Mixing in 27.1?

A client of mine wanted a mix in 27.1 (They want 28 stem tracks)
I have never heard of such a thing and the highest I did with Nuendo 11 was 7.1
Is that even doable without having 27 speakers at my studio?

never heard of 27.1
max on Nuendo is 22.2 without special infrastructure
but you can handle Dolby Atmos with a max channel count of 7.1.4
that seems to get the standard surround format for all kinds of content

and there are methods available to use headphones for surround mixing without having the speaker setup

PS: you posted your message in the German part of the forum, would you can re-tag it to show up in the English part

Thanks for letting me know. I re-tagged the post

so here is what the client wanted
Maybe I misinterpreted

The immersive audio system is used for multi-channel immersive audio content specifically created and produced for the 27.1 layout of the system. The audio system installed in The Plaza is one of the largest immersive audio systems in the world. The system is effectively 27.1 arrangement and consists of 27 full range loudspeaker arrays and 6 subwoofer arrays. The 27 full range arrays are approximately 32metres above the audience area in a circular arrangement with one array every 13.33degrees in the horizontal plane. The throw distance from each array to the center of the Plaza is 70m and all 27 arrays each cover the whole audience area. The subwoofer arrays are evenly distributed with one array every 60degrees in the horizontal plane.

The overlap of full range arrays allows the content creator to move objects around the space precisely and accurately. However, given the distances across the venue, care must be taken when separating rhythmic music across multiple arrays. In producing any audio content, the speed of sound must be considered to ensure the creative intent is not damaged by echo or doubling sound. In addition to the immersive audio system, there is also a stereo performance system that is based around the central stage of The Plaza. This system can also be used in conjunction with the immersive as a point source in the center for creative impact.

Dynamic range and background noise The Pavilion is a large outdoor space open to the public and surrounded by pavilions, F&B outlets and attractions all adding to the background noise floor experienced in The Pavilion. The suitable dynamic range of a piece of content depends on the listening level of that piece. The table below provides our recommendations about the suitable dynamic range for listening levels.

Listening level 75 dBA – background 85 dBA – midground 95 dBA – foreground

Dynamic range 5 dB (70-75 dBA) 10 dB (75-85 dBA) 15 dB (80-95 dBA)

Source object width

We suggest that rhythmic and tonal objects retain a narrow width parameter to avoid the object spilling over multiple arrays to protect the tonality and timing. Care must be taken when spreading sounds across multiple arrays as the time difference between the arrays can cause the sound to become muddy or blurred. An example would be a choir. We could spread a choir across 3 to 6 arrays and there would be no negative effect. However, if the same were applied with a snare drum you would hear 3-6 different snare drums as there is a slight but noticeable time difference of arrival time from each array throughout the audience area.

Sub-bass management

We feed signal to the subwoofers in two ways as follows:1.our system is 27.1 and the LFE channel is routed to all sub-bass arrayssimultaneously2.signals fed to each of the 27 immersive arrays is also fed to the nearest subwoofer array

It is best to use the LFE channel for effects only and avoid using them for musical content to protect the timing in all listener locations.

Playback system and routing

The audio replay system is Ovation running at 48 kHz / 24-bit. The Ovation system takes rendered files with one track for each loudspeaker and an LFE channel, 28 tracks in total. Stereo tracks can be loaded into the system with the Left and Right channels being routed to any adjacent pair of arrays, or to the stereo performance system discussed earlier. The 27 channels should be considered full range as the audio to the local arrays is also fed into local sub arrays. Each of the27channels has a frequency response from30 Hz to 17kHz.

File delivery

28 track OMF files (48 kHz / 24 bit) are best and most efficient as they can be loaded quickly. The track layout places the LFE on track 28. This method is suitable for pieces of up to 7 mins. Pieces of longer duration are to be split into two 14-channel files. We also require a stereo mix down of the immersive content to deliver to broadcast and for archival and video editing purposes, also in a sample rate of 48khz and bit depth of 24 bits. The main central performance loudspeaker system is configured as a stereo system and can be used to enhance an immersive experience. A stereo file shall be delivered in a sample rate of 48khz and bit depth of 24 bits. It is essential that the immersive 27.1 immersive mixdown and performance stereo system files all have exactly the same file start so they can all be loaded to the same start point in the replay system. A file naming convention will be developed and communicated in a future version of this document.


The immersive AV system does not have afront or rear or any particular orientation as it is a dome. However, an orientation standard will be developed by the Plaza team to provide a reference for audio and video content within the Plaza itself.

Audio and video Synchronization the Plaza audio and video playback systems are synchronized using Longitudinal Time Code (LTC). Any audio files that accompany video content shall have the same file start as the video file to enable efficient line up. Audio files are not to have any pre-roll. The audio and video files shall be exactly the same length, even if there is no audio at the beginning or end of a file. The latencies of the audio and video systems is accounted for within the playback synchronization. Audio-only segment files shall start at the first sound with no pre-roll.

My personal take on this: Mix in Ambisonics 3th order and decode for the specific speaker array in a last step, e.g. by using IEM’s AllRADecoder. You will need an application like Reaper for the requested number of physical output channels, though.

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The playback is with Ovation as written in the text…

but looks interesting… 140m is much distance for sound to travel…

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Quote form their website:

Ovation includes a powerful 3D rendering engine allowing to configure a 3D space with up to 384 speakers matching a venue and render cues or live inputs (traditional busses, objects and even ambisonic) into this virtual space.


so playbak is easy… :wink:

then the content is the only challenge :innocent:

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Synthpads and slow strings with lots of reverb - that’s most likely the best idea for 140 m stereo base! ;-D

Or something with 3bpm

:zzz: … ;-D

Not to be anti-Nuendo, but I would suggest to work in Reaper from the get go, and do it in 7th order ambisonics (using IEM, Aalto, and Kronlachner plug-ins) and decode, like Dietz said , with the IEM AllRADecoder.

Can’t you do that with SPAT, the Flux/Ircam plugins?

Without massive work-arounds there’s no way to export mixes consisting of 28 channels.