How to monitor a Dolby Atmos mix using the binaural playback settings for objects and beds,

the manual say: If you want to monitor a Dolby Atmos mix using the binaural playback settings for objects and beds, you can send the audio signal of the output channel on which the Renderer for
Dolby Atmos plug-in is inserted to a Main Mix output channel in Ambisonics channel

but i dont know how,

i activated the 3er order bus like main, create a headphones monitoring,

i tried for send directly to 3rd order bus, send to stereo bus , 7.1.4 bus to another channel and that channel send to 3rd order bus

This is partially from a response to a 7.1.4 workflow example that I posted elsewhere. The difference here will allow you to monitor in binaural.

1: Go to Preferences>VST>VST Control Room) Then enable “use phones channel as preview channel

2: Create a headphone monitor group under the control room tab and assign your L & R headphone outputs to it

3: Create a 3rd order ambisonic bus under the outputs tab and assign it as the main mix

4: Create a group with 7.1.4 in & route that to the 3rd order output bus.

5: Place the Atmos Renderer plugin on an insert for the 7.1.4 group you just created.

6: Create a group with a 7.1.2 input and route it to the 7.1.4 group. This group will now be available as your “bed track” source under the “adm renderer settings” in the project menu.

7: Create a group with a mono input and route it to the 7.1.2 to 7.1.4 bus last created. This can be now panned as desired and sent to LFE from the multi-panned.

8: Route the output of your source audio track or VSTi to the mono to 7.1.2 group. This will fold a stereo source now to mono for more localized panning.

Hope this helps you along the way and have a great New Year!

1 Like

Thanks Rexler, this may help. BUT, have you had experience downmixing to binaural with the Atmos Production Suite or Mastering Suite? They are stellar. A friend of mine finished his Atmos 7.1.4 before me. We’ve both been doing binaural mixing using DearVR Pro and they are fun and sounded pretty good. However, Atmos binaural is superior by far if when mixing 7.1.4 you are alternately checking your work in Binaural with headphones.

Not a problem at all! Yeah, I ultimately popped for a copy of production suite myself but I figured I would post the method available to folks that’s entirely in Nuendo as of today. It would be great if Dolby would open this side of the renderer up to third parties but can’t for sure if or when that may happen. Davinci Resolve got the same render engine too. Which leads me to believe if it happens for one, it will happen for both in the future.

So you’re on a Mac, are you running ProTools too? Or did you figure out a way to incorporate Nuendo with the production suite? I was thinking I might have to do something like get a cheap Mac and run the production suite on that along with pro tools and just use that for my final render. I’d rather be mixing in my bigger computer with Nuendo. In that scenario I’d have to have a pretty good binaural monitoring, So I’m hoping your solution above works well. James Good at vintage King Nashville was going to see if he could help me incorporate the mastering suite on my PC along with Nuendo, which could be great if not too taxing on the cpu.

thanks for the answer,

at point 7: when I create the mono group, should I send it to the group with 7.1.2 input from point 6 or to the 7.1.4 bus? from point 5?

and the audio channels where I place them ?, in the mono group of point 7 or in bed 7.1.2 of point 6

because if I put a mono audio in the mono group, the panner does not activate

i made this video

Another detail is that doing the process only works with beds, how should I route the objects, to which group?

does this have something to do with the workflow?

Thank you @Rexler and everyone.

Yep I’m on Mojave running Nuendo and monitoring through Production Suite back into Nuendo into a 7.1.4 channel that goes directly to my control room input. There I run the Nuendo “mixer delay” plugin to swap the sides and rears since Dolby does them in reverse… ie:lsR>Sl… I can monitor in 7.1.4 this way or through the binaural processing of Production Suite. It took a lot of tinkering to get it all going solid but I am finally happy with the outcome. This way too, if I want, I can run other binaural plugs such as DearVR Monitor for binaural A/B’s. To do this from a PC would require Mastering Suite and something like Focusrite Rednet. Say one of their rack audio interfaces at the PC and a Rednet PCIe at the Mac mini w/ an external PCI thunderbolt dock. Rather than the dedicated Rednet cards, Dante Virtual Soundcard on both machines might do the trick but I can’t really guarantee the performance of this since you would then also need to use ASIO4ALL on the PC to aggregate your hardware w/ Virtual Soundcard. Hope that some of this proves helpful there.

Hi Zenith,
If your audio is already mono on a mono track, then that track can go directly to the 7.1.2 for bed mixing. At any time you can go into the Renderer Setup and point to that mono track as an “object source” this will automatically disengage it from the 7.1.2 bed group and it will come out through the Renderer Plug on your 7.1.4 bus. As from what I see in the image, you need to set the Renderer output mode to 7.1.4. Not 2.0. This will give you sound in 3D space that can now be fed into the 3rd order bus that you created. You will be monitoring the 3rd order bus in binaural from the headphone output in the control room. Hope this clears things up a bit. Atmos is a crazy game of managing routings and can quickly get outta control. Keeping organized is clutch to all this chaos for sure! Keep reminding yourself that this is actually fun as you go lol… it helps me :wink:

1 Like

I am on PC and I have a good bit of MADI capability, and MADI can do “LOOP BACK”. I’m wondering if on PC with Nuendo 11 and Mastering Suite I could come up with similar success as you’ve had on the Mac. I also don’t know how concerned I should be about cpu usage in this scenario. I am running an i9 xtreme 10 core, tons of ram, I think 48 pcie lanes available. Robust, but we know how fast that gets chewed up sometimes.

You certainly have enough under the hood to get the job done on paper. I would start by testing between two DAW’s if you have another you can run. Pass the audio from Nuendo into the other DAW and back with some type of FX added to the signal from the second DAW.

This can be used on PC for a test and will give you 24 loop back channels.

Like mentioned previously, you may need to aggregate all of this w/ ASIO4ALL to compensate for soft-device clock drift against any hardware. Just make sure the hardware is the Master aggregating.

Doing all of this can at least give you some idea of what to expect from the system before jumping into a purchase. Excited to hear what you ultimately decide to implement and best of luck with any tests along the way!

If I go to another pc for Mastering Suite that will cost me about $2400 in additional MADI 128 channels back/forth
By “loop back” out/in to the same interface on the same computer I’m able to stay in one box at lessor cost. Great IF IT WORKS! That is what James Good at Vintage King Nashville said he’d like to help me try, BUT if there is no free demo for Mastering Suite, that is one very expensive test. Thanks for all your sharing of what your learned, you are ahead of most of us right now trying to fully incorporate Nuendo into a full Atmos workflow and as we know, but apparently Steinberg does not, is that a quality Atmos binaural 3D headphone mix is essential for most of us. Its the gaming industry (bigger than Hollywood movies now for awhile), the growing surround sound music consumption, not to mention the home theater market. Even if you have an Atmos Speaker system in your living room, headphones are key if you don’t want to wake people up late at night.

For monitoring and re-rendering for binaural stereo headphones, a work-around that is helping with some decent accuracy is placing a DearVR Monitor plugin after the Dolby Atmos Renderer, and then an Ozone 9 EQ Match plugin after that. Still need the real deal Dolby Atmos Binaural downmix option, but this will help in the meanwhile. To get it all adjusted, you’ll want to get your hands on an ADM Broadcast Wave file that also have a very well done binaural re-render made from it. Then make your own binaural file with just the DearVR Monitor (I used Analytical Room output setting. Then compare the files in EQ Match and let it do the EQ correction. I applied 100% myself and smoothed out the eq at about 40-50%.

So you actually change the stereo (binaural) track then?
Can you show what the EQ did to the binaural reder created by the DearVR Monitor plug?
Just out of interesst…

But, are you aware of the fact, that the dolby atmos render have a meta data about near, mid, far placement? This won’t be taken to account by any other binaural renderer, because of the lack of information about this setting.

So, of course, there won’t be a 100% match if you use specific setting for the beds/objects.
But, you might get somewhat close with you setup.
So it would be interessting to see what ozone think is missing spectrum wise ! :slight_smile:


Na, the eq curve won’t help you. Turned out the reference I got had some eq added after the fact. I got another reference that still isn’t raw binaural downmix, but very high quality. Turned out using Ozone 9 Match eq there was no difference at all in the eq. The Atmos curve completely covered my binaural downmix curve. Much the same result in IK TR5 Master Match software, an apparently exact EQ match. I’m still working on this, but it is just a work-around, we all need the true Dolby Atmos binaural downmix capability. Inside a week I’m hoping to have a true binaural downmix rendered to a file and will compare it to my own using the DearVR Monitor plugin. You are of course correct my work-around does not process things such as near/mid/far that are assigned to the objects. Very frustrating. Makes me wonder if Dolby is just trying to get us interested in Atmos and then sell us the big stuff since this current workflow in Nuendo stops short of being professional.

This is the exact purpose i think. Why would they otherwise give away their ‘groundbreaking’ technology? Dolby is not in it for the fun of it :slight_smile:

1 Like

Oh I don’t know if that’s true though. As far as I can see we can now mix in Atmos up to 7.1.4 and render out to ADM while measuring in compliance with Netflix specs and then deliver the ADM BWAV to Netflix as part of a deliverable package. I don’t see how that’s a really, really big step forward for Nuendo and Steinberg. I mean, I got that for about $200 I think.

I’m guessing what they did was they tried both make sure that theaters did what was necessary to implement Atmos correctly and make sure they’d sell the RMUs with licensing etc as a first stage, which makes sense, and then since they make money off of licensing the tech to consumer products (i.e. phones / headphones / sound bars etc) and content providers it also makes sense to increase the supply of that type of content. Blockbusters won’t cut it because there aren’t enough of them.

So while I think it’s “odd” that there isn’t specifically a Dolby binaural downmix I don’t think I’d go as far as writing off Atmos completely. And hopefully they’ll add the binaural mixdown later…

1 Like

So while I think it’s “odd” that there isn’t specifically a Dolby binaural downmix I don’t think I’d go as far as writing off Atmos completely. And hopefully they’ll add the binaural mixdown later…

To be clear i’m not writing atmos off and wasn’t intending to communicate that. What i’m saying is similar to your opinion, but less elegantly put :slight_smile:
One thing to mention is that binaural mixdowns are very important simply because not everyone has an atmos setup at home, so listening on headphones is still the audience system of choice.
Soundbars are great as a stepping stone into atmosland but for us content producers are not a very nice way of judging our content at the consumer level.
All in all, i think the addition of atmos in nuendo is awesome, just get us the binaural mixdown as well. pretty please :slight_smile:


Hi all,

I did some brief testing of the setup as described here by Rexler (also found a HowTo on Youtube). Was not too impressed with the result. It may also depend on my sort of lower-end gear.

Has anyone of you tried the relatively new product “Immerse with VST AmbiDecoder”?

It also includes to create a HRTF, to calibrate sound against your ears and head. :wink: This sounds good, but does it also sound good if monitoring your Dolby Atmos mix with it? Is it it worth the investment?

Edit: Did also double check the remark made by Sebastion Mönch in the YouTUbe Video "Nuendo 11 Dolby Atmos. At the time position 40:20, he briefly mentions it. Unfortunately, he does not describe the HowTo further down in the video. He also mentions a plugin used for this. Is that the “Immerse with VST Ambidecoder” plugin, or some thing else. Couldn’t grasp precisely, which one he meant.

LG, Juergi

Hi there Jeurgi,
You are exactly correct here. All he is doing is a variation on what I had laid out before with monitoring the ambisonics bus via the headphones but with the Immerse plugin on the ambi bus. My guess is that he is using some type of loopback driver to then pitch that stereo binaural feed into his streaming platform, aka OBS, vMix, Wirecast…. As far as the plugin goes… I do own it and find it to be very solid indeed. Especially if you also work in ambisonic! Two things to be aware of however.

1: The custom HRTF is only usable within the plugin. I only state this in case you wanted to leverage the HRTF down the road for any other ambi monitoring plug.
2: It still does not sound like the binaural mix that is generated via DAPS or Mastering Suite. This is primarily due to the fact that you lose the binaural metadata in this process and is what makes that render unique to itself. In essence, what you are getting is a version as if you were listening on an Atmos home theater setup without any of the room or speaker coloration.

I hope this was helpful and clears up some confusion. All in all, if you want to hear it exactly as your audience will on their AirPod Pro’s, you will need to leverage DAPS or Mastering Suite with Dolby’s binaural encoding. For folks with less than ideal rooms or monitoring, all of these different binaural monitoring tools can assist a headphone mix towards something that will better translate for others in their home theater’s. Kinda like checking a stereo mix on a multitude of speakers.

Very helpful. Thanks @Rexler