The easiest way to dive into an Ambisonics production is to use an Ambisonics microphone and to monitor the session with dearVR AMBI MICRO. But how can you combine recordings made with an Ambisonics microphone with other recorded signals like a close-miked singer or instrument outputs? We have two solutions for you – dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO. In the following article, we want to introduce you to both plugins and assist you in choosing the best option which meets your individual needs.

1. Recording

Starting from scratch, we can capture sound in an Ambisonics production using an Ambisonics microphone. However, most of the time we want to add additional direct signals like a singer or other instruments.

With dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO, we’re able to convert these signals into Ambisonics while following the traditional recording process. In this process, regular dynamic and condenser microphones are used to record the signals in our preferred workstation. This is possible because every transformation of the regular audio signal into Ambisonics is done in the encoding process at a later stage.

2. Using dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO

After the recording,we use the 3D audio AAX, AU,and VST spatializer plugins dearVR MUSIC or dearVR PROto transfer therecorded audio signals into Ambisonics.To do this,we insert one dearVR MUSIC or dearVR PRO spatializer in the last fx-slotof each audio channel. Every single dynamic processor,as well as every equalizer,should be inserted before the spatializer plugin in the signal chain.

Next, we select the desired Ambisonics output format which matchestheAmbisonics output bus configuration of our mixing session.

3. Features and differences between dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO

To createan accurate and natural sounding acoustic modeling of an environment it needs more than just a simple 3D panner for spatial positioning.Both dearVR AAX, AU and VST spatializer plugins combine distance, motion, reflections,and reverbfor acompletesimulation of anacoustic scene. dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO share the same 3D audio engine providingan out-of-head localization andtheperception of elevation. Let’s have a closer look at the main features and differences between dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO.

Position module

dearVR PRO

The position module renders the distance, the listening angle, and the elevation relative to the listener’s position. In both plugins, we can enter values as polar or as Cartesian coordinates. Additionally, dearVR PRO offers an occlusion control as well as distance and azimuth scale parameters.

Cartesian Mode

The Cartesian coordinates X, Y, Z represent the distances from the listener.

The positions can be changed by dragging the audio source icon with the mouse on the XYZ-Pad.

Polar Mode

The azimuth and elevation parameters describe an angle in degrees, whereas the distance is set in meters.

The positions can be changed by adjusting the azimuth, elevation, and distance sliders.

Reverb Module

The reverb module contains various virtual acoustic presets capturing the characteristics of different rooms and locations. We can adapt these acoustics to a specific scene or room by changing the size or by applying the damping filter. dearVR MUSIC offers the most-used 18 virtual acoustic presets for music production,including,forexample,concert hall, church, stage, drum room. dearVR PRO enhances the flexibility offering 46 new acoustic presets spanning a wide range of sonic characteristics.

Reflection Module

The reflections module is available in both spatializer plugins. It generates reflection patterns depending on the sound source position. If the sound object moves, the reflection pattern adapts to the direction of the signal.

dearVR PRO enhances the sonic impression providing an advanced real-time auralization mode, which creates real-time reflections based on the sound source position and the relative distance to the six walls of a virtual room. Theroom size can be adjusted altering the position of the six walls surrounding the listener.

Output Formats

Both dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO support a 2-channel binaural output for headphones, as well as a 4-channel first-order Ambisonics output.

In addition, dearVR PRO offers the possibility to mix in a 9-channel second-order or even a 16-channel third-order Ambisonics in either AmbiX or FuMa format. It also expands the functionality, even more, offering 26 configurations for different multi-channel loudspeaker setups. These setups enable us to prepare a mix using our regular headphones and switch the configuration when mixing for a 5.1, 7.1, or even a 7.1.2 loudspeaker setup.

To sum up, we showed you solutions to integrate your regular microphones into the Ambisonics ecosphere using dearVR MUSIC and dearVR PRO. To help you to choose the best option, we’ve also created a feature comparison chart showing the differences between both spatializer plugins.

Kai Detlefsen
Kai combines a creative approach with profound knowledge about international business processes having two bachelor’s degrees in Music and International Management. As a researcher and author, Kai publishes articles about developments in the music industry induced by the digitalization and the constant change in the level playing field. As a musician and mixing engineer, he can be found at concert venues and in recording studios. At Dear Reality, Kai works as a Marketing Manager and strives to make the 3D audio world accessible for everyone.

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