5.1 control room start up guidelines

I’ve recently finished setting up the 5.1 surround sound control room and am writing a series of posts detailing the use of this room as there are a few guidelines which MUST be followed. The Pro Tools system in this control room is setup differently to the multi-track control room and has some certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure correct use.

The first thing that must be made clear is that if the system is all shut off when you come to use it there is a certain power up sequence that must be followed in order for everything to sync up correctly. The sequence for correct power up is as follows –

  1. Ensure the BlueSky remote is set to the off position (full left)
  2. DigiDesign 003 Control Surface
  3. Yamaha O2R/96 V2
  4. iMac

Once the iMac has booted up and you are logged in, start Pro Tools as normal. You will be greeted by the standard Pro Tools 8 start up screen, select start new session if you don’t already have one on the system which will bring up the standard blank session options window, before you just ignore all the settings you MUST click on I/O Configuration and select either BlueSky-21 or BlueSky-51 as the I/O configurations are different for the BlueSky monitors to the way DigiDesign setup the standard Stereo, and 5.1 Mix configurations. It should be pretty obvious which setting is for stereo and which is for 5.1, but just in case BlueSky-21 is for stereo, and BlueSky-51 is for 5.1 surround. Once you have selected the I/O configuration you require you can create your session as you normally would on any other system.

Once your session is started you MUST create a master fader! I see so many sessions without a master fader, the outputs from this system are wired directly to the BlueSky monitor system, without a master fader you could overload the system and risk blowing the speakers, so please create it, it’s a good practice to get into so if don’t already you should ALWAYS have a master fader in your session. The master fader you insert will depend on the session you are working with on the 5.1 system. If you are working with a stereo session then you will insert a stereo master fader, however if you are working with a 5.1 session make sure you select 5.1 master fader otherwise Pro Tools won’t know you are working in 5.1 surround. Once you have created your master fader you can bring the level of the BlueSky remote up to the level shown in the picture.

You should now be ready to start tracking however before doing that, please ensure you have read the 5.1 control room tracking guidelines post on this blog for important information on that, there are some major differences between this system and the mutli-track which you need to be aware of before tracking anything.