Start a new topic

7.1.4 with ProTools Ultimate?


I'm new to not just ProTools and the Atmos Renderer but sound production in general. So apologies in advance if I'm using any incorrect/confusing terms.

I am making field recordings using the Rode NT-SF1 Sound Field microphone with the intention of producing audio files for the home theatre using Pro Tools Ultimate with Atmos Production Suite. So far so good with 7.1.2 but I'm perplexed as to how to do the same with 7.1.4.

The Rode Soundfield plugin is capable of outputting all 12 channels for 7.1.4 and this is something I can use with Reaper just fine (e.g. export 12 separate mono tracks). However, in ProTools it seems I am limited to just 7.1.2. I've read here (or perhaps elsewhere) that ProTools' buses (or Renderer's beds or both - I don't recall exactly) are limited to 7.1.2 but that seems quite surprising for a professional DAW. Is it simply not possible to create 7.1.4 experiences using Pro Tools and Atmos renderer without resorting to objects?

If this is indeed impossible, then should I switch to Nuendo I wonder?

Many thanks,


This is a design decision not of Pro Tools but of the Atmos system. 7.1.4 as an output channel configuration is fine but when it comes to building a scalable system then it becomes very limiting. Dolby Atmos mixes can scale upward as well as downward to ensure compatibility with the speaker configuration of a particular playback environment. With the .2 for the overheads the choices are simple; the first of those goes to the whole of the left overhead array in a movie theatre, the center overhead speaker in a .6 overhead config at home or phantoms between the two left overheads in a .4 speaker output configuration. If the bed became .4 then in a movie theatre with 7 overhead speakers or more, which speakers would be chosen to playback the first of that .4 bed? Just the front left most overhead? A pairing? Some other combination? It becomes unwieldy to render and more limiting during content creation. None of the DAWs can create a 7.1.4 bed without using objects because Dolby does not allow a 7.1.4 bed as a valid input to the Renderer. In some it is easier to create a 7.1.4 path as you note Nuendo as an example. However when sending the .4 to the Renderer it MUST contain at least 4 objects so that you as a content creator define the locations where those 4 channels are decoded within the available speakers in a room. If they should decode to the corners, to a location that bisects left and center lines with left and left side surround etc. By limiting the bed configuration we ‘force’ you to decant define how your soundfield should be created going into the Renderer and then on the backend deal with representing that intent to the best of the system receiving its ability. Hope that helps.

1 person likes this

I could not have asked for a clearer explanation. Thank you so much for that :)

Login to post a comment