Topic: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

Hi there,

I see that apple Logic have just added native Dolby Atmos rendering to their app and I want to give it a go.

I already have a marantz AV pre pro for watching movies in an acoustically treated room with a 7.0.4 setup with active Adam monitor speakers.

I used to have an RME UC, that I sold a fair few years back and have always liked RME converters.

I currently use a MacBook Pro and a apogee duet, as I do a lot of recording on the road.

Does anyone have any suggestions as the best way to go?
I would like a mobile interface if possible, I’ve just ordered a new M1 pro MacBook and I’ll be using Logic.

I saw the RME Madiface which looked good but I’m reading on here that RME have/are discontinuing it which doesn’t sound like something I want to invest in.

It’s a shame as I could use it as a mobile audio interface on the road then connect through MADI to a breakout box with all the balanced xlr/trs for the Atmos speakers when I’m at home.

Any suggestions on madi breakout boxes whilst I’m here too?

I need a total of say 12 balanced outputs preferably with coaxial spdif in and out for reamping my kemper and two headphone outputs on the mobile side too.

There’s going to be a lot of people wanting an audio interface for Dolby atmos mixing now that logic supports it and most music on iTunes are in Dolby Atmos.

I suggested a sound card for this purpose years ago on these forums but was laughed at!
Anyway, anyone got any suggestions?

2 (edited by vinark 2021-10-22 12:21:38)

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

I think if the madiface is a good fit for you, do get it. RME always supports their older devices for we can now say beyond a decade. It just means they wont produce new ones if it is discontinued.

Also the ufx+ is very close to your needs. 8 balanced output and 4 unbalanced via the 2 headphones outs. I am 100% sure you won't have issues with 8-12 being unbalanced sound quality wise.
The AES in out could be used for your kempner. Also expandable through adat or madi. Plus direct thunderbolt for your M1

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
BFpro fs, 2X HDSP9652 ADI-8AE, 2X HDSP9632

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

Thanks for getting back to me.
If I bought the RME MADIFace Could you kindly tell me if this would work with a MADI to to DSub D25 connector cable for my outputs?

https://www.thomann.de/gb/rme_dtox_16_o.htm

If not what connector or MADI breakout box would I need?

Also would the MADIface volume control work with all the speakers universally with this setup?

Thanks

4 (edited by waedi 2021-10-24 17:28:43)

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

TheDuke wrote:

If not what connector or MADI breakout box would I need?

Also would the MADIface volume control work with all the speakers universally with this setup?

Thanks


The M1610 Pro has a D-sub 25 port for 8 Line-out channels and madi connection. The breakout box can be connected there.
And btw the UFX+ interface would give you 8 analog outputs and a volume knob all-in-one solution.

I think it is possible to control all outputs with one knob when those outputs are in a fader group in Totalmix, just include the main-out within that fader group.

But I think this should be done in the Atmos Software.

M1-Sonoma, Madiface Pro, Digiface USB, Babyface silver and blue

5

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

There is no 'MADIface'. If you mean the MADIface Pro then please say so. There are also the MADIface XT and the MADIface USB...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

Thanks for the suggestions.
I think I’m leaning more towards the RME Digiface usb and a Ferrofish pulse 16 at the moment.
That way I can plug all 11 outputs of my marantz pre pro into the inputs of the digiface usb
for when watching movies and playing games.
I should be able to control levels with the total mix iPad app and still have room to expand in the future.
It’ll allow me to have 16 channels of 24bit 96khz and the digiface is a lot more affordable (less than half the price) of the Madiface Usb.
Unless anyone has any other suggestions?
Will the arc controller be a good idea to control volume or would the iPad total mix app suffice?
The kemper should be able to go to one of the digiface usb inputs when needed also by spdif stereo.

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

That app will suffice, unless you fancy hardware control.
And good choice IMHO, for the digiface usb.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
BFpro fs, 2X HDSP9652 ADI-8AE, 2X HDSP9632

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

I used Digiface USB for similar reason. Then I bought Arc USB controller. If you don't mind usb cable to it (I have 6m cable to my sofa) it is much better for setting volume, switching setups (PC,CD,TV), muting front/back monitors. If you want wireless stay with ipad. You can do the same but not so user friendly.
For me ARC is much better than my ADI2DAC IR remote which has bad contacts after some months. I don't use ipad remote any more.
But it is a matter of taste.

ADI-2 DAC, Digiface USB, Fireface UCXII, ARC USB, Neumann MA1 aligned monitors

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

These are great suggestions thanks.
The one thing I’m a bit unsure of is how is it possible to listen to the bounce of a logic track in Dolby Atmos, when macOS doesn’t support dolby Atmos?

Is the only way to check Dolby Atmos bounce from logic to listen to it on airpod max headphones or through the MacBook speakers? Sounds a bit……backwards.

I was hoping that the HDMI port they added on the new apple silicon MacBook Pro’s will output Dolby Atmos to a receiver, which they don’t currently do.
As of now, currently the only way to listen to Dolby Atmos on an apple device is through headphones or the built in speakers. The only way to bitstream Atmos is with an appleTV.
You can’t do it in big sur, that’s what I was hoping they brought the hdmi port back for, Dolby Atmos bitstreaming……..
So many unanswered questions……

I really wish a company like RME would make a Dolby audio interface, hdmi input if possible or thunderbolt/USB C, monitor controller built in, balanced outputs for 7.1.4 and 9.2.6 or whatever,
There would be nothing like it on the market and they don’t have to pay for Dolby Atmos encoding licenses as logic and nuendo and protools all support Atmos now too.
Dolby Atmos decoding would be nice for movies/gaming though.

Come on RME what are you waiting for?

10

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

Buy one of the trillions cheap AVR receivers that include Dolby Atmos decoding - problem solved.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

11 (edited by TheDuke 2021-10-28 10:47:10)

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

MC wrote:

Buy one of the trillions cheap AVR receivers that include Dolby Atmos decoding - problem solved.

That’s the kicker, Mac OS doesn’t support Dolby atmos over hdmi, only through the built in speakers of a MacBook or iMac, or through headphones.
If thought you of all people would know this?

The only apple device that will support Dolby Atmos over hdmi is the Apple TV box.

I already have a marantz av7002mk2 pre/pro that I mentioned for that anyway. My plan is to connect the outputs of the av7702 to the inputs of the ferrofish pulse, before going to the RME digiface usb. That way I can watch my films and games in Atmos, on my pc, over hdmi, with the ferrofish just passing though the marantz audio and the digiface usb allowing me to mix in Dolby Atmos using Logic on the MacBook, without unplugging all the speakers from the marantz to the sound card for the mac every time.

I just wanted advice on the most cost effective solution for me to make Dolby Atmos music in Logic Pro on a MacBook.
RME doesn’t appear to do anything similar to the ferrofish pulse 16.

All I was saying is that there are going to be a lot of people in the market for a sound card to do what I want to do (Atmos on a new MacBook) and I should imagine, like me, they don’t want to buy essentially two sound cards to be able to do it. 
Unless you have a better solution I haven’t thought about?

Something like the ferrofish pulse with a thunderbolt port and a couple of micpres and a volume control is what’s needed in the current market.
There’s just nothing available for that niche without buying lots of different piece of hardware.
I was pointing out that it looks like a missed opportunity…….never mind.
The madi babyface looks like a good solution but that’s been discontinued, will it support apple silicon in the future?, buying discontinued hardware is not something I’m too keen on to be fair,
A sound card with enough outputs to support 7.1.4, with enough inputs to allow a marantz amp to act like a pass though with 7.1.4 inputs would be perfect.

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

TheDuke wrote:

RME doesn’t appear to do anything similar to the ferrofish pulse 16.

Do you mean the Ferrofish has a built-in Dolby Atmos decoder?

That's news to me.

All I was saying is that there are going to be a lot of people in the market for a sound card to do what I want to do (Atmos on a new MacBook) and I should imagine, like me, they don’t want to buy essentially two sound cards to be able to do it. 
Unless you have a better solution I haven’t thought about?

Be glad you're on a Mac. Dolby doesn't even offer Atmos (software, VST) for Windows.

Something like the ferrofish pulse with a thunderbolt port and a couple of micpres and a volume control is what’s needed in the current market.
There’s just nothing available for that niche without buying lots of different piece of hardware.
I was pointing out that it looks like a missed opportunity…….never mind.

That's why everybody I know who produces Atmos (or any other form of ambisonic) is using Reaper. I'm glad Logic followed, so there's a choice now.

If Dolby would make it easier, more affordable, there would be more hardware manufacturers who would produce hardware decoders. Still a tiny, but slowly growing market though.

I'm using a RME Digiface USB to go up to 32 output channels (currently using 16). You just have to show the Dolby software which channel to use for which output. Easy enough, no?

The madi babyface looks like a good solution but that’s been discontinued, will it support apple silicon in the future?, buying discontinued hardware is not something I’m too keen on to be fair, A sound card with enough outputs to support 7.1.4, with enough inputs to allow a marantz amp to act like a pass though with 7.1.4 inputs would be perfect.

What's a Madi Babyface?

Discontinued is one thing. Unsupported doesn't exist in RME's book. Even a very old interface, like my FF400, runs the latest (firewire) drivers.

"Unsupported" is something other manufacturers use to sell you new gear. I was recently told by Presonus that one of their digital mixers, just over ten years old, was obsolete. No parts, no repair, no support...

I'm not buying a Presonus mixer again. But it's one of the things that makes me an RME fanboy. That FF400 would have been obsolete a long time ago, if it was another brand.

MB Pro - 2 X FireFace 400, FF800 & DigiFace USB
ADAT gear: Korg, Behri, Fostex, Alesis...

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

Cyrano, I think you’ve miss understood me.
The ferrofish pulse doesn’t decode Dolby Atmos, neither does reaper encode Dolby Atmos.
Logic Pro now supports Dolby Atmos with the new update and nuendo and pro tools do too I believe.

The best setup I can find at the moment is my Marantz av7702 pre pro decoding atmos to balanced xlr, then to the ferrofish pulse 16 inputs then straight out to the speakers, essentially a pass through.
I’m just concerned about word clock between the digiface usb and the ferrofish pulse 16. Not sure how to set it up yet.

I’ll also connect the ferrofish to the RME digiface for when I want to mix with Logic in Dolby atmos.

I’m just confused about how if you bounce to Dolby atmos. It’s not possible to listen to the bounced audio file on the same system you just made it on?!?
Is there something I’m missing?

I was just thinking out loud wishing for an audio interface that would save me the job of using the digiface and the ferrofish pulse 16 which is more accessible, user friendly and orefabky cheaper for the amateur Logic user wanting to try atmos properly.
A decent monitor controller for a 7.1.4 setup would be even better incorporated into it would be the icing on the cake.
I know there’s no chance of a Dolby Atmos decoder built in but it’s good Logic has a software encoder.
Wasn’t trying to sound rude.

14 (edited by ramses 2021-10-29 22:10:29)

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

TheDuke wrote:

I’m just concerned about word clock between the digiface usb and the ferrofish pulse 16. Not sure how to set it up yet.

Digiface has no word clock.
You can make the digiface usb to clock master and send clock to the Ferrofish through ADAT.
For this you also need to provide TOSLINK cabling from Digiface USB ADAT OUT to Ferrofish ADAT IN.

BR Ramses - UFX III, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1680v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub13

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

TheDuke wrote:

Cyrano, I think you’ve miss understood me.
The ferrofish pulse doesn’t decode Dolby Atmos, neither does reaper encode Dolby Atmos.
Logic Pro now supports Dolby Atmos with the new update and nuendo and pro tools do too I believe.

I'm pretty good at misunderstanding big_smile

Here's how to set up Reaper for Dolby Atmos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8hB_8BfYeE

The best setup I can find at the moment is my Marantz av7702 pre pro decoding atmos to balanced xlr, then to the ferrofish pulse 16 inputs then straight out to the speakers, essentially a pass through.

I don't see the sense...

Or is it just to get the channels into the computer?

I’m just concerned about word clock between the digiface usb and the ferrofish pulse 16. Not sure how to set it up yet.

As Waedi already stated, the Digiface USB has no world clock. It doesn't need one, as the clock is carried by one of the ADAT connections.

I’ll also connect the ferrofish to the RME digiface for when I want to mix with Logic in Dolby atmos.

That's straightforward.

I’m just confused about how if you bounce to Dolby atmos. It’s not possible to listen to the bounced audio file on the same system you just made it on?!?
Is there something I’m missing?

So you need an output from the DAW to the Marantz?

I was just thinking out loud wishing for an audio interface that would save me the job of using the digiface and the ferrofish pulse 16 which is more accessible, user friendly and orefabky cheaper for the amateur Logic user wanting to try atmos properly.
A decent monitor controller for a 7.1.4 setup would be even better incorporated into it would be the icing on the cake.
I know there’s no chance of a Dolby Atmos decoder built in but it’s good Logic has a software encoder.
Wasn’t trying to sound rude.

No offence taken. My skin's thicker than that big_smile

I think the problem is the same in any DAW. That's why nobody (in production) uses an AV receiver to decode. They monitor from the DAW directly to the speaker array. And the Dolby Atmos production suite even has rendering to headphones built-in.

So, to summarise your problem, it's the Marantz that needs a digital input. Sorry, I can't think of a way to do that with just an audio interface. I imagine there are video processors with HDMI output capable of feeding the Marantz the correct input signal.

Somehow, I don't see the problem for audio only, as long as you have 12 output channels on the audio interface.

MB Pro - 2 X FireFace 400, FF800 & DigiFace USB
ADAT gear: Korg, Behri, Fostex, Alesis...

Re: Dolby Atmos Audio interface suggestions.

The marantz has nothing to do with making Atmos music in Logic.

It’s for using with my pc, consoles and fire sticks, Blu-ray players etc for consuming media in Dolby Atmos.
Hdmi in, balanced xlr out.

Dolby Atmos playback through a home theatre setup is hdmi only.
I was hoping I could just plug the hdmi out of the MacBook into the marantz for listening to Dolby Atmos songs I’ve created in Logic after they have been bounced,
It turns out Mac OS doesn’t even support Dolby Atmos, only Logic and final cut pro does.
Is it a licensing issue?
Why would MacOS allow Dolby Atmos over headphones or out of the internal MacBook speakers but not allow it over hdmi to a home theatre setup?

Anyway I’ll just go the route I chose.

The digiface usb and the pulse 16 can be picked up for about £1000 for both, so it’s not too much compared to say a madi or Dante option.

I just wish there was one interface that could do it all. If pcs can send Atmos to a receiver over one hdmi cable, why do I need three seperate boxes using loads of light pipes to make it in first place? Doesn’t sound as streamlined as it could be!

There’s definitely a niche in the market (IMO of course)