N11 binaural render?

Sorry for the crosstalk @profdraper, I didn’t realize @Paulwr was asking you.

I want to be sure to understand… “stand alone Dolby Atmos app” that is not the Production Suite, correct? (its a plugin as I understand) And I don’t think you mean the Mastering Suite, do you? I’m just hanging the last speaker of 7.1.4 and the custom audio wires are all created, just a good bit of ac wiring, raceways such to complete hopefully by Monday. Hoping to have so things to try out for overcoming this 3D headphone binaural downmix dilemma . I am PC but can get a Mac to try certain things. If I only need to buy a used or small Mac for doing final renders or just the binaural render, I can probably live with that IF I have a fairly decent monitor capability of the binaural to check back and forth as I mix in 7.1.4. A friend who built his Atmos setup and finished before me has some mixes under his belt with Atmos, and he’s blown away by the binaural quality downmix he gets when he mixes monitoring both back and forth throughout the mixing process. He’s a brilliant producer/mixer and we’ve both done 3D binaural mixing using DearVR Pro… this is another universe now.

This might be a stupid question (I’d say about 4:1 in favor of that); When people compare different binaural ‘downmixes’ what is the difference between the Dolby one and others? I mean, is this a case where one could monitor on a “lesser” format and as long as it’s fine there as well as on speakers it’ll translate just fine to Dolby binaural as well?

This is one of the options I am exploring. The 3D mixing is quite touchy in binaural and a friend of mine who is getting quite good with it (and started in DearVR Pro like I did) has gotten his Atmos system up and running before me and is VERY excited about mixing Atmos Surround and getting a better than ever binaural downmix from that. BUT, he tells me the only way is to be monitoring back and forth throughout the entire mix process. Being I’m on PC, my options are limited. Once I’m set up next week I’ll start my experiments including getting my hands on a small Mac for a number of scenarios including mixing on the PC in Nuendo with as good a substitute as I can find for binaural monitoring and then doing the render on a Mac with the Atmos Production Suite on it.

How is it coming along, @Paulwr ?

Had some other things come up…hope to finish wire routing today or tomorrow for the speakers. Speakers mounted to the ceiling great with the articulating brackets. Then I’ll spend some time familiarizing myself with Atmos mixing for a few days, then jump on figuring a solid binaural monitoring workflow that hopefully remains in Atmos end to end without breaking the bank. I compose and use four pc’s for that. Worst case might be running Mastering Suite on another computer, but even with all the Madi capability I have, that route runs me about $3400 for software plus hardware that I’d rather not spend. Of course that bumps me up beyond just binaural monitoring and down mixing and might be necessary in the long run.

Yeah, that mastering suite is definitely a barrier to entry price-wise. Also I haven’t even begun to look at the costs around actually licensing the Atmos logo and brand for delivery to large audiences. Being able to create it is one thing, but getting the license to distribute is completely another!

I’m very interested in your binaural adventures - because for now, YouTube only delivers in two channels, so binaural encoding (or at the very least, pro-logic style encoding) are the only options for 3D audio delivery. I keep hoping that’s going to change - but it probably won’t until YouTube makes an agreement with Dolby to deliver multi-channel audio if the video uploaded was encoded that way.

While more are adopting Atmos, such as the top tier for Amazon Music and others, great immersive 3D headphone mixes ought to remain an important part of music delivery. Gamers, people listening late at night, those without the big speaker systems, music lovers that will never invest in a big Atmos speaker system… very many of them want to enjoy 3D style music mixes on normal headphones… this may be the time the surround thing sticks. It technology better than ever before and that likely plays into the growing popularity.

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I’m interesting in getting some head tracking in Nuendo 11 without paying big bucks for VR gear. Just a cheap clip pin head track for my Sennheiser 650 headphones… Mixing Atmos in Nuendo using their Ambidecoder and custom HRTF would be amazing with just a pair of headphones.

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Hi Friends , Today i exported my atmos mix to binaural , Also done a A B test with the binaural file created from Avid dolby renderer and very happy to say i have got exact results
these are the routings , under output sections we should have a stereo bus one 7.1.4 bus for Atmos renderer and finally one 3rd order ambisonic bus , the signal from atmos bus to ambisonic bus is bussed through the send , the output of the ambisonic bus is monitored by an ambisonic audio track { monitor enabled } only this monitored audio track alone is routed to the stereo bus,
by using ambidecoder plugin in monitored track we could send the binaural pan information to stereo bus , once everything is set its just as normal stereo export ,


The routing you described here is kinda difficult for me to understand at the moment. But I shall try to apply it. In any case, could you please point out step by step? I apologize for my ignorance.

simple steps as follows
nuendo { control room disabled }

  1. stereo out which should be as main output { status connected to interface speaker out }
    2 add 7.1.4 bus in outputs { status not connected to interface }
    3 add 3rd order ambisonic bus {status not connected to interface }
    now on arrange window
    1 route all tracks output to 7.1.4 bus which is our atmos bus
  2. send the signal from atmos bus to 3rd order ambisonic bus { in the atmos channel use last send to route its signal to 3rd order ambisonic bus
    3 create one audio track in 3rd order ambisonic configuration and choose the input as the 3rd order ambisonic out put and output to stereo bus , now enable the monitor on the audio track u created , Now all set ,you can open the Ambidecoder clicking on the panner setting of the new audio monitoring track , Now after mixing if you export through stereo out you will get desired surround sound output as close to atmos adm file output

Thank you so much for your kindness.

Hi, sounds good,
but with this solution, you can’t hear a difference, when you set the “binaural” setting of the Atmos “Object” to near, mid, far, or off.
So for me I can’t hear, what the client will hear.
Steinberg really needs to add the Atmos Headphone downmix feature.


Yes they do need to add binaural downmix capability. But since it is also unavailable in DaVinci and I believe also missing in the new Logic Atmos capability, it appears it is Dolby withholding it. So I’ll be having to spend $1000 for the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite. (mission accomplished, Dolby…) I already have additional RME hardware to get 128 channels out and folded back into my DAW machine. I’ve heard it works well but only by word of mouth. I haven’t spoken with anyone directly yet. If you are only working on music, not post production, it is important to know that currently the Atmos binaural downmix can’t be relied on to automatically down mix great every time. If you are serious about having great binaural mixes for your clients, you need to fine-tune the binaural. I forget which one, but saw where one of the major steaming services that can handle Atmos content will playback a designated binaural file rather than an Atmos downmix on the fly version to the listener. We are still in the wild west of this new wave immersive audio, but it does have a LOT of sonic excitement to offer and I think that thanks to improvements in binaural technology that it will be more than just another “surround sound” fad.

Just to add to your reply, I have always found that “downmixing” and / or relying on a machine to provide a final mix has never worked for me. I always have been about mixing to the final formats, however many there may be. It takes longer, yes, but you can then guarantee the quality of each format. For years I always ask the client what they will expect to deliver on, and mix accordingly. Usually, I mix in Stereo, get that finished, and then move onto the other formats. If we are staying in Stereo, I always mix to these formats, adjusting the mix slightly: Compact disc (16bit 44,100), MP3 (32kBits 44,100), and Vinyl, which requires knowing how to filter out low and top end properly. This is all done before the Mastering is done, so the ME does not have to work hard to get the final deliverables. Now I am learning about Binaural and Atmos, so I have to decide which I will mix to first, AFTER finishing the Stereo mixes. I don’t think I can ever trust an automatic process.

Interesting discussion …
… let me add a couple of things I found during the last few weeks.

Dolby Atmos Production Suite ($300) has the binaural renderer on board. But it is only available for MacOS. Works quite OK (listening experience).

So from my perspective, even if DAPS binaural render or any other renderer sounds perfect for you, it might sound different for somebody else.

In general, binaural “listening experience” depends on each individuals head geometries. This is being expressed by the HRTF. Each head has its own HRTF. Size, position of ears, form of ears, etc.

There are some standard HRTF-datasets out there in the market. E.g. Neumann … something.

I recently tested the Binauralizer Studio plugin with my 7.1.4 test signals. The plugin allows to upload HRTF-Files (Drag&Drop). Then downloaded around 100 HRTF-files from the internet (not difficult to find) and started testing one after the other. Key goal was to find a data set where I can locate each of the 7.1.4 speaker positions. Some where better than others. But none of them was “the one for me”. But I am not done yet.

Found “earfish”. Interesting approach to create your own HRTF-data with an iPhone. Requires an in-ear-stereo mic connected to an iPhone. The iPhone needs to be fixed to your head with a rubber band. Reason is the use of its positional sensor (gyrator) while circling your head for about 15 min while there is a mono test beep sent over a speaker about every 1 second. Take the measured data and upload it to earfish. They will send you “your HRTF-curve”.

Had also tested some weeks ago the Steinberg Immerse. Result was so-and-so. They provide a service to get you your HRTF-Curve. The only input is a photo from your ear. Hmm, too much of an approximation. My opinion.

Did also some testing of Ama*on Music HD. For some songs they offer Dolby Atmos, 360 and 3D-Audio. Works only for iPhone or Android phones. No Windows PC, no Macbook. Have some signature songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man etc. Tested it with a Beyerdynamic DT990.

My impression was, that it only was kind of an pimp-it-up. No serious multi channel rendering. What you get is more of a “your are in some room” feeling. Perhaps just some reverb is thrown on it.

But this can be a very subjective result, since I have not found my own 100%-proof-binaural-setup.

LG, Juergi

Ever tried Genelec’s “Aural ID”? Seems to be a valid approach.*)

Aural ID - Genelec.com

*) … “valid” in a field that will always be an approximation of the real thing, i.e. 3D speaker setups.

I‘m curious if somebody tried NAT Spacial audio Designer? When using this software It should be possible to downmix atmos to stereo or binaural - actually any channel format.

Lg! S.

Hi there,

I am in the middle of testing “In-One” from New Audio Technologies. In-One is a plugin, which is part of Spatial Audio Designer (SAD).

Did you mean this too?

For me, it delivers the best result for binaural monitoring of a 7.14 mix. (I had tried out many other plugins.).

The sound localization works very good. (Top-Front-Left, Back-Right, Side-Left, etc.).

But is is not 100% straight forward to be set up. It supports a maximum speaker layout of only 7.1 only (Not sure, if bought with full SAD, whether this limit is gone)

Workaround is to set up two group tracks. One with a layout of 7.1 for the base speakers, and one 4.0 for the top speakers. Place one each of the plugins as an Insert on the two group tracks. I used Direct Routes to connect each of the 7.1.4 mono channels (in my case) to one of the two group tracks. Within the plugin, you pan each single channel to the desired 3D position .

Edit: The two (binauralized) group tracks route into the Stereo-Out, with headphones connected.

However, with the 4.0 group track for the top speakers, you have to fiddle around a bit. Had to use two stereo tracks as an intermediate bus. Seems like the routing of the Direct Routes does not work correctly.

Over the weekend, I want to try out two 7.1 group tracks. One for TOP and one for BASE. Let’s see, whether this works.

Possible drawback (which may remain) is, that you cannot route a 7.1.4 bus directly to a 7.1.4 bus with the plugin inserted.

Using the InOne Plugin on a single 7.1.4 bus does work. As of now, it needs two instances as Insert. One for the Bottom or Middle Layer, the other one for the top layer. This is to be selected in the plugin where Nuendo offers all bus configs arriving in the plugin. Like 2.0, 5.1 “7.1 Middle” and “Top”.

Drawback left is, that changing the InOne settings is to occur in two plugin windows. Not “all-in-one”. As heard from the company, 7.1.4 support is to come in the mid term future. The one instance is sufficient.

LG, Juergi