I put the following together as I tried to figure out Dolby Atmos for Dummies. I watched Sebastian’s video over and over to try and figure out what he was doing. I dummed this down to how to get just one or two tracks working with the Dolby Atmos renderer. If anyone finds flaws or mistakes, let me know so I can edit the document!
A couple of helpful items for Dolby Atmos:
Good article from Dolby:
To add a Dolby Atmos soundtrack to a video editing NLE, there is only one program that I have found that can do it at this time - Davinci Resolve Studio. Premiere Pro and Avid Composer do not (as far as I know) have a Dolby Atmos renderer.
Then onto how to get a Dolby Video out to the public. Youtube does not support Dolby Atmos. It takes any audio track, surround, 5.1, 7.1, etc and converts it to stereo.
Vimeo may, but I haven’t gotten a clear answer on that. I will update this if I find out it can do Dolby Atmos.
Netflix does support Dolby Atmos but you better be a big producer to get your videos uploaded to their platform. Same goes true for Amazon.
To hear Dolby Atmos through your composing rig, you will need an audio interface that can do the multi-channels of Nuendo as well as multiple speakers. I have 5 right that work great, front, rear and subwoofer through a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20.
To listen to true Dolby Atmos in your home theater, there are several new receivers that have it built into it. There are a bunch out there now available. I went with the Yamaha as I have the wireless Musicast speakers in my media room.
Yamaha RX-A2A -
If all you are doing is creating audio tracks, you can upload your audio to TIDAL or Sound Cloud which does support Dolby Atmos.
In order to publish your content on TIDAL without a record label, you have the option of uploading your music through Indigoboom, Record Union, DistroKid, Tunecore or recordJET.
Now, how to create a Dolby Atmos rendered project in Nuendo. I will do the step by step process, however, it took me a while to figure out why and how the workflow works the way it does. So the following is a 30,000’ level look at the process.
Static objects are commonly referred to as “bed objects” as they are defined as non-moving objects that are mapped to specific speaker locations. This would be for instruments that would not move during a recording/rendering ie. piano, strings, etc.
Dynamic objects are audio objects that can freely move around the entirety of the listening field. This is where you can move sound effects around inside of the Atmos bubble, above, below, or behind the listener like birds, falling objects, cars, etc.
To get a track to the bed, you need to have the instrument track linked to a channel which needs to be labeled: “…BED”. This “…BED” needs to be added to the “ADM Authoring for DOLBY Atmos” as a Bed.
To get a track to the OBJECT, you need to have the instrument track linked to a channel which needs to be labeled: “…OBJECT”. This “…OBJECT” needs to be added to the “ADM Authoring for DOLBY Atmos” as an OBJECT. .
If you need to add additional instrument or audio tracks, you can route them through the previously created “…BED” or “…OBJECT” channels by creating the add track …to group channels to selected channels… feature. If you join a previously Bed or Object folder that has been already moved about in the Atmos renderer, it will be subject to the changes already made in that VSTpanner.
Once the ADM Authoring for Dolby Atmos has been enabled, you cannot mix tracks outside of the renderer with the Dolby Atmos rendered tracks. All sound for the mixdown go through either the renderer or the other busses.
Ready to actually create an Atmos project?
Open new empty project
Studio Audio Connections (F4)
Add Bus Configuration “7.1.4” name busname - 7.1.4
Device Port make sure the speakers you have align with the ports
Right click on the - Down Arrow in this box for this configuration - select “Set 7.1.4 out as Main Mix”
For demo purposes, open an audio clip in the track area. For special effects, I like the https://freesound.org/ site. They have a ton of special effects from walking in sand, car motors, doors opening, etc. and it is free.
Open Mix Console (F4). on the 7.1.4 bus Open Post Insert. Open Renderer for Dolby Atmos. This is usually in the Spatial and Panner folder. Nothing is activated at this point in the renderer.
“Right click on the audio file track and select Add Track - Group Channel to Selected Channels. In this Group box it should read:
Configuration - 7.1.2
Audio Outputs 7.1.4 Out
Folder setup - Create inside folder
Name: (Call this what you want - I am using FX BED for my special effects sound)”
Project - ADM Authoring for Dolby Atmos
Renderer: Renderer for Dolby Atmos
Source track: FX BED (from above channel creation)
Object Group: Effects (just as an example - you can use any of the pull downs)
Audio Objects - Functions - Create Objects from Selected Tracks
Source Track - (Pick the audio track you have loaded audio into)
You may have to change the Source Track for the Bed back to the FXBED
Go to the VST Multipanner from either inserts or double clicking in the multipanner box in the MixConsole box. Near the top, there should be a box BED or OBJECT MODE lit. To add a 3D view, there is an Arrow just to the left of the BED or OBJECT MODE boxes. At this point you
can move the balls around in the 2D or 3D boxes. You will be able to see the same movement in the Renderer for Dolby Atmos box.
You can change the size and shape of the ball with the controls in the VST Multipanner.
Now you can use the R/W (Read Write) function of the track to move the sound around and record it into the track.
Obviously, save this all at all times!
Creating the .wav file
File - Export - Audio Mixdown - Channel Selection - Output channels - 7.1.4 Out .This is important to make sure you have this checked because if you leave it “Stereo out” that is all you will get are 2 tracks.
I hope that this saves a lot of brain damage for anyone trying to figure out Dolby Atmos in Nuendo. It took me literally hours and hours of watching Youtube videos, reading Stienberg material. And don’t bother contacting their tech support as they do not know how to do this either.