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Upmixing CSI to 7.1

03.20.09

POST MAGAZINE

New 7.1 soundtracks for Season 9 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation for an upcoming Blu-ray® Disc box set release are currently being mixed at Chace Audio. Mixed in Chace’s Studio R by Greg Faust and supervised by David S. Grant - Director, CBS/Paramount TV Mastering & Editorial and Ryan D. Adams - CBS High Definition Mastering, CSI is the latest in Chace’s growing 7.1 repertoire that currently includes over thirty feature films.

CSI is known for its high quality soundtrack, having been recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing), the Cinema Audio Society (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing), ASCAP (Top TV Series), and the Motion Picture Sound Editors (Best Sound Editing).

While Blu-ray provides support for seven different 7.1 speaker configurations, Chace recommends the most popular – adding discrete side surrounds to a conventional 5.1 layout. This format matches existing home theater configurations that are widely supported by electronics manufacturers.

Using the 5.1 English composite and discrete stereo stems as a foundation, Faust created a new 7.1 mix for each episode that maintains the high standards and integrity of the original award-winning tracks while enhancing the overall listening experience. The new 7.1 soundtracks have an expanded sound field and increased dynamic range that realistically envelops the listener; paired with High Definition picture, audiences now can see and hear the series like never before.

Many signature moments that fans of the series have come to love have especially benefitted from the new mixes. The opening title sequence, featuring The Who’s Who Are You? truly comes to life with enhanced fidelity and movement, while action scenes exploit the improved directionality that additional side surrounds provide. Creative opportunities to exploit 7.1 particularly abound during crime depictions and forensic investigations; dramatic visuals and fast-paced editing are now further heightened by the audio.

“It’s amazing how 7.1 opens up the sound field,” comments Faust. “The increased depth of field brings an added realism to ambiences and music that really draws you into the environments onscreen.”

Faust mixed CSI on a DigiDesign ICON D-Command control surface powered by a Pro Tools HD3 Accel system. Using a host of plug-ins and a TC Electronics System 6000 reverb, he is able to dynamically pan, diverge and spread the various sound effects, ambiences and music cues across the 7.1 sound field. 7.1 monitoring through Apogee, Bag End, and JBL speakers is accomplished using a DigiDesign X-Mon fed into a RANE RPM 88 for room equalization and calibration providing a balanced and accurate listening experience.