N11 binaural render?

Is it possible to print a binaural headphones render (not Ambisonics) from a Dolby Atmos mix? The manual is unclear and it would seem that the Dolby Atmos Production suite is required to do this.

eg,
p770: the plugin does not support binaural rendering.
p.782: For beds, you can make the binaural rendering settings in the Binaural Render Mode for Beds dialog.
p784: Binaural Render Mode for Beds [but not Objects it would seem]

Thanks for any insights here.

Very good question. I would like to know that too.

Was thinking about third party tools like dearvr monitor. Haven’t tried that yet.
Anyone with some idears on that?

Best
P

I have dearVR pro & a demo of dearVR Monitor … can’t say I’ve been having any joy with that, round in circles with appropriate bussing and/or indeterminate results. Also would not appear that these should really sit in an Atmos routing …

I mixed a scripted fiction podcast in ambisonics 3d order using dear vr pro with dear vr micro which is free to code into binaural. It’s mixed for stationary head and I must say that I came out with some great results.

Did some extensive bus routing to get to print in binaural and it was mixed in PT. Some routing and off you go.

Now I’m using dear vr monitor to mix a documentary in 5.1 on headphones to prepare the mix at home in nuendo session and finish the mix on a big stage also using nuendo. I normally wouldn’t do it this way, but I decided to do a test how it translates on a big theatrical stage.

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I don’t want to take this off topic…
Binaural render of dolby atmos renderer is something I am also very much interested in.
Haven’t tried it yet, but I think it should be possible to code to binaural solely using atmos renderer in N11.

I have tried Dearvr Monitor for this. I thought it was decent until a friend shot me his binaural downmix of the same material from his Dolby Atmos Production Suite. Absolutely no comparison, Dolby Atmos downmix is far superior. That said, I’m still experimenting with the different rooms to see what gets the closest to Atmos’ downmix. And its important to be able to check mixes in binaural as you go. We are missing an extremely important aspect of the Atmos workflow, and I can’t get answers anywhere yet. Such as will binaural downmix be added soon to Nuendo 11 in the Atmos renderer. If not, I’m looking at spending a heck of a lot of money in hardware and software just for one downmix type.

I am still waiting on Steinberg Support for and answer, since they state a workaround for monitoring Atmos in binaural, but are not specific in how to do it. On manual p. 770 just under the statement that the Atmos Renderer plugin does not support binaural downmix.

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p782 however sees to indicate this is possible for Atmos Beds but have not been able to make this work. *Update: These two documents from Dolby are interesting:

[Shall try importing bounced ops as Beds & see how that goes]

I also agree that the Dolby Atmos Production Suite seems to still be the best for now, & many refer to this elsewhere.

dearVR Pro & Monitor may well be useful for Ambisonics but am not using those sources here; am wanting binaural downmix of Atmos for headphones - speaking of which, until now I’d thought the binaural downmix was an ‘automatic’ part of the Atmos rendering process & where that ‘BIN’ was later decoded as part of consumer playback … this does not appear to be the case here.

Back to dearVR, so far (to my ears) the plugs do not seem suited to running in tandem with the Atmos renderer, but better results do seem achievable by conventional patching. I also tend to agree, that overall patching, routing & monitoring is much clearer in Pro Tools (Ultimate 2020-11) & seem to be getting marginally better results there in terms of dearVR & binaural mixing.

I trust we’ll hear more from Steinberg about this at some point, and perhaps in terms of an update tweak. Overall, some far more explicit documentation /tutes would be helpful.

profdraper, yep… yep… yep, yep, yep…yep, yep, and yep. Just getting the binaural stereo downmix would be a giant leap in the right direction. I’m working with Vintage King here in Nashville to see if we can put together a way to incorporate the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite either on one of my servers, or in the DAW machine. I have a good bit of spare MADI capability, but my DAW being PC is unknown territory since so much of that universe is MAC based. In the meantime I’m a couple of weeks away from completing the speaker installation and calibrating the loudness and freq response plus waiting on the arrival of a subwoofer.

I haven’t tried a 7.1.4 mix out of Nuendo 11 through the renderer. I have the Production Suite and have done exactly 1 mixdown to Atmos for one song using 10.3, which I did not do a binaural downmix for. I’m off for the next week and doing mucho studio stuff/config/tuning so I will compare and find out what I can.

I have done a 7.1.4 downmix through Nuendo just taking the 7.1.4 output and routing it to a stereo bus. Nuendo does a decent downmix that way, but I can’t speak to it’s comparison to the Dolby renderer, or whether it’s truly binaural or just a stereo downmix - I’m thinking it’s just the latter.

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If it helps, I remember for the ambisonics to work, audio has to be on a stereo track regardless if it is mono or stereo. HTH. :slight_smile:

“Is it possible to print a binaural headphones render (not Ambisonics) from a Dolby Atmos mix? The manual is unclear and it would seem that the Dolby Atmos Production suite is required to do this?”
Any word on this?

I agree that this is very unclear in the documentation & tutes to date from Steinberg; I suspect we ‘may’ see some advance on this in a future update; perhaps is already built into N11 & that the Dolby Atmos engine is licensed by Steinberg - at least it looks that way by comparison of the various IO to the original Dolby suite. Pure conjecture on my part though.

Here’s where I got to so far:
By comparison, Pro Tools Ultimate requires the additional purchase of the US$299 Dolby Atmos Production Suite. A one month iLok trial can be downloaded from Dolby

Some threads elsewhere claim there are significant differences between the $999 Mastering and $299 Productionsuites, but as far as I can see, it is only the Mastering suite that is required for the various rendering duties - including a binaural bounce (meaning, not Ambisonics - which I am after as well).

I have it here now & seems to work well & as a standalone application. On macOS Catalina at least - presently destroys Big Sur because of the kext issues; unsure about Windows. It is also bundled with core audio or asio drivers, & this provides a way to incorporate within a DAW, but also requires the Dolby Atmos panner. More about that here in the release notes

Still, by bouncing out the ADM from Nuendo as it stands now, this can be loaded, monitored and rendered from the standalone Dolby app - including a very nice binaural mix as well as any number of any other delivery formats. Yes, costs another $299.

So let’s hope we hear more clarity about all this from Steinberg in the near future. Personally, I don’t really want to have to spend the extra $$ for yet another app and workflow, and especially in light of the ‘pro’ status /price /target market of N11. As above, perhaps there are just a few ‘switches’ yet to be enabled in the Steinberg Dolby engine?

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profdraper Still, by bouncing out the ADM from Nuendo as it stands now, this can be loaded, monitored and rendered from the standalone Dolby app - including a very nice binaural mix as well as any number of any other delivery formats. Yes, costs another $299.

But to make the best binaural downmix from say 7.1.4, you want to be checking back and forth from speakers to binaural headphones as you are mixing. I may be experimenting with other binaural monitoring solutions to see if they guide me well enough while mixing, then downmix a final from Atmos Production Suite. I could do that with a cheap used Mac (I’m PC now) and a copy of the Production Suite.

@Paulwr As someone who has the standalone app I will also say it’s worth getting. I’m very interested to hear about your monitoring successes with binaural mixes from Atmos or even just 5.1. I feel like the state of multichannel audio in general is really in flux. Broadcast standards are still fairly clear from getting the mix to certain standards, but playback for multichannel or even binaural audio are just all over the map. I’m not sure there is even a gold standard for binaural headphones or earbud monitoring. Do you know of one? I’m also wondering what the majority of the gaming development universe is using for monitoring final mixes of their games for binaural.

The production suite works with ProTools, so I am assuming you did the mix on ProTools, correct? And are you working with the Nuendo on a separate machine from the production suite?

The production suite actually includes a plug-in that works in both PT and Nuendo, and works with Nuendo 10.3 - but only for Mac, I’m pretty sure. When I did it (I’ve only completely done one mix through the process of making an Atmos MP4) I used just the Mac although the Dolby renderer ran separately from Nuendo and was linked via Midi sync and Dolby Bridge for the audio.

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:wave: excellent topic, thankyou. Do you know any video with the workflow? :see_no_evil:

Not so sure about any ‘gold standard’ in light of HRTF profiles being different for everyone. Personally however, I use AKG 702s with SPL Phonitor & Sonarworks profile for daily duties with headphone mix cross-reference. In the case of trying out these binaural attempts with various plugs, of course the Phonitor cross-feed is turned off.

The production suite works with ProTools, so I am assuming you did the mix on ProTools, correct? And are you working with the Nuendo on a separate machine from the production suite?

No, I used the standalone Dolby Atmos app to open an ADM created by Nuendo then render binaural. Was sid-etracked a little at first because 3.5.1 is hopeless on Big Sur (drivers not ready), but all works as it should in Catalina. This also avoids the use of the Dolby audio drivers and the Atmos panner which work in Pro Tools but are problematic in Nuendo.