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Even in the context of a new full surround mix, in which the downmix will not be directly related to a single upmixed audio source, it is still an important requirement to deliver a down-mixed track free from unnatural- sounding delay and phase artefacts. but it remains to be seen how and if object audio will be fully established in practice. Finally, there is the consideration of loudness. International standards now regulate the loudness of audio for television delivery across the world, and cinema sound is now moving towards similar recommended practices. This raises a The upmix process also needs to be potential problem, since a 7.1 original mix, flexible. Traditionally, the majority of 5.1 TV reversion, and stereo TV downmix of cinematic releases have used a 7.1 the same audio may not all have the same surround configuration, with a 5.1 loudness. This would not be a major issue configuration for TV. For film audio if each mix could be delivered discretely, engineers, a 7.1 upmix solution is perfectly because each mix could be normalised adequate; however, many freelance to loudness compliance with minor global engineers routinely offer services to both offsets – but this is not standard practice. the film and television industries and For many home listeners, as we’ve noted, therefore need greater upmix flexibility. For the 5.1 mix is delivered to the consumer those with an eye on the future, the advent STB where it is automatically downmixed of object audio offers an enticing 9.1 bed into stereo. To further confuse the situation, track, including additional information for the difference in loudness between the overhead loudspeaker arrays. According to surround and downmix version is not one manufacturer’s technical white paper, a constant value from one program to in theory an object-based mix, including another. Nor is the difference in loudness a 9.1 bed, can be automatically translated always in the same direction; it can be to 7.1, 5.1, and stereo formats — allowing louder or quieter for a number of different the audio professional to “author once, reasons. Plus, the high degree of centre optimise everywhere.” This has the potential channel dialogue isolation often demanded of introducing a universally translatable mix, for television broadcast can further exacerbate this loudness disparity. With a possible difference of several LU in either direction, in some situations we might see a re-introduction of loudness jumps from one program to the next simply due to differing loudness in the consumer downmix. It’s critically important to gain an understanding of this difference in loudness during the upmix if delivery specifications are to be met; yet little research or recommended practice is currently available on the matter. In summary, as much as any other aspect of audio production, upmixing now needs to be seen in the context of the “digital content everywhere” consumer revolution. Gone are the days of isolated production for a single playout scenario. Cinematic releases are routinely re-purposed for television, and premium television content broadcast in 5.1 is routinely downmixed into stereo and then further re-purposed for mobile listening. An understanding of these different processes and how the original mix will translate is an important part of the upmix decision if creative intent and consumer satisfaction are to be preserved throughout the distribution chain. Virtual Studios and Real-time 3D Graphics Systems, Services and Hire Green Screen Studio available for hire at Elstree Film Studios 6.7mtrs x 5.5 mtrs CG Production Services Design, Build, Data Acquisition, Control and Operate Services Technical Consultancy System Design Initial Planning Project Management Installation Services Training Emergency Maintenance Support Contracts Solutions Virtual Studios Augmented Reality News & Sports Elections Branding Finance Weather Entertainment Product Areas Real Time 3D Systems (Software & Hardware) Camera Systems Camera Robotics Lighting Blue & Green Screen Backdrops Compositing Devices Motion Capture Camera Tracking Storm Broadcast Ltd Elstree Film Studios Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1JG T +44 (0)845 500 66 44 STORM AD DEC 2015 1 21/12/15 11:42:21 KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 109 JANUARY 2016 | 59