ADVANCED MIXING MATRIX SURROUND SOUND

WITH AN ORDINARY 4-TO-10-SUBGROUP MIXER


UniQuad HOW THIS WORKS:

This method of mixing matrixed surround sound uses the pan positions and phases used in real surround sound systems. This list shows how the methods handle the signals:

Several matrix encoding systems exist, but many are no longer used. They include:

An SQ decoder can be connected to encode SQ for either the front pair or the back pair. Two identical SQ decoders can be connected as a full SQ encoder. Do not use two different models of SQ decoder


CHOOSING A RECORDING SYSTEM:

With the details on how the systems work, it becomes clearer how to add such a feature to a recording setup. Several setups are outlined on the following page. Choose what capabilities fit your needs and budget:

Click here for: Choosing an Encoding System

If you need nothing but RM, click here for: Basic Mixing Matrix Surround Sound


CONSTRUCTING THE ENCODING CIRCUITS:

Click here for: Building Matrix Surround Sound Encoders


FLIPPING BETWEEN GROUPS:

To FLIP the channel assign selection between groups is necessary to select either FRONT or BACK encoding positions, but not both. This procedure assumes that either the FRONT group or the BACK group is already assigned. The FLIP operation consists of deselecting one group, and simultaneously assigning the other. This is easy to do with most mixers:


SETTING UP THE CONTROLS:

  1. Assign the RM FRONT, RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK subgroups or returns and the AP RETURN to the RM FRONT or MAIN output, depending on the mixer used.
    Note: On the Special Mackies, the AP RETURN must be assigned to the RM BACK for it to work right).
  2. If stereo inputs are used for the RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK RETURNs, center the BALANCE controls and assign them to RM FRONT.
  3. If two mono channels are used for each of the RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK RETURNs, set the left one's PAN control all the way left, and the right one's PAN control all the way right. Assign them to RM FRONT.
  4. If channel strips are used for the RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK RETURNs, turn all aux sends on the strips all the way down.
  5. Center the BALANCE or PAN control of the AP RETURN (if used).
  6. If you can, set the RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK SUB OUTs to unity gain.
  7. If you can, set the RM BACK, SQ FRONT and SQ BACK RETURNs to unity gain (This is also the SUB OUT fader if inserts are used).
  8. Connect a sound source to one of the channel inputs. For this setup, monitor in stereo, not surround.
  9. Turn the channel strip's AUX SEND all the way down.
  10. Mute (or fade down) the AP RETURN.
  11. Assign the source's channel input to the RM FRONT (if not used, assign SQ FRONT) group and adjust the TRIM, channel fader, and MAIN fader for good sound level.
  12. Turn the PAN control of the sound source all the way LEFT.
  13. FLIP (see procedure above) the source's channel from the FRONT group to the corresponding BACK group. The sound level should not change. If it does change, adjust the BACK OUT fader pair and the ENCODER RETURN (preferably one not calibrated for unity gain). Always set both BACK OUT faders to the same setting.
  14. FLIP (see procedure above) back and forth between FRONT and BACK. The level should not change as you switch the assignment.
  15. Repeat the above test with the source's PAN control all the way RIGHT.
  16. Repeat the entire sequence with the sound source for the remaining groups used, testing them against the FRONT pair originally used.
  17. Mark the settings of the various SUB OUTs and RETURNs on tape, so you can accurately set them again.
  18. Set up the Ultimate Pairs as RM encoders.
  19. Activate the surround decoder to be used, and repeat the sequence with the sound source, to make sure the sounds come from the correct speakers.

If you are not using the digital delay for overhead sounds, you are done with the adjustments. Otherwise, continue.

  1. Set the digital delay for a 15 millisecond delay.
  2. Assign the source's channel to the RM BACK (Note: For the AP function to work right on the Special Mackies, use FRONT instead).
  3. Mute (or fade down) the AP RETURN, and notice the sound level.
  4. Set the source's AUX SEND to unity gain.
  5. Mute (or fade down) the RM BACK and open the AP RETURN. Adjust the controls of the digital delay and the AP RETURN for the same level noticed earlier. (On the Special Mackies, this is impossible to do. Instead, try to adjust the AP RETURN so it gives the same amount of sound as the FRONT output from the channel.)
  6. Alternately open either the RM BACK or AP RETURN (with the other closed) to get the same sound level from both.
  7. Mark the settings on the digital delay and AP RETURN controls with tape, so you can accurately set them again.

USING THE RM / DS ENCODER:

Here is a sample mixer with settings used for various RM pan positions:

The label on the mixer I designed this diagram from says LEV (level) instead of FADER, possibly because it has rotary faders. I preserved it in the diagram. The mixer has a 2+2 bus.


USING RM / DS ACROPERIPHONY:


USING THE RM / DS SINGLE SQ ENCODER FOR SQ:


USING THE SINGLE SQ ENCODER WITH NO RM:

Use the same procedure used for the RM/DS SINGLE SQ ENCODER.

Here is a sample mixer with settings used for various SQ pan positions:

This mixer has a 2+2 bus


USING THE SWITCHED RM / DS OR DOUBLE SQ ENCODER FOR RM OR SQ:


USING THE RM / DS DOUBLE SQ ENCODER FOR SQ:

Here is a sample mixer with settings used for various Double SQ pan positions:


USING THE DOUBLE SQ ENCODER WITH NO RM:

Use the same procedure used for the RM / DS DOUBLE SQ ENCODER. Note that acroperiphonic is not available.


USING THE RM / DS SINGLE, DOUBLE, OR SWITCHED SQ ENCODER FOR SQ ACROPERIPHONIC:


USING THE RM / DS DOUBLE OR SWITCHED SQ ENCODER FOR RM ACROPERIPHONIC:


USING ANY OF THE SQ SYSTEMS FOR CIRCLESURROUND:


USING THE RM / DS DOUBLE SQ ENCODER FOR 3D RM:


USING EITHER DOUBLE SQ ENCODER FOR THE BASIC MATRIX OF UMX:


USING SETS OF ULTIMATE ENCODER PAIRS:


TABLES OF MODULATIONS:

TABLE OF DIRECTIONS
LETTER SOUND DIRECTION LETTER SOUND DIRECTION LETTER SOUND DIRECTION
L To the left C‡ Centered R To the right
F To the front C‡ Centered B To the back
Z To the zenith (up) C‡ Centered N To the nadir (down)
(LR)(FB)(ZN) Order of use

‡ Omitted if other letters present.

TABLE OF MODULATIONS AND DIRECTIONS
SIGNALS DIRECTIONS
LETTER MODULATION RM SQ UMX
L Left channel L LF L
R Right channel R RF R
I In phase F F C
O Out of phase B B
K Koino−clockwise N LB F
A Anti−clockwise Z RB B
? Any on pan pot ? ? ?
(LR)(IO)(KA) Order of use
TABLE OF PAN POSITIONS
CHANNEL
ASSIGN
MATRIX
SELECT
PAN
L
PAN
C
PAN
R
RM FRONT RM L I R
RM BACK RM L O R
SQ FRONT SQ any but B−O L I R
SQ BACK SQ 4−C or B−O K O A
SQ BACK SQ F−O or DGS K I A
SQ FRONT SQ B−O L O R
TABLE OF SURROUND RECORDING PAN SETTINGS
S
Y
S
CHANNEL
STRIP #1
CHANNEL
STRIP #2
MATRIX
SELECT
CONTROL
IN USE
CONTROL
POSITION
1 2 3 4 5 CONTROL
POSITION
R
M
RM FRONT (none) RM Pan pot #1 Pan Left L LF F RF R Pan Right
RM BACK (none) RM Pan pot #1 Pan Left L LB B RB R Pan Right
R
M
 
3
D
SQ BACK†† SQ 4−C NORMAL Pan pot #1 Pan Left N NB B ZB Z Pan Right
SQ BACK†† (none) SQ F−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left N NF F ZF Z Pan Right
RM any pan† SQ BACK pan left SQ †††† Cross Fade RM any pan RM −− RM N −− N SQ BACK
RM any pan† SQ BACK pan right SQ †††† Cross Fade RM any pan RM −− RM Z −− Z SQ BACK
S
Y
S
CHANNEL
STRIP #1
CHANNEL
STRIP #2
MATRIX
SELECT
CONTROL
IN USE
CONTROL
POSITION
1 2 3 4 5 CONTROL
POSITION
S
Q
SQ FRONT (none) SQ any but B−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left LF −− F −− RF Pan Right
SQ BACK†† (none) SQ 4−C Pan pot #1 Pan Left LB −− B −− RB Pan Right
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan left SQ F−O or B−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT LF −− L −− LB SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan right SQ F−O or B−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT RF −− R −− RB SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan right SQ DGS Cross Fade SQ FRONT LF −− C −− RB SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan left SQ DGS Cross Fade SQ FRONT RF −− C −− LB SQ BACK
S
Y
S
CHANNEL
STRIP #1
CHANNEL
STRIP #2
MATRIX
SELECT
CONTROL
IN USE
CONTROL
POSITION
1 2 3 4 5 CONTROL
POSITION
U
M
X
 
B
M
X
SQ FRONT (none) SQ any but B−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left L −− C −− R Pan Right
SQ BACK†† (none) SQ F−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left F −− C −− B Pan Right
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan left SQ F−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT L −− LF −− F SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan left SQ F−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT R −− RF −− F SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan right SQ F−O or DGS ††† Cross Fade SQ FRONT L −− LB −− B SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan right SQ F−O or DGS ††† Cross Fade SQ FRONT R −− RB −− B SQ BACK
TABLE OF SURROUND RECORDING MODULATIONS
S
Y
S
CHANNEL
STRIP #1
CHANNEL
STRIP #2
MATRIX
SELECT
CONTROL
IN USE
CONTROL
POSITION
1 2 3 4 5 CONTROL
POSITION
S
I
G
N
A
L
S
RM FRONT (none) RM Pan pot #1 Pan Left L LI I RI R Pan Right
RM BACK (none) RM Pan pot #1 Pan Left L LO O RO R Pan Right
SQ FRONT (none) SQ any but B−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left L LI I RI R Pan Right
SQ BACK†† (none) SQ 4−C Pan pot #1 Pan Left K OK O OA A Pan Right
SQ BACK†† (none) SQ DGS or F−O Pan pot #1 Pan Left K IK I IA A Pan Right
RM FRONT any pan SQ BACK any pan SQ 4−C Cross Fade RM FRONT ?I −− C −− ?O SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan left SQ F−O or B−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT L −− LK −− K SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan right SQ F−O or B−O Cross Fade SQ FRONT R −− RA −− A SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan left SQ BACK pan right SQ DGS Cross Fade SQ FRONT L −− LA −− A SQ BACK
SQ FRONT pan right SQ BACK pan left SQ DGS Cross Fade SQ FRONT R −− RK −− K SQ BACK

4−C = 4−Corner, DGS = Diagonal Split, F−O is Forward−Oriented, B−O is Backward−Oriented.

† Use either RM FRONT or RM BACK, for any pan position around the RM periphery. See the Table of Pan Positions.
    If using Ultimate Encoder Pairs, SQ Forward−Oriented FRONT and SQ Backward−Oriented FRONT work better.

†† This could be Channel Strip #2 if a pair is needed for other positions.

††† Best to use Forward−Oriented SQ if available. Diagonal SQ is second best.

†††† Best is Forward−Oriented SQ for front half, Backward−Oriented SQ for back half. Use Diagonal Split if Forward and/or Backward are not available.


If 10 buses are available, all encoders except acroperiphonic are possible. Use SQ Front, SQ B−O Front, SQ DGS Back, SQ F−O Back, and SQ B−O Back.


Links:

  1. QUADRAPHONIC AND SURROUND INDEX PAGE
  2. Encoding Surround Sound With Your Mixer
  3. Phlazex Surround Encoder
  4. UniQuad UQ-1A Quadraphonic Decoder
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