.
- possibility to rename the speakers
- show the values X, Y, Z of the position when we move a speaker or an input
- more edit buttons ?
- representation of the vertical position : I have no better idea yet, but the lines become very hard to read when there are several ones. Perhaps a button to show / hide vertical bars will help ?
- the grouping of several inputs is marvelous... but there must be some memory slots to store and recall them

To be continued...
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #22
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A question concerning the CPU usage with the ReaSurround : it is rather high, even in idle state (Reaper not playing).

Can you confirm ?

For example, on a 1,6 GHz Core2Duo, a 24/24 instance maintains at 19.50 % in the performance meter. By comparison, a SpatArrange H24 (same number of I/O) made with Synthedit uses only 1.30 %...
When an input movement is automated, ReaSurround jumps to 22 % and the SpatArrange to 1.90 %.
I will try with my QuadCore too, but I suppose that the difference will be of the same kind.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:52 AM   #23
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I love that Cockos is embracing surround audio. I have wanted to explore surround music for a long time and lack of a surround panner is one of the reasons I've always been ambivalent about using Reaper to do it.

ReaSurround already looks like it surpasses other free panners that I have used. Very nice work.

I'm sure there's plenty of work to be done. But it does seem a bit odd that this is still an FX plug and not a "panner plug", ie we've still got the stereo panner hanging out at the bottom. Ideally a representation of ReaSurround would replace the stereo panner when we've got multiple channels and we select surround panning.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:47 PM   #24
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Firstly:

Wow! This is extremely good. So extremely good! Really great diffusion/bias things, and I love the way you can lassoo the sources and rotate groups of them, etc. Wonderful. Nice to have indiviual solo/mutes on the outputs.

I also the like the concept that you don't need one panner plugin per channel -- the whole thing with surround is in building relationships between the pan positions, and it's always amazed me that other daws tend to show only one source as they have the panners per input channel.

It also sound *fabulous*. If people have been used to some of the free plugs out there, this is definately a step up. This could account for the higher cpu, but this is very much worth it. Listen to the locational accuracy and the audio quality. First rate. I'd be hard pushed to think of a better sounding system (and i've used many over the years).

---- Some bugs/ problems ----------------

I inserted 30 source tracks, and then used the action to build the surround pan track. -- Only the first 12 displayed.

I then changed the number of speakers to 22 and only 16 speakers displayed.

The number box is problematic to type into: it keeps doing the 'wrong thing'. (Not that I have 22 speakers. But you could well run into someone doing arty installation work, or industrial theme park stuff alternatively).

You move the down 'Z' speakers by clicking on the top of the 'stalk', but yet you move the up 'Z' speakers by clicking on the speaker.

------- Suggestions: ------

Can we have the option to label with text the sources, and the speakers? Anything past 6 channels and i can't remember what is supposed to be what...

I'd like a bigger room box too, and the ability to store my layouts as presets as was mentioned before

o------ overall impression --------


Awesome, awesome, awesome. And man, the sound! Fantastic job.

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Old 12-02-2010, 05:13 PM   #25
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Default Need a way to link stereo channels..

in such a way that you can set initial width etc and then link channels to make panning and placement easy, especially when it comes to automation.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:08 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm duchenne View Post
A question concerning the CPU usage with the ReaSurround : it is rather high, even in idle state (Reaper not playing).
This is a bug, which we'll try to fix for the next build (probably not alpha3, hopefully alpha4).
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:49 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
This is a bug, which we'll try to fix for the next build (probably not alpha3, hopefully alpha4).
Nice !
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:40 PM   #28
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Default Help wanted please!

I don't have a surround speaker system and never need to do surround mixing, but I do need to document this for the User Guide and would be grateful if someone could help me please.

This is my understanding of the procedures involved. Please post and correct me, add to this, illuminate, etc.

1. Record all tracks as normal: often I assume this will be using a single mic input to record mono media items on normal 2 channel tracks, as you would for a stereo mix?

2. Put FX etc as required in individual tracks.

3. Add a Surround track. To do this, select existing tracks, use action add a new surround track using selected tracks as source audio. I notice it uses different channels for each track's input to the surround track - this I don't understand. Track 1 to ch 1/2, track 2 to ch 3/4, track 3 to ch 5/6, etc.

4. I adjust surround panner parameters to suit.

Assuming this is right so far, what next?

I notice that when I add the surround track in this way, direct output from individual tracks still go individually straight to the Master and that no direct hardware outs are added to this track.

So what steps do I then need to actually mix down in, say, 5:1?

I'm totally out of my depth here I'm afraid, any simple help appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #29
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how you direct your signal is your choice.
You can as well put the surround fx on master or even solo the surround track. It depends on the system you use to work.

You should pan channels in IO of the surround track - maybe you misunderstood the instructions. Also you need to send at least two of them to the 1/2 channel, so what you would hear on stereo speakers is only in those channels.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urednik View Post
maybe you misunderstood the instructions.
Thanks for the help and we can certainly agree on this comment!

Any other help would also be much appreciated!

What would really be help would be if someone could send me a simple model RPP file (no media items necessary, but only Reaper plug-ins please) of, say five recorded tracks set up with surround panner and all settings ready for surround mixdown.

I'd just like to be able to document an example.

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
The track will automatically have its channel count increased.
But currently it's not displayed on the fly on the VST I/O routing button (2 in 2 out). You have to close and reopen the FX Chain window to get it updated ...


FIXED (4.0alpha5)

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Old 12-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #32
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Just a random thought here.... How feasible would it be to have a button near the standard panner that could be selected to place ReaSurround in it's place? Perhaps if possible, when the surround panner replaced the standard panner it could display a little surround icon until clicked. Once clicked, it would then open up the same way it would as a plugin.

Just a thought here. Might be too much work at this stage..... Then again, we are talking about REAPER devs here.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
Just a random thought here.... How feasible would it be to have a button near the standard panner that could be selected to place ReaSurround in it's place? Perhaps if possible, when the surround panner replaced the standard panner it could display a little surround icon until clicked. Once clicked, it would then open up the same way it would as a plugin.

Just a thought here. Might be too much work at this stage..... Then again, we are talking about REAPER devs here.
good idea.

Plus Nicholas is in need of help on starting to write up the manual for reasurround, if you can help, pop him a email
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:35 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by musicbynumbers View Post
Plus Nicholas is in need of help on starting to write up the manual for reasurround, if you can help, pop him a email
Thanks for the plug ...

Apologies for the double-post, but this one might have slipped past.

What I would love would be for someone to send me a simple model RPP file (no media items necessary, but only Reaper plug-ins please) of, say five recorded tracks set up with surround panner and all settings ready for surround mixdown.

I'd just like to be able to document an example.

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:34 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannii View Post
Just a random thought here.... How feasible would it be to have a button near the standard panner that could be selected to place ReaSurround in it's place? Perhaps if possible, when the surround panner replaced the standard panner it could display a little surround icon until clicked. Once clicked, it would then open up the same way it would as a plugin.

Just a thought here. Might be too much work at this stage..... Then again, we are talking about REAPER devs here.
+1 to this!!!

If it could open as a tiny surround panner on the MCP/TCP (ala ProTools) it would be even better! This could then be double clicked to open the full plugin.

At worst, even if you cant change the panning from the tiny panner it would at least provide some immediate visual feedback.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #36
AudiOishi
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Dear Reaper:

It looks like this plugin uses Ambisonic Processing.

If this is the case, please please give us access to the encoded ambisonic Bus.

Also, please add some specific location input for speaker and sound sources.

These two featues would make Reaper THE BEST ambisonic tool available.

Access to the ambisonic BUS would allow us Reaper users to mix in one location and then play back in another location while preserving surround spatialization. I usually don't know the speaker arrangement for venues when mixing, so I have found ambisonics to be a very satisfactory way of mixing in advance and porting to a theater later on.

Mixing for ambisonics is an absurdly time consuming process with the tools currently available, but reaper is set to blow the competition out of the water with the two features I mentioned. Please consider. Thank you thank you thank you.

Sincerely,
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:47 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiOishi View Post
Dear Reaper:

It looks like this plugin uses Ambisonic Processing.

If this is the case, please please give us access to the encoded ambisonic Bus.

Also, please add some specific location input for speaker and sound sources.

These two featues would make Reaper THE BEST ambisonic tool available.
I was just getting ready to suggest the same thing and feared a complete lack of interest.

With regards to Ambisonics not being a "commercial" format I think just looking at the level of standardization (slight sarcasm) described above one can clearly see that 1. rules are made to be bent and broken and 2. whatever device works to deliver the best surround experience to the listeners ears gets used. Ambisonics is definitely a device that works. Having this kind of control in Reaper would allow many more people to use it.

On a related side-note, I'm just finishing up an ambio/surround (g-format) mix of one of my songs and would be happy to offer it up as an example. Even better I could do a best approximation version with pan-potted mixing for comparison. The current tools available are painful to work with (no offence to Dr. Bob if he's reading, your tools are a big step in the right direction) but the results are stunning (I think).
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:30 AM   #38
jm duchenne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiOishi View Post
Dear Reaper:
It looks like this plugin uses Ambisonic Processing.
Happily I think it is not !
Otherwise it would be impossible to set the speakers where we want (outside of a sphere) and would lack precision for high amount of speakers.
It would also have to encode/decode each time, and in second or third order it would be very CPU consuming !

On the other hand, I agree that a special ReaAmbisonic encoder and decoder will be useful for WXYZ recordings, since Windows users don't have access to Daniel Courville's plugins.

Last edited by jm duchenne; 12-04-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by schwa View Post
This is a bug, which we'll try to fix for the next build (probably not alpha3, hopefully alpha4).
It is better now (alpha 4), and automation is working !
Thanks.

Last edited by jm duchenne; 12-04-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:06 AM   #40
jm duchenne
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Quote:
Access to the ambisonic BUS would allow us Reaper users to mix in one location and then play back in another location while preserving surround spatialization. I usually don't know the speaker arrangement for venues when mixing, so I have found ambisonics to be a very satisfactory way of mixing in advance and porting to a theater later on.
You know, it is also possible without ambisonic, espacially with ReaSurround ans its Diffusion parameters (Level, Bias, Rotate).
It is a little more work, since you have to setup the speakers and the sources manually, but you have also a better control on what you do.
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