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Hey guys,

I’d like to request that you consolidate these two effects:

1) Speaker Level
2) Surround Pan

I’m sure your intention was to make it easier to pan a sound around in surround, but I find myself having to use both of these effects simultaneously so often that I, at least, would prefer to just have individual speaker volume control within the effect ‘Speaker Level’.

My use-case often goes like this…

I want to trigger a multichannel sound from ram. This requires that I split the file up (is this still a requirement in FMOD studio?) into mono/stereo files and reconstruct the file using layers. I send one layer to the center channel only, but when I do that, with the current version of ‘Speaker Level’ – I also feed the sub. Subsequently, I have to add the effect ‘Surround Pan’ to pan the layer forward so that it no longer feeds the sub. This feels a little convoluted to me.

It seems a lot more intuitive to have individual volume controls for each channel within the ‘Speaker Level’ effect and kill the ‘surround pan’ effect.

Thoughts?

-Rich

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I was doing the same thing with the centre channel (i.e. controlling its volume via Speaker level and then muting the LFE with Surround Pan) until someone told me that you can detach the LFE/Sub from the Centre within the ‘Effect Properties’ of the ‘Speaker Level’ effect. To access the ‘Effect Properties’, right click on the ‘Speaker Level’ effect. Within those settings, you can add/remove speakers (including side speakers for 7.1) and group/isolate speakers to as many envelopes as you’d like. I never knew that ‘Effect Properties’ existed until I was told about them. However, I don’t think that too many effects have many properties to edit, so that’s probably why I never knew about them.

Going forward, depending on how things change with FMOD Studio, I’m going to try working with just ‘Speaker level’ (the Firelight guys suggested that to me too). However, I think it might be awkward to do left/right and front/back panning sweeps without reaching for the ‘Surround Pan’. If I decide I need a ‘Surround Pan’ after tweaking my ‘Speaker level’ settings, I’m going to resist it since simply adding a ‘Surround Pan’ changes the levels in your speakers a fair bit, so I’d need to rebalance the sound again (it also makes things quieter I find). I’m generally in favour of a consolidation or an additional effect that consolidates everything, but I’m not sure how to best go about it. I like how I’m completely in control with ‘Speaker level’, so I wouldn’t want to lose that as an option.

Sean

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Rich, as Sean said, the best way would be to select the channels you want to set levels on by accessing the Speaker Level effect’s properties tucked away in the context menu. This is particularly useful on the Speaker Level and Channel Mix effects. Studio shouldn’t require you to split the files up but I would be interested to know more details about the channel format of your assets and how you would like to route and balance them so I can give you a better answer and also keep your use case in mind.

Sean, the surround panning in Studio is a big improvement over the panning in Designer with new modes added for stereo-to-surround and surround-to-surround. You’ll also be able to enable or disable individual speakers on the panner. The panning algorithms will not effect the channel gains at all when centred (provided you have the same channels going in as you do going out). If you need to balance channels individually though, we will be providing a channel gain DSP and most likely a gain matrix for more advanced routing and balancing. How does that sound for you?

Gino

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Thanks, Gino. That sounds very robust to me. Really looking forward to working with Studio.

Until recently, I didn’t have a very good production environment for 5.1 (no 5.1 hardware in my Cubase PC), so I would often bring several layers into Designer and then figure out what was going to the rears/centre/fronts once I could get on our 5.1 setup. This is why I was relying pretty heavily on the surround pan effect. Going forward, I’ll likely have figured out the surround panning in Cubase, and will just bring over the FL/FR/C/RL/RR wav files and set their position with just the Speaker Level effect. I’m thinking I may merge all 5 mono channels (I’m going to omit the LFE) into a single multi-channel wav file, but I’m not sure if that’s really necessary.

Sean

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Sean – thank you for replying – this totally solves my problem. I didn’t think to look in the effect properties.

On a related Note – Gino…

When using the surround panner Effect – and manipulating the front/back value –
– If I move the panner all the way back (down) to the surrounds – I get send only in the surround channels – however,
– If I move the front/back panner ALL the forward I suddenly lose my front LR and I get only Center channel

This means in order to pan signal to the front LR, some amount of signal must be sent to the rears – which is not always desired. (Unless you get the Speaker Level effect involved.)

I assume this is by design, but it’s just another reason why the effect Surround Panner is an effect I stay away from. I’m very glad the Speaker Level Effect can be edited and I’m looking forward to banging on the new FMOD studio.

Thanks guys!!

-Rich

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