Surround Sound support
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the few programs to support proper 5.1 surround sound editing and mixing.-You can even position your audio in “surround sound” and fly a clip around the room using the panning controls seen on the audio mixer above. If you already have a Surround sound clip you simply bring it into the program and it goes onto a surround sound audio track, keeping the mix intact. If you are only making a stereo edit then Premiere Pro will automatically mix the clip down to stereo.
In addition to CS6 you will need:
- The SurCode plug-in (approximately £200 and available ONLY direct from SurCode) You only need this to make Dolby 5.1 audio files to use on a DVD or Blu-ray disc. You can export surround sound to different files, such as MP4 files, as well as a 6 channel WAV.
- A decent sound card with ASIO drivers, or hardware like a Matrox MX02 or Black Magic device.
Once you have made the mix you will need to export it as a 5.1 Dolby digital file to put it onto a DVD or Blu-ray disc. Premiere cannot do this without adding an extra plug-in which can only be bought direct from the makers, SurCode. At the time of writing this the price for the plug-in is £179. Premiere Pro will let you try this plug-in 3 times, but you will have to buy it to carry on making Surround sound edits. You can export surround sound to a Windows media audio file, or an AAC audio file without buying the extra plug-in but neither of these is suitable for a DVD or Blu-ray disc. Adobe Encore will only encode audio to stereo Dolby digital, so even if you send a 5.1 timeline to Encore it will end up as a stereo timeline, not a 5.1 timeline.
This has been the same since Premiere Pro 1; when Premiere Pro 1 was released we could not make a surround sound mix from any other program. However now quite a few of the programs can actually output a surround sound mix without buying any extra plug-ins. Simple programs like Pinnacle Studio and Avid Studio, which cost about £100 will let you put a surround sound mix on a disc, Grass Valley EDIUS will not let you mix surround sound but will let you put it on to a DVD, and export a surround sound file for 5.1 Dolby digital. These programs tend to use a more "domestic" version of Dolby encoding where as the SurCode plug-in is a "professional" quality plug-in. Sony Vegas lets you both mix and create a 5.1 clip for your DVD, and even comes with a professional quality plug-in. It would be nice if Premiere Pro came with a free "domestic" plug-in to create surround sound mixes but the truth is it does not, so if you want to get a 5.1 mix on a DVD you have to pay the extra.
You also need the right kind of sound card. Even though most sound cards these days do have surround sound connections and can play 5.1 sound using programs like Windows Media player, Premiere Pro will only play surround sound using a card which has proper ASIO drivers. ASIO sound cards are not too expensive - some Asus cards are around £40 and a decent Soundblaster card is about £100. You do not actually need the sound card to create a Surround Sound mix - you can do that on any set up - but you will not be able to hear what it sounds like without the ASIO sound card. We do not include such a sound card in the system as standard since most people will not edit surround sound so a cheaper card is good enough. If you want to edit surround sound then please mention this when you are buying a system
The Matrox MX02 range of devices will act like an ASIO sound card so you can listen to a 5.1 mix using these devices. With the MX02 Mini and LE the surround sound mix will come out of the HDMI socket ONLY - so you need to connect this to a surround sound amplifier with HDMI in. The MX02 has 6 phonos for sound out as well as HDMI so you can monitor surround sound directly from the MX02 without an HDMI amplifier.
The MX02s will happily work with a normal ASIO sound card instead if you do not have the right kind of amplifier.