On Tuesday evening we had the latest in our series of events. We spent time looking at the Penteo 7 Pro surround upmixing plug-in for Pro Tools, supporting up to 7.1 and its new cousin the Penteo 5 Composer for any host that supports AU and VST plug-ins and can output up to 5.1.
Our host was Hackenbacker Studios in London and Nigel Heath very kindly made his personal dubbing theatre available to us for this event, even though he is in the middle of mixing Thunderbirds. However, JJ Read from Penteo Surround was called away at the last minute with a family crisis and so Nigel and I, ably supported by Nigel's assistant Kiran, presented Penteo Surround to folk in small groups so that every one could experience the upmixing capabilities of the new Penteo 7 Pro plug-in that we have had on a deal last month and that we are currently offering in a prize draw competition on our Win page.
There was lively debate in some of the groups on how it works and what it was doing to some of the examples we presented and there were a good number of jaws hitting the floor as people heard what it could do.
As regular visitors to the site will know I gave Penteo 4 Editors Choice when we reviewed it 12 months ago and more recently when I reviewed the new Penteo 7 Pro, I had to award that Editors Choice too as it was even better than Penteo 4 especially with the option to be able to output 7.1 which opens up the Dolby Atmos workflow.
Nigel has had many composers through his studio who were understandably concerned that their carefully crafted compositions would be compromised when being upmixed into 5.1 and now 7.1, but as soon as they heard the results there concerns evaporated. Nigel finds that Penteo maintains the artist's integrity and when we were asked how it works, Nigel has a lovely way of explaining it. He told the gathered groups that he considers Penteo like a Japanese fan and as you open the stereo content out into 5.1 or 7.1 Surround it is like opening out the fan. The great thing of course is you can close the fan again and as I explain and demonstrate in my Show & Tell reviews for both Penteo 4 and the new Penteo 7 the down mix of the upmix is to all intents and purposes the same as the stereo original.
By all accounts everyone who managed to make it to Hackenbacker had a very pleasant evening experiencing Penteo Surround and also having the chance to have a chat over a beer and nibbles. We have some more events in the pipeline and as some as they are confirmed we will let you know.