DVDs and Surround Sound in the Reid Studio
A guide to watching DVDs and referencing in the Reid Studio, in 5.1 or stereo.
The Reid studio has a HDD Dvd player resident at the bottom of the analog patchbay. This can be used for playing DVDs. The audio feeds to the desk via the patchbay, and the video feed to the center monitor above the desk. The HDD sends out audio in I.T.U standard format, but the desk uses Film standard (L – C – R – LS – LR – LFE, as stated on the SSL AWS monitoring panel). We’ve changed this via the patchbay, so the audio from the DVD is normalled to the way the desk wants to work and monitor, so Left will be Left etc. This means that as soon as you pop a DVD in to the player, and have selected the correct input source on the desk, you should get audio to the right places by default. If you want to change this and work in I.T.U format or any other, is it easy to re-patch the audio via the patchbay to which ever output you like.
Insert your DVD:
Wait a while…
Switch the screen to S-Video (at the moment you need to do this by hand, on the underside of the monitor, using the INPUT control). You should get your DVD menu:
If you want to listen in 5.1, go to the desk and select EXT A, and then DVD:
If you want to listen in Stereo only, go to EXT B, and select DVD
Earlier I mentioned that the audio from the DVD is routed via the patchbay. This option is also interesting when you use patchcables to break the connections of certain channels. By doing this, you can cause a channel of the 5.1 audio to ‘drop out’. Try this whilst watching a film in 5.1 to see how much work the sub or center channel is doing; for instance you can suddenly see how much work the center channel does in handling dialogue, and suddenly the rest of the mix becomes clearer, enabling you to hear the hard work of the sound designers/mixers!
You can re-patch via the patchbay section labelled ‘6 Track Reply ‘A’ ‘ – patch from the top layer of connections (the outputs) back to the inputs (labelled red – External A 6track 1’).
But inserting a patchcable, this breaks the connection, effectively ‘muting’ channel 2 in the picture above.