Revisiting Multi-Channel Audio Output In DaVinci Resolve

September 26, 2016

Resolve users are often tasked with making final outputs.In this Insight, learn how to easily route multi-channel audio for output.


Making Multi-Channel Audio Outputs Is Easy!

A year or so ago (way back in Insight 368) I showed you how I handled making multi-channel audio outputs from Resolve.

In that Insight, I showed you how Resolve worked in a similar fashion to Adobe Premiere Pro when it came to outputting multi-channel audio.

Meaning, Resolve by default routes audio in pairs, and to get a correct output you had to pan odd tracks left, even tracks right.

While you can still work that way (many people do) when it comes to multi-channel audio output, there is another (easier) way to make this happen.

So, in this Insight, I’d like to revisit this topic again and show how to make multi-channel outputs in a slightly easier fashion from DaVinci Resolve.

Multi-Channel Audio?

Like many of you, when it comes to finishing a project I’m often asked to not just simply color a project, but to also remarry audio mixes and graphics.

I seldom, if ever, have to deal with editorial audio – meaning tracks of music, VO, camera audio, etc.  Instead, I usually receive mixes from our audio team ready for output.

These days those mixes usually comprise 6 or more mono files that make up the surround mix, a stereo mix of the entire show (usually an interleaved file) and sometimes other stems that a broadcaster or distribution company may want.

All I do is replace the temp mix that I get from an editor and lay the new mixes on a timeline.  Well, I wish it was that easy!

To make the output work correctly, there is some audio routing that needs to be done.

Routing In Pairs or Routing To Discrete Tracks

In my previous Insight on this subject, I showed you how Resolve by default routes in audio in track pairs – i.e. 1 +2, 3+4.

I also showed you how to get around this ‘limitation’ by panning tracks left for odd tracks and right for even tracks.

While many people still use the panning method, as far as I’m concerned, there is an easier method for routing tracks – especially for mono files that make up a surround mix.

In the movie below, I’ll show you quickly toggle between routing in pairs vs routing to discrete channels. By routing to discrete channels you can avoid the panning discussed in the previous Insight and make quick work of making a multi-channel output.


P.S. Thanks to Mixing Light contributor Rob Bessette for reminding me to do an update on this subject.

P.S.S. This routing feature is not new to Resolve 12.5, (although discrete channel output vs single on Output page is) however I’m not entirely sure which dot update of Resolve 12 the UI was updated to the current routing toggle button.  Member Michael pointed out this functionality a few months after I recorded the previous Insight.

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