LEARN HOW TO USE BIDULE INTRO


The best way to work with this guide is to keep it on screen together with a
loaded version of Plogue Bidule. You can easily switch between guide and the
program with ALT-TAB. Or print it out and keep it next to the screen. To make
it easier to print the guide, we leave the maximum length of a line, below 80
characters. In this teaching guide we will try to use many bgrp's and VST's that
are used in other methods too.

NEEDED SOFTWARE :

- Of course Plogue Bidule ;-) (we leave this out of every next guide)
- The Multisonic variable center group M-Var-M (click to download)
- Unpack LCR-MultiSonic-Var-M.rar
- Place the LCR MultiSonic - Var M.bgrp in de bgrp folder van Plogue.

Let's make a layout :
- Open Plogue Bidule and put it on "off"



- Click on the screen on mixer and press CTRL+A. Everything is selected now and
- Press DELETE. The screen will empty. When a question occurs if you want to
- save the present layout, answer "NO"



- Now we're going to place the items we need to make a layout on screen.
- Place the mousepointer somewhere in theempty screen and right-click. A long
- list appears from which we're gonna get a file player and recorder.





- Your screen now looks like this....



- The next thing we want on the screen is the M-var-M group that we saved.
- Follow the same procedure, but now chose Groups and multisonics LCR var M .



- If the following question appears on screen, then answer with "NO"



- Make sure you have a WAV handy with lively music and a singer and music that
- already has a good separation between left and right in stereo.
- Don't forget the WAV must be in 16 bits , 44100 Hz : CD format !
- Before we do anything further, an explanation of M-var-M : This group is
- capable of spreading stereo sound over three speakers without any loss.
- When you click on it, you see it has a default value of 0.5. Changing this
- sends more or less sound to the left and right and mid speaker : the center.
- The items you placed in the layout have small squares beneath and/or above
- them, these are the connectors. Let's start with connecting the fileplayer
- with M-var-M :



- And the output of M-var-M with the first 3 connectors of the filerecorder :



- Now we have the fronts for our surround already ! It's that easy..... but we
- want of course rears too. Place an extra M-var-M on the layout. This can be
- done as described before, but you can also select the one on screen , copy it
- and paste it.
- This second M-var-M will be connected to the first one and to the file recorder
- by first connecting pin 1 of M-var-M 1 to pin 1 of M-var-M 2. Then connect pin 3
- of M-var-M 1 to pin 2 of M-var-M 2. From the ouput side connect pin 1 of
- M-var-M 2 to pin5 of the file recorder and pin 3 to pin 6.
- This is how your screen should look :



- Change the default setting of M-var-M2 to 0.85 by double clicking first:



- To make it clearer which is which, you can change the names of the M-var-M's
- by clicking once on them and then F2 to change the name.



- The layout is now ready to try. It works the easiest if you keep your WAV and
- output in the same directory. You might alreday have noticed this is 2.0 to
- 5.0 . Doubleclick on the fileplayer and fill in the name of your WAV :



- When you press the play button in the player, nothing happens yet. Because
- first we need to tell Bidule that when it's playing, it should also start
- recording ! We do this with the "parameters". Click on it on and this screen
- appears :



- In "source" chose Audio file player and then chose "play"



- In Target you chose Audio file recorder and then "recording" :



- after these selections you press on "link" :



- You can now close the parameters window and check the other settings. First
- go to "edit" and make sure offline processing is not selected. Then press
- the "off" button to change it to on and press play. The songs starts to play
- in realtime now :



- Stop the song, even if it isn't finished yet. Put the on button to "off" and
- in "edit" select offline processing. Put the song at the beginning, change
- "off" to "on" and press play again. Wow ! Within one second the complete song
- is played. (depends also on the speed of your computer.)
- Now we know how to play a song, it's time to record it. First put on to off.
- Doubleclick on the filerecorder, adjust the settings according to this screen
- and give it a name to save:



- Put "off" to "on", goto the fileplayer and press play. Your song is now recor-
-ded and when it's done change "on" to "off". Your directory now looks like this



- Like you see the recorder recorded 6 mono files numbered 0 to 5.
- 0 = Front Left (FL)
- 1 = Center (C)
- 2 = Front Right (FR)
- 3 = LFE
- 4 = Left rear (SL)
- 5 = Right rear (SR)
- We can use these 6 files now to make a DTS wav or AC3. Because we use DTS
- now, AC3 will be discussed later. The program you need to encode this to
- DTS is : Surcode DTS CD encoder or DTS cd/DVD encoder. The first one only
- makes files for CD's, the second one can make DTS for DVD too. The program
- can be purchased here : http://www.minnetonkaaudio.com/products/surcode05.html
- Start Surcode and give a name to save your DTS wav :



- Now you can fill in all the channels. Click on Left Front button and so on :



- Press the encode button and the process starts.
- After a while your DTS WAV is ready and you can try it out on your HTS by
- burning it as audio-cd on a CDRW.
- That sounded reasonable, now did it ? But there is still a lot we can improve
- so let's concentrate on improvements now.
- First let's make a small adjustment to the layout because as you noticed, the
- numbers of the mono wavs didn't correspondend with the order in Surcode. The
- correct order for 5.1 is : FL-FR-C-LFE-SL-SR . A small adjustment will make
- sure the output of the file recorder resembles this. We do that by reconnecting
- the pins of the first M-var-M like this :



- The C-channel of M-var-M is now connected to pin 3 of the file recorder and
- pin 3 to the pin 2 of the file recorder. Now is a good time to save the layout
- we created. Goto the "file" menu and chose save as. Call it teach.bidule.

- First we need some way to control the volume of the separate channels to
- make a better soundfield. Changing volume needs measuring too, because we
- want it to be consistent and secure. Of course you can do it by ear, but you
- must have excellent hearing capabilities. I trust more in measuring ! LOL !
- In measuring we can distinguish two important items : Peak value and RMS.
- Peak value is the highest point in volume in a song and RMS is the average
- volume of the whole song. RMS has a negative value and Peak shouldn't be
- higher than 0 Db. Everything larger than 0 Db is clipping or distortion. And
- that is something we must avoid always !
- We also want to make a basschannel to get 5.1 instead of 5.0.
- Start by downloading here HNM filter
- Unfortunately the original developers site is down.....
- Unpack the rar and place the .dll in the VST folder of Plogue Bidule.
- Rightclick on the screen, chose from the popup VST and select HNM.
- Connect the HNM filter like this :



- The following we want to add is a measurer for the volume. An excellent tool
- for this is the freeware RMS-Buddy. You can download it from the developers
- website : http://destroyfx.smartelectronix.com/extras/ or here : RMSBuddy
- Unpack the rar and place the .dll in the VST folder of Plogue Bidule.
- Place the RMS Buddy 3 times on screen !



- Let's first rename everything, so it makes more sense :



- Now we're gonna connect everything. Take good care you do it right :



- The last thing we're gonna add is an internal function of Bidule : gain.
- With gain we can change the volume and we need 7 instances. Rightclick
- anywhere on a free spot in the layout, go to mixing and select "gain".
- Use COPY and PASTE to put 7 (!) instances on the layout and rename them :



- And now we need to rebuild the connections again. Take good care :



- Go to the fileplayer, double click on it,go to presets and chose "ADD", then
- go to the filerecorder and do the same. All names of files are gone now and
- you can save the layout again ! If you leave a name in the file recorder, the
- next time you use the layout, what you record is added to the first title !
- That's why it's always good practice to save an empty layout.
- The RMSBuddy has an annoying property. As soon as it started, it goes on with
- measuring, even when the song has stopped, but the layout is still "on". What
- it measures then is ....silence. This results in the RMS getting lower and
- lower. To avoid this we're gonna add a final tool : Freeze_RMS (thanks to
- Arseno Lupino and the guys from Plogue Bidule for this solution !
- it's however a tool that need to be added in the layout one line at a time,
- but I assume as this is a learning course, it's better for understanding !
- Download Freeze_RMS.
- Unrar and place the bgrp into the .bgrp folder of Plogue Bidule.
- Load the empty teach.bidule, rightclick on the layout, go to group and chose
- FreezeRMS. This will now appear in the layout, but will not be connected to
- any other item in the layout.
- Open parameters, source : chose Audio file player, play. Target : chose
- FreezeRMS_0, Gate_0, gate. Press the link button.
- Source : go to FreezeRMS_0, Parameter modulator (abs)_1,modulation. Target:
- go to RMS C+LFE, mode and press "link". Repeat this process with the source
- but as target RMS SL+SR and again for RMS FL+FR.
- Source : RMS C+LFE, mode and Target : RMS FL+FR, mode. Press "link".
- Source : RMS FL+FR, mode and Target : RMS SL+SR, mode. Press "link"
- When your done, the parameters screen should look like this :



- Close the parameters window and save the layout.

- The final layout must look like this :



- We're almost there..... last thing is to check the settings of the HNM filter :



- Make sure they are equal to the ones on the screen.
- Save the teach.bidule !

- Time for the second recording. Open the fileplayer and your stereo WAV.
- Doubleclick on the three RMS's and place them neatly on screen in a way you
- still can operate the file player. Something like this :



- Push the "off" button to on and start the fileplayer. After a while the
- process is done and the RMS's are filled with values.



- You saw the RMSBuddies now stopped after the song stopped. Take a look at
- the values and you'll notice that with my song there is clipping in the Peak-
- value of the rear channels. And as you might remember, clipping is distortion
- and thus something we don't want. The clipping is +1.99 in the left rear, so
- we must do something with the gains. Now because every gain is still on zero,
- it means it came from the original wav. And thus we have to lower the volume
- of the original stereo. Double click on the "Gain Stereo" after moving the
- RMSBuddy down for a moment. Change the value into -3 Db. Press the "on" to
- change it to "off", place the RMSBuddy back on it's place and run for a 2nd
- time. You will see the clipping has gone and the value is now 3-1.99 = 1.01



- You will also notice the fronts have a lower RMS than the rears. RMS is the
- important value for getting a good solid soundfield. For peak the only thing
- is important that it doesn't clip and stays below 0 Db.
- In all guides you will see that we have a preference for the values of the
- RMS of all channels. These preferred values give the best soundfield and
- all are linked together on the following assumption : to get the loudest
- sound, one of the PEAK values needs to be between 0 Db and -1 Db. The RMS of
- that channel is the factor from which we calculate the other channels. And
- these should become a preferred value like this RMS FL+FR 0Db, Center + 0.5
- Db, LFE -4 Db, SL+SR -1 Db. Sounds quite complicated and for sure needs a
- calculator to do it by hand. The easiest way to do it by hand is to search
- for an easy value.... Look in my example at the values of the rear's. They
- are -21.63 and -21.73 Db for the RMS and -1.01 and -1.11 for the Peaks. Now
- when you make them -21 Db, you have values that are easy to handle, because
- Rears are -1 Db compared to fronts, so we must make the fronts -20 Db, the
- Center gets 0.5 Db added, so it must end at -19.5 Db and the LFE must be
- changed to -4 Db compared to the fronts : -20-4=-24 Db. Now you can open one
- by one the every gain, fill in the right value and close it again. Let's
- start with FL : now -23.73 and must be -20, so we add a gain of +3.73.



- FR + 4.35, C : +1.5 , LFE +5.69, SL :+ 0.63 and SR + 0.73 . After filling in,
- run the process again and there they are..... the wanted values !



- Luckily we have a spreadsheet that does these calculations automatically for
- us. Because there is also another important issue with converting stereo to
- surround, the spreadsheet is a gift from heaven ! (Thanks to Samuel09 for the
- making of the spreadsheet). It is so important, because when converting we are
- dependend on the original stereo and how it is mixed. This leads to a soft song
- in stereo , doesn't necessary turn into a soft song in surround !! For the best
- results you ALWAYS must do a song at once and NEVER a whole album at once. When
- you do a whole album at once, you take the risc that the soft song in stereo
- sounds in surround louder than the loudest song ! That's a situation we must
- allways avoid and the spreadsheet helps with this, because you can give in the
- RMS of every song in stereo and when it's doing its calculating, it will use
- these values to make sure loud is loud in surround and softer is softer !
- Ok , put "on" to "off", close the RMSBuddies, open the filerecorder, fill in
- a name like test2, make sure "create multiple files" is selected and run the
- process to make 6 channels on your harddisc. Make a DTS WAV from those six
- files and put it together with the first effort on a CDRW. Play it on your
- Home Theater System and experience how much better the soundfield is now.
- No, it's not perfect surround.... it's only teaching and you have learned now
- the most important aspects of Plogue Bidule. You even learned things you will
- probably never use again, but it's good for understanding the other guides !
- I also want to advice you to play with the settings a bit. Especially those
- for M-var-M. It will sound quite different when you cange the first to 0.4 and
- the second to 0.9..... Just experiment but always be sure you have saved the
- empty one, in which the "default" values are. The same goes for the HNM filter
- where you also can play with the setting and listen how it affects the bass.

- The last important thing we want to discuss now is monitoring......
- Upto now we did everything on the "automatic pilot" assuming the result would
- be good. But of course it's better when you can hear direct what a change of a
- value does to the sound. The recorder outputs 6 analog soundfiles and these can
- only be monitored all at once, when you have a soundcard with 6 analog outs,
- connected directly to a HTS. I don't think many people have this, but for
- those who do : make sure you have an ASIO driver, connect it to the filerecor-
- der and connect the outs to the analog inputs of your receiver. Offline pro-
- cessing must be turned off, because you can only monitor in realtime !
- For those who only have a stereo soundcard or a soundcard with SPDIF, you can
- only monitor 2 channels at once. Also only in realtime ! But normally that 2
- channels are enough to give you a good impression on the sound of the rears,
- or the difference between FL and SL, etc. For monitoring, rightclick anywhere
- in an empty space on the layout, go "audio devices", "output", "MME" and chose
- Microsoft sound mapper. This will always work.

- With this we end the intro to learn Bidule guide and advice you to take the
- next step by learning the extended "learn Bidule" guide....Extended Guide
- In the guides often things are mentioned that won't be explained further, be-
- cause we assume you did this guide. A good example is the "on/off" button. Just
- remember that it only needs to be "on" during playing and recording of the
- songs and should be put "off" right after playing or recording is done.
- We advice you though to read every guide, because a next guide can contain
- terms only explained once in the previous guide. It's an ongoing process in
- which your knowledge grows and your results get better and better. So our ad-
- vice : don't jump from the learning guide right to the last guide ;-)

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