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This last project I have done in Nuendo for its built in surround capabilities. What I cannot figure out for the life of me is how to properly export a Mixdown and all the stems.

I know how to export it, but I cannot figure out how to send tone and 2 pops to the stems, and not have the stems send it all to the Printmaster. In pro tools it is simple, I just mute the stems at the time of the tone and 2 pop and the stems will record their input without it being effected by the output side. Am I missing something?

I have a separate set of tracks that I am using to send tone/2pop to the PrintMaster. I want to have 1k @ -20 on all the stems and print, but if the stems are summing to the print, I no longer get the -20 but the sum of all the stems at -20.

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2 Answers 2

I'm a little confused by how you phrased the question, but can't you just pop all your edit tracks and only unmute one track's pops for each 'stem' groups (e.g. unmute pop on DX A, FX 1, MX 1, etc). That way you're not doing any weird sends to your submaster and stem prints because of how your audio is already bussed - wherever your edit tracks are going, the pops will follow. Then once the stems are printed with their set of pops from the edit tracks, I send those stem prints directly to a printmaster track and pull down the volume on 2 of the three stems at their head and tail pops (since I know they're time-aligned already) so that the final printmaster pops are -20.

Usually stages want all the edit tracks popped anyways (at least visually by having muted pops). Then when it's time to feed the tracks for printmastering they just unmute the pops which need to be unmuted so that each stem and subsequently the printmaster receives the pops - doing this also helps for troubleshooting to determine latency and other such issues if the pops are misaligned or have gain anomalies on the receiving end of the signal chain when they hit the print.

Trying to feed pops direct from some other isolated location (e.g. not from the edit tracks themselves), as it sounds like you may be trying to do, would defeat the purpose of the pops in my opinion as they are a kind of bible the whole way through the mix process to ensure everything is correctly dialed in.

I guess the way I'm reading about your method from the question sounds much more convoluted than it has to be unless I'm totally missing a key piece of information.

In a nutshell my workflow is:

  • Edit Track (ex: FX 1) pop unmuted --> FX Submaster ---> FX Stem (where it gets printed)
  • FX Stem (printed pop) ---> Printmaster (where it gets printed again)

The one caveat to the final step is that since DM&E all have a printed pop, when I feed those Stems to the printmaster as a seperate recording pass, I automate the volume down on the pops for the M&E stems so they don't sum into the Printmaster, but the pops still live the the printed Stem tracks.

Maybe you're trying to do your stems and Printmasters at once and that's what I'm missing? I usually do them as a separate passes both for QC and because, at least with ProTools, I recall there's some documented weirdness on signal degradation when recording multiple bussed tracks in a daisy-chain config at the same time. I don't know exactly how Nuendo works, but if you can print to a track via bussing, I'd recommend that over using an export feature. Printmastering is too critical to be left to an auto-pilot export function in my opinion.

If you're doing all stems and printmasters at the same time and you you could try to just flip phase on one of the stem pops - that way your summing to the printmaster would be -20+3-3= -20 instead of -20+3+3 = -15. But I believe the edit track method is more desirable method because of the troubleshooting abilities it allows for along the way.

Sorry for the fragmented response, I guess I'm just not following your core question clearly.

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What level the pops come at isn't that important imho as long as it isn't distorting. Also for the stems and master to be correct, it shouldnt be the same, when adding all the stems it should logically increase in level as the master should be all the stems mixed together.

But if you really want to it gets a little bit more complicated than it should have been.

In Nuendo you should be able to use the direct routing to do just this, easily. Unfortunately because of a design error when dectivating the first existing routing switch on the group it will no longer export the audio at all during that time. So to do this you'll have to add one extra mix bus for the final mix where you route all your stems to, and then do the switching there. (As long as the first routing switch is still active it will work fine.

OR you could do the easy fix and just automate the level of the main out fader to get the correct level. That's what I would do.

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I cant just have the stems sum to the master with the 1k test tone, the idea is to have 1k @-20 on all stems and then the master so that things can be calibrated. Adding the extra bus in between the stems and the master seems like the best area, then I will just mute automate that bus to stop the stem tones and have my master tones routed directly to the printmaster –  Michael Gilbert May 15 '12 at 19:25

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