This new video is packed with tips on using Control Room for Atmos (and multichannel mixes in general). There’s a section on controller the master volume knob in Control Room with an externall controller, and another on using a Cue to A/B reference your Atmos mix against a stereo mix.
Thanks for this tip! Once I have my speakers here in the studio, I can set them up much more easily. The delays set up in the control room is a much better implementation.
Thank you very much Leo! You are making the videos that I have put off making for a while! LOL! I too have put together a “budget” Atmos room and have done much of the research you have. In my setup I’m using a Marantz amp/receiver that (one of a few that still do) has line level inputs for all 8 channels as well as 7.1.4 outs. I have an X32 mixer going both in and out of that receiver and all my routing is done through the X32 or Nuendo Control Room. I have not yet watched your time delay video, next on my list - room tuning has been and continues to be a side hobby. LOL!
For younger musicians to get into Atmos it needs to be affordable. Hopefully in the next couple years we’ll see some complete turnkey Atmos budget packages created by the retailers. Anyway, thanks again for your research and your output regarding this topic, all of what you have posted is totally relevant to my setup.
Thanks! Making it affordable is a necessity to me. I’m glad it helps. Please let me know if there’s any topic you’d like me to cover. I keep learning as I go.
What do you see as the advantages of using your receiver/processor for inputs as well? I would think it would allow you to do all the speaker calibration in the receiver instead of in Control Room. But it seems more complicated (and expensive) to me. I’m interested in your thoughts and experience.
I don’t know if it’s a huge advantage, but having a receiver/amp combo just helped me avoid outboard power amps or using powered speakers (although my room is actually a mix of both). The initial calibration for my room was done using the amp and an app designed for the amp called Audyssey. It uses the amp’s supplied calibration mic and automatically sets speaker levels, distances (delay) and EQ for you. That gets me to where I can play Apple TV or other Atmos content in my room and it sounds good and is calibrated correctly.
I have to do a separate calibration for when I’m working doing Atmos mixing work, and that calibration uses the Mixer Delay to set Control Room levels and delays (delays thanks to you this morning!). Then I save that Mixer Delay preset and I’m good to go for mixing.
As for EQ, I’ve worked hard to use sound treatment in my room to deal with EQ issues as much as possible. I don’t like running a correction EQ and try to avoid it as much as possible. I’d rather get the room as flat as possible myself without any processing. Luckily my room is pretty flat now, with a couple of noted exceptions that I am aware of when mixing. My receiver does do room correction EQ, but not for the 7.1 input(s) - only on other sources, so that’s why I have to do it separately and compensate when mixing.
The Marantz amp/receiver wasn’t terrible price-wise, I think it cost me $1,500 basically. I have a base system of Klipsch Reference speakers connected for the front three and subs, and then added Behringer Truth self-powered 2030’s for the side and rear surrounds. When I was first working on this I used some regular small monitor speakers powered by the amp angled up at the ceiling for my height speakers, but since have installed permanent ceiling speakers (Klipsch).
For various reasons I’m just recording and mixing in Nuendo in 7.1.4 format and writing separate audio tracks for the bed stems and any “objects” I create, and then cut/paste the audio tracks and any automation to a different template I have created to do the actual mixdown to ADM file which I can then open and render out with the Dolby Production Suite Renderer. The Nuendo built-in renderer does not allow marrying to video and outputting a video file with Atmos, and I need that feature, so I went ahead and purchased the stand-alone production suite renderer from Dolby through Avid’s site. I can then take a finished MP4 with Atmos and load it into Apple TV and play it back from there, on my receiver like any professionally mixed Atmos content.
There were some discussions here a while back where we talked about how Atmos handles the .4 aspect of 7.1.4 - and how any content that needs to go into the height speakers and pan front to rear needs to be routed through a “height” 4-channel output bus that then gets placed as an object in the mix for the renderer, because if you have four height speakers and you play rendered output through them, only objects will take advantage of the extra speakers in your room, not beds. If you don’t do this, it’s not terrible, but any content panned to the rear height speakers alone will show up in all four height speakers. That took me a while to get across in my head!
I do with Nuendo’s Atmos renderer could output MP4. I haven’t bought the Production Suite because I don’t have a Mac computer.
For the height channels, I have “object beds” for the front height pair and for the rear height pair. I also have an stereo object bed for wides. This gives me a 9.1.6 frankenstein bed made up of the 7.1.2 bed plus the extra object beds.