Ambisonics Mixes

Nuendo allows you to create 3D mixes in Ambisonics format for virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) content. You can use the integrated functions and plug-ins for spatial mixing or head-tracking monitoring, or use dedicated third-party plug-ins.

Ambisonics is a technology that creates a spherical sound field. In contrast to traditional immersive sound formats, it is not channel-based but utilizes an encoded bundle of multiple audio signals that allows you to place sound sources at any position in the sound sphere.

Nuendo supports first-order, second-order, and third-order Ambisonics. These formats differ in the number of audio signals that are used. Higher-order Ambisonics provide more signals and allow for a higher positioning precision.

To play back the sound sphere, the signals of an Ambisonics file must be decoded. You can play back the sound sphere in the following ways:

  • Using headphones and binaural decoding.

    Using a properly matched head-related transfer function (HRTF) configuration creates a realistic, full spherical 360° sound field. The sound is perceived even more realistically if the binaural encoding takes the head movements of the listener into account using head-tracking technology.

  • Using a stereo or multi-channel speaker setup.

    The more spherical the speaker setup, the more precise the positioning. However, the sphere can be projected on a 5.1.4 channel configuration, for example.

When working with Ambisonics audio in Nuendo, the following applies:

  • You can record from an Ambisonics-capable microphone system.

  • You can import pre-produced Ambisonics files in WAV format.

  • You can edit Ambisonics events like any other audio in the Project window, the Sample Editor, or the Direct Offline Processing window, for example. All signals of an Ambisonics file are edited simultaneously.


    Not every editing operation is suited for Ambisonics audio. For example, avoid operations that change the phase and levels of the audio signals against each other.

  • The VST AmbiDecoder plug-in decodes Ambisonics audio for monitoring on your headphones or loudspeaker system. When monitoring via the Phones channel, Ambisonics audio is automatically decoded for binaural stereo.

  • If VST AmbiDecoder is used as channel panner for Ambisonics channels, you can adjust the rotation angles and focus settings when mixing Ambisonics audio. This allows you, for example, to emphasize the sound that comes from the viewing direction when using a VR controller with head-tracking or to re-balance the sound field of premixed Ambisonics audio.

  • You can use VST MultiPanner to create Ambisonics mixes from mono, stereo, or multi-channel sources. To use VST MultiPanner in Ambisonics mode, you must route the signal to a group track or an output bus in Ambisonics format.

  • Cue sends do not work for Ambisonics channels.

  • Nuendo can use tracking data from external VR controller devices like head-mounted displays or 3D mouse devices to change the listening direction. This allows for realistic monitoring of 360° mixes.

    For background music tracks that must not be affected by head movements, you can bypass the tracking by sending a head-locked signal via side-chain.

  • Nuendo only supports AmbiX format. You can use the VST AmbiConverter insert plug-in to convert between Furse-Malham (FuMa) and AmbiX format.

  • You can preview Ambisonics audio in the MediaBay, the Pool, in the Direct Offline Processing window, or the file import dialog if your project is set up for playing back Ambisonics audio.

  • You can use dedicated third-party Ambisonics plug-ins for mixing, converting, head-tracking, or binauralization.

    • We recommend that you use only VST 3 Ambisonics plug-ins to ensure a correct channel routing.

    • If you use an Ambisonics panner that is only suited as insert plug-in, all audio channels in the mix must be in Ambisonics format, even if they only contain mono or stereo audio.

    • For details on how to use a third-party plug-in, refer to the documentation that comes with it.