MAESTRO (08-2009)

There are several programs to authore DVD's but unfortunately only a few of
of them support DTS. Most of them are limited to AC3 and LPCM. An alternative
can be DVD Lab Pro, but during the version I tested it made DVD's that were
not playable on all players ! According to the DVD specifications, the first
audiotrack needs to be LPCM or AC3. In DVD Lab I used DTS only because in the
slideshow function of that program, there is no alternative. It's no wonder that
90% of the commercial releases are made with Maestro or it's sister Spruce.
I always looked at this program with a thought in mind : too difficult. But
after playing a bit with it, it was easier than I thought. And the DVD's that
you burn with Maestro are complete compliant and garanteed to work !
It's not a very userfriendly program. You can compare it a bit with working with
an old DOS version of Wordperfect instead of working with Windows Word. For
special tricks, you need to know what to do ! Almost nothing goes automatically.
I advice you to follow this guide very carefully. I made this guide during the
second ever music DVD I made, so this guide is aimed at the absolute beginner,
just like I was when I wrote it.
The keyword here is : music ! So no fancy menu's or video's. Let's just concen-
trate on music with the minimal menu's you need for navigation. When you are
familiar with this method, you can start exploring the more professional features.


- Maestro version 2.9 build 2195
- DVDDecrypter
- A painting program like Paintshop
- A menu creation program like DVD menu studio
The last one is not needed, but it makes some things easier and I will use it
here, but the things I do with it in the guide, can also be done with Paintshop.
There are however a lot of extra's in DVD menu studio that are specific for DVD
menu's and an export to Maestro function is included in the program. So sooner
or later you will need it, if you want to make more sophisticating menu's.
You can download a trial version and manual from


After installing the program, make a special directory for your project. Make
sure it has at least 10 GB free space.

The most important part of the DVD are the DTS streams, but to make sure you get
a fully compliant DVD, you need a LPCM or AC3 stream too. When you use DTS and
AC3 5.1 streams, between 4-6 will fit on a single DVD. But as everyone probably
only want to play the DTS, you can use an AC3 2.0 stream. Now between 5 and 8
will fit on one DVD ! When the DVD to rip has no AC3 2.0, you can make it
yourself. There are several AC3 encoding tools available for doing that.

In the example I use the DTS and AC3 5.1 streams ripped from other DVD's, but of
course you can use your own made conversions from stereo to DTS. Don't forget
that when you want an AC3 of your conversion too or just the stereo in AC3, the
bitdepth of your files must be 15 bits instead of the 24 for DTS. AC3 programs
don't accept 24 or 32 bits !!!

1. In DVDDecrypter make sure you select in the IFO settings the chapter
information for Maestro. When you rip your DVD, it will also place a file with
the times of the chapters.
2. It's very easy when you have a scanner to make a scan of the cover. Not
necessary, but it makes it a lot eaiser and I will use it in the guide.
3. Use a simple name for all the streams, so you know what you're working with.
For instance : rip the DTS stream and AC3 stream from a DVD, and rename them to
01.DTS, 01.AC3. The picture from the scanner : 01.jpg or 01.bmp. The textfile
with the chapter information : 01.txt. A second DVD rip : rename everything to
02... Later in the guide you will see how important and handy this is !
All other files that came with the rip from DVDDecrypter can be deleted. Place
all the files you ripped into the directory you chose and make sure the total
size is below 4.0 GB. Now add the scans of the covers to the same directory.

Your directory should look like this :

PREPARATION - graphics

We need to make all menu's by hand. I take the easy way and use the scans from
the cover as the main source for creating menu's and a tracklist of songs
available and playing. I also want to add an image of the cover on the music DVD.

It works like this :
-Open Paintshop

-Load the cover

-Rotate the cover if necessary

-Chose the selection tool

-Select the part of the front of the cover

-Chose the pointer

-Select copy

-Paste as new image

-Chose Resize

-Resize the height of the picture to 400 pixels and keep aspect ratio

-Chose the Sharpen tool and process with standard settings

-Chose Save As

-Chose as type BMP and give it the name 01front.bmp

-Chose yes

Now do the same for the tracklist that is on the cover.

-Use the selection tool
-Copy and paste as new image

-The height of this image is minimal and won't be very visible on TV.
-Resize to 600 pixels width and 300 height. Make sure Lock Aspect ratio is

And after resizing :

-Save as 01tracks.bmp

-To make a thumbnail of the cover, reload the saved 01front.bmp and resize it to
150x200 . Again deselect Lock Aspect ratio.

-Save the picture as 01thumb.bmp

-repeat this process for all 4 DVD's.

You will notice that the soundstream of DVD 3 was divided in 2 parts.
Later in the guide you will see how we handle this.


- Of course you can make this as you wish. For instance the tracklist can be
made by hand. You can make a new picture of 600x400 and type in all the tracks
by hand. It looks nicer (most of the times) than the list from the cover, but it
is far more work. One important tip : when you do a tracklist by hand, put the
tracknumber before each title. Like : 01 Bohemian Rhapsody instead of the title
only. This will be very handy as you will see later. Actually you can make
things as fancy as you prefer. But for the guide we take the fast and easy


We're now going to make menu's from the saved graphics and we will use the
program DVD Menu Studio for this. It's fast and easy and you can make very nice
menu's with it. With moving graphics, subpictures, overlay's etc. It's all
possible, but here we keep it simple.

-Start DVD Menu Studio (short : DMS)

-This is the main screen we're gonna use. A black background but you can make it
whatever color you like.
Make sure you have a NTSC screen (720x480) !! PAL would limit your DVD to
Europe only, while NTSC can be played almost worldwide.

-The first screen to make is a selection menu for the sound.
-I told you above using DD5.1 and DTS on this disc, so I need two selections
for the soundformats and one selection to return to the main menu.
-I will use the official logo's here, add a text "Soundmenu" and a text "RETURN"
-The two graphics and "RETURN" text will become selectable buttons in Maestro.

-First the text "Soundmenu"
-Select the texticon on the left side :

-Click anywhere on the black surface and a window appears where you can type
your text

-I chose the font "calligraphic", a size of 60 and Bold :

-Drag the text to the desired place, here in the upper middle :

-On the bottom you see a tab called Color & Texture. By clicking on any,
your text changes immediately. I take some nice texture here........

-Repeat this process with the text "RETURN" and put that somewhere on the bottom.
Your screen should look somethimg like this :

-Now we add the graphics for DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1
-goto File , Import and load the two graphics

-Keep the size as they are, just push OK

-Place the graphics on the right places

-Save your screen as 00audiomenu.bmp

The next step creates a template that we can use for every title. It should
contain a button for "PLAY" and one for "RETURN".

-Start with a new screen and in the bottom right make two texts : "PLAY" and
-Use a smaller font, like 36 pixels

-Save the file as 00playmenutemplate.bmp

-This template will be used for every title. Let's start with the first.
-Load the saved template
-Import the file 01front.bmp
-Keep the size settings that appear on screen and place your graphic on the
-Make sure it fits on the inner dotted line.

-Save the file as 01playmenu.bmp
-Repeat this step for the other titles
Your directory after finishing all 4 titles :


The Main menu will contain the thumbs from the albums and an instance to chose
the soundtream. We will use DVD Menu Studio again.

-Import 01thumb.bmp - 04thumb.bmp
-Make one textbox : "Chose sound"
-Align these on the screen on any place you wish.

Here is my example :

-Save the file as 00mainmenu.bmp

PREPARATION - tracklists

When a track is playing, we want to see the title on screen. For this we will
use the tracklists grabbed from the covers and saved as xxtracks.bmp

-Open DVD Menu Studio
-Import 01tracks.bmp
-Place in the middle of the screen
-Align it to the inner dotted lines

This tracklist needs some modification. When for instance track 11 is playing,
you still don't know which one that is, or you have to count from the screen .
We can use two methods here.
a. add a number to each track on the screen
b. add an indicator for each track (for instance an arrow pointing at the track)

With #a you can use the tracksscreen for every track and look at the display of
your DVD player to see which one is playing.
With #b you need to make a separate screen for every track
(25 tracks > 25 screens !), but you only have to look on the screen to see
which song is playing.

-Make the tracklist a bit smaller than the main area between the inner dotted
lines, but only from the left side as we have enough room on the other tracks

-Add a number to each song
-Click the text icon and fill in "01". Use a fontsize matching the text of the
tracks. In this case a fontsize of 28 will be nice.
-Repeat this for all tracks and you end up with :

-Save the screen as 01tracklist.bmp

As you see it will be a lot easier if the tracks were already numbered on the
DVD cover

-For the guide I will use method #a, but I'll show you how to do #b.
-Make the tracklist a bit smaller than the main area between the inner dotted
lines, but only from the left side as we have enough room on the other tracks

-Goto the bottom with the tabs and chose objects

-On the left side chose arrows from the box

-Chose a nice one

-And drag it onto the screen

-Resize it and place it before the first song

-Save this screen as 01tracklist_01.bmp

-Select the arrow, place it on the second song

And save the screen as 01tracklist_02.bmp

Repeat these steps for all 21 songs.

When the DVD plays, after song 1, you will see the arrow jump to song 2 etc.

As I chose method #a, I didn't save these screens to the directory.

-Start with a black screen again in DVD Menu Studio and import 02tracks.bmp
-Place it somewhere on the screen, align with the inner dotted line
-Luckily this one is numbered, so we can save it immediately as 02tracklist.bmp

-The next one (03tracks.bmp) is not numbered, but all tracks are on one row and
that makes it easier. Just chose the text tool and fill in with a size of 21,
all the numbers as a row, but as this music track comes in two parts, we need
to take care of that right now. Both parts contain 8 songs, so we need to make
clear that song 9 is the first song of part 2. So in the text tool, type : 1-1
ENTER 1-2 ENTER to 1-8 and then go on with 2-1 ENTER 2-2 ENTER to 2-8 ENTER.
-You now have a colomn of numbers that you can place before the songs.
Align it, so every number is neatly aligned with the songtitle.

-Save it as 03tracklist.bmp

-Repeat the same steps for the last title.

Your directory now cantains :

You can close DVD Menu studio now.

All temporary files can be deleted from your directory :
- the jpg's
- the fronts (o1front.bmp etc.)
- the tracks (01tracks.bmp etc.)
- the thumbs (01 thumb.bmp etc.)

After that you have all you need in one directory to start making the DVD !

AUTHORING - movies

We have all the files complete and can start authoring the DVD.

-Start Maestro. There is no preview option in Maestro, but this can be added if
you have an older version of Ravisent Cinemaster player. Adding this and the
preview works.
But with carefully following the guide, you don't need it !

-At first glance Maestro looks easy, but it's a complicated program and not
userfriendly. Once you know how to work with it, it becomes easier with every
-Goto the File menu and chose preferences

-Make sure the settings are like this :

first tab :

third tab :

-Press OK

-Goto the bottom right, place the cursor inside the area, right-click the mouse
and chose "Import Media Asset"

-Surf to your directory and select all files.
-When everything is imported, press once on the name tab to sort everything by
-It takes some time for Maestro to import everything. When it's done, you get
this :

-Let's make the first "movie"
-Select Movie1 at the left side of the screen by double clicking.

The screen changes to this, after maximizing the display :

-Click on the 01.ac3 stream and drag it to the shown position :

-Do the same with the 01.DTS and move it to the left. It will then automatically
align to the start position :

-Do the same with 01tracklist.bmp :

-Goto the "Zoom Out" button :

-And press it a few times until you have it like this :

-The tracklist of the first stream has 21 chapters. Drag and drop the
01tracklist.bmp 20 extra times to the movieline. After finishing, you have this
on screen :

-Press CTRL + "I" to get the Video Clip List View Mode (or goto the view menu
and select it there) :

-Make the complete window smaller by pressing "restore down" :

-Goto your directory and doubleclick the 01.txt file. Make it fit next to the
Maestro screen.

-Click once on endtime, it turns white. Click again on it, it turns blue and you
can fill in the time from the 01.txt file. (click twice, do not double click !)

BUT : When you count the number of chapter times in notepad, you have 23
chapters, but the tracklist says 21. The times of the first in notepad
(00:01:24:03) and the last (difference between the start : 01:35:13:09 and the
end, which can be seen in the window with all the files : 01:37:02:18) are very
small, so probably they are just an intro and an outtro. I join them with the
first and last track. If you don't like that, you need to go back to DVD Menu
and make two additions to the chapterlist : intro at the start and outtro at the
end, and rename all the chapters !! For the ease of the guide, I just join the
intro and track one and the outtro with track 21.

So fill in the third time in the endtime box (In notepad I selected the time, so
we will not lose track halfway.... ) :

-After filling it in , press the down-arrow to scroll down one chapter and fill
in the next endtime :

-Do this for all the tracks but after filling in 01:29:43:08, you need to fill
in the time where the music ends (remember : last track here=lasttrack+outtro).
So there you need to fill in the endtime of the soundstream, which is displayed
in the files window next to the soundstreams. (Always chose the longest if there
is a small difference between the AC3 and DTS track. Here you see the AC3 track
is one frame longer than the DTS track) So for the last one, you fill in
01:37:02:18 :

-Close Notepad and maximize the Maestro screen and press CTRL + "I" again.
You now get a view of your music movie, divided in the times you entered.
Check it by pressing the "-" button a view times :

-Goto the line above the line with the chapter screens and right-click in it.
From the popup menu, chose "set playcursor"

-Move your mouse cursor above the end of the first chapter and left click. A
window appears that looks like this :

Make sure the settings are the same and just press OK. Now move your cursor to
the next point and repeat this for all tracks. You will see that all chapters
are now inserted and named :

Now is a good time to save your project ! Just goto the file menu, chose save as
and save it with a name in the directory with all your files. Give it the name
16.dvd as this is my 16th music DVD ;-) Let's go on with the rest.
-Go to the upper left corner, right-click on movie1 and chose "add new movie" :

Now repeat the whole process for the second music track and save it.

Track 03 needs a special treatment, as this track is divided in 2 parts. The way
to work here is the same as you would have to work when you have all separate
songs instead of one long stream.

First do 03part1 the same as you did the two previous ones. So: add a new movie,
place the chapterlist, add the times, add the chapters and save.
03part1 becomes thus movie 3.

Now do 03part2 the same, but the new movie will be movie 4 !

Time to add movie 5 and fill in the details for 04.ac3 and dts.....
After listening, you will notice that the first track is an intro and can be
added to the first song. So the first song is from 00:00:00:00 to 00:06:34:05 .
Save again and the movies are now ready.
Time to make the menu's !

AUTHORING - menu's

It will be easy if we use the same menu titles for the same music tracks.
Menu1 should be the menu for movie1, menu2 for movie2....
Menu5 will be the main menu and menu6 the sound menu.
Later in the guide when we're going to connect everything, it shows it's ease...

-Right-click on menu1 and add a new menu. Do this 5 times to have 6 menu's

-Doubleclick on menu one and this screen appears :

-Drag and drop 01playmenu.bmp on the emty menu screen :

and your menu for 01 appears :

-Repeat these steps for menu2 to menu4
-Drag and drop 00mainmenu.bmp on menu5
-Drag and drop 00soundmenu.bmp on menu6

The menu's need navigation added and we start with the sound menu

-Scroll down a bit until you have the Dolby logo on screen
-Click the mouse somewhere at the top left corner of that logo

and drag a square around it. It will turn into a button

-Do the same for the DTS logo and the "Return" text.
-you now have 3 selectable buttons.

We must instruct the program how to navigate on the soundmenu with the remote-

-Scroll up to the DD button and click once on it. It should become green
-Below the screen click on the button tab
-In the navigation setting you will see a blue "1"
-When you press the down button on the remote, it should jump to button 2.
-I add that when you press the up-button it will jump to button 3
-Fill in the emty space above the "1" : 3 and in the space below 2

-When you select Dolby Digital, it should play Dolby Digital, so goto the setting
Stream Pre Selection and set "Set Audio To" to stream 1

-Scroll down to the DTS logo and repeat the steps
-The setting should look like this :

-Repeat the steps for the return button with these settings:

-Goto menu5 and do the same.
Pay extra attention to what the buttons numbers should be as the thumbs on the
screen are not in the same order as the streams. For instance : menu1 is for
Placebo and on the main menu, it's the 4th button at the right. It would be easy
if you name these according to the order of the playmenu's. So button one should
jump to menu1. From right to left this is what the thumbs should be :
4th thumb : button1
3th thumb : button2
2th thumb : button4 (!!)
1st thumb : button3 (!!)
5th thumb (chose sound) : button 5

On this main menu you can also use the remote control to jump to the left and
the right. Here is the setting for the second thumb. You can do the rest your-
self. On all these buttons, it's navigation only, no sound setting !

-Repeat these steps for menu4-menu1. when you have done all, you end with menu1
on screen. Now we will make the navigation for when you press a button.
Let's start with menu1

- Left click on button 1
-Right click on button one and a pop up menu appears. Here you chose where it
should jump to when you press that button.
-When you press "play" it should jump to movie1, chapter one

-Left click on "return" (button 2)
-Right click and chose menu
-Chose menu 5, button 1 !!!

Remember that movie 4 is not used in the menu's. Pay extra attention to where
it should jump to. When you place the mouse cursor on a button, it will show the

The main menu is the next one we will do.
Pressing button1 should jump to menu1, pressing button2 should jump to menu2
Pressing button3 should jump to menu3, pressing button4 should jump to menu4
Pressing button5 should jump to menu6 (!!) which is the sound menu.

I prefer to jump to the button that you most likely will not press after you
made the selection on the main menu. When you press for instance the button for
Tower of Power, it's most likely that on the next screen, you will press play.
So I point the navigation to the return button. So pressing button 1 should jump
to menu1, button 2 !
Do this for the 4 albums. Here is the example for the first button :

Again pay extra attention to the switched buttons for 3 and 4 !!

Do the same for button 5. It should jump to menu 6 button 3.

The last menu we should do is the soundmenu. You can chose where it should jump
to after you made your selection. I prefer that when you press the DTS button,
it should jump to "return" and from there press return to go back to the main
menu. But if you like you can also make it jump directly to the main menu.
-The return button should jump back to the main menu to button 5

All menu's are ready now !!

AUTHORING - connections and remote control behaviour

We're almost there.... What we must do now, is set for every part of the DVD
what should happen when you press the menu button on the remote, when the disc
is playing. Also what should happen after a song ended and how to deal with the
track that has two parts. And last but not least, what must happen when you
insert the disc in your player.

-Click on the connections icon

-This should be on screen now :

-On the line "first play" , right click on target. When we insert the DVD we
want the main menu to show up as first.... chose that :

-Do the same for "title menu" :

-Now go to "movie1:chapter 1:menu key" and right click on the target line.
When you press the menu key on the remote, it should jump to a menu. You can
chose to jump to the main menu or to the menu with play and return.
I chose for all : main menu and button 5. This process needs only be done for
the first chapter and the last two. Maestro will add the others automatically.
The picture however shows how it looks when you do all by hand........

-After the last song, you need to do the same for "movie1:chapter21:end action".
Here you tell what should happen when the album is completely played. Again you
can chose where to jump. Jump to the play and return menu, play the next album
or jump to the main menu. I again chose the main menu button 5

-Repeat all these steps for movie2

-Repeat again for the first 8 tracks of movie 3 :

-The target of "movie3:chapter 8: end action" is however not the same ! Here we
should jump to the second part of the movie and that's movie 4, the first

Repeat all the steps for movie 4 and the end action of the last chapter should
be a jump to the main menu again.

Now do the steps for the last movie : movie 5

Remember : although the pictures show a jump on every line, for every chapter,
you only need to do the first and last two !!

-Open the navigation simulator from the tools menu or press ALT + "S" ...

In the simulator, you can check if all your links are working as they should.

When everything is working.... the authoring is done.
Save your work now !!

AUTHORING - compiling

Now we can compile everything into a working DVD.

-Go to the tools menu and chose compile

-A window appears where you can tell where you want the compiled DVD

I chose the same directory as all the project files : j:/temp

If you didn't save your project, the program will remind you :

Just click "yes" , it saves your project and the compiling starts.
This takes some time !! You can follow the process in the bottom left window :

When the compiling is ready, you receive a message that can contain useful
information. When for instance you forgot to set first play, it will mention so
in this screen....

As you see, everything is fine here. It only says something about "No subpicture
defined....". This is some of the things you can make in DVD Menu Studio.
Here we used no subpicture but the default of Maestro.

Now the Audio_TS and VIDEO_TS are made and ready to burn on DVD except for one
small thing. Open the VIDEO_TS folder and remove the instance ending on .lay !!
If you don't do that your DVD won't play !!


When you compare the size of all our source files with the final VIDEO_TS you
will notice it's hardly any bigger : 3.71 GB for the original files and 3.86 GB
for the VIDEO_TS.

Ways to improve the DVD :
- instead of making the navigation between buttons on a menu by hand, you can
also go to the tab "advanced", then to "navigation" and "auto assign". Maestro
will then take care the buttons work as intended. So when you press up, it goes
up, and donw when you press down. So this is a very useful and time saving
function ! However it's for navigation inside menu's only ! Not for for instance
jumping from a button to a movie !!
- add a separate menu with the songtitles, where you can chose a song
- make better menu's (I know some graphics are ugly, but I used them to
stimulate you to make them better yourself !
- use more background material instead of everything black
- learn DVD Menu Studio : you can make excellent menu's with it
- and the most important : use your imagination !!

Happy Encoding !!


Layout and Guide by The Dynamic Duo
The Dynamic Duo : Kempfand & Eye of Horus
It's not allowed to re-publish this method !