Multi-Language DVDs, So Easy Grandma Can Do It

Well, for this post I thought I’d show you how simple it is to create DVDs in DVD Studio Pro that utilize multiple audio tracks. We use it around here for making DVDs with multiple languages, so you could watch the same video in French, German, Portuguese, etc. This same theory can be applied to putting in director’s commentaries, or maybe you’re doing something awesome with audio tracks that I’ve never even heard of! I’m sure some of may think it’s really easy to do this, while others may have never attempted it so they don’t know where to begin, but the truth of the matter is that it is extremely easy.

There’s that saying that “it’s so easy that my grandmother can do it!”, well, I’m gonna prove that theory correct, as I have actually brought my Grandma Shirley here to the office on my lunch break to prove that even she can create multi-language DVDs!

Scott: How are you doing today Grandma?

Grandma Shirley: Ehhhh, I’ve been worse. I thought you said we were going to Max and Erma’s?

Scott: We are, but I want to do this quick tutorial first, and I thought it would be nice if we did it together.

Grandma Shirley: Is this some computer thing, I don’t like computers.

Scott: Well, that will just prove how easy it is, I will teach this to a person who doesn’t even use computers!

Grandma Shirley: Is this some e-mail thing? Madeline down the hall has e-mail, gets all her mail on the computer, it’s crazy, I think she’s crazy.

Scott: Well, OK… Let’s get started with this. I’ve taken a video of my 10th birthday, and had some of my college friends translate it into 11 different languages. This should make a nice christmas present next year, huh Grandma?

Grandma Shirley: Yeah, if you want to be cheap about it.

Scott: There’s nothing cheap about sentiment. I’ve already created the audio tracks in Final Cut Pro, exported the AIFFs, and compressed them to AC3 files, and now I’m taking them into DVD Studio Pro.

Grandma Shirley: What?


Scott: Now the first thing I need to do is drag my video track from the assets up into the graphical view.

Grandma Shirley: OK?


Scott: So if you check in your track window, there will be only your video track, see it?

Grandma Shirley: I guess so.


Scott: I’ll start off by adding the English audio first.

Grandma Shirley: Makes sense.

Scott: One method of doing this, which certainly works for the first language, but not so much for the next languages, is to just drag the English audio file on top of the video in the graphical view.


Scott: Now as you can see the English audio track is in the track window.

Grandma Shirley: Yeah, it’s the two bar things, yeah I see it.

Scott: If you were to just drag the next language onto the graphical view, it would just put that language on the same audio track as the English one, so the method for adding the rest of the language tracks is by dragging them onto the next audio track in the track window.


Scott: Uh-oh! It appears as if there are only 8 audio tracks! But there are 11 languages! How are we suppose to get out of this dilemma, Grandma?

Grandma Shirley: I don’t know Scott, I’m hungry, and frankly I don’t care.

Scott: Well you should be excited, we’re now problem solving now, like on that show you watch, MacGyver.

Grandma Shirley: That show tends to have real problems. Why is this a problem?! What are we even doing?

Scott: What are we doing?? We are going to add another video track, that’s what we’re doing! Drag the same video clip into the graphical view to create two of them.


Scott: While you’re at it, make sure to change the names of them to something so you can tell them apart easily. Then bring up the 2nd video in the track window, and drag the remaining 3 language tracks in the first three audio tracks of this video.

Scott: Here I have a simple menu created with buttons for each of the languages, this is what you will see first when you put in the DVD, Grandma.

Grandma Shirley: I don’t like those disc things, you bought me them for christmas last year, I tried to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, so I put the CD in my clock/radio which also has a disc hatch, and nothing happened on the TV…

Scott: Wow, uhhh, that’s a whole slew of problems right there. I’ll show you the perhaps dozens of things you don’t understand after lunch. But for now, switch over to the outline view, and drag the 1st video track onto each of the 8 languages you connected to it earlier, and set the asset.


Scott: Once you’ve done that, do the same with the second video track for the remaining 3 languages.


Grandma Shirley: Is this what you do for a living? Play computer games all day?

Scott: Haha, it’s not a computer game, this is a professional DVD authoring program.

Grandma Shirley: Are your mother and father aware that they saved money for you your whole life so you could get a good education and go to college, and for what??? You go to college to make little plastic discs???

Scott: Well, I went to film school, I learned all about every aspect of filmmaking. It’s almost like majoring in English, but I watched films instead of reading books.

Grandma Shirley: You majored in movies. I saw Gone With the Wind on the Turner network yesterday, look at me! I’m a college graduate! Where’s my degree!? Your grandfather worked for 47 years as a lawyer in Cook county, he did REAL work. Your brother Christopher works for the forestry department for the state of Illinois. But this? You should be ashamed of the time and money you’ve wasted.

Scott: Well, I’m happy you’re so proud of me, Grandma, I love you too. …If you click on the English button in the menu, then go to the button menu in the bottom right of the screen, you should note that under “Audio Stream” it should read “Audio Stream 1” as the default. This is correct in this case, because the 1st video has English in the first audio track.

Scott: If you refer back to the menu, and click on the Italian button you can…

Grandma Shirley: You know who I met in Italy after the War? Your Grandfather, a REAL MAN. Look at yourself, with your unkempt beard, and Beatles t-shirt, I’ve seen the women you bring home, you don’t think I have, but I have. A bunch of floozies. You probably found them on the street with the rest of the garbage.

Scott: (FAKE COUGH) SOOOO, if you click on Italian button, then go to the button menu, you will need to change the Audio Stream to Audio Stream 6, as you have placed the Italian language track on the 6th audio track of the 1st video.


Scott: Now to do the other 3 audio tracks, click on one of the other language buttons in the menu and in the button menu, the “Target” video track should be set to the 2nd video track.

Scott: Now it is just a matter of changing the Audio Streams for each of the buttons to correspond with the correct audio tracks for the 2nd video. The key to not screwing this up is to just make sure you are working with the correct “Target” video in the button menu.

Grandma Shirley: You?! Giving advise on how not to screw up?! HA!

Scott: And there you have it. I would suggest that you go through the Simulate Disc mode and make sure that you set everything correctly, and you should now have multiple audio tracks for your video. If you wanted to just have one button with say 4 audio commentaries or 4 different languages, you could just put 4 different audio files in the track window, set the button to Audio Stream 1, then when you play the DVD, pressing the audio button on your remote control will switch the different audio, just like on a Hollywood DVD. See Grandma, this was easy as pie, I bet if I let you try this again without my help, you could do it no problem.

Grandma Shirley: Yeah, whatever you say, I can make CDs, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m going to faint, that’s how hungry I am… Where is the lunch you promised me? Some grandson you are, starving an old woman like this!

Scott: Now I’m off to another charming lunch with my lovable Grandma. See you next time.

Grandma Shirley: Always with the sarcasm! That’s why you’re not married. Who can put up with your nonsense?

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