NUGEN Audio Releases 9.1 Option for Halo Upmix With Full Support for Dolby Atmos and Overhead Positioning

April 19 2016, 02:00

NUGEN Audio unveiled an all-new option for Halo Upmix, the company’s solution for upmixing stereo audio to surround. The 9.1 option allows the introduction of vertical positioning into the upmix, generating a 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos) bed track-compatible upmix. During the 2016 NAB Show, NUGEN also introduced updates to the company’s batch processing, offline loudness tools, metering and music production tools.

At the 2016 NAB Show, British software company NUGEN Audio launched a new 9.1 option for the company’s acclaimed Halo Upmix plug-in. Building on the groundbreaking algorithms that established Halo Upmix as a leading stereo upmix solution, NUGEN Audio will be among the first companies to introduce a 9.1 upmix option, which includes overhead positioning and generates a 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos) bed track-compatible upmix.

With this new extension, sound designers and post-production engineers can bring existing stereo content more easily into the breathtaking realism of a full Dolby Atmos mix. Dolby Atmos allows content creators to design mixes that will transport listeners with audio that moves all around them, including overhead. With an expanded and detailed visual interface, overhead positioning will be clear and intuitive.

This expansion to the capability of Halo Upmix is a timely introduction, as Dolby Atmos is now increasingly being integrated into cinemas, home theater systems, mobile devices, and UHD movie title releases. NUGEN Audio has worked closely with Dolby to ensure that this new 9.1 upmix solution serves to enhance surround post-production workflows worldwide.

“We have worked closely with the entertainment industry to develop an ecosystem of tools and workflows that meet the needs of sound mixers and editors, and we are delighted to see NUGEN Audio embrace Dolby Atmos in their award winning upmix plug-in,” says Curt Behlmer, senior vice president, content solutions and industry relations, Dolby Laboratories. “This functionality showcases industry and consumer demand for next-generation audio experiences, and makes it easier for creative professionals to produce Dolby Atmos experiences for consumers around the world.”

The Halo Upmix 9.1 option builds on several key NUGEN Audio technologies, which are based on frequency-domain and time-domain energy distribution and neural network artificial intelligence. Producers can target various upmix goals including full stable surrounds, exact downmix matching, or full dialog isolation. In addition to stem and group upmixing, producers can use Halo Upmix's center channel control and management to fine-tune a surround mix and to create intricate mixes when there is no access to the original stems. The solution’s detailed center channel control includes NUGEN Audio's proprietary neural network-based dialog extraction, which can be applied in all upmix cases, from stereo to 5.1/7.1 and 9.1. The 9.1 extension adds an overhead positioning element using a similar highly visual interface to that which established Halo Upmix as a popular solution among post facilities. 

“NUGEN Audio is glad to be working alongside Dolby, Avid, and other contributors to provide cutting-edge solutions for naturally extracted and expanded soundscapes or a full cinematic Dolby Atmos compatible upmix,” says Jon Schorah, creative director, NUGEN Audio. “We're helping producers to tackle a wide range of upmixing tasks easily and intuitively without compromising quality.”

Halo Upmix is immediately available at a list price of $499 for both OS X and Windows, with support for Avid AAX, AudioSuite, VST2, VST3, and AU formats. The new 9.1 upmix extension can now be purchased for $199 and is also available as a separate upgrade for existing Halo Upmix customers.

NUGEN Audio at NAB 2016
At the 2016 NAB Show, NUGEN Audio also demonstrated the latest updates to its industry-leading family of post-production and broadcast audio tools. These include significant updates to the company’s batch processing, and offline loudness tools.

For several years, NUGEN Audio has been building award-winning technology extensions for its Loudness Management Batch (LMB) Processor. These extensions include the company’s DynApt loudness range targeting technology, which earned a commendation during the IBC Innovation Awards ceremony in 2015. Several updates are immediately available for the LMB processor’s extensions for automated loudness analysis and correction. These updates include improved LRA correction speed for the DynApt Extension and wider file format support for the ProRes Extension, which now supports .MOV files using Version 2 descriptors and those with the LPCM format flag. Channel support for LMB Processor is now increased from 16 to 32 channels when advanced routing is used for both the MXF Extension and ProRes Extension. These updates are available at no charge to current owners.

NUGEN Audio also demonstrated a comprehensive new Adobe Premiere integration for its LM-Correct 2 loudness quick-fix tool. For the first time, Adobe’s Premiere Pro users will have LM-Correct at their fingertips to help them adhere to any worldwide loudness standard with faster-than-real-time performance. This integration brings the same seamless loudness management workflow to Adobe Premiere that Avid users already enjoy with LM-Correct 2. Using Adobe’s Common Extensibility Platform (CEP), NUGEN Audio has created a fully integrated CEP panel for LM-Correct 2. NUGEN Audio’s award-winning loudness analysis and correction can now be run from a simple panel within Adobe Premiere without requiring users to leave the editing environment.

Also at the 2016 NAB Show, NUGEN Audio introduced Site, a new floating license system designed to enable faster and smarter license management for enterprise users of the company’s audio upmixing and loudness tools. Designed for customers with 10 or more seats, Site uses dependable server-based licensing technology to streamline and centralize license management across a network. With Site, users can automatically allocate pooled licenses on a per-seat basis when required for a session. 

In addition to the Site licensing system, NUGEN Audio introduced a new lease licensing option for the company’s popular Post Pack and Producer Pack plug-in bundles. These new licensing options bring greater choice for customers and remove upfront costs. Software can now be activated whenever required, providing the option to upscale and downscale according to project needs and budgets.

These tools now include the new SEQ-ST, a linear phase spline EQ with powerful sonic sculpting and EQ matching, stereo midside operation, and automated spectrum analysis introduced by the company at NAMM 2016. SEQ-ST allows audio to be corrected with very high resolution that is not possible using a traditional parametric interface. On display at NAMM will be a powerful new filter-morphing feature that allows fluid morphing between two sets of filter curves under full user control.

Also new from NUGEN is the MasterCheck and ISL 2st True-Peak Limiter. MasterCheck is the first music-industry-specific audio plug-in designed to facilitate mix and mastering for loudness-normalized playout, which is now standard on iTunes, Spotify, DAB, and many other online platforms. MasterCheck reveals how the consumer will hear audio on these and other music platforms by using internationally recognized loudness, dynamics, and true-peak standards.

ISL 2st provides music producers with true-peak compliance, essential in preparing all audio for loudness normalization because it prevents the distortion that often results from the codec conversions required to deliver audio to online platforms. NUGEN Audio introduced ISL 2st in response to demand from music professionals for a highly robust, transparent true-peak limiter. Priced at an accessible entry point for the broader music-production community, ISL 2st is a stereo-only version of NUGEN Audio's award-winning ISL 2 solution. ISL 2st DSP is also now available for Avid Pro Tools HDX users.

Visualizer, the company’s audio-analysis plug-in and stand-alone metering system also includes a new comparison mode, a significant upgrade to the Lissajous view, and numerous fine-tuning improvements, further enhancing intuitive operation and allowing rapid adjustment to achieve a perfectly optimized visualization for the task at hand. This update is available for both native and DSP versions of Visualizer.
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