Microphone manufacturer SoundField has launched a software version of their UPM-1 stereo-to-5.1 upmix processor at IBC 2010.
Originally released in hardware form at IBC 2008, the UPM-1 has already been adopted by major broadcasters such as Sky, SIS Live, and NDR as an easy-to-use, reliable means of generating realistic-sounding, broadcast-quality 5.1 surround sound when only a stereo mix is available.
While the hardware UPM-1 is ideally suited to live broadcast applications, the new plug-in version is designed for post-production workflows.
It is available in VST (PC and Mac), RTAS (PC and Mac) and Mac-only AU formats and is aimed, like the hardware original, at high-definition broadcasters who need to ensure that all of their material is transmitted in fold-down-compatible 5.1 surround, including archive stereo material, effects and jingles.
The UPM-1 plug-in creates a more natural-sounding 5.1 mix than many stereo-to-5.1 upmix devices that rely on reverb and phase manipulation. Instead, it uses a unique algorithm which analyses the stereo input material and separates ambient sounds from the direct sounds — or what might broadly be referred to as the ‘distant’ and ‘close-miked’ sounds.
As with the original hardware unit, the plug-in allows detailed adjustment of the relative levels of direct sound and front and rear ambient sound in the final 5.1 mix, with continuous software rotary controls for Width and Centre channel Divergence. Level, Mute and Solo controls are also provided for each channel.
The UPM-1 plug-in is currently scheduled to ship in October 2010.