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Axon and SoundField partner on up-mix processor

Axon Digital Design’s Synapse DSF66 is a dual hardware stereo-to-5.1 up-mix and down-mix processor based on SoundField algorithms that uses analysis, rather than processing, to generate extra material 5.1 mixes.

Netherlands-based Axon Digital Design has partnered with SoundField, recently acquired by TSL Professional Products, to create the Synapse DSF66; a dual digital audio up-mixer and down-mixer based on SoundField algorithms. The device is designed for HD broadcasters who need to generate 5.1 broadcast mixes from archive stereo soundtracks. Unlike most up-mixing tools that use processing such adding reverb or phase-shifting to create material for the rear and surround channels, the DSF66 generates the material for the extra channels by closely analyzing the source stereo signal over time. Using a SoundField algorithm developed for the purpose, the DSF66 can detect reverberant content in the stereo signal, differentiate it from the direct sounds in the mix, and separate it out. Adjustments can be made to the details of the processing using Axon’s software-based monitoring and control platform, Cortex. Parameters include the level of the direct and ambient components in the front and rear channels, and the divergence of the centre channel in the generated 5.1 mix, with options from a discrete centre channel at one extreme to a phantom centre at the other. “Axon’s design team has worked closely with our engineers in developing the DSF66,” commented Chris Exelby, managing director, TSL Professional Products Ltd. “This product benefits from the specialist skills and experience of both teams and brings customers a completely new and innovative solution to the stereo-to-5.1 up-mixing challenge.”