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recording. The SPS-200 uses equally high-quality capsules, but there is no heater on board. We also have the high-end DSF-1 Digital Performance Microphone System that is tailored for high-end orchestral and classical performance capture which includes a microphone and processor. What makes SoundField upmixing different from other upmix solutions out there? The first thing we need to state is that a SoundField upmixed audio track is based on a completely adaptive algorithm. The newly-released X-1 unit is constantly analyzing the incoming stereo signal and, based on that information, making decisions on how to create a phase coherent upmix. One really important aspect is that our upmixing algorithm takes all surround information only from the existing stereo track. If the audio is not in the stereo material, it will not appear in the 5.1 version. We specifically do not add things such as reverbs or similar. We take the stereo material, left and right, and we split it between direct sound and ambient sound; that ambiance is what we use to build up our 5.1 mix. Another very important feature of our upmix is that we stay true to the original stereo image. That means when I’m sitting in the sweet spot, the front image should stay the same. If anything it should be a little better because now there is a hard center, so if a mix engineer moves around in the surround field, the commentary will stay anchored at center/front. So our 5.1 out-of-the-box neutral settings create a very natural ambience extension. Another important feature is the simplicity of operation. We have five parameter controls for our B-Format audio and yet can still create any kind of upmix anyone would ever want – it’s this easy-to-operate principal that makes the device a must for any OB truck or Broadcast studio. What is the difference between your upmix products and what applications are they best suited? The UPM-1 is a live production stereo to 5.1 upmix-only unit. What that means is it has physical controls for each of the parameters on the front panel, so it’s very easy to navigate, very easy to control in a live situation. We developed the X-1 as a software- driven unit without any controls on the front panel to handle both upmix and downmix situations, so it’s more of a set-and-forget-type box. The control software of the X-1 can connect via Ethernet or USB and allows an engineer to create any number of pre-sets to fit individual needs. Once the X-1 is set up, presets can be triggered or GPIO activated, so an engineer can forget about the unit. For live situations, the upmix parameters can be changed from the control application in real time. The X-1 has eight AES audio channels in and out to allow for real-time switching between stereo and 5.1 source material. For example, if a program and attendant advertisements are in stereo, the X-1 senses that and will automatically upmix to 5.1. If, however, the next program is in 5.1, the X-1 will know that and pass through the 5.1 signal, then commence the upmix process again for, say, a locally-produced ad. The output is always a consistent, phase coherent 5.1 signal. very unique SoundField downmixer on board. We can do all of the standard downmix formats, such as LoRo, which is what we really need to use in order to verify or automate a downmix on the consumer end, and LtRt, which is a matrix downmixer. The X-1 also has a few unique features, such as Adaptive EQ and Ambience Mode, which give significant improvements to downmixing and related features no one else has. The Adaptive EQ will monitor the 5.1 that goes into the downmixer and it will look for any signs of frequency coloration due to phasing or something like that. If the downmix compatibility isn’t 100-percent, it will detect that and correct the stereo downmix accordingly, yielding an open sounding original intent stereo image. The next difference between the X-1 and other downmixing products is the unique and powerful Ambience Mode. One of the biggest challenges with downmixing to stereo is dealing with the ambiance properly for a balanced stereo result. If you take a football game, maybe you want a downmix with the ambience at -12dB behind the stereo field for proper balancing. If the next program after the game is an action movie where a fighter jet “flies through” the room from back to front, or where primary effects are only heard in the surround speakers, you may not want a -12dB drop. With Ambience Mode, an engineer can set two downmix parameters, one for the ambient sound of the surround channels and one for the direct sound of the surround channels where a -3dB might be more appropriate. Pieter Schillebeeckx is Product Manager of TSL Professional Products Ltd.’s SoundField Surround Sound Microphones and Processors. A big difference between other solutions out there is that we have a TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 77 MAY 2013 | 55 TV-BAY077MAY13.indd 55 02/05/2013 21:18