Atmos to Sony 360RA?

Hi everyone

A client has asked me to deliver a ‘360 RA which is Sony’s equivalent’ mix along with a Dolby Atmos mix (for music). This is the first time I have been asked for this format.

I have tried to research this but I am still unsure what this means in terms of delivery and format. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Is this something I can deliver with Nuendo? As I would already have an Atmos mix working and (to the best of my ability) a binuaral mix, is the workflow to produce a 360 (VR?) mix easy or would (as I suspect) it involve a ground up remix (in terms of panning)?



If I remember correctly, Sony VR is built on the MPEG-H standard. For production, you need the “360 WalkMix Creator” plug-in, which carries a price tag of about 546 euros.
The plug-in can also be used with Nuendo. And before I explain it to you in a long-winded way: Here is a video that should answer many of your questions about this format: Sony | How to use 360 WalkMix Creator™ - YouTube

1 Like

thanks a lot @MAS - now it makes sense! I’ll post back here when I’ve finished the project to share my experiences.

I am glad that I could help. When you have completed your project, I would be very interested in your experience with Sony 360 Reality Audio. In particular, whether it is worth its price. :smile:

I’m also interested. :grinning:

I’m using the 360RA plugin on a regular basis in Nuendo. It’s easy to set up and incorporate into the workflow. The only recurrent problem with the plugin with Nuendo and Cubase is a latency on the exported 360RA master. According to the Sony submission specs, the 360RA master has to be in 50ms phase alignment to the stereo master equivalent. This is easy to set up in the project - aligning the stems with the stereo master reference (they sync perfectly with playback also, no latency). But after exporting, the 360RA master audio is always behind that of the stereo master (sometimes lagging as much as 1.3sec behind)

Also, I’ve rolled back to using version 1.1.2. There seems to be a bug with the latest version (1.3.3) with Nuendo & Cubase (Mac & PC). It keeps on giving this warning message when you try to export:


Would love to know about other Steinberg users’ experiences with the Walkmix plugin

1 Like

Thanks for this - really useful. I’ve just been given the green light for my 360RA test mix so I’ll report back how I get on as a newbie to this.

One query, once you have done the export, how do you now it’s out of alignment? How do you playback the stereo and the exported RA file together to check this out of interest?

Are you using the 360RA 13.0 format (5.0.5+3 bottom) for your render? Curious how you approach the 360 RA bottom layer - what sounds do you place there vs ear level?

To double check the alignment, I just import the stereo master and one of the rendered filesets, e.g. 13_1_OfflineRenders, into an empty Nuendo arrangement.

But it seems like the audio export latency issue and the error message in Nuendo 12 & Cubase 12 was sorted out with the latest update 1.3.4

1 Like

Yes, it’s a 13.0 format. Low frequency elements work better for me with a low elevation. I like to place them “at my feet” e.g. kick drums and basses work well with an elevation of between -60° and -90°. Just make sure to always check the levels against the stereo master. Dropping the elevation tends to increase the instrument’s volume level. The important stuff like e.g. lead vocals I’ll place at ear level at the front

1 Like

Hi everyone - I’ve just finished my first 360RA music test mix. Here’s my experience….

Installation: No problems (there doesn’t appear to be a trial). Support was very good, they responded within an hour of emailing them regarding the error reported earlier in the thread (now fixed).

Setting up: Fairly straightforward. Drop the plugin on the output bus (it then asks if this is the output bus - you say yes and close and forget about it). Then drop the plugin in the last insert channel of every channel you want to work with. Oh, and remember to turn the plugin on! I was wondering why nothing was happening until I noticed the power button on the plugin. And make sure the ‘headphones’ icon is selected if working binaurally. Everything works pre-fader so working with exported stems (including FX) is definitely the easiest way to work.

In use: Only one instance of the plugin needs to be open to work with every object in the session. If you are used to the Steinberg 3D panner, the 360 panner can take a bit of getting used to. It works with azimuth and elevation, which is fine for spinning and whirling things up and around the head, not so easy for passing things from front to back, left to right or over the top/bottom. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but the nature of the panner means that passing a linked stereo object through the middle will narrow to mono (when central) before expanding back to full stereo when in the rear. If you want to make a wide stereo track pass wide to the back, you have to unlock the stereo object and manually automate each side separately.

In reality, this wasn’t as hard as it sounds. I found that the best way to work with the panner in my session was to rely solely on automation. Once I knew what numbers to type in to send an object from a-b, it was very quick to get the results I was aiming for, especially when I wanted subtle tempo-locked movement of things like pads and delays around the 3D. I also found the results to be very convincing. I felt the movement was more discreet than the Atmos binaural downmix within Nuendo, but maybe it was just a better mix…

The other drawback of having all the objects in every instance of the plugin was that it gets very busy. I only had 36 objects, but it was already very hard to select the required object in the GUI. You also need to rename your objects within the plugin with short aliases if you want to keep the labels on, otherwise it’s a big mess of text. I would like to see the ‘solo’ button in the plugin solo the object in the GUI also. There is an option to go full screen with the plugin, which gives you a mixer view.

Rendering and distribution: In the settings of the plugin, you have to set the output path. Then just export as normal (24/48 stereo interleaved) to the same path you just set and make sure the 360 plugin is open also. Once the Nuendo wav has exported, the plugin then prompts you with an array of export options, including whether you want to normalise (loudness doesn’t seem to be a thing here). This is where I found the documentation a little lacking. I personally didn’t know what the ‘levels’ of MPEG-H meant, or what WAV-SAM was or what ‘Unprocessed’ meant. Upon a google it seems the ‘levels’ applies to how many channels the file supports, which I guess has implications for compression. Either way, the MP4 file generated wouldn’t play on my iphone or any player on my PC.

However, this didn’t matter as one of the output options is ‘headphone channels’. This creates a binaural WAV which you can distribute like any other WAV file and simply works.

Submission for official distribution looks a bit more involved than Atmos where I am used to simply handing over ADM files. I’d be interested if anyone here has any experience with this? The submission requirements can be found here: Submission Guidelines |

So overall I think the plugin is great. I like the way it’s been implemented and it sounds really convincing. It will be interesting to see what kind of takeup this has going forward…




Hi Bruce - Very interesting and detailed post - thank you!

Penteo would like to learn more about your 360RA experience from an upmix pov. If you are interested, please dm us back here how to get in touch with you, or email us at

Additional: Just to add, now I have delivered a 360 mix for digital distribution, all that was required were all 4 levels of the MPEG-H MP4 compression. These are used for the different amounts of bandwidth available to the consumer. On a lower bandwidth the DSP would switch automatically to a L0.5 or L1 or L2 and full bandwidth will allow a playback of L3

1 Like

Hi everyone - Penteo has released its direct upmix for Sony 360 Reality Audio formats including 3-level controls and a high-quality conversion for Atmos 7.1.2 to / from Sony 13.0 (5.0.5 +3B). We had a positive beta test but would still love feedback from any 360RA users on this thread since its still a pretty new format. Email us at if you’re interested.


Looking at your BF sale prices - you have discounted the prices new purchases but your upgrade prices are unchanged so those upgrade prices aren’t hugely attractive.

Plus you are sneaking features in to the ‘pro+’ version that I feel should be in the the ‘pro’ version - the minus LFE formats and binaural for example.

just sayin’

also please stop your website opening a new window every time you click a link :slight_smile:

We are currently testing compatibility between Atmos, MPEG-H and Sony360. (At the ADM master level.) Has anyone had any experience with this?

Of course you are aware that you already have the ability to output every non-LFE Atmos format by just turning it off in Penteo’s controls. Penteo is customer driven – we survey our customers for new features and formats so if you have not already done so, please be sure you register with us so you can provide your feedback moving forward.

Regarding the site, none of the master navigation buttons trigger a new window so we don’t understand this comment. Only redirects to 3rd party sites do, that is a best practice.

I just opened your site on ios in safari and firefox and unfortunately every click does open a new window. Perhaps the mobile theme is not working correctly?

Our mobile site has no top navigation buttons so I am not clear how that is possible? Just checked Safari and confirmed.

Would you be so kind as to email us a video of what you are seeing so we can investigate further

hi - I’m a Penteo Pro owner, I am signed up - and I’ve HAVE just given you my feedback…here ?

re: the your website -looks like most of them are now working ok apart from the ‘installer’ link on the top menu