DTS Demos Neural UpMix, Offers Free Trials

Last week, DTS began showcasing its latest tool for audio mixers’ postproduction toolboxes. DTS, which has a history of working with encoders with optical media for Blu-ray and DVD, last week set up two demonstrations that highlight the company’s recent foray into postproduction, the Neural UpMix tool. During the demos, Neural UpMix took a two-channel mix to 5.1 surround sound, a 5.1 mix to 7.1, and even a two-channel all the way to 7.1.

DTS showed off its new Neural UpMix tool in New York City.

“We had an event for 40 people at hotel suites in New York and Washington, DC,” says Tom McAndrew, manager of pro audio North America for DTS. “We had a great turnout from what we feel are the A-list audio post facilities in New York, as well as the DC market, which is big for Discovery and National Geographic. Everybody was impressed with the tool and really liked what they heard.”

DTS, demonstrating Neural UpMix in Washington, targeted such producers as Discovery and Nat Geo.

When DTS bought Neural Audio over a year ago, Neural had the technology for an upmix tool in its arsenal. Although the DTS team had heard upmixers before, none of them sounded like the Neural version, so the team bought into it, and Neural UpMix was born.

“Because my team had a Blu-ray and DVD mentality, the original thought was that this would be a great tool for upmixing theatrical 5.1 audio to 7.1 for Blu-ray,” McAndrew says. “But, as other members of my team listened to it, we really thought this could be a great traditional audio postproduction tool.”

Neural UpMix, which was released in a pro-tools version following NAB and in a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) version last week, is the first product of its kind that can upmix all the way to 7.1. According to McAndrew, competing technologies can go only as far as 5.1.

Still, he says, UpMix is not intended to supplant mixers but rather to help them.

“We’re not trying to replace the actual talented people who have their fingers on the faders; we’re just trying to put another tool in their toolbox,” McAndrew says. “If you have a two-channel budget and you want to produce a 5.1 show, UpMix has a lot of applications for that.”

As excited as the DTS team is about the product, no prospective client has to take the company’s word for it, because DTS is giving away trial versions of the tool.

“We’re not trying to deliver a gamed demo with content that we know is going to perhaps unrealistically highlight the capability of the tool, so we are offering free one-week demos to anyone who asks,” McAndrew explains. “We will send a one-week license along with the software so people can beat it up at their leisure at their own facilities. We really believe in the product, and we want potential users to put it to the test.”

For more information or to get your free demo, e-mail proaudioinfo@dts.com.

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