Dolby Atmos!

Today I was excited to see the update with Atmos support finally added to Cubase, but the excitement quickly turned to frustration after finding out there’s no way to export the mix to a file format which can be played on my AVR.
I think it’s always been common practice to check mixes on different consumer devices, but it seems for Steinberg and/or Dolby it’s not, or at least that’s something reserved to big recording studios which can afford spending hundreds or thousands € on a Dolby Encoder.
Bummer

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Apparently, it’s only something you can do using the dolby-provided software suite… It’s the same way in Logic currently, and even in Nuendo. You can’t export an MP4. I wonder how you’d work around this? Some kind of room emulation software that has a car interior option, I guess.

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I completely understand your point but this is not part of the Atmos Renderer’s expected work tbh.

There are some online services that will convert your ADM files.

Also you can of course upload directly to your distribution service, for example Distro Kid.

There is a way to use Resolve too which I will detail in forthcoming video, it’s a little complex for here.

Best, P.

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Well, actually it seems that the standalone Renderer has an mp4 (containing a DD+ track) export function but for some reason it’s not included in the embedded cubase/nuendo renderer.

Yep, I was just looking into that and it seems the best/cheapest option currently for someone that needs to convert a limited number of tracks.

That’s interesting, looking forward to hear more about it.

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Of course I was referring to the version that is included in Nuendo/Cubase - it was already written above:

Dolby Atmos Production Suite

Highly recommend a look at Michael’s video:

Converting Dolby Atmos Masterfiles to Atmos MP4 with AWS Mediaconvert - YouTube

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Can somebody help out a neophyte to Atmos? When I watch this video:

I surmise the main reason for Atmos is to prepare an audio mix in a format that will play back correctly in 5.1 and 7.1 environments, using technology that will render the final mix onsite to match the installed configuration.

That is not my world, at least not today. But I also notice that the presenter shows cases where Atmos can give stereo mixes more depth and breadth. Is it possible to use Atmos, as embedded in Cubase 12 without any extra products, to render a regular stereo WAV that takes advantage of the depth and breadth features of Atmos? Or is this really just something a person would use when targeting a proper Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 environment?

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It’s not for making your stereo mixes have more depth, etc.
Technically, it’s for mixing in 7.1.4… (or maybe the Dolby spec is 9.1.4… or greater…)
Regardless, ideally you’d be mixing in a room with 12 or more speakers around you and above you and mixing for that setting in the real world,. But the Dolby Atmos format has the ability to tailor itself to ANY speaker setup, whatever the consumer has at home… so if you finish an Atmos mix, and publish it, it will work in 9.1.4 setting (or greater) and also on a regular 2-speaker stereo system. It’s chameleon-like like that… But this is the important point - that 2 speaker stereo mix will just sound like a regular old stereo mix. (I’m not talking about headphones at the moment, just speakers.) There is nothing “spacialized” in a regular 2-channel render of an Atmos mix. And note: as of now, the pros still do 2 separate mixes - one for Atmos and one for regular stereo… (meaning, they don’t just create an Atmos mix only and then let the Dolby Renderer provide the stereo mix from that.)

Now… headphones are different, since they can be made to sound like you’re in a 3-D space, so your Dolby Atmos mix does provide a version for your headphones called the “Binaural” mix that tries to emulate the sound of you in a room surrounded by lots of speakers. So, you can get a spacialized sounding mix in your headphones IF AND ONLY IF you are listening to the Binaural render of the Atmos mix. The consumer has to choose the Atmos mix and also put headphones on in order to appreciate 3-D sound. (or, of course, have their own multi-speaker Atmos setup at home.) Note: not all music services provide Dolby Atmos versions of songs, only Apple Music and Tidal that I know of. But, you can open Apple music and set it to always play the Atmos version of a mix, and if you’re wearing headphones, you’ll hear that Atmos version (if the particular song actually has one)… but if you’re listening through your laptop speakers, you’ll probably just get the 2-channel stereo version. (unless you have one of the newer MACs with M1 chips that claim to provide Atmos.)

There’s a lot to this, and I didn’t even describe it that well because of that… Your time is well spent watching some vids. There’s one with Andrew Scheps and several other heavy hitters chatting it up about Dolby Atmos for over 4 hours. It’s WELL worth the time investment if you’re interested in Atmos as they share all their hard-earned wisdom that will save you hours. Look on YouTube.

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You can also have a look at mine. It was a livestream for Nuendo but covers most things.

As it was live there are a few verbal typos but it may be useful. Also there’s links to my templates Etc.

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