Bug in N12 w/ external Dolby renderer & Objects

Just setup a new Dolby Atmos project, this time not with the internal renderer, but the external renderer from Dolby (v5, the new combined suite).

Everything more or less worked as expected, except in the ADM Authoring tool, when you select a track in the project and use the function to create an object and connect it, it flashes quickly and then nothing happens.

It only happens on certain tracks though. I tracked it down to being tracks that are stereo (or perhaps mono). Track that are routed to 5.1 buses work fine. In fact if I set up a 5.1 dummy bus and send the track I want to turn into an object to that dummy bus, then the ADM Authoring window succeeds in creating and routing the object.

I didn’t see that behavior with the internal renderer. Assume it’s a bug as it every so briefly creates the output but I guess fails on switching the panner to object mode, and then backtracks. I guess the panner being in balance mode as default for stereo tracks is what’s throwing it off.

This is on N12.0.52

(Are those issues that should be reported to support, or a bugs like this for the forum - couldn’t quite tell from Steinberg’s support pages.)

I use the external renderer exclusively and haven’t encountered your issue. The only thing I do in the ADM Authoring Tool is to tell it I’m using the external renderer. I guessed everything else in it was designed to be used with the internal renderer? In any case, my approach is to create an output audio bus that identifies the Dolby Audio Bridge channel(s) for mono or stereo objects. I route my object track to that bus. In the track’s Dolby panner I choose the DAB channels used in the corresponding output bus. Track automation lanes change the panner’s X, Y, Z and size parameters. This track/bus pairing has worked great.

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Makes sense.

ADM only works for objects with the external render, not beds. But it can save you time, as ‘Make object from selected track’ essentially does a few things you do manually with one click.

If you have the checkbox checked - select the track (or multiple in the project), add object, and it will automatically create the output bus in audio connections, assigns appropriate IDs, sets up the routing, and changes the panner to object.

It’s a weird little ‘gotcha’.

Setting a track as an Atmos object only works when the VST multipanner is active on that track, and the track has to be routed to a destination larger than stereo to get that panner to load.

This behavior is the same with both the internal and external renderer workflow.

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@minnjd Exactly what I found. Seems like something that could be fixed, but is deep down on the priority list I assume. Thx for confirming I didn’t miss anything.

If it’s even on there at all.

It feels like Atmos is a bit of a hack in Nuendo that’s trying to work around some legacy code that was desgined before Atmos was even a thing.

I have often wondered how Atmos is integrated into Nuendo: Was there a “black box” from Dolby around which Nuendo’s program code had to be written, without really knowing what was happening in the “black box”? Or does Steinberg have full insight into how the renderer works? Of the two, the latter would be the better option.

Almost certainly it’s a complete software library from Dolby that has an API that can be accessed by the host DAW (Nuendo, Resolve or Logic Pro). They can send audio and metadata in and get audio out, but they most likely can’t change anything internal to the renderer itself.

If you look closely, all three of those DAW’s have almost identical features and omissions compared to the standalone Atmos renderer that Dolby sells, again implying they all use the same library from Dolby.

Resolve is a bit ahead of the curve as they just introduced 9.1.6 Atmos monitoring, but I imagine Nuendo and Logic will be right behind it.

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Probably this. I know this from Scenarist BD/UHD: it’s practically a full-blown Dolby encoder. The protocol data even looks exactly like that of the Dolby Media Encoder (DME).

Nuendo can also handle 9.1.6. It is just not displayed correctly in the internal renderer.

As I said in the other thread no, Nuendo’s internal Atmos renderer cannot render a 9.1.6 output at this time. It maxes out at 7.1.4

Is there much difference between the retender that ships with N12 v the new Dolby Atmos Production Suite.

Any reason to use/prefer one over another?

I am in a bit of limbo as I am playing with 9.1.4 which means I need to use all the beds and 4 objects.

The LW and RW are very useful for building a stage and bring the main artiest into the virtual room.

Any thoughts?

I haven’t been deep in the feature differences. The primary benefit of the external renderer for me is the other file formats and ability to merry .mp4 with JOC encoded audio. That simplifies the workflow in many ways.

With all due respect, this statement is definitely wrong.