Object Audio in Cubase

Cubase provides a complete suite of tools for authoring, recording, mixing, and playing back object-based audio content, using the Audio Definition Model (ADM).

Object audio generally consists of two parts: a pure audio stream that is directly sent to a renderer, and separate metadata providing the renderer with information on how to play back the audio on a dedicated playback system. This can be a movie theater, a home entertainment or gaming setup, or the public address system for a live show.

Objects contain static and dynamic metadata for playback. Static metadata comprises settings for acoustical trimming and downmixing for playback on dedicated speaker setups, settings for binaural playback, or the assignment to object groups. The panning information for the audio stream is provided as dynamic metadata. When exported to an ADM file, audio stream and metadata are also stored separately within this file.

Objects receive object IDs, either automatically or manually. These IDs determine the renderer input port to which the audio stream is sent.

When working with object audio in Cubase, take its following characteristics, which differ from channel-based audio, into account:

  • In Cubase, objects can be considered as logical instances in the object structure. Therefore, any audio, group, or VST track can become an object by selecting it as the source track for an object in the object structure. In order to do so, access the ADM Authoring for Dolby Atmos window. As a source track, you can select any track that uses the VST MultiPanner plug-in as a channel panner. This switches the corresponding VST MultiPanner to Object Mode.

  • Panning data for objects is separately sent or stored as dynamic metadata and only used when played back through a renderer. As a consequence, objects are not summed up and played back through the Main Mix channel. For Dolby Atmos content, you can use the Renderer for Dolby Atmos plug-in as the internal renderer, which allows you to monitor an object-based mix within Cubase.

  • The object audio stream is automatically routed to the object bus via send slot 8. For channels that are in object mode, do not use send slot 8 for other purposes.

  • Objects are generally meant to be mono, but in Cubase, you can also create multi-objects. If you export multi-objects to an ADM file or play it back through an external renderer, they are split into a corresponding number of mono objects, containing their own panning metadata.