UR824 and Surround in Logic Pro X [SOLVED]

Dear Steinberg Community,

I hope some of you have experience or knowledge, or just good intuition, about setting up UR824 and bunch of active studio monitors to work as a surround mixing/monitoring platform on Logic Pro X.

But let me tell first what I have achieved to find out myself during long and miserable hours by using trial and error method.

First of all, it looks that UR284 can be used as surround device, actually in 2 different ways – but not in the most obvious way, which would be just selecting it to work in surround mode on Preferences -> Audio -> I/O Assignments -> and choosing surround options, routing setup etc. – like Logic manual tells us, and one would normally do to go surround with Logic.

Logic does not accept UR824 to be set as surround interface, there is not even an option to choose that – not at least on my Logic. This is odd as UR824 does not have otherwise any problems to do surround. You even have all kind of surround options to choose by using Audio MIDI setup, and all those works nice and well. Why I can not just choose UR284 to do the same in Logic Pro X?

However, there are some alternative ways – as I mentioned – to make UR284 in Logic Pro X to do surround, but all of those have some disadvantages, as most of the surround tools and options in Logic are designed to be used when audio interface is set up to work surround mode on Preferences.

Perhaps the easiest way is to create 6 mono send channel strips and just route each of them to different speaker. I tried this by using outputs from 3-8 on my UR 824, as I like to keep my main monitors – different form my surround speakers – connected on outputs 1 and 2. Send -method also required some minor settings on dspMixFx, mainly routing mixes 2,3 and 4 to output pairs 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 (In my system Mix1 goes to output 1-2 as I mentioned before.). This all gives you a possibility to do some simple surround mixing by using send automation on each audio track separately. However, it starts to feel quite limited if you want to make several helicopter to fly circles around your control room.

More easy way was to import small video clip with surround sounds into Logic – you can find plenty of those online – and let the software to extract the audio track. For some reason Logic makes surround track, even though this is not otherwise even an option, if you don’t have correct surround setting done on Preferences. By multiplying this surround track you can have as many tracks you need for your project, with surround panning on each track etc. Only difference to proper surround mode is, that once you change the surround channel to normal mono or stereo you can not chenge it back – the software does not provide this option, only by cloning already existing surround track, and you can not change the output routing settings from Preferences –because the whole option does not exist – so you might need to change the place of the speaker cables and do some routing using dspMixFx to get the sound matching with your speaker set up. In my case the clip i used to get the first surround channel had different speaker routing then the tracks I cloned out of it – don’t even dear to ask how this is possible. However, using ready surround sound clip and track cloning I managed to work on surround in the most convenient way, doing all surround panning and record them as automation.

So good so far, but I’m still troubled by the fact – or perhaps it is solely my own stupidity – that I can not just go to preferences and choose form I/O Assignment that my UR824 can do surround. Why? Is there any way to get it done? All my effort to find an answer form internet has not given me any advice. Perhaps someone from here can tell what I have done wrong.

All the best!

I must add for the previous one, that I managed to get my way to full Surround options in Logic Pro X. But it happened in a strange way. As I wrote in previous post, i made a Logic project I imported mp4 video file having surround sound and just clone the surround channel i was able to get in this way. What I tried today, and what gave me interesting results was that I saved the project as template. Next time when I opened the template Logic said something like this: “You project contains surround files. Do you want to enable surround settings even though they are not supported by your interface”. Since clicking YES I have been able to use Surround settings with my UR824 on Preferences > I/O Assignment including channel routing. This must be a bug in Logic, however, it works!