Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite

From all my research on the web is it true this only works with Pro Tools? I really don’t feel like investing into an RMU.


This is what I was saying in a different thread… Dolby reps at AES showed close to zero interest in working on a Nuendo implementation. Either that or there’s an NDA. But my impression was that they simply don’t care.

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I own a copy of Dolby meter (the only product I have of Dolby) and that is in VST, so one would hope they are not completely in bed with Avid.

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Yes, but I think that the mastering suite involves more work than simply porting a plugin like DMM to VST. Also, DMM is now sort of not worth paying for since there are so many other either free, cheap or better alternatives. Anyway, have you ever talked to a rep for a company and they essentially show you zero interest in peddling their product? The way where you walk away shaking your head like, “Well, do you want to make money or do you not?”… that’s the vibe I got as soon as I asked about Nuendo / Windows support…

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To be honest, I don’t see the point.
The Dolby Atmos mastering suite can only be used for TV and DVD releases.
For theatrical realeases, you still need a Dolby RMU unit.

Maybe it’s different in the US, but over here no production company will “invest” in Dolby Atmos for a movie which goes straight to DVD.
The few movies which are made in Dolby Atmos are big productions which end up per definition in Cinema.
So I doubt that these films will get “remixed” in a non-certified Dolby studio for TV/DVD release.

So -in my opinion-, for the moment there is little to no use for the Dolby Atmos Mastering suite.
Unkess you are a Dolby Certified studio and you need to port over your Theatrical mix to TV/DVD.
Just my 2 cents …


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Why would a company choose to turn down work for straight-to-disk/streaming?

To me it seems as if Dolby is betting that the future will include a more fluid set of deliverables where more target markets are covered. There’s a fair amount of crossing over with I would say more and more content. If you go see Prometheus it isn’t just the movie that is available, it’s also web content streaming or otherwise. There’s a game franchise. So the question is if one wants to try to make production between all of those more fluid and streamlined.

I can certainly see a near future where it makes sense to cover all bases, where some content is straight to disk/streaming but Atmos is required as a deliverable (i.e. Netflix / Amazon / HBO etc), and where additional content might be produced for VR and saving in production by reusing elements would be beneficial.

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I think you understood me wrong.

The Dolby Atmos Mastering suite allows you to create Dolby Atmos premixes.
Not much different than the Dolby Atmos Panner which is included with Nuendo.
Dunno if the Dolby MAstering suite allows you to pan objects though … AFAIK, you need an RMU for that.
If so, then the Panning options are no different to what is available in Nuendo.

For creating MASTERS for theatrical releases, you need a Theatrical RMU.
For creating MASTERS for DVD and other digital content, you need a Home Theatre RMU.

The Home Theatre RMU costs around $10.000.


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From what I understand the Admos Mastering Suite eliminates the purpose of a smaller studio to acquire the RMU and able to do the mastering.
below copied from the Avid shop


Dolby Atmos Renderer
Render Dolby Atmos audio and metadata from a Pro Tools session
Record and play back Dolby Atmos master files
Flexible monitoring options including speaker output and headphone output with binaural rendering for VR workflows
Perform online and offline re-renders, with channel widths from 2.0 to 7.1.2 as well as Binaural and B-format (FuMa and Ambix)
Includes renderer send and return plug-ins for passing audio between Avid Pro Tools and the Dolby Atmos Renderer

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I haven’t had the time to read the links yet, only glance at them… but briefly:

I would be cautious about the description of the need of the RMU ‘light’ unit if it comes from the people selling it. They obviously have a need to make us feel we need the unit.

Secondly, what difference does it make? If there are greater needs for predubs and preproduction even if you finish off on a stage or using a more expensive unit that doesn’t mean independent producers might not be looking at this as a solution to be subcontractors in Atmos/VR productions.

You can actually look at it a different way Fredo; who would buy that product in your opinion? Because it seems as if you’re saying ‘nobody’, which would surprised me if it was true because I don’t think Dolby would miscalculate so grossly.

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Unless I got wrong information …

    • The mixing tools (panner, speaker layout, RMU Connector, …) from the Dolby Mastering Tools are already included in Nuendo.
      They are not included in PT.
    • The authoring tools (for the sake of keeping it simple) are -AFAIK- not part of PT, but standalone within the Mastering Suite.

As a PT user, you need to buy the Mastering Suite to be able to premix for Dolby Atmos.
As a PT user, you need to buy the RMU & Mastering Suite to be able to create printmasters.

As a Nuendo user, you don’t need to buy the Mastering Suite to be able to premix for Dolby Atmos.
As a Nuendo user, you need to buy the RMU & Mastering Suite to be able to create printmasters.

For Dolby, there is a “big” market for their Mastering Suite. I.e. every PT user who wants to premix for Dolby Atmos.
Nuendo users are not part of that market, because they can already do that.

Who needs the authoring tools?
-Film Dub stages who already have a Dolby RMU. (Otherwise they can’t get certified)
-Big production companies like Technicolor, Fox, Universal and the likes who need to prepare all the deliverables of a movie.

If Dolby would want to make a version for Nuendo, the only thing they would have to do is remove the PT add-ons from the Mastering Suite.
Chances are that they would have to sell it for the same price, because making two versions would increase the cost significantly.
So I can see why they don’t care. It’s all there. For PT and Nuendo users.


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Thanks for the clarification Fredo,
The only thing I was hoping for was able to pre mIx objects without RMU, which is possible in PT using the suite.
I must agree with Fredo that delivering Admos for TV is a total wank! Great for future films, but for Streaming TV? , bigger must be better :angry:


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Here’s what I read on Pro-Tools Expert’s page:

Can I Master Theatrical Content Using The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite?

The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite is > designed to replace what was formally know as the “HT-RMU” software, which is the version of the RMU designed for near-field mixing rooms being used to create content for Blu-ray and Digital Delivery. > This software is not designed for mixing movies in large theatrical mix rooms or creating master files destined for DCP Delivery. For this workflow, a cinematic RMU is needed, which is provided to approved rooms through the existing Content Services room approval program.

The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite > allows for the creation of consumer Dolby Atmos master files (.atmos), > whereas the Theatrical Mastering suite allows the creation of PRM style print masters, along with the DCP MXF Atmos file.

This is what I understood from the conversation I had with the Dolby reps at AES. With this software it is now possible to create Atmos content for commercial releases, just not theatrical.

So again - if this is the case - the benefit we see isn’t primarily for theatrical mix stages, but for sub contractors who now can monitor through Atmos to make sure objects are panned correctly and can then deliver stems or predubs to a theater mix stage (with the ‘big’ RMU), and more importantly also for everyone doing straight to BR/streaming/VR, which covers a lower budget range.

Why would anyone get this? Because at some point that’s going to be a sales pitch in some markets. I think it’d be a bit unfortunate if I’m asked “We’re doing this project for streaming, not a huge budget, but they require home-Atmos for deliverables, can you do this?” Me: “No, sorry, Nuendo only does it for real on big stages, not for home theater”…

And also remember that if Dolby are trying to create a seamless transition from the stage all the way down to binaural VR it again is a good thing for the user. It’s only one company to deal with when up/down mixing.

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That is not the information I have.

Do I need the Dolby RMU?
If your deliverables include producing an .atmos file, and you want to produce BluRay and digital delivery content, the short answer is yes.

If that information is correct, the only difference between Nuendo & PT is that with PT you can pan objects without RMU.
That being said, technically it should be perfectly possible to connect the Nuendo RMU Connector to the Dolby Local renderer.
After the holidays, it will be tested, and I’ll keep you posted.


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But that’s from the company that sells the hardware, correct? I always am very careful when I read info from vendors who stand to gain from not giving me all information. If they say “the short answer” then I have to wonder what the “long” answer is. If the “long” answer isn’t just “yes”, then the answer isn’t just “yes” either. It’s apparently “not necessarily”.

And what rspeaudio writes is in direct contrast to what Pro Tools expert writes:

What Does The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite Do?
The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite > is a set of tools designed to allow a post-production facility create, edit, mix and master high-quality Dolby Atmos content for Blu-ray and Digital Delivery.

It > provides all the necessary software for a facility > to build their own > Home Theater RMU > (Rendering and Mastering Unit), as well as enable edit and pre-mix rooms to work with Dolby Atmos content that feeds into the main mix room.

Key Features:

Allows a user to build their own HT-RMU, > for the ultimate in Dolby Atmos mastering workflow

Master high-value content for Blu-ray and digital delivery> , > without any restrictions caused by rendering on the same computer as you DAW

(my emphasis above)

So again, Pro Tools expert as far as I know has nothing to gain in relaying incorrect or incomplete information, whereas the other company does. Also, I have no idea when the latter was written. Pro Tools expert is from April, so it’s possible it is outdated.

I would still ask the question again though, because I’m not sure I’m seeing ‘it’;

  • why would anyone buy the mastering suite if they already have a stage with an RMU?
  • if you need the RMU but don’t have one, why buy just the mastering suite?

There has to be a market for this software otherwise it doesn’t make any sense at all. What is that market? Or - after reading your previous reply again - how could you pan objects in Nuendo for Atmos (i.e. using all speakers for object panning, not ‘beds’) without Dolby hardware?

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how could you pan objects in Nuendo for Atmos (i.e. using all speakers for object panning, not ‘beds’) without Dolby hardware?

I know Fredo already understands this.
But the important part is this:
PT NEEDS a Dolby local softwar renderer to be able to pan and monitor the panned signals to premix without a physical RMU.
NUENDO does NOT need a local renderer as the panning can be controlled and monitored within the current monitor setup (5.1/7.1/9.1 etc).
without actively switching the panners to object mode.

The reason for that is that the Nuendo panner and Atmos panner basically are the same, there are just a few things that you have to be aware of in Atmos vs 9.1 mode (single point/array distribution and the actual connection to the RMU IIRC). It is just a switch in the panner to go from regular multichannel bed panning to Atmos object panning. When the switch is in Object mode the signal gets disconnected from the mix path and uses the eighth send (or was it the direct routing?) bus that you can route to the RMU inputs.

The disadvantage with not having a Local renderer is that with it you can’t prepare the signal routing and structure in advance quite in the same way you can in PT. If that practically has any impact I do not know as I have yet to actually do a full on Atmos mix yet. just some tests so far. So take my comments for what they are.
But then OTOH you can have tracks in Nuendo that dynamically switch between object and bed mode, unless that has changed recently you cant do that in PT.

Note that The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite or the RMU are not the same as the local renderer for PT users. The local renderer is what I discuss above.

The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite, isn’t that the actual home-theatre RMU? Thus if you want to create a .ATMOS file for home cinema/streaming you need it. If you are creating a feature film .atmos mix then you need the big RMU.

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But I think you’re missing my point. My point is whether or not you can create a Dolby Atmos mix on a film stage, to say 9.2.4 or whatever - without any Dolby RMU at all. That’s the point I’m making. In other words, someone gets the speaker array, connects to an appropriate interface, gets Nuendo, and is then able to pan all 3D using the ceiling as well. It’s one thing to pan something into 7.1 / 9/1, a different thing to use the overheads for actual “3d audio”.

That’s what I thought.

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Yes. You can create a full Atmos mix with just Nuendo. But it will monitor as 7.1/9.1/11.1, I.e. downmixed ) or in actual fact unrendered) but yes you can pan to the full bed format for Atmos including the ceiling in nuendo. So when the mix is done you can hook up to a RMU at a Atmos RMU equipped studio and do any final tweaks of the actual object pans if necessary and then be done.
Yes there will be changes as array and point source panning doesn’t sound the same thus the different technologies used

No you can’t create a finished mix and a .atmos file as Dolby owns the format. You need to use their approved equipment. It’s basically the same lock down concept Dolby have used since Dolby stereo where encoders where always on loan to mix studios, not sold, and then for SR•D (first we borrowed the DS10 IIRC and later got the DMU on permanent loan).

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Ok, so the ceiling acts as an “array” and you pan into that “bed” then, is that correct? And then once an RMU is connected it actually translates objects into a specific balance between the ceiling speakers?

My point that I made earlier is simply that there’s a benefit to getting the panning ‘right’ from the beginning, being able to pan Atmos into the ceiling speakers ‘the way it’s supposed to sound’ instead of it being different.

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Of course Mattias. But IF You have a fully equipped Atmos room I guess you would make sure to get a RMU.
If you don’t the difference between a downmixed Atmos object mix to a Nuendo based bed-mix should be relatively small.

But to rephrase the previous answer.
Yes you can pan any signal to a full Atmos bed incl the ceiling without any extra hardware or software.
For anything more you need third party gear.

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