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Surround/ambisonic/Atmos distribution
Old 21st April 2019
  #1
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Surround/ambisonic/Atmos distribution

Hi all, I like this new sub-forum. Never seen it before but I'm assuming it's fairly new...


Anyway, I usually record classical audio, live concerts and producing location session work too. My masters are all delivered in stereo format, somewhere between CD rate (44.1/24) and Ultra-Hi Res (192/24).

Recently I've been having discussions with a few label owners who are interested in experimenting with Dolby Atmos, multi-channel audio or even VR.

I'm curious as to whether there are any slutz here that are currently recording MUSIC that is being recorded/mixed/distributed in formats beyond two channel CD or streaming at the moment. I'd love to know if there are any online distribution methods for multichannel audio?
How are you using ambisonic captures in your mixing/masters?
Has anybody here worked on a music focused or music only Dolby Atmos release?


Thanks, Dave
Old 21st April 2019
  #2
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I think one of the great places is the netflix standards. It's 5.1 focused: SPECIFICATIONS & GUIDES – Netflix | Partner Help Center
For more details look under the sub area: Netflix Sound Mix Specifications & Best Practices v1.1 – Netflix | Partner Help Center

This is also in line with the apple delivery requirements, also since apple distributes both film & music at volume I think itunes distribution is pretty compelling: Guides - Movies - iTunes Connect Resources and Help with some of the deliver specs for 5.1 at https://help.apple.com/itc/videoaudioassetguide/ .

For pure music itunes has starting to do binaural, but I'm a bigger fan of 5.1 with some type of video with the music. There's a bunch of more "experimental" things for VR, but it's really hard for me to see which channel is going to really make it. I have about one of everything VR/XR - trying to figure distribution out, but as a consumer I prefer apple and netflix, with my fancy 5.1 system connected via itunes.
Old 25th April 2019
  #3
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We do music-focused releases in AR via iPhone apps, and have posted how-to guides for folks to build their own. Single apps are a perfectly great release mechanism and give us more control over everything in the distribution. You can see our work at tcwav.com. I'm intrigued by Atmos, as well.
Old 28th May 2019
  #4
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Definitely interested in tools that can take B format and output to Atmos. I think Dolby has one?
Old 29th May 2019
  #5
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Quote:
I'm curious as to whether there are any slutz here that are currently recording MUSIC that is being recorded/mixed/distributed in formats beyond two channel CD or streaming at the moment. I'd love to know if there are any online distribution methods for multichannel audio?
How are you using ambisonic captures in your mixing/masters?
Has anybody here worked on a music focused or music only Dolby Atmos release?
I have a release of a new album with Seattle Symphony coming out next month that we mixed in Dolby Atmos. With Dolby's generous advice, I worked out a delivery mechanism that makes a downloadable MP4 with DD+JOC Atmos encoding. Fun stuff and it sounds good. I'm slammed right now but will come back this forum once the release is public if anyone is curious about the workflow.
Old 29th May 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NReichman View Post
I have a release of a new album with Seattle Symphony coming out next month that we mixed in Dolby Atmos. With Dolby's generous advice, I worked out a delivery mechanism that makes a downloadable MP4 with DD+JOC Atmos encoding. Fun stuff and it sounds good. I'm slammed right now but will come back this forum once the release is public if anyone is curious about the workflow.
Definitely yes please!!

Very interested in the way you went about both recording and editing this release. Did you go into the production knowing it was going to be a Dolby Atmos release?
How are you utilising the system beyond what a 2.0 system can do?


Thanks, Dave
Old 30th May 2019
  #7
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elpillo's Avatar
 

I'm starting to do experiments with immersive recordings and mixing them (for now) with DearVR in PT. I'm just a couple of weeks away from getting the Dolby Atmos Production Suite tand start playing with it. I'm also interested in music distribution channels for future immersive/VR projects. Surround (5.1) is fun, but to me immersive audio is even more, particularly channel based recordings. Looking forward to read more from all of you!
Old 22nd June 2019
  #8
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I mix in 3rd order ambisonics for 360 Videos that are viewed mostly on the Oculus Go. It's fairly easy to make a mix, join it to a blank video, then put it into the Go for a head tracking / binaural rendering of 2nd order audio, but it doesn't make much sense to wear a headset if there aren't any visuals....maybe someone will come up with a simple head tracker to add to any existing pair of headphones, and I know several companies have been working on headphones w/ trackers built in. I'm just not sure how much of a market there is for this sort of thing. Atmos is interesting, and I've been to some demos of their mixing system, but again, I'm not sure how realistic it is to expect any sizeable chunk of the market to invest in home surround systems at this point. A handful of clubs have Atmos systems for music as well, but it's all so niche right now.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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We have created a streaming service for virtualized surround sound on headphones. The companies making VR tech were focused on DPS integration into mobile devices, and that wasn't going anywhere. With full VR (audio + visual), you need to buy expensive equipment.

Happy to talk more about this!

Note to mod: Not trying to explicitly advertise, but our information does answer the OP's question. Apologies if our post isn't appropriate.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonhoneyball View Post
Definitely interested in tools that can take B format and output to Atmos. I think Dolby has one?
In case you did not find it yet: Rode has a free plug in that does that.

https://en.rode.com/soundfieldplugin
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
In case you did not find it yet: Rode has a free plug in that does that.

https://en.rode.com/soundfieldplugin
Indeed, I´ve been experimenting with it. Very nice plugin to convert from B format into multichannel.

However, it does not convert to Atmos, it only converts to 7.1.2. You´ll need either an AVID Atmos Production Suite for PT, or an external RMU runing the Atmos Mastering Suite to generate your Atmos master files.
Old 4 days ago
  #12
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Fun thread... I just started experimenting with attempts to move multichannel music (quadraphonic) into Ambisonic format for delivery over YouTube (supports VR). I've seen several videos that playback 3D audio over YouTube. My initial experiment was to create a surround synth patch and record is as 1st Order Ambisonic (B Format).

I've worked in surround for years but this was my first attempt at using headphone 3D audio.... and it wasn't a good replication of the quadraphonic image. Maybe I didn't configure Nuendo correctly? Curious to know more about proper ways to record and mix music in Ambisonic, and eventually deliver via YouTube. Any tips?
Old 3 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
Fun thread... I just started experimenting with attempts to move multichannel music (quadraphonic) into Ambisonic format for delivery over YouTube (supports VR). I've seen several videos that playback 3D audio over YouTube. My initial experiment was to create a surround synth patch and record is as 1st Order Ambisonic (B Format).

I've worked in surround for years but this was my first attempt at using headphone 3D audio.... and it wasn't a good replication of the quadraphonic image. Maybe I didn't configure Nuendo correctly? Curious to know more about proper ways to record and mix music in Ambisonic, and eventually deliver via YouTube. Any tips?
Native Ambisonics recording needs an Ambisonics microphone. You can however do what you´ve done using software that converts from multichannel/stereo/mono and output in FOA or higher Ambisonics format. You can also mix native Ambisonics recordings with stereo/mono and multichannel.

Some elements don´t need to move in the 3D space, like music when it makes part of other elements as sound effects, ambient recordings etc. It´s called headlocked mix that can also be uploaded to Facebook. On Youtube I guess it´s a slightly more complicated process.

One software I´ve been using that I like a lot for music is DearVR Pro. It allows positioning and reverb within the same plugin with very good results IMHO. You can place it on several tracks the contribute to a mix and position, play with distance, elevation etc. It outputs in Binaural as well, wich is great, if all you want is a more immersive 3D sound without the need to auto panning on 360 videos or VR. They have a 30 day fully workable trial.Here´s the link:

https://www.dearvr.com/products/dearvr-pro
Old 3 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
Native Ambisonics recording needs an Ambisonics microphone. You can however do what you´ve done using software that converts from multichannel/stereo/mono and output in FOA or higher Ambisonics format. You can also mix native Ambisonics recordings with stereo/mono and multichannel.

Some elements don´t need to move in the 3D space, like music....
Guess I should give more detail about my quadraphonic source. You're right... maybe I shouldn't be recording to an ambisonic channel, but into multiple mono with ambisonic headlock panning?

My source is a quadrphonic mixer with CV controlled panning. So audio is 4 mono sources (assigned as L/R/Ls/Rs) with dynamic panning between channels.
Old 2 days ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderman View Post
Guess I should give more detail about my quadraphonic source. You're right... maybe I shouldn't be recording to an ambisonic channel, but into multiple mono with ambisonic headlock panning?

My source is a quadrphonic mixer with CV controlled panning. So audio is 4 mono sources (assigned as L/R/Ls/Rs) with dynamic panning between channels.
Ty to start with your 4 mono sources positioned to taste using a 360 audio sphere panner inserted in each of your 4 mono source tracks, so that your CV controlled panning translates as you intend and monitor in binaural before the encoding into ambisonics for Youtube upload.

Considering your source material, I don´t think you need auto panning when the viewer moves it´s head or uses the rotate view button on the video, just a headlocked mix will be enough, but it all depends on your 360 video.

Give it a try to the DearVR plugin that I recommended earlier, I did something similar and it worked well.

Alternatively, you can also try the Facebook 360 plugins which are free:

https://facebook360.fb.com/spatial-workstation/

If binaural is just what you need, try this free panner as well:

https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ambeo-orbit

You need to take in consideration that if your mix will be listened on speakers, part of the 360 immersion will be lost, it will be similar to plain multichannel.

If using headphones, the 360 field is kept so it will be a binaural output, even if coming from an ambisonics master.
Old 10 hours ago
  #16
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From my experience, it's just not going to sound anywhere near as immersive when listened to on headphones as compared to a speaker array, regardless of what approach you take or software you use. I've never taken quadraphonic material into ambisonics, but I have a fair amount of experience building ambisonic mixes for headphones using ambisonic sources, spot mics, and sound design. I've tried every ambisonic to binaural decoder out there, and while the paid Blue Ripple headphone decoder sounds really good, it still doesn't convince me at all when it comes to height and front / rear differentiation. One of the best surround pieces I've heard was at Stanford a few years back, when CCRMA set up their biggest hemispherical speaker array in a huge room. I spoke afterwards with one of the professors whose piece really blew me away, and found out that he somehow took an old stereo mix and converted it into 7th order ambisonics. The immersion and feeling of pressure changing all around me were truly incredible, and I have no idea how he made that stereo mix come to life the way he did. Most of what I heard would probably bore me on headphones though...I'm a bit jaded at this point, but the best result you'll get will likely come from mixing in as high an order as possible, 3rd-7th maybe, listening on top shelf headphones with a personalized Sonarworks calibration for your exact headphones, decoded into binaural with a custom SOFA file that matches your HRTF.
Old 54 minutes ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
From my experience, it's just not going to sound anywhere near as immersive when listened to on headphones as compared to a speaker array, regardless of what approach you take or software you use. I've never taken quadraphonic material into ambisonics, but I have a fair amount of experience building ambisonic mixes for headphones using ambisonic sources, spot mics, and sound design. I've tried every ambisonic to binaural decoder out there, and while the paid Blue Ripple headphone decoder sounds really good, it still doesn't convince me at all when it comes to height and front / rear differentiation. One of the best surround pieces I've heard was at Stanford a few years back, when CCRMA set up their biggest hemispherical speaker array in a huge room. I spoke afterwards with one of the professors whose piece really blew me away, and found out that he somehow took an old stereo mix and converted it into 7th order ambisonics. The immersion and feeling of pressure changing all around me were truly incredible, and I have no idea how he made that stereo mix come to life the way he did. Most of what I heard would probably bore me on headphones though...I'm a bit jaded at this point, but the best result you'll get will likely come from mixing in as high an order as possible, 3rd-7th maybe, listening on top shelf headphones with a personalized Sonarworks calibration for your exact headphones, decoded into binaural with a custom SOFA file that matches your HRTF.
My limited experience, while doing these tests, make me feel this is a truly accurate estimation. Even when I got the positioning and motion... it never felt like a quality experience. Something about the phase manipulation and coloration of the sound... wasn't that great.

On another note... part of what inspired this is the positioning experience I've noticed while playing games on headphones. With either Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic, the positioning and clarity of the headphone spatial positioning seemed better... but I'm wondering if that's the relationship of the decoder?

Anyone know technical information about audio prepared and delivered for Dolby Atmos and/or Windows Sonic, and how that uses or is different from standard Ambisonics?
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