SoundCode for Dolby Digital is a plug-in suite that provides Pro Tools users with a complete set of tools for working with Dolby Digital audio. The suite includes an Encoder and Decoder plug-in. The Encoder features faster-than-real-time AudioSuite encoding, outputs TimeCode and supports BSI Extensions for working with Dolby Surround EX encoded audio.
The Decoder enables you to import AC3 bitstreams into the timeline, and provides tools for simulating decoding, with dynamic compression, downmixing and listening modes to simulate various consumer listening environments.
- The encoder is implemented as an AudioSuite plug-in. Open the plug-in window by selecting it from the AudioSuite menu in Pro Tools. The plug-in is located in the Sound Field category.
- The user interface is divided into two sections. The ENCODE section controls the metadata and preprocessing settings used by the encoder. These settings can be saved as presets using the Pro Tools plug-in preset features. The OUTPUT section controls how and where the encoded data will be written. These control settings cannot be saved as presets. Instead, these control settings are persistent and are saved in a preferences file that is read when the plug-in window is opened. When the window is closed, the current settings are saved to the preferences file. The preferences file is associated with the currently logged in user of the computer. Each user account has a separate preferences file.
- The decoder plug-in operates as a real time RTAS orHTDM plug-in or as a non-real time AudioSuite plugin. The plug-in types are located in the Sound Field category of Pro Tools lists of plug-ins. Open the AudioSuite plug-in window by selecting it from the AudioSuite menu in Pro Tools. Pro Tools 7.0 and later has these real time RTAS types: stereo-to-mono, stereo-tostereo, and stereo-to-5.1. Open them by clicking a Pro Tools channel insert and navigating the RTAS multchannel popup menu. Pro Tools 6.9 has these real time HTDM types: stereo-to-mono, stereo-to-stereo, and stereo-to-5.1.
- Open them by clicking a Pro Tools channel insert and navigating the TDM multchannel popup menu. The plug-in is not available in the multi-mono list.
SoundCode for Dolby Digital Workflows
- Mix For DVD Video. In this scenario, you are mixing the audio soundtrack for a DVD and need to deliver a Dolby Digital AC3 file for a DVD.
- Quality Assurance Test A Dolby Digital File. In this scenario, you would like to listen to an AC3 file synchronized to Pro Tools video playback.
- Decoding Audio From A DVD Player. In this scenario, you would like to listen to a DVD decoded for playback in your Pro Tools system or monitor its metadata. For example, you are mixing the audio soundtrack for a DVD and you want to compare your mix to one on a popular DVD. Another example is that you have burned a DVD with a Dolby Digital soundtrack and you want to listen to it on your Pro Tools system. The SoundCode decoder makes it easy to decode and listen to a Dolby Digital DVD in your Pro Tools system. This is done by connecting the optical or SPDIF output of a consumer DVD player to a Pro Tools digital input. The stereo bitstream is then routed to a stereo Aux track. A SoundCode Dolby Digital Decoder is placed on the aux track and decodes the audio.
- Deliver A Dolby Digital Bitstream Via an AES Out. In this scenario, you would like to output a Dolby Digital AC3 file to a Pro Tools AES, SPDIF, or Optical output. This is accomplished by importing an AC3 file into a stereo track, routing the track to a digital output using the non-dithered mixer, and pressing play on the Pro Tools transport.
- Make A DVD Ref Disk. In this scenario, you would like to make a DVD to watch and listen to it on various consumer playback systems. This is done by encoding an AC3 file and then using it with DVD authoring software to make a DVD.
- Make A Surround Audio CD Ref Disk. In this scenario, you would like to listen to a surround music mix on a consumer playback system that has a Dolby Digital decoder. This is done by encoding a WAV file, burning an audio CD with the WAV file on it, connecting a consumer CD/DVD player’s digital bitstream output to a Dolby Digital decoder, and playing the CD with CD/DVD player.