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Jesse Wolfe

Help needed Understanding Convolution Reverb and 5.1 Surround Mixing

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Hello All -

This may be a bit of cart-before-the-horse, but I'm setting up my film scoring template this weekend and figured I'd just "go for 5.1" so it's all set up, even if I only end up mixing down to stereo for awhile, based on what I have gathered that going from 5.1 down to stereo is a lot easier than the other way (in terms of reconfiguring your temlate).  I have EW Composer Cloud so I'm going with EW Spaces II Convolution reverb. 

I can't quite wrap my mind around how to arrange the busses from the convo reverb to the 5.1 Surround bus.  Doing my part, this is what I have been able to figure out via research. This approach goes for minimizing the number of reverb plugin instances to conserve RAM/CPU.

  1. Setup your Surround preferences in Edit > Preferences
  2. Create your Surround Bus. Output to Master (for stereo listening/output)
  3. Create two Convo Reverb AUX Busses
    1. Map your reverb spaces to the 5.1 output space
      1. Put the FF (front) reverb settings on one - route it to Surround bus and set the 5.1 Panner to be FL and FR
      2. Put the RR (rear) reverb settings on the other - route it to Surround bus and set the 5.1 Panner to be RL and RR
  4. Create a bus for each sectional stem Bus (Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, etc)
    1. Output goes to Surround Bus
    2. Use 5.1 Panner to place section in the space as desired
    3. Set up your Reverb -
      1. Up the send to the FF reverb if section the more it is near the front
      2. Lower the send to the FF reverb the more it is near the front
    4. Do similar for Rear
  5. Create instruments and output them to the appropriate stem bus

My questions:

  1. It seems odd to have to map the reverb a second time - almost redoing what surround panner does AND/OR what the original sound designers did when they recorded the impulses.  What am I not understanding here?
  2. Convo reverb plugin doesn't have a Center impulse recording position. Does Cakewalk generate that based on the Surround panning of each track automagically?
  3. EW Spaces (and maybe other convo reverb plugins?) has actual instrument-specific impulses. How would you use those with the Surround Bus? One send for every instrument, then map the surround output to the same location that the impulses were recorded (approximately)?
Edited by Jesse Wolfe
adjusted question to reflect information available in Cakewalk documentation on Surround mixing and buses.

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