Dolby Atmos MP4 export dilemma

Given that we need to export ADM tests to mp4 in order to follow best practice, should we buy the Dolby Atmos Renderer from Avid or wait for Nuendo 13? If Steinberg could help us answer…

Because if Nuendo 13 allows mp4 export, it would be money down the drain, and that’s just what our main competitor is doing.

Having used the external Atmos renderer, I feel like there are other benefits to owning it, other than just making .mp4 files. It makes it super simple to play back masters. And when Dolby updates the renderer, like they did recently with the head tracking features, you have access to it right away, rather than waiting for Steinberg to update Nuendo. I largely use the external renderer all the time now.

Thank you allklier. For the present, that’s very true. But we don’t know if Nuendo 13 will arrive soon with all that. I have to say that I’m also with Pro Tools, so it’s only $99 from Avid.

P.S. I asked Bing’s AI anyway:

“There is no official release date for Steinberg Nuendo 13 yet. However, based on previous release dates, Nuendo 11 was released in January 2021 and Nuendo 12 in April 2022. So, if we follow this 16-month rhythm, we could expect Nuendo 13 to be released around October 2023.”

Same here. At $99 it seems there is enough upside.

It’s unlikely that Nuendo 13 will allow for Atmos .MP4 exports.

Davinci Resolve’s Atmos renderer (presumably based on the same SDK from Dolby) recently gained custom HRTF and 9.1.6 monitoring but it still can only export ADM or IMF MXF files.


Important information, thank you. I wonder if Pro Tools, which has announced an internal Atmos renderer, will be able to export to mp4. We’ll see.

Who knows. If any program will be able to, it’ll be ProTools, as Avid and Dolby seem to be pretty entwined.

Hell, Dolby’s site even sends you to Avid to buy the Atmos Renderer standalone app.

1 Like

Yes, when Dolby looks at the world’s post-production studios, it picks its best friends. You can’t compare the presence of Nuendo and Pro Tools. I don’t have the figures (I’d be curious to find out), but Avid has a virtual monopoly on the professional side, that’s for sure. Personally, I chose Nuendo for the Internal Renderer (and for the French manuals, which are important to me). But with Pro Tools moving in that direction, I don’t know what I’ll decide for my next projects.

I like Nuendo, but when I think that there’s no real clip gain (not to reopen that discussion!), no possibility of changing the order of tracks in the Mixer (the mixconsole) nor of seeing directories in it, nor of shifting midi tracks according to note values (in real time and easily modifiable), it bothers me. But then, I’m working on a major project in Atmos and I have to be faithful. And I must say that Nuendo manages memory well, which is not a strength of Pro Tools native.


In North America, Pro Tools is still King Kong, and they did work hand in hand with Dolby during Atmos’ development so I’m sure that’s an element too.

I’m actually surprised PT is so late to the game in integrating a native renderer, outside of purposely trying to avoid stepping on Dolby’s toes by cannibalizing standalone renderer sales.

I like the way Nuendo does certain things, and I definitely like it’s MIDI capabilities, but I gotta admit that starting to wander more and more towards Pro Tools for video post stuff.

It was probably lucrative for Dolby to do it that way, and possibly for Avid as well. Avid could delay integration which costs money and instead focus on other things. They already had the market share and the standalone renderer so not much to lose by waiting.

1 Like

Now that Studio One has introduced this feature with its latest update, it would be embarrassing if Nuendo 13 could not do the same in the future. (As an integrated solution. Not with the help of tricks and detours that already make it possible to work in 9.1.6 format.)

But I also don’t believe in an MP4 export function for Atmos.

I don’t get the impression that Dolby is making money from the sale of the Renderer. It’s a utility in the service of a much bigger business, which is related to consumer equipment. I think.

They’re probably making money, but you’re probably also right that it probably isn’t a very big business compared to licensing for consumer electronics etc.

1 Like