N12 7.1.4 Surround Channel Order is STILL wrong

I used this opportunity to create my first vst3 plugin out of RNBO/Max.

It is doing nothing else than swapping channels 5/6 and 7/8. To bypass it you bypass the complete plugin in your host.

Download it here:

I have no idea if the Mac versions work as I’m on Windows (there it works perfectly). I appreciate feedback about the Mac side.


[post edited after I was allowed to post links]


VST3 Windows:
SwapSides2Rears-VST3_Windows.zip (3.5 MB)

Unfortunately I can’t upload the Mac versions as the zips are larger than 4MB. What to do?

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fiedler audio Spacelab Interstellar and Spacelab Ignition does it right on both Win and Mac

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Sure. But as written in the post above, I’m not allowed to include links in my posts.

Please spend 10 seconds reading the Forum Guide

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Sorry, to eager obviously.

Here are the plugins now:

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Welcome to the forum @Mathis_Nitschke . :vulcan_salute:
And thanks for the VST-3 plug-in. :heart_eyes: Will certainly test it soon once.

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Hi @Mathis_Nitschke I just tested your plugin in N12.0.52 on a 7.1.2 group and it didnt do anything.

I can successfully use MixerDelay to swap sides and rear on the same insert though.

Guys my brain hurts trying to work this out. Is the conclusion from @steve that Steinberg isn’t going to do anything about it? I get that the dolby re-render output flips when its 7.1.2 or under but in 7.1.4 its the correct SMPTE way not Steinberg’s order. And my room is 7.1.4.

Dolby labells 7.1.4 the correct SMPTE way in the internal atmos renderer in N12. Which to me is the difinitive answer but alas Steinberg ignore it. To proove it @steve set the renderer to 7.1.4 and pan a mono object around. Observe the atmos plugin meters. Where N12 Multipanner is panning, it is STILL wrong.

Knowing that Steinberg can take years to admit and correct bugs, if ever, what are you guys doing for now in final film re-recording mix projects in Nuendo 12, when the atmos renderer in use?
I compose mostly but also do the final film re-recording mix on occasion.

This is my take, tell me if I’m wrong:

So when composing I should just keep it simple and do the channel swap on the monitor outputs in Control Room (as per Nuendo manual) so that all Steinberg meters read correctly etc because I dont use the atmos renderer plugin here.

BUT during re-recording mix I should be inserting a Mixer Delay to swap channels in a prefader insert of the bed busses and a post fader insert of an object. Then converting it back with another insert on the output channel in the arrange page which is obviously after the atmos renderer. This is just so when the atmos plugin exports an ADM, its in the correct SMPTE order.

I am aware that this is not possible for everyone, but we test each of our (Atmos) mixes extensively. This includes encoding the mix into the desired consumer format. At that point we also test to make sure we have the correct channel order.

Personally, I would always advise that the order is correct in the project itself. Simply swapping channels at the monitor output would be too tricky for me and therefore only an option in exceptional cases. We also exchange projects B2B. Everyone has to trust that the channel order is correct. That’s why I find it so annoying that a DAW with a Dolby Atmos renderer (yes, I’m talking about you, Nuendo!) doesn’t provide Dolby-compliant tracks/busses for all possible channel configurations.

To add to the topic - This was related to Fairlight and Logic
I had contacted Izotope relating to Issues with their reverb channel mapping.
This Answer speaks a lot.

Thanks for reaching out to us.
In this case, please be sure to take note of the following:
The developer for the Exponential Audio plug-ins specifically designed the “3D” versions of Symphony and Stratus to run in Pro Tools (AAX) or Nuendo (VST3). While other VST3 hosts may be able to open Symphony 3D and Stratus 3D, this will not be officially supported and you may encounter issues with the channel mapping as each DFAW handles this differently.

Further I tested the reverb in Reaper and had to so some modifications to the channel pins.
So Nuendo has a set of rules that Plugin developers have to follow. This has nothing to do with Dolby.
I would not remap or do anything and let Nuendo do its job, except if its extremely necessary.

So when we are looking at the Dolby renderer meters and diagram to right and we pan an object around with Nuendo’s multipanner, the panner indicates object is at the side and the renderer indicates (hence exports!) that you’re at the rears…you’re cool with that? Without remapping them before it goes to the renderer it will export the wrong way around. It’s not just what is displayed, it affects our exports, our playback. Such a mess.

I understand that we have some plugins that are aware of this coming from Nuendo and thus are playing this game, but correcting the issue so that these plugins follow suite (eventually or not, it doesnt matter) is FAR more important than continuing with this wrong order for ever. It’s creating a far bigger problem and we are still in early days. Steinberg should correct it now. Or at least give an option to go with the rest of the world on this.

SMPTE has convened on it, Dolby has followed suite on it. Studios who are 5.1 now will eventually join the majority of immersive studios that are 7.1.4 or more. Thus sides before rears is already the physical norm.

I see no issues, the renderer renders it correctly.
I exported an ADM file and imported it in Fairlight and everything was as it is supposed to be.
So I don’t see where the issue is.


About different DAW’s and Standards that you - Some may find this interesting.
Michael Carnes On page 55 discusses the various issues related to different DAWs and workarounds…

I had already tested that the internal Atmos renderer was outputting the channels correctly:

As for the level meter in the renderer, I have to admit that I don’t look at it anymore. Since we are producing in 9.1.6, the display in the renderer is useless to me anyway.

I’m still learning.

The link below is to get a pdf from Dolby,

Dolby Atmos Music Room Configuration

In it, on the last page they name all the speakers.

What i have been calling the L/R Front Surrounds are L/R Wide - Lw/Lw

the mids - Lss/Rss

the rears - Lsr/Rsr

the ceilings - Ltf/Lrf

I’m making a cheat sheet lol

the rears LSR/RSR


I think he was replying to me and I read Dolby’s channel naming wrongly. My head was hurting from the lack of uniformity. I know now that the internal Nuendo Dolby renderer has adjusted itself out of the conventional order to be Nuendo compatible. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

The speaker order above is named differently from the Nuendo Dolby channel names which makes it more confusing

Not even Dolby uses uniform names in their manuals. At least the internal Atmos renderer should use the same names as the Reference Player (DRP).

I’m getting 7. 1 4 for atmos and this thread is disturbing (actually it reveals something disturbing). Steinberg, in order to produce Dolby Atmos, would not have the same channel scheme as Dolby Atmos?! Ouch. Hello Steinberg, this is Earth.

In the channel list, Steinberg identifies the sides after the rears (He thinks in 5.1. then adds 2 sides). In the channel list, Dolby Atmos identifies the backs after the sides (It thinks in 7.1. directly in the natural order).

I don’t know if someone could write here a conclusion for this question: what do we do?

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