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Sound: Mastering Home Theater Atmos Natively (Nuendo)

This article is designed to outline how to utilize the native Dolby Atmos mastering features within Nuendo.

Prerequisites:

  • Nuendo 10
  • Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite v3.3

Concept

  • Both Nuendo 10 and the Dolby Renderer both run as timecode-synchronized stand-alone software on one Apple Mac computer.
  • Audio output from Nuendo connects to audio inputs of the Dolby Atmos Renderer through the Dolby Audio Bridge, a virtual Core Audio device.
  • The Dolby Atmos Renderer acts as monitoring device and master recorder.
  • Metadata are sent from Nuendo to the Dolby Atmos Renderer via a local network port.

Nuendo_AtmosNative_01.png

Nuendo Features

The following features of Nuendo are essential for the scenario and should be understood:

Output busses

For sending audio Beds and Objects from the Nuendo Project to audio driver ports.

Object Mapper

Allows the user to define audio driver ports that carry Objects to the Dolby Atmos Renderer.

VST MultiPanner

Generates 3-D panning metadata sent to the Dolby Atmos Renderer.

SMPTE Generator plug-in

Sends LTC in real time to the Dolby Atmos Renderer.

Metadata connection setup

In Nuendo’s Studio/Object Mapping, enter the Dolby Atmos Renderer IP address in the RMU field (alternatively, type localhost).

Audio connection setup

The connection from Nuendo’s output to the Dolby Atmos Renderer’s Inputs is made through the Dolby Audio Bridge, which acts as an audio driver for Nuendo.

  • In Nuendo Studio Setup/VST Audio System, select the “Dolby Audio Bridge” as driver.
  • In the Dolby Atmos Renderer Preferences/Driver, select “Dolby Audio Bridge” as Audio Input Device.

The Dolby Atmos Renderer will also act as monitoring device for the mix. The Control Room feature of Nuendo is not used in this scenario.

Object Mapping

This will make the system aware of the audio driver ports of Nuendo connected to the Dolby Atmos Renderer’s Inputs. Signals routed over these ports become Objects.

  • In the Studio/Object Mapping panel, assign an Object ID to each of the driver ports.

Beds and Object Busses setup

In the Audio Connections window, create Output Busses for all Objects and Beds. These busses will stream the audio to the Dolby Atmos Renderer.

  • Create one or multiple Output Busses in 9.1 format for the Beds. Other immersive formats may be used as required.
  • Create a required number of mono Output Busses for the Objects.
  • In the Audio Device column of each bus, assign it to the driver port that connects with the corresponding Dolby Atmos Renderer Input. The driver ports assigned should be the ones mapped to Object IDs beforehand.

LTC sync setup

  • In Nuendo, create an additional mono Output Bus and connect it to the Dolby Atmos Renderer over the Dolby Audio Bridge.
  • Insert the VST plug-in SMTG Generator to an insert slot of the bus. It will output SMPTE LTC in real time when Nuendo is playing.
  • In the Dolby Atmos Renderer Preferences/Driver, configure to receive LTC timecode from the corresponding port.

VST MultiPanner settings

The VST MultiPanner appears as panning device on every audio track that is routed to the 9.1 Bed.

  • For object mixing, switch the VST MultiPanner to Object Mode.
  • Select an Object Bus from the pulldown menu.

The audio will no longer be routed to the Bed, but to the Dolby Atmos Renderer, panning metadata will be generated accordingly.

Additional resources

Nuendo Operation Manual

Online reference with in-depth step-by-step procedures for Setup, Bed and Object mixing.

https://steinberg.help/nuendo/v10/en/cubase_nuendo/topics/surround_sound/surround_sound_dolby_atmos_mixing_c.html

Dolby Atmos Renderer Guide

Document including detailed setup and configuration descriptions including diagrams for Nuendo.

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/content-creation/dolby-atmos/dolby-atmos-renderer-guide.pdf

Nuendo Tutorial Video (YouTube):

Dolby Atmos Mixing Using Dolby Production Suite

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