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How was V.I in converting stereo

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Friday, November 2, 2018 Under: General
Hey all!

Years ago, we had an LG sound system. 5.1 to be precise. What baffled me is that it only had a stereo input, yet when that thing gave out it's 5.1, whoah! It sounded so beautiful and full. I luvd the sound that came from that system, until...

Yes, until thunder struck it and that was the end of the awesome sound it produced... hahahaha. I remember putting on some music DVD's I had with a 5.1 mix and sitting square center in the living room floor to just take it in! It was so phenomenal.

Somehow, it understood from the basic signal it got, what to do with stereo to make it work and it did a phenomenal job of it. Being in a situation with Exodus where I simply can't do a custom mix, I need help and that was where I left you guys with the last post - me downloading and trying V.I's plugin's. Steven Thomson wrote them.

So, this week, I did get to try them out on Exodus' audio and I was blown away by the quality of the conversion. It is by no means a true 5.1, but you know what, your average person won't be able to tell and, it sounds much much better than the realtime filling of speakers done by an AMP or sound card. I'm sure there are higher end cards that may be able to do a better job on the fly, but this was just stunning!!!

 - What about 5.1?

Well, I have a few issues with 5.1 as well as being a total fanboy of as many speakers as can be fit, hahaha. I'd like to illustrate it with a few examples.

Whenever you have more speakers around your audience, you can add more of a sense of action and space.
 - Plane flying over from behind (you can hear it coming from behind you)
 - Someone walking into a room behind you (you can even tell where the door is)
 - Echo in a music hall (you feel much more immersed in the reverb)

You can use this to great effect even with music, where you have something like a warp sound effect that can circle the audience or simply pass from before them to behind them or over, or whatever. There is another dimension added whenever you get to give your audience more useful information about the surroundings you are presenting to them.

(PS, I really don't like the idea or logistics of smell as part of a movie package... That's one dimension that can be left off - tactile and VR can be fun though)

 - Is it worth it?

To me, absolutely! The difference between just having two full-range speakers and having a 5.1 surround system - you can't even really compare the two... While both sound good, 5.1 sounds better! And, like I said, you get to give your audience a much more immersive experience.

 - Why does he warn of damage to equipment?

This is one I found extremely interesting. I didn't fully get it, until I actually tried it and here is the interesting part - it can cause damage to your system because it can have your equipment receive pulses that are too strong or it can send pulses to your speakers that are too strong. He strongly advises that you have a limiter on these plug-ins that cap their output and I think that is a very very wise idea. They often do generate signals stronger than ending at 0db and that does mean you need to normalize before export. The signal basically overextends the reach of the range of the speaker, which can cause tearing and rupture and of course, overload on other components like IC's in the AMP - possibly even regardless of sound level, so if you do use this, do normalize or limit - you have been warned at least three times now, haha.

 - What about the edit? Does Blender even support audio at that level?

I'm not to jazzed about this part... Blender does support 5.1, but only 5, tbh and even that is limited. For example, tonight I wanted to test out Blender's real-time panning (as in pre-export) to see if it works and it does, BUT, there is a problem. When it comes to the surround speakers, Blender does not pan. In fact, it just moves backward and centers, which is really unfortunate, but it's one of those things.

It also does not support an LFE (Low Frequency Effects) channel - basically the sub. I understand this, as some people prefer to have their system do bass management, but honestly, I want my bass to be perfect when it goes out. I don't want people to have to use their own system's version (their choice, but shouldn't a professional mix be professional?).

Another beef I have with 5.1 is the sound levels of some of the speakers. The surround speakers are often too quiet (very underused in my limited experience) and the setting up of it takes some technical know-how of how it should sound and work. I get it, but it does sometimes make things hard when your system isn't really cooperating. For example, I have a stunning 7.1 card, but windows doesn't see it like that. It sees a stereo sound card and I was not happy. No matter what I did I could not get it to give me 5.1. I eventually switched to the on-board sound and sure enough, there I got true 5.1 (after room correction - awesome feature btw RealTek - not sponsored).

All this into consideration means that Blender will not be the tool in which I do a final 5.1 mix. Nope! I will certainly use Blender to facilitate one with additional sounds for the surround speakers - GOD willing, but beyond that, V.I will be handling the conversion. It sounds absolutely incredible and I can recommend it with a clean conscience.

For the final edit, I'll be producing the highest quality stereo I can in Blender (with those extra details for the surround) and export that for conversion in Audacity and from there to whatever format the LORD leads (most likely with some form of muxxing).

So, again, here is the link:

Use at own risk! :D

Biggest thanx to GOD for helping us with this. Without HIM, none of this would be possible! :D

Know JESUS yet? GOD is reaching out to you through these videos. HE loves you more than you can imagine and wants you to know HIM. Not because HE's lonely, but because HE loves you and paid a heavy price to enable you to go to Heaven, where HE is. See, we all have sinned in some way shape or form. That makes us guilty before GOD. If you have ever said that you hated someone, in GOD's standard, you have committed murder (James 4). If you've ever looked on a person with lustful thinking, you've already committed fornication with them in your heart and you are then guilty of sexual impurity. If you were to face GOD on judgement day, saying: "I was a good person" will be a void argument, just like it would be before a human judge. GOD knew that we would have to pay that penalty and that we could not pay it, even if we tried, but sent JESUS to pay the price for us. Your sins were put on HIM and the forgiveness that is there for you was by no means cheap - the cross was not padded and comfortable, neither was the death.
But, HE was raised up on the third day (after being crucified) and finished the work so that we may enter through HIM paying the penalty we were supposed to pay, but it is only valid for you, if you accept it and live for HIM.
If that is you today, please, follow this prayer:
"JESUS, I believe that YOU are real and I believe YOU died for me and was raised on the third day for me. Please forgive me for my many sins. I make YOU the LORD of my life, full time and to fill me with YOUR HOLY SPIRIT. Teach me how to live for YOU, help me become what YOU have made me to be, in JESUS' Name! Amen!"

To find out more, you can check out this link:
It gives you access to free Bible translations, free teaching videos and more. Remember, this is a decision with eternal consequence, choose life, choose JESUS. :D

Have a great one!!!

Thank YOU!!!!!!

In : General 


Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  audio  progress  v.i  vst  audacity  conversion  stereo  5.1  audio  surround 

About Me


Marius Oberholster Hey all! I've been doing CG work full-time since 2011. GOD has been with me, supported me and taught me all the way. HE tells us to do all things as unto the LORD and that is my goal. I do whatever I believe the HOLY SPIRIT is leading me to do and it's not always easy, but it's always worth it to be obedient! JESUS is awesome!! If you don't know HIM yet, follow the link above!

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