Friend of the blog, Sreejesh Nair, a Mumbai, India-based audio/mix engineer and pro audio solutions specialist for Avid, has chosen Nugen Audio's Halo Upmix plug-in for stereo-to-5.1/7.1/9.1 upmixing. Sree now uses Halo to produce immersive upmixes on a broad range of cinema projects, including the sound tracks of well-known Bollywood titles.
Sreejesh has more than 250 film titles to his credit and has worked as a senior re-recording mixer for Rajkamal Studios (FutureWorks) in Mumbai in addition to his role at Avid. He has also worked as a version mixer for Hollywood releases from the likes of Warner, Disney, and Paramount.
With all his work in immersive formats he has been searching for an upmixing tool that could not only deliver surround output that sounds as close as possible to the original, but also enable him to work more efficiently. Sree told us.....
Advances in technology have given audio engineers more flexibility to deliver complex mixes. But the new efficiencies mean we're expected to deliver much more in less time — while still reaching for inspiration and new ideas. My colleagues and I first discovered Halo Upmix at IBC2015, and right away we could see that Halo is an extremely immersive tool. I knew I had found the upmixing tool I was looking for when I heard the reverbs, pads, and instruments open up in a Halo-upmixed song to deliver a cohesive-sounding track.
Prior discovering Nugen's Halo Upmix, his experience with upmixing tools and processes yielded variable results, that didn't satisfy him. Although the Halo upmix controls are similar to those on other tools, Halo offers centre channel management and spatial density controls as well as an "Exact" function for creating a downmix that is almost identical to the original.
You can check out Mike Thornton's preview review of the Nugen Audio Halo Upmix and hear this for yourself. Sreejesh added....
One of the most valuable features of Halo is its ability to upmix to Dolby 7.1, and now, 9.1 surround formats. This format flexibility, and the control Halo gives me over the finished sound, is absolutely essential in my work. Rather than simply performing a full program upmix, I'm able to do things differently; for instance, I might add harmonic distortion and reverbs to an element and then upmix it as a parallel signal that could be blended with the original signal, creating a much more cohesive and opened-up tonality and spacing for the instrument. Since Halo reacts differently based on the harmonic content for blending sounds, the movement in the surround space is very analog and has an element of apparent randomness that I love.
In addition to Halo Upmix, Sreejesh also loves several other Nugen Audio products including the Seq-S equaliser, which allows him to apply a spectral mixing method, and the Monofilter and Stereoizer plugins. In combination with Halo, he uses these tools to create a sonic placement designed to be unique in texture and sound. Jon Schorah, Creative Director, Nugen Audio told us...
Sree is precisely the type of audio professional for whom we designed Halo Upmix. He has seen many profound technology changes throughout his career, and he's helped advance sound engineering in key ways. For instance, Sree was instrumental in setting up the world's first Dolby Premier Atmos mix facility while at FutureWorks studios in Mumbai. With Halo, Sree has discovered new ways to mix and create soundscapes that are simply not possible using other methods.
You can also learn how Halo Upmix saved the day for one of Alan Sallabank's clients when he was asked to make a 5.1 mix for DCP for a charity, to be shown at a kids film festival.
What do you use for upmixing? How does it help you? Do share your experiences in the comments below.