Topics covered in this article:
- Project settings
- Using the Dolby Atmos Music Panner
- Synchronization with the Renderer
- Template project
The Virtual Studio Technology (VST) version of the Dolby Atmos Music Panner is used in Ableton Live to create a Dolby Atmos mix when connected to a Dolby Atmos Renderer.
- Set the In/Out sample rate to 48kHz or 96kHz to match the sample rate set in the Dolby Atmos Renderer.
- Set the Buffer Size to 1024 samples (2048 for working at 96kHz).
- Click on the Output Config button.
- In both the Mono and Stereo Outputs columns, make sure that outputs
1–130 are activated.
Using the Dolby Atmos Music Panner
- From the session or arrangement views, load the Dolby Atmos Music Panner on an audio track.
- Establish communication between the Music Panner and the Renderer by entering localhost in the Renderer field.
- The connection status indicator should be green.
- Use the Object selection drop-down menu in the Dolby Atmos Music Panner to assign the panner to Objects 11 and 12 (Object 11 for a mono Object).
- On the audio track, assign the Audio To selector to Ext. Out and set to outputs 11 and 12 (output 11 for a mono Object).
To create multiple Objects on different tracks, repeat the steps above, taking care to match the Object and output assignments for each instance of the Music Panner, e.g., assign Object 13 and 14, and set the External output of the tracks to outputs 13 and 14.
Synchronization with the Renderer
In order to record a Dolby Atmos master file, the renderer must be synchronized to Live. The simplest way to set this up is to use a generated LTC PCM.wav file on an audio track routed to output 129 or 130 of the Dolby Audio Bridge.
There are a number of ways to generate a LTC .wav file and a quick Internet search for “How to generate LTC audio” can point to a number of solutions that will work. Ensure that the generated LTC .wav file matches the sample rate and bit depth of the session.
Once the LTC .wav file has been generated, navigate to the arrangement (horizontal timeline) view. Create a new audio track by navigating to Create > Insert Audio Track or by pressing Cmd+T. Rename this track LTC 129, set the input to No Input, set the output to Ext. Out, and set the output channel to 129.
Drag and drop the generated LTC .wav file at the start of the timeline.
In the Renderer, navigate to the Driver tab of the Preferences window and verify that External sync source is set to LTC over audio and LTC input channel is set to 129.
Toggle the synchronization button On, press Play in Live, and verify that the Renderer is chasing timecode.
It is also possible to use MTC to sync the Renderer to Live, though this is not best practice, as this workflow may result in audio gaps, if using Punch Ins/Outs. There are a number of free extensions that have been created using Max for Live that will generate MTC. A quick Internet search for “Ableton Live MTC” will point to these extensions and give examples/instructions.
If using MTC, verify that the MTC output of Ableton Live is set to IAC Driver Bus 1 and that the Renderer External sync source is set to MTC and the MTC MIDI device is set to IAC Driver Bus 1.
The Dolby Atmos Music Panner comes with a template project for Live that uses the Dolby Atmos Music Panner and the Dolby Audio Bridge. To open the template, create a New Live Set. In the Browser, navigate to User Library > Templates.
Double click the Dolby Atmos Music 64 Channel.als file to open the template.
The template project contains 10 mono Bed audio channels, routed to outputs
1–10, and 27 stereo Object audio tracks (with the Dolby Atmos Music Panner on each track), routed to outputs 11–64.
Individual tracks and track groups can also be imported from the template file into a new or pre-existing Live Set by expanding the template in the browser window and dragging-and-dropping tracks or groups into a Live Set.
If using tracks/groups from the template, Object assignments and outputs will need to be verified to avoid conflicts.
The template is a great place to explore and experiment with Dolby Atmos and Live.