Hollywood, CA-Famed Capitol Recording Studio and TC Electronic hosted industry professionals for a day of private sessions demonstrating two new plug-in/algorithms for the System 6000 Multi-Channel Signal Processing Platform. With its upgradable open architecture and user-defined expandable nature, the System 6000 is quickly catching on as a favored sound box in post-production, mastering and music recording studios.
The first plug-in demonstrated by Ed Simeone and Casey Young was Backdrop. Backdrop is a noise reduction system that continuously monitors any audio signal and eliminates what TC calls "modern noises." It is possible to have up to four stereo instantiations for up to eight channels of simultaneous processing running at the same time. Each "instance", which requires one of the four on-board DSP engines in the 6000, will remove hum, buzz, A/C noise, room rumble and hiss all at the same time from a stereo pair of tracks. The algorithm works by taking a sample or "fingerprint" of the noises and surgically removing them. The results are dramatic, and are expected to prove most beneficial when older recordings are remixed for high resolution (24/96) surround sound releases. There is a concomitant and fixed, constant 100ms processing delay (3 video frames). This delay (since it is a known and fixed amount) can be easily readjusted later if required for video sync. Backdrop is a $2,500 plug-in and was not intended to remove pops and clicks as required for vinyl restoration work.
The second plug-in shown is called Unwrap. It converts stereo mixes, either in analog or digital format, into 5.1 surround simulations. Unwrap, along with the VSS-4 Stereo Reverb, is part of the new Version 2.0 software now shipping for System 6000. Unwrap is a real-time process and is likely to win approval from record companies looking to convert existing stereo mixes to 5.1 but cannot do complete remixes due to budget restraints or the unavailability of the multitrack masters. According to TC, even old recordings made directly to stereo or mono formats before multitrack existed are candidates for Unwrap processing.
Unwrap allows nearly perfect control of both the mono component (or L+R signals) and the difference component (or [L-R]+[R-L] signals). Unwrap was first easily demonstrated by completely removing all phantom center information from an analog stereo mix...like the world's best (and most expensive) vocal eliminator! Unwrap provides a new level of artistic control in manipulating stereo signals with the ability to combine any part of the left and right channels with the difference signals for the creation of realistic left and right rear channel audio. To complete the surround simulation, further digital processing such as parametric EQ, delay, reverb, pitch shifting can be added to any of the channels. Like any TC 6000 setup, individual surround simulations for each song of an album can be stored and recalled for reuse or later modification.
With the introduction of Backdrop and Unwrap, TC Electronic is now shipping five new plug-ins. The other new plugs are: MD-3 that uses M5000 MD2 technology for multi-band compressor, parametric EQ, limiting, and expansion; MD-5.1, a 5.1 version of the Finalizer software with a 5.1 monitor matrix, bass management and parametric EQ; and VP-8, an eight-channel, real-time pitch changer for repitching entire 5.1 or 7.1 stems when converting frame rates between PAL and NTSC. Check: www.tcelectronic.com for more information.