STEP 3 - Prepping Audio
This was a lot less complicated than it originally seemed. I did all of it in Adobe Audition 1.5, which was the precursor to Adobe Soundbooth. I have both, but I prefer Audition for a lot of things. I have a hard time doing what I really want in Soundbooth. You could probably do the same things in a free program like Audacity, but I haven't tried it.
Just get the stereo soundtrack directly from your digital master, whether you import it from Premier, or whether you open the digital master (with video included) into Soundbooth directly. Taking it from the digital master will HELP ensure (not guarantee...) that it will line up correctly, and opening it this way also allows the file to have some necessary meta-data, including that it was edited on a 24p timeline.
NOTE: This meta-data may not matter. Haha. But if you have problems getting your audio into EasyDCP after taking the audio from a source that isn't directly associated with the digital master, then that could be why. I don't really know. I haven't tried it any other way.
Thats it! I spent a TON of time trying to figure out all of this nonsense about Broadcast WAV files, and how they are supposedly so much different than normal consumer WAV files, and as it turns out it is simply an uncompressed WAV that CAN have extra meta data intact. It also needs to be 24 Bit audio. 16 Bit audio is supposed to be supported in the DCI specifications, but I haven't had any luck getting 16 bit audio into EasyDCP. If there IS any thing different that a WAV needs to be DCP compliant, EasyDCP takes care of it. Just take your separate audio tracks and save them as Mono, 24 Bit, Uncompressed .WAVs (usually referred to as PCM .WAVs, but not always, so don't be confused!)
- Anyway, so you open the audio.
- Split all of the tracks into mono. In Soundbooth, you go FILE>EXPORT>CHANNELS TO MONO FILES
- You can close the original file now. Or leave it open, I don't care. Soundbooth should have automatically imported your new mono tracks. For stereo, it is easy. It has the original file name plus _L or _R to let you know which track it is. For multi track surround sound, I don't have a clue. I haven't worked with it. It shouldn't be THAT different from splitting stereo to mono. Just get each channel as a mono track, and make sure each track is labeled for the appropriate channel for later on.
- Now, just save each track as a good old fashioned mono PCM .WAV file with the following settings:
- COMPRESSOR: UNCOMPRESSED
- SAMPLE RATE: 48000
- SAMPLE TYPE: 24 Bit
- CHANNELS: MONO
STEP 4 - CREATE DCP FILES
If you followed the previous steps, you should have no problem importing them into EasyDCP. Here is where it is necessary to have a 32 Bit operating system. Or just XP. I'm not sure. All I know is that EasyDCP fails when I try to launch it on my Vista 64 Bit rig. I've tried all sorts of things to get it to work, but it just doesn't.** It works great on my XP Professional 32 Bit laptop though. It is also available for Mac, if that helps any of you out.
UPDATE - I can now get EasyDCP.exe to run in Vista 64 without crashing by switching its compatability to "Windows 98 / Windows ME", however it seems to crash whenever I try to import the audio tracks.
UPDATE - The folks over at Fraunhofer have been able to fix the Vista 64 problem with v1.2.2 of EasyDCP, however as of this update, it is not "published" meaning that you'll have to email them and ask for it specifically untill it (or later versions) officially becomes the "current" version. I have successfully compiled a working DCP with relatively few problems using v1.2.2. The only issue I've encountered is occasional random freeze-ups causing you to have to CTRL+ALT+DELETE and close it from the Task Manager.EasyDCP - EasyDCP is available to download as a DEMO only. It will function just as well as the full version, but it will leave a watermark on your DCP. You can call the company up and buy a full license for the software for about 2000 bones to remove the watermark. The software is INCREDIBLY user friendly and straightforward. If you have followed my previous steps, everything should be compatible. I probably don't need to explain how to use it, but I will anyway.
Open DCP and create a new 2k 24p project. I would recommend using the interop (newest DCP standard) settings rather than the SMPTE (old DCP standard). If you are trying to project on a system that has not updated to the interop protocols, then you will want to go with SMPTE.
Import visual track. EasyDCP will recognize the image sequence as a single visual track, not individual image files, so no worries there.
Import audio track. EasyDCP will ask for each individual mono channel, and will interpret the separate files as a single audio track. Nice. So browse and find your left track in the "L" marked field, and then do your right track, and then click okay.
Drag and drop your imported tracks into the "REEL" box thingy. Click "Make DCP". Choose a folder for it to put all of the individual XML and MXF files into, and click "Ok". BAM. You are good to go. Well, kinda. You still have to get your Digital Cinema Package onto the "package" part.