Surround sound: fundamentals

SS101 Surround Sound Fundamentals - Introduction Duration: 4-5 days

This introduction to surround sound builds a vital foundational understanding of mono and stereo techniques as an underpinning to the subsequent SSF110 course which explores surround sound in more detail. This course incorporates a small but significant hands-on component.

The course is targeted at users, operators, engineers, technicians and other production personnel needing to develop a basic understanding of the fundamentals of multi-channel surround sound in today's production and broadcast context.

An understanding of basic audio principles.

Course content
This course comprises the following five modules:

Module 1 - Introduction to spatial audio
  • Spatial dimension of natural (acoustic) sound sources
  • Sound sources in free-field and in reflective spaces
  • Spatial dimension in reproduced (recorded) sound

Module 2 - Theory
  • Sound source localization
  • Distance and depth perception
  • The interplay between level, EQ and timing/phase in direction perception
  • Apparent source width

Module 3 - Capturing sound in stereo
  • Two channel mike techniques
  • Multi-mike stereo recording – including three-mike techniques
  • Use of artificial reverb in stereo mixing
  • MS mike techniques
  • MS mixing techniques

Module 4 - Monitoring
  • Listening room acoustics
  • How to ensure surround-compatible stereo mixing
  • How to ensure mono-compatible stereo mixing
  • MS matrixing – in the listening environment
  • Metering as an adjunct to monitoring
  • Phase meters / Lissajous displays

Module 5 - Practical Masterclass on the stereo record/mix process
  • A brief hands-on multitrack-based mentored mix exercise utilising a variety of stereo techniques across a range of scenarios. This exercise involves both sound capture (recording) and mixing. Recording and mixing will be carried out both “as-live” (simulating live broadcast) and in a much longer-term record/mix.
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