Surround Dither plug in doesn't load

I get these error messages in N5.5.4. What do they mean, what can I do?

The Surround Dither in the OS X version of Nuendo is a PowerPC plug-in: that could explain the problem you’re having.

And it’s also a 3rd party (not developed by Steinberg) plug-in. Maybe we could hope for a multichannel version of the Apogee dither plug-in?

Oh … really … a PowerPC plug in? Why did it work before? I’m still on OSX 10.6.8 on my Nuendo machine.
It just stopped working with these error codes. The msg. shows also something with eLicenser going wrong.
The eLicenser software is up to date and the other stuff protected with it just runs fine.
I have templates and projects with this plug in prepared and now I have always to click away these error messages and substitute it with Waves IDR360 - what a drag!

eLicenser Control Version
Mac/Win 2012-06-04
New Features
Mac: eLicenser Control: Discontinuation of support for PowerPC based hardware and Rosetta.

Maybe if you install a prior version to the version of eLicenser Control, it will work again.

Wow - thank you! I would expect Steinberg to communicate those things much better. It could have saved me from spending valuable life time with such a nonsense - as I was trying to find the error. And it’s beyond me why they don’t substitute this surround dither plug in with something new. Even a simple triangular dither would do. Surround dithering should be build into a surround DAW - now it isn’t anymore in Nuendo. This is somewhat sloppy …
To you Kewl - many thanks for explaining this! Very appreciated.

Agreed, but the general way surround plugins are handled in Nuendo in general is pretty poor, based on the multi-mono with global operation mode it is.
It could be argued there is no real need for surround dither - most surround deliverables are either 24-bit anyway, or lossy bitstreams all of which work better when fed with a 24-bit source file anyway. AFAIK, all proper licensed Dolby Digital encoders should be able to accept a 24-bit input (the exception I know of is the one in Sonic’s Scenarist SD - 16-bit only) although this is not the point - there should be a dither option for a 16-bit surround export.

It could be argued there is no real need for surround dither - most surround deliverables are either 24-bit anyway, or lossy bitstreams all of which work better when fed with a 24-bit source file anyway.

Neil, many thanks for your answer. The reason I use surround dither is because I have Nuendo outputs going via MADI to my DM2000 mixer. Therefore I dither down to 24 bit on the outputs. If this really audible I don’t know but I think it’s good practice to dither anyway in cases of higher bit depth going to lower ones. Anyway, I modified my default surround project now with Waves IDR on the outputs.
When I deliver surround files they’re in 24 bit every time.
You made me curious with your note

but the general way surround plugins are handled in Nuendo in general is pretty poor

. I use mainly the Waves surround bundle as surround plug ins and a bunch of external hardware devices. Using Waves surround plug ins for example works quite well with Nuendo. So, what do you suggest for better surround plug in handling in Nuendo? Which plug ins do you use?

No need to dither …


Hi nkf.

As Fredo says, there is no need to dither from 32-floating point to 24-bit fixed.

Getting back to surround plugins, there are simply not that many good ones out there. I’ve heard good reports on the Flux stuff, but have to admit that when I tried them I did not like the surround handling at all - but I am told it is a lot better now so maybe I need to have another look.
Voxengo do some very good ones, and more importantly their control is a heck of a lot better than the VST3 efforts we get bundled with Nuendo. Instead of multi-mono, they work in a very similar manner to the late, lamented (and never replaced despite promises) Steinberg Surround Edition. You get a default stereo implementation loaded, but can swap this in the routing to a 5.1 which gives you several groups of channels you can independently control.

I did have the Waves bundle, but never upgraded it and when the new machine gets delivered next week, I will lose that as mine is a v7, and I don’t think they are worth the upgrade fee to get the new ones. There was a company who made some really interesting synthedit based surround plugs - starplugs - who did some very funky stuff that nobody else was doing, but they sadly went under recently.
VirSyn do some surround stuff, but again it is largely multi-mono with a little matrix to boost or cut levels to each channel but global operation again.
AltiVerb 6 XL is still great, but again it is limited in it’s control. Being convolution based it doesn’t matter quite so much with the specialist surround impulses provided but it would be neat to be able to edit the rears independently of the fronts.

My main plugs these days are UAD & Slate, and I have to use multiple instances of stereo or mono plugs. There is currently no real alternative.

Opinion or fact? Opinion based on facts?

There are a lot of reasonable voices in forums that advocate 32 bit floating point conversion to 24 bit with dithering.
One here:
I have not made a final conclusion but Steinberg themselves offered the Dithering plug in with settings for dithering to 24 bits. Because there is no 32 bit fixed point involved it must be there for 32 bit floating point. Now the plug in is gone and it is not necessary anymore?
Most programs I work with offer 32 floating point to 24 bit fixed point dithering settings. So I assume there is a reason.

At the moment I stay away from buying more Flux plug ins as their support right now is simply awful. I have the Analyzer package (surround of course) and Elixir, which is a fantastic limiter and works in surround.

Voxengo I have to check more. I use the free “Span” and bought the Deconvolver … but that’s another story …

As I said, I use that bundle a lot. Waves plug ins are real work horses for me, stereo or surround - have the IR360 too.

Some Virsyn plug ins I bought too, but i have to say I’m always a bit reserved in usage as they were sometimes crash prone. Therefore I use them (Reverb, Delay) only when I have time and can ‘afford’ a crashing project.

Except the Waves reverbs I mostly use my external surround reverbs, two S6000, two SREV1s and a Quantec. That’s one reason I need so many hardware I/Os for external FX. I wrote about my problems with the lost connections under many circumstances but Steinberg seems to give a damn about that. I’m probably part of a small minority of Nuendo and Cubase users.

UAD I use a lot too but not for precise EQ or compression. They are for me more coloring-tools. Slate … never really recognized by me … worth to check out? Did you know that the Abbey Road plug ins work as multi-channel plug ins too?

It seems I don’t get this ‘multi-mono’ thingy. Maybe I have a stumbling block … but when I use the aforementioned surround plug ins I have one multi channel plug in in one surround channel doing the task. Can you elaborate what you mean? Thank you.

I also have the Deconvolver - for a long time I was into making my own IR files.

I was not aware that the Abbey Roads run in multichannel - but I wager it is the same multi-mono thing we get with Nuendo. As to what I mean about this, it seems that you do see exactly the same behaviour. It’s a major issue for me, as there are virtually no circumstances at all where I would ever want to use one lot of settings across all 6 channels. You say you get " one multi channel plug in in one surround channel doing the task", yet what happens when you want to use an HPF on the centre channel set differently to Left/Right and differently again from Ls/Rs? And then you want to use a shelf on L/R, but nowhere else? With the old Surround Edition you could do this as you got up to 8 channels of (and this is the important part) independant control.
All we have is one set of dials that works equally across all channels - this is simply lazy programming.

It’s not just EQ either - I would like to be using different compression settings for front & rear - impossible.
Different delay or reverb settings - likewise impossible.

Ah … now I get what you mean with multichannel mono - of course I’m aware of that and you’re fully right about this.
That’s one of the reasons I use the Waves Surround Bundle. These plug ins are real surround plug ins and sound quality is right for my ears. When needing EQ or a bit compression or general mastering I use one of my TC 6000 as I have the surround mastering license in one of them - full control on all channels of course. It is really a shame that there are so few ‘real’ surround plug ins. Usually I pester companies a bit about this but it seems we’re in a real minority here …

Okay, I’m going to bite.
What is it about the Waves Surround Bundle that you like so much please? What tools in there are indispensible and unavailable elsewhere? I’m not being facetious here either - I am actually looking for a reason to buy them a second time. WHen I had my version, all that was included was a pretty poor compressor, a harsh limiter, a manager that I never once used, a panner and a couple of plugs that added up to an indifferent spatial imager or reverb. I’ve got no use at all for L360 (I do not ever limit my mixes and only use one to catch peaks in initial stages of a mix) and I have AltiVerb XL so I’m covered with convolution reverb unless IR360 is really something special.
So what have I missed?

Hey, I don’t want you to convince about the Waves Surround bundle - I’m not a sales weasel. Of course the plug ins in this bundle are of different usefulness for me. The compressor I used once for a special task in Logic, not in Nuendo. What I use most are the Surround reverb, the upmix and mixdown plug ins, the Surround panner, MV360 and the Dorrough meters. Lo Air is often used for stereo work. The surround reverb has a special sound I really like for small and mid size rooms - sounds convincing in the mix. Surround imager is very handy. For very dynamic stuff an overshot limiter can be useful but I use Elixir now for that. Of course all has to do with certain needs and esthetics and I can fully understand the Waves Surround bundle is not for you. It really depends on what you do and try to achieve.
Concerning IR360 … I got this for a very low price compared to Altiverb XL. As I mentioned I’m quite good covered with my external hardware for surround reverbs. Sometimes I use IR360 for more weird, experimental stuff.