Dolby atmos binaural with headtracking and apple

So my friend showed me apples new earbuds with head tracking built into them, not just for gaming but also music… He says you can only author content for this in logic? For those of you unaware binaural with headtracking is a different ball game to normal static binaural on that sound objects will maintain position when you turn tour head if the hrtf is compatable with yours. He also said you need a newer mac chip to create and an iphone to listen. So my question is can such headtrackable atmos files be rendered with nuendo? If not is it on the cards and is an android and windows version on the horizon?
please note I am specifically referring to head tracking, such as that which is built into Apples new earbuds not personalised hrtfs.

I’m a little short on time right now, so just the links:

The most important thing should still be said: Apple uses a different kind of binaural rendering. (Of course, what else.) It’s called “Spatial Audio”. If you want direct feedback, then you really need Logic, because only there is an “Apple Renderer” available. But it also works with Nuendo. Then, however, it becomes a little more cumbersome.

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Hi - I only see reference to personalised HRTFs something in which I have some expertise as it was part of my Phd research - please note I am specifically referring to head tracking, such as that which is built into Apples new earbuds, not personalised hrtfs. Yes its annoying that apple has taken it upon themselves to render the atmos files in their own way - My friend mentioned this.
BTW You can already do real-time mixing in binaural with personalised HRTFs with assorted plugins in Nuendo or any other Daw, all you need is a plugin that lets you upload our own HRTF file (eg SOFA file) - which can be measured in a number of ways. but this is off-topic.

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If it’s about your friend’s statements, he’s basically right (see my addition above). But Apple’s Spatial Audio is also based on ADM BWF. It doesn’t matter if it was created with Logic or Nuendo. “Spatail Audio” is just an additional layer that is put on top of Dolby Atmos, if you want to say it that way. (If you create your mix with Nuendo and it ends up at Apple, then Apple “spices up” your mix with Spatial Audio.)

Head tracking is also independent of your DAW. Apple hardware takes care of this task. You don’t need to make any provisions for it when mixing. (Provided you mix in Atmos in Nuendo.)

The advantage of Logic is that you can hear directly in the DAW how your mix will sound with Apple. With Nuendo, you can only do that with a detour.
How much you miss this possibility depends of course on the individual case. With Apple, the binaural mix is created from a 5.1.4 downmix of the Atmos master. Additionally, the “Spatial Audio” renderer affects the sound. Therefore, “Spatial Audio” sounds somewhat different than Atmos. Therefore, you should always check the result before publishing so that you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises.

Right on tx. I actually thinknthere ia an advantage to mixing with head tracking and ive done ot before. I really dont want apple “spicing up my mix” especially with spatial audio stuff (when I say spatial audio I mean the broader term, my phd and masters was in “spatial audio” long before apple used it in their branding) . I know some of the guys that worked on spatial audio for apple, and I wouldnt want them messing with what I do , no disrespect to them, let alone an algorhithm. Also my friend said the “modifications” are not insubstantial and something about 200ms latency which is … a lot. He said the spatialisation comes out significantly different to your original intention.after apple “improves” it. Anyway, being able to monitor what Im going ro hear on apple is quite important and it sounds like youll have to do two mixes one for applen(Its extremely annoying theyve done this ) and one for the rest, but theres no way im getting a new mac just to use logic. So hopefully there will be an android more open source set of headtracking earbuds out soon.

As already written, there is a way. However, this requires additional software, because the Atmos renderer integrated in Nuendo cannot output an MP4 file. Once you have converted your Atmos master file to a suitable consumer format using, for example, Dolby Media Encoder, you can play the file on any compatible Apple hardware to check the result of your work.

Granted, it’s easier with Logic. But it also works with Nuendo. :wink:

That’s a very high value. :astonished:
Since Apple lets you switch back and forth between the stereo version and the Atmos version while listening, Apple actually mandates that both versions be as in sync with each other as possible. (However, because Atmos masters can only be edited to the nearest frame, there is a limit to how tight you can get this.)

As soon as you encode your Atmos mix into a consumer format (e.g. E-AC-3 JOC), its effect changes. And the playback in binaural Atmos sounds different again. So this problem is not unique to Apple’s Spatial Audio. But you’re right: It can make sense to tune your mix specifically to the spatial audio algorithm.

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I spend a long time getting everything right - I dont even like automated mastering for normal music but binaural stuff… not keen! Would like to know exactly what this “spice” consists of! ITs like making a gourmet meal and then someone sprays ketchup all over it lol I guess if they’re just apply the HRTF for “front right” “Front left” etc then thats not too bad

That’s a good way of describing Apple’s approach to 3D audio … but Dolby Atmos itself also allows for a lot of ambiguity, especially if you’re using individual, moving Objects. While they are great for getting information across to the listener in the “audio for media” sense, they tend to blur the micro-balances of a mix in the context of music.

I prefer Atmos to Ambisonics due to what I assume is its use of some form of amplitude panning for the moving objects, am I correct in this assumption?

A Dolby Atmos renderer normally operates based on its knowledge of the playback speaker locations. Audio objects that are panned “on the walls” (which includes the ceiling) will be rendered by an Atmos renderer in a manner that is very similar to vector-based- amplitude panning (but, where VBAP uses a triangular tessellation of the walls, Dolby Atmos uses a rectangular tessellation).