Yorkshire-based microphone manufacturer SoundField has launched a software plug-in version of its UPM-1 stereo-to-5.1 upmix processor.

Originally released in hardware form at IBC 2008, the UPM-1 is used by broadcasters - including Sky on its football coverage - to generate realistic-sounding, broadcast-quality 5.1 surround sound when only a stereo mix is available.

The new plug-in version is designed for post-production workflows rather than live applications and is available in VST (PC and Mac), RTAS (PC and Mac) and Mac-only AU formats.

The UPM-1 uses a unique algorithm that analyses the stereo input material and separates ambient sounds from the direct sounds - or what might broadly be referred to as the ‘distant’ and ‘close-miked’ sounds.

As with the original hardware unit, the plug-in allows detailed adjustment of the relative levels of direct sound and front and rear ambient sound in the final 5.1 mix, with continuous software rotary controls for Width and Centre channel Divergence.

Level, Mute and Solo controls are also provided for each channel.

The UPM-1 plug-in is currently scheduled to ship in October 2010.