Delivering Multi-Channel Audio From Resolve

Delivering Multi-Channel Audio From Resolve

September 5, 2015

Resolve is a capable finishing tool not just for video but for audio as well. In this Insight, learn how to configure multi-channel output


Remarry Mixes & Get Setup For Easy Output

For many colorists, finishing graphics, titles, & audio are tasks that someone else in the finishing pipeline completes.

But for many of us ‘jack-of-all-trades’ types, it’s a daily occurrence to complete other finishing tasks – including properly marrying audio mixes back with our grades and outputting final files.

I’ve been fortunate for the past 5 years to share space with a top-notch audio finishing company called OttHouse Audio, and we work on many projects as a team.

So for me, nearly every day I’m getting surround, stereo, and other audio stems to remarry back to a project’s final picture.

In the past, I handled this remarry post color render – meaning that I would remarry audio in an NLE like Premiere Pro, FCP or Avid.

But for the past few versions of Resolve (and R12 is highly advanced in its audio capabilities), I’ve been doing this work without leaving the app.

There are a couple of steps that need to get configured so in this Insight I want to show you how.

Similar To Premiere Pro

If you have ever remarried and delivered multi-channel audio in Premiere Pro then you’ll feel right at home doing these tasks in Resolve.

The audio configuration, as well as look & feel of audio in Resolve, is very similar to that of Premiere Pro.

This includes track types – mono, stereo, 5.1 and adaptive, as well as how the mixer outputs channels in pairs.

As I’ll show you in the movie, my preferred method involves setting up track types and using the mixer to direct tracks to an appropriate output.

However, there are multiple ways to handle multi-channel output – including using 5.1 interleaved tracks (instead of discreet channels like I show) or by using adaptive tracks which I personally find to be a little convoluted and more meant for handling multi-channel sources, not output like I often need to do.

Regardless, there are a few steps to get set up, but once you do them than any time you need to output multi-channel audio will be a breeze.

Question or additional thoughts please use the comments below

– Robbie

P.S. I realized when editing this Insight that I didn’t need to keep coming back up to the workspace menu (twice!) to open up the audio (track) mixer.  I could have instead used the handy button on the timeline.  Sorry about that!  Still learning R12!

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Comments

19 thoughts on “Delivering Multi-Channel Audio From Resolve”

  1. that is basically the same thing as in v11 :(. i would like to chose how resolve renders the audio (eg if i put in 6 mono tracks it will automatically render 5.1, or did at least in V11).

    1. yes that’s true nothing has changed with R12 as far as what I was showing – we just realized we’ve never done an Insight havin anything to do with audio! So it was about time.

      I’m not sure I follow you on the second part – you’re saying that v11 automatically rendered a correct discrete surround setup? I’m not sure how that would have been possible

  2. What is going on w the Center channel & LFE in terms of panning? ? It appears you are panning them, but I wanted to confirm why. Thanks Robbie! Was wondering about this topic the other day

    1. the center is just panned like the other tracks since in a standard smpte setup its track 3 its panned hard left.

      Remember, panning in this context DOES NOT mean the same the thing as panning around in a stereo sound stage. The panning in what I show in the movie is simply a way to route or direct audio to one specific channel as resolve can only output to pars 1+2 etc. SO hard left is odd channels, hard right is even channels

      1. Why not to use adaptive and then select channel number you want to map it ? I’m trying to do 10 channel mix like this now. As all are mono tracks and you do not need to pan?
        Was stuck with timeline channel numbers but your video showed me nicely that master track number solves this. Thanks!

  3. Interesting insight Robbie ! I have a quick question : let’s say I have to render out a DCP with Resolve using the easyDCP plugin, can I use this method to output a multi-channel audio mix ? Will it play correctly in the theater ?

    1. Florian – as I posted above – my sincere apologies for the 7 month delay on this thread! For some reason this entire thread was in a moderation folder deep in Disqus that I wasn’t aware of.

      Short answer – is yes along as you’re using a DCP authoring tool lie EASY DCP, The method I show, as well as the updated method that Michael refers to above – and I use now as well, simply lets you create a master file with 6 discreet mono channels – but that as you probably know does not place content into a DCP package.

  4. Hey Robbie, is there a reason not to have mono tracks in your mixer using the channel assign button?
    I’m also wondering whether I could get a correctly mixed DCP out of this – so far I’ve only dared make stereo DCPs in the plugin and do the 5.1 in the full version of easyDCP

    1. Michael – I’m SO SO SORRY for not having responded earlier. You’re probably well past this question. But my sincere apologies – for some reason this entire thread was in Disqus moderation and I have not idea why – I just found this crazy hidden folder in the Disqus admin moments ago.

      Your 1000% percent right. 6 months later this is now the way I do it in Resolve. Although I should note that both methods are still valid. If I remember correctly, the channel assign button at the time of the recording didn’t work in the same way. Regardless the whole pan left for odd channel, right for even channel thing is not necessary now that you can simple direct assign to an individual channel.

  5. Hi Robbie. Question. I’m following this exactly. However, do I need a stereo mix to be added with all the other channels as you’ve done, or can I do a 5.1 mix without a stereo file added? A bit confused as I haven’t seen anyone adding a stereo mix to Dolby before.

    1. I’m so sorry for not responding earlier! For some reason this entire thread – including MIchael’s comment below was in a Discus moderation. No you don’t need the stereo – I just often have the need to do stereo + plus surround for broadcast deliverables – for a DCP etc you obviously would only need the surround tracks.

  6. Hi Robbie. The setup for this is a bit different in the new version, Resolve 14. Are the same mapping possibilities there and just hidden? Or does it all happen in Fairlight now?

    1. Hi Stephen –

      Indeed its totally different! In fact right now it doesn’t work at all R14 Beta4! Because of the Fairlight integration hardly any of the audio routing capabilities work (read non of them). Once the Fairlight stuff is better integrated this is tutorial is at the top of my list to redo as it’s something I get asked about all the time!

      1. Hi Robbie. Any update on this since 14.3? At the recent BMD conference I caught the presentation by Mary Plummer where she showed how to use the “link” function in the Fairlight page. However, in my recent tests the resulting exports are +3dB (or more) hotter than the source files even though no manual change was made to the levels in Resolve. Any chance you can lean on someone at BMD to sort this out and create a simple reliable workflow for us all to follow when we are mastering out of Resolve from mono mixed stems? Thanks!

        1. So I’ve been plotting how to handle this issue(s). I say that plural because there are things at play – monitoring surround stems that you’d get from a dedicated sound mixer, outputting those stems correctly and finally mixing in Resolve and routing correctly to surround tracks.

          In my my own work its the first two that are largely at play, but I realize many are using Resolve as a mix tool.

          Here’ s my (current ) plan to release over the next couple weeks

          1. Show how to output stems received from a mixer properly
          2. Setup multi-channel/surround monitoring in Resolve

          I’m not sure that I’ll personally attack surround from a mix done in Resolve – we have some plans to do an entire series on Fairlight with a contributor.

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