Dolby Atmos renderer - Speaker configuration Question(s)

I’m just starting to get into Atmos mixing and had a question about the DOWNMIX setting in the renderer – The room I built is a 9.1.4 room - Is there a way to make a 9.1.4 configuration, so that it’s available in the pull down menu of the renderer? If not, and I use the 9.1.6 setting - does the renderer understand I’m missing the Tsl Tsr based on my “MONITOR” set-up in the Control Room of my speaker config? I’m a little confused about that – After watching some videos about the Dolby stand alone renderer - I see there is a way to make custom speaker setups that are selectable.


In N13 Control room – I see when configuring a 9.1.4 speaker set-up that I can either select from the “More 3D” a 9.1.4 channel layout or from “Others” a 9.1.4 ITU layout – Which layout is considered more of the STANDARD? – or is this completely a user decision based on preference? – thank you!

You have to distinguish between your Atmos mix in Nuendo and the playback. When you work with Atmos in Nuendo, you are working object-oriented. It doesn’t matter which speaker layout you use for playback, only the position of your objects counts. (This also applies to your beds, which are also converted to objects with canonical coordinates.) If you position an object during mixing at a place where there is no speaker in your channel layout (e.g. 7.1.4), but where there would be a speaker in a higher layout (e.g. 9.1.6), then the sound will be heard exactly from this speaker during later playback with the 9.1.6 layout.

Whether and how your Atmos mix is distributed to the respective channel layout is decided only during playback. This is why you can use Atmos from stereo to 9.1.6. All layouts are derived from the same mix.

As you can imagine, sometimes the details are more complicated. You can route your signal in Nuendo in very complex ways. It always depends on the individual case. Basically, only in environments with the same channel layout (with the same speaker arrangement) will your mix sound exactly the same. In all other layouts, the signals can be routed to different loudspeakers or mixed (proportionally) according to certain rules.

Please do not use the ITU layouts!
If you want to remain compliant with Dolby Cosmos, please use the layouts without the “ITU” suffix.

I understand everything you’ve laid out here - but this does not address my question - Isn’t it true that when selecting an output configuration, that it should match your speaker configuration exactly? That is the question – If I can only specify a 9.1.6 output for a 9.1.4 Speaker array - won’t there be dead areas in my speaker array? The way I’m understanding this is that the only way for me to get accurate playback on my 9.1.4 system with the N13 renderer will be to downgrade to a 7.1.4 speaker array. So my question remains, is there any way to make Custom output Configurations in N13’s Atmos Renderer - or in order to accomplish this, will I need to use the stand alone Dolby Atmos Renderer - which allows custom speakers configurations.

Thanks for the ITU comment
And thank you for your response!

Technically you are not downgrading as Atmos is channel independent. So I would not worry much as 7.1.4 should work like a charm and give you the same results as 9.1.6.

Currently you cannot. But 9.1.6 should work as the main area of activity and action would still be the fronts, the tops are used maybe twice of four the whole film as its scene dependent. You never want the audience to look up or to their sides.

Nevertheless for confidence monitoring the external renderer should work fine, its even preferred by some.

I assume you have Top Front (Tfx) and Top Rear (Trx) on the ceiling? And that you have no speakers on the sides?
If you were to place a signal directly in front of one of the top side speakers (Tsx) using the 9.1.6 setting in the Atmos renderer, it would be silent in your studio. (Although the signal is present in the mix later. And right there. In a 9.1.6 layout it will be reproduced via Tsl/Tsr, in a 9.1.4 layout proportionally via Tfl/Trl or Tfr/Trr). In the Control Room (CR), however, you can create a 9.1.4 layout.

In this case, however, I would also recommend selecting 7.1.4 in the renderer. In my experience, the wide speakers are rarely used. However, any signal you place near the wide speakers will be played through them. If you want to control these speakers properly in your studio, you must also use the CR.

That is correct - all I’m missing in a 9.1.6 - are the 2 mid TOP speakers -
I’ll see what I can figure out about using “control room” and somehow assigning the extra 2 channels from the renderer to combine with the front and rear somehow – If you can guide me to info about “virtual sound cards” mentioned in my other post - I’ll see if that’s an option - for now I’ll run with the 9.1.6 renderer config - and if I feel somethings not quite right I can bump it down to 7.1.4 and check there - honestly I don’t think it’s going to be an issue - I’ll just maintain awareness of it — Since Beds are 7.1.2 - I don’t have to worry about there being any dead-areas up top with my backgrounds - it would potentially only show up with Objects -

I’m starting my first Atmos film mix next week, and feeling like I’m in a pretty good place - I’m sure more questions will pop up -

thx for you response