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There is no one definitive method to mixing in Surround. Here will explore two different approaches to managing your Surround mix. Before we start mixing, we need to think about what elements of the mix we want to hear all around the room. We need to make some decisions. There are two different methods to set up your workflow. The first is to simply decide which tracks you want to put in Surround and assign them that way. In this project, we will go to Mixer window. Let's say we wanted to make the steel, the bridge be a track and sculpture track all go into Surround. You can select all three tracks with Shift.
Select the steel, hold Shift, select the bridge bea, select sculpture and now we can change one of their outputs to Surround. Output > Surround. Notice all three tracks went into Surround. You could also put all tracks into Surround and go from there. This is okay to do as well, but sometimes it's beneficial to keep a handful of tracks in conventional stereo and choose only some go out to the surround speakers. You probably won't be needing every track to go to all of your surround speakers. This method also allows you to hard assign tracks to specific speakers of the 5.1 Matrix.
For example, maybe I want the guitar to come out only the Center channel. If we go to our global preferences for second, Preferences > Audio under the I/O Assignments, you can recall that in our 5.1 Surround Matrix if we have the ITU button checked, the Center channel is output 3. So, that way, if I want to guitar to go out Center only, I can go into its Output here and choose Output > Mono > Output 3. That way, I don't even need to panner at all, but the whole signal will be going out just the center speaker.
Also, this method makes it so you don't lose your stereo panning. You may have work hard on the stereo panning on a mix earlier that you did in stereo. Since you don't put every track in Surround, you won't lose all those pannings that you carefully worked on. Okay, let's return all these tracks to stereo. The other way to set up your surround mix is to make some auxiliary tracks in Surround and to use them as Master Surround Buses. Let's make two new auxiliary tracks. Go up to your Options menu in the Mix window and choose Create New Auxiliary Channel Strips.
Here we are going to make two Aux tracks. For Format, we will leave it on Stereo. The Input will be in Stereo. The Output, let's choose Surround. These tracts will be able to take in a Stereo input and convert it to Surround on their Output. Then we have two tracks. Select the first one and we will name it surround. We are naming it this because this track is only going to talk to our left and right surround speakers. Let's go into our panner and adjust the pan so it only goes to those two speakers. We are also going to change our Input to Bus 1.
On the next track, we are going to call this sub/lfe. This is our subwoofer, or Low Frequency Effects track. For this panner, we are going double-click it to open it. I am going to turn up the LFT Level all the way to 0. And we are going to deselect all the speakers in the matrix. That way, this track will only be talking to our subwoofer LFP channel. We are also going to insert an EQ on this track. This is going to be a special type of EQ called High Cut and it's going to allow us to cut out all the high frequencies so we are only getting the low frequencies that we are going to be using in our LFE.
We move down the slider until we get to 200 Hz. I have to manually type in. So, I will double-click here, type in 100. That way we are only getting sound below 100 Hz. All the low sound only is going to this channel. Let's put the input of this channel to Bus 2. Let's Option+Click these faders so they go to unity. Now we are going to make one more Aux track. Go into Options > Create New Auxiliary Channel Strips. This is going to be a Mono Input track, but its Output will still be Surround.
Click Create and we will double- click to name this track Center. This track is only going to talk to our center speaker. Double-click on the panner and deselect all the other speakers besides the center speaker, and we will move the puck right up to the middle. Let's make this track's Input Bus 3. Let me Option+Click on this fader as well to send it to unity. Now we can send any track we want to these three are Aux tracks and then that portion of the sound can go out to different aspects of our surround.
It can go just to our surround speakers. It can go just to the sub or it can go just to the center. For example, if I wanted to send some of the steel track to our Surround channels, it not only will I still go out stereo like it is now, but I can make a Send and put it on Bus 1. Now I have an independent level control over how much this track is going to the surrounds. If I want to make the main guitar go out the center speaker as well as a stereo outputs, I can put it on Bus 3 for its Send.
That way, I can have a control of how much it is talking to the center speaker and for the bass guitar I can send a little bit of this to the subwoofer to get that low-energy. On its Send, I might want to go to Bus 2 and turn up the Send for this so I can put some of that sound into the subwoofer. It's common to mix in surround and also want to hear a stereo mix while you're mixing. Often mix engineers like to switch back and forth between the surround mix and the stereo down mix, as it's called, when they work.
To do this, go to your Master output track. In the Channel Strips settings here, we have some Surround Downmix options. Let's choose 5.1 Stereo 01. You can see some plug-ins got loaded up on the Channel Strip. Double-click on the Down Mix plug- in and this shows us this is the Down Mixer from 5.1 To Stereo. What's happening here is when the plug -in is on, it's converting any Surround 5.1 mixing to Stereo. If I want to go back to hearing all the surround mix, I bypass the plug-in.
This lets us turn it on and off at any time during mixing to see how our 5.1 Mix is translating over Stereo. These are two different workflows for surround mixing. Each has its own benefits. You should decide which works best for you when you want to use Logic's surround mixing capabilities.
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