Topics covered in this article:
- Installing the Dolby Atmos Renderer (.dmg and .zip)
- Installing Licenses for the Dolby Atmos Renderer
- Installer Components:
- Dolby Atmos Renderer
- Dolby Atmos Renderer Remote
- Dolby Atmos Audio Bridge
- Dolby Atmos LTC Generator Plug-in
- Pro Tools Ultimate Templates
- Nuendo Templates
- Resolve Preset
- Other Atmos Tools
- Dolby Atmos Music Panner
- Dolby Binaural Settings Plug-in
- Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool
Dolby Atmos Renderer (.dmg/.pkg and .zip/.exe)
The Dolby Atmos Renderer is available for download as a .dmg file and a .zip file.
The Renderer software can be downloaded from the Dolby Professional Support site or will be supplied by your authorized Dolby reseller.
In the Mac environment, the .dmg file is a unified installer for both external Renderer systems and internal Renderer installations, with components individually selectable.
The .zip file is for use on Windows systems running as an external Renderer.
Installing Licenses for the Dolby Atmos Renderer
The Dolby Atmos Renderer is licensed using iLok. An iLok account is required, and the iLok License Manager application must be downloaded and installed from ilok.com.
License codes are redeemed using the iLok License Manager application and are supplied by the Mastering Suite reseller or deposited directly into an iLok account with the purchase of the Dolby Atmos Production Suite from the Avid online store.
Licenses for the Dolby Atmos Renderer can be activated on a physical iLok USB key or directly on the CPU where the Renderer is located.
To redeem a License code, launch the iLok License Manager, login, and navigate to Licenses > Redeem Activation Code.
Once the code has been redeemed and the license is visible in the account, the license can be dragged and dropped to a physical iLok key in the left column or activated directly on the icon of the CPU where the Renderer is located.
Dolby Atmos Renderer
The Dolby Atmos Renderer is installed in the Applications/Dolby/Dolby Atmos Renderer folder on a Mac, in both the root and user Applications folders. On Windows, the Dolby Atmos Renderer is installed in the Program Files\Dolby\Dolby Atmos Renderer directory location.
The Mac installer also installs the Dolby Renderer Send and Return plug-ins for use with the Dolby Atmos Renderer running on the same Mac as Pro Tools.
The following section covers optional installer components.
Dolby Atmos Renderer Remote
The Renderer Remote provides full remote control of the Dolby Atmos Renderer application running on a dedicated RMW. It is intended to be installed on either the DAW workstation or a separate PC or Mac to control a Windows or Mac-based RMW on the same network. The Renderer Remote is installed in the Applications/Dolby/Dolby Atmos Renderer folder on Mac, in both the root and user Applications folders.
On Windows the Renderer Remote is installed in the Program Files\Dolby\Dolby Atmos Renderer folder.
The Dolby Atmos Renderer Remote does not require a license and connects to the Renderer via ethernet using the IP address or host name of the RMW.
Dolby Audio Bridge
The Dolby Audio Bridge is used only with the Dolby Atmos Renderer installed on the same Mac as the DAW. It provides 130 channels of DAW output via Core Audio emulation to the Renderer inputs. To use the Dolby Audio Bridge, set the Dolby Audio Bridge as the Playback Engine in Pro Tools or the equivalent setting in other DAWs. The Dolby Audio Bridge is installed in the Applications/Dolby/Dolby Atmos Renderer folder. When the Dolby Atmos Renderer is launched on macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and later for the first time the Dolby Atmos Renderer must be given access to the Microphone for the Dolby Audio Bridge to function. A dialog box will display upon first launch prompting access to the Microphone. Note that if Renderer application is denied microphone access on the first launch, this can be fixed by entering "tccutil reset Microphone" in Terminal.
Dolby LTC Generator Plug-in
The Dolby LTC Generator plug-in v2.0 is provided as an AAX, AU and VST3.
It provides LTC for synchronization to the Dolby Atmos Renderer running on the same Mac as the DAW or an external workstation. To preserve all 128 channels of audio for Beds and Objects, LTC is typically routed to output 129 or 130 when using the Dolby Audio Bridge. If the LTC Generator plug-in is used with the Dolby Atmos Renderer running externally on an RMW, output 128 is generally used and that Renderer input will be unavailable for program audio.
For use with Pro Tools Ultimate, the Dolby LTC Generator plug-in is installed in the /Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-ins folder in both the root and user Applications folders.
Within Pro Tools Ultimate, the LTC Generator AAX Plug-in is located in: multi-mono plug-in > other > Dolby LTC Generator. It is designed to be inserted on an audio track and assigned to a dedicated output.
The plug-in generates LTC at the same frame rate as the session/project, following the session position and transport. No user interaction is required.
The AAX version of the LTC Generator Plug-in in Pro Tools Ultimate
In Logic Pro, the LTC Generator AU Plug-in is designed to be used in the Instrument slot on a Software Instrument track. It is located in AU Generators > Dolby Laboratories > Dolby LTC Generator > Mono (use the mono version of the plug-in).
Once the LTC Generator has been placed on the track, route the output of the track to mono output 129 or 130. In the AU version of the plug-in you can set the frame rate and start time offset. The plug-in will generate LTC audio whenever the transport is engaged.
The AU version of the LTC Generator Plug-in in Pro Tools Ultimate
In Ableton Live, the LTC Generator VST3 Plug-in can be placed on an audio or MIDI track. It is located in Plug-Ins > VST 3 > Dolby Laboratories > Dolby LTC Generator.
Verify that mono outputs 129 & 130 of the Dolby Audio Bridge have been enabled in the Output Config (located in Preferences > Audio).
Once the LTC Generator has been placed on the track, route the output of the track to Ext. Out - 129 or 130. In the VST3 version of the plug-in you can set the frame rate and start time offset. The plug-in will generate LTC audio whenever the transport is engaged.
The VST version of the Dolby LTC Generator Plug-in in Ableton Live
For other DAWs that can use the AU/VST3 plug-in, the LTC plug-in should be in the system plug-ins folder.
The Dolby Atmos Binaural Settings Plug-in
The Dolby Atmos Binaural Settings plug-in provides a way to control the Input Configuration and Binaural Render Mode settings of the Renderer remotely from within the DAW. The Dolby Atmos Binaural Settings plug-in installer includes AAX, AU, and VST3 versions. The Input Configuration and Binaural Render Mode windows provide status messages when these functions are being controlled by the plug-in.
The Renderer optionally installs templates/presets for Pro Tools Ultimate, Nuendo 10 and 11, as well as DaVinci Resolve Studio 17
Pro Tools Ultimate Templates
The four Pro Tools templates (.ptxt files) are installed as a group. These are installed in the /Documents/Pro Tools/Session Templates folder and are accessible from Pro Tools in the Dolby Atmos Production Suite Template group, as shown below.
Two templates are dedicated for use with the Dolby Atmos Renderer running on the same Mac as the DAW:
- Dolby Atmos Renderer Send Return Mono.ptxt
- Dolby Atmos Renderer Send Return Stereo.ptxt*
Using the Renderer Send Return templates requires the Renderer preferences driver selection to be set to Send/Return plug-ins.
The other two templates can be used with either the Dolby Audio Bridge and the Renderer on the same Mac as the DAW, or with the Renderer running on a dedicated RMW. On Pro Tools, the Playback Engine needs to be switched between the Dolby Audio Bridge and HDX, as appropriate. Both of the Dolby Audio Bridge templates include the Dolby LTC Generator Plug-in on the first audio track routed to output 129.
- Dolby Atmos Renderer Dolby Audio Bridge Mono.ptxt
- Dolby Atmos Renderer Dolby Audio Bridge Stereo.ptxt*
All four of these templates have the first 10 outputs configured to use a 7.1.2 Bed. The remaining outputs and tracks are assigned to Objects. The stereo templates use stereo outputs (with mono subpaths available), and all audio tracks that are assigned to Objects are stereo.
Note: In actual practice, most sessions use a combination of stereo and mono Object tracks. Since the stereo template has stereo outputs/busses with mono subpaths, it is the most flexible and useful. The stereo templates are a good starting point for new sessions.
When the Pro Tools Dolby Audio Bridge templates are installed, corresponding I/O files (.pio) are installed in the Documents/Pro Tools/IO Settings folder to be used in conjunction with the templates.
The Nuendo templates are meant to be used with the Dolby Audio Bridge but can be modified to work with an external Renderer on a separate workstation. It is set up for 128 outputs, with the first 10 outputs configured to use a 7.1.2 Bed. The remaining 118 outputs are for Object audio and configured as mono outputs. The template is installed in the Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Nuendo 10/Project Templates folder. The native SMPTE Generator plug-in is used and routed to output 129.
Templates for both Nuendo v10 and v11 are provided.
Resolve Studio Fairlight Preset
The Fairlight Preset for Resolve Studio 17 is named “Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 External” and can be used when creating a new timeline or from the presets library (filtering by Fairlight Configuration Presets) within the Fairlight workspace. The preset creates a 7.1.2 Bed track and mono tracks for 118 Objects. It routes the outputs to the Dolby Audio Bridge. Note that to use this preset Resolve Studio must first be configured to work in Dolby Atmos (See Module 12.3). The onboard System/Timecode generator must also be patched to output 129 and enabled in Fairlight Remote Control Settings.
Documentation .pdf(s) are installed in the Applications/Dolby/Dolby Atmos Renderer folder on Mac and the Program Files\Dolby\Dolby Atmos Renderer folder on Windows. There is also contextual help within the Renderer application.
Other Atmos Tools
While not included with the installer, two other useful tools are available: the Dolby Atmos Music Panner plug-in and the Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool. These can be downloaded free of charge from developer.dolby.com.
The Dolby Atmos Music Panner
The Dolby Atmos Music Panner plug-in (shown below) is useful for positioning audio Objects in a Dolby Atmos Music mix. It can also be used with DAWs that don’t have native immersive panning capabilities.
The Dolby Atmos Music Panner installer includes AAX, AU, and VST3 versions. This plug-in allows Object audio to be positioned in a three-dimensional audio field, the same way as the native panner in Pro Tools or other 3D immersive panning plug-ins in other DAWs. Additionally, it includes several unique panning patterns and a sequencer for synchronizing object movement to the DAW tempo.
Note that the Dolby Atmos Music Panner plug-in writes plug-in automation as opposed to panning automation.
The Dolby Atmos Music Panner plug-in installer includes templates for Pro Tools (and a companion I/O settings file), Ableton Live, Logic, and Nuendo.
The Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool
The Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool is a standalone application for Windows, Mac, and Linux (command line only) for performing the following actions:
- Conversions between home Dolby Atmos Master file formats (.atmos, .wav, .mxf)
- Conversion between theatrical Dolby Atmos Master file formats (.rpl, .mxf) and home Dolby Atmos Master file formats
- Conversion of 96kHz Master Files to 48kHz
- Frame-rate conversions (with pitch/duration changes)
- Simple and complex edit and file-joining operations
The Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool is a fully featured UI-driven application that is capable of opening the .xml files required to perform complex edits in previous versions.