Nuendo & Auro-3D: additional software needed?

We have a new customer who wants to offer his disc releases in both Atmos and Auro-3D. The question now is, will the contract cost me extra money?
Nuendo can do Auro-3D. But what exactly can Nuendo do? I’ve spent hours reading about Auro-3D. But the forum and the manual don’t give much information. And the Auro-3D website is not very enlightening either. (Lots of marketing gobbledygook.)

What I understood, or think I understood:

  • Auro-3D is channel-based.
  • Nuendo offers channel layouts in the various Auro-3D formats.
  • MixConvert V6 supports Auro-3D.
  • Auro-3D is encoded in a PCM stream. The encoding process is “invisible”, so the PCM file can be played back as normal. Auro-3D-enabled devices then extract the necessary information and use it to create the final Auro-3D signal.
  • If desired, the PCM signal can be converted to, for example, DTS-HD Master Audio or FLAC. (For use on a Blu-ray or streaming services, etc.)
  • The Auro-3D information is encoded into the PCM stream using the Auro codec. (There is also another new codec, but this is not relevant here.)

What exactly can Nuendo do?

I’d like to ask this because Auro-3D writes on its website:

Full native support for recording and mixing in AURO-3D® is provided in (…) Nuendo (…) for all AURO-3D formats up to Auro 13.1.

The word “encoding” is missing from the list, as the astute reader will have noticed. :wink: That’s why I first thought I needed the Auro-3D Creative Tools Suite to use Auro codec. But while reading the manual, I came across the following:

In order to export your mix, you can: Use the bounce options natively provided by the DAW to export your Immersive Mix, Binaural Mix or Stereo Downmix. (…)
Exporting the Auro-Codec encoded mix not in Realtime (natively provided by Nuendo): If the Realtime Export checkbox is not checked before exporting the Auro-Codec Encoded Mix, It is recommended to execute the export process in combination with the Auro-Codec Encoder Export Button.

Does this mean that Nuendo has the Auro codec built in (e.g. with MixConvert)? And that I should perform this mix in real time?

I’m at a bit of a loss and would be very grateful for any enlightening answers. Interpretations of the quoted texts or a discussion about Auro-3D in general are also welcome.

Thank you for your attention (so far). :blush:

Following. I’ve also had the same questions. Auro 3D config makes more sense to me than Atmos.

In terms of cost, Auro-3D might actually be the better choice for smaller studios. (Apart from MPEG-H, which is completely free.) But only if Nuendo can export Auro-3D natively. Otherwise, you would only have something like an “intermediate format”, which can only be encoded into a format suitable for customers with additional software.

Prices for Auro software vary. They start at 19 EUR/month. (This is a subscription!) It then depends on the individual case whether Atmos is cheaper than Auro-3D.

In any case, the problem is that Auro-3D is much less well known than Atmos. The spread is also much smaller.

You mean the channel layout/speaker placement?

Yes I meant speaker placement. If you asked 100 people here if they’d heard of Dolby Atmos or Auro 3D, everyone would have heard of Atmos and NONE would have heard of Auro 3D. But hey, I am always rooting for the underdog! After all, I’m using Cubase and avoid using pro tools as much as possible. :money_mouth_face:

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I gave this a try, creating a main mix in Auro 3D (13.1). And regardless of whether I integrate MixConvert into the master bus or not, I always end up with a 14-channel WAV file.
This seems to confirm what I already suspected, namely that Nuendo does not have the Auro codec. Otherwise Nuendo should output a 6 or 8 channel WAV.

So I’m not quite sure what is meant by “native” Auro 3D integration? Nuendo renders a file with 14 channels. Apart from the correct channel layout, this file has no advantages over other DAWs. I can only encode such a file into a usable format using the Auro 3D Encoder Service (AES).

So, unless I have missed something, I will need additional software for Auro-3D to be able to use it properly (e.g. for distribution to customers).

Isnt it supposed to be channel based just like standard 5.1 or 7.1 and support in Nuendo could mean accurate speaker mapping of the three zones for confidence monitoring

I did my share of Auro 3D.
In my opinion, the better format.
I reall-really like it.

Nuendo allows you to mix and “master” a 3D project.
You however need the encoder tools to render it in the appropriate format for distribution.


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