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Creating QuickTime movies with surround sound

2016-01-22

For both of my two recent installations, at Heimdal kunstforening (opened last Saturday) and Vestlandsutstillingen (opens tomorrow), I use surround sound synced to videos.

Initially I was looking into possibilities for using BluRay for playback, but it turned out that BluRay authoring is difficult, expensive, and with tight deadlines possibly risky, in particular when going beyond 5.1 surround. Authoring 7.1 surround would require the rather expensive DTS-HD Master Audio Suite for lossless encoding of audio, as well as the discontinued Adobe Encore program, and then it might be psosible to do — or not.

Instead I ended up using Mac minis for playback. It turns out that QuickTime supports surround sound with up to 24 channels. I did a bit of googling to figure out how to do this, and it seems to work out well. In the above screencast I show how to go about making a video with 6 channels (L – R – SL – SR – SBLSBR), and set up OSX to play them back properly.

Thanks to Gisle Tveito for getting me on the right track!

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