Mix Dolby Atmos Professional Surround Sound for Film, TV, and Multimedia

Learn how to Mix Dolby Atmos Professional Surround Sound for Film, TV, and Multimedia and how our team can help you create the perfect sound for your next multimedia or film production.

 The History of Surround Sound

Before getting into the details on how to mix Dolby Atmos Professional Surround Sound for film, TV, and multimedia, here is a quick history of the Surround Sound.Picture1Above is the Timeline depicts the History of Surround Sound developed by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Since Dolby introduced Atmos for home theaters in 2014, Surround Sound Home Theater Systems and Surround Sound Bars became popular because they were readily available and affordable.

Dolby Atmos Speaker Layout

  • Seating position
  • Left and right front Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Center speaker
  • Subwoofer
  • Left and right wide speakers
  • Left and right surround speakers
  • Left and right rear Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers

To have a better understanding of the Dolby Atmos speaker layout, we can see the comparison between theater speaker layout and home theater speaker layout:

Home Theater Speaker Layout                                Picture3

Home Theater Speaker Layout                                                Theater Speaker Layout

In 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos-enabled Speaker configuration, the nine refers to the number of traditional surround sound speakers, i.e., the front channels; left, center, right, the side channels; left and right, the surround channels left and right. Whereas, the one refers to the number of LFE channels (Low-Frequency Effects) or Sub-Woofer. And lastly, the four refers to the number of Overhead or Atmos speakers. The setup provides top front channels; left and right and, top back channels; left and right.

eMasterSound Surround Sound Speaker Layout

eMasterSound 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Speaker Layout is slightly different from the home theater. The mixing console is located closer to the front speakers and the engineer is centered under the Atmos Speakers, as shown in this image. Level control, and parametric equalizers on each channel tune the speakers to the room for audio engineering perfection.

Picture4 1

Picture4 2

How to Mix 7.1.4 to 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos Professional Surround Sound for an Immersive Cinematic Experience

Our focus is utilizing technology by Steinberg, Nuendo 11, the latest edition of the long-running DAW, offers ADM authoring for Dolby Atmos, a Netflix loudness meter, and more. eMasterSound Engineers can mix a film audio track from 7.1.4 to 9.1.4 Atmos configurations, that is 14 channels of surround sound for an immersive cinematic experience.

eMasterSound DAW runs Nuendo which supports several 2D and 3D surround channel configurations. 5.1 Surround Sound is the Gaming standard, and Mastering 5.1.4 songs are trending these days. As for Nuendo, it is a popular DAW for audio post-production in film, TV, and multimedia.

We can Down Mix any configuration from 9.1.4 to stereo for a project in Lossless, Lossy, and Uncompressed formats.

  • Uncompressed audio formats: WAVE, AIFF & PCM
  • Lossless audio formats: FLAC, WMA, ALAC
  • Lossy audio formats: MP3 & AAC


The eMasterSound team will deliver a quality multi-media production for artists, directors, and producers in a timely manner. This is accomplished with an efficient workflow on the Yamaha Nuage Console which acts as a link to the DAW running Protools, Nuendo, or Cubase Digital Audio Workstation. So, whatever format your project is in, we can run with it!  

Nuendo11: Structure & Workflows


Nuendo 11 Integrated VST Dolby Atmos Renderer. Starting with a Signal Flow diagram; We can use Mac or Windows PC while taking full advantage of Dolby Atmos Renderer with the Yamaha AIC128-D Dante PCIe Card which offers 128 Input and Output Channels.


The Audio Connections is how we set up and assign audio tracks to Surround Sound Speakers.

Under the Audio Connection; Outputs Tab is the Main Out Put Bus; named 7.1.4 BUS. Under this is a Stereo BUS for Binaural audio playback.


Under the Audio Connection Group FX tab; the 7.1.2 Group Channel is required to route all the Bed Channels. These are channels requiring Bass signal to the LFE in the Project.

The next Group; HOA3 Group Channel is a 7.1.4 configuration into Ambisonic for the stereo for Headphone monitoring. Ambisonic is also used for the 5.1 Headphone mix monitor.


In the Audio Connection Control Room Tab  7.1.4 BUS is connected to the AIC128-D 0utput ports.

Nuendo 11 Integrated Dolby Atmos Plug-in is inserted, post-fader on the main output, the 7.1.4 BUS.

One method to quickly audition Group tracks is to add the Group in Monitor Source under the Control Room Tab.


Object Channels highlight when active. Buttons located in the upper left corner provide audition to Mute or Monitor All, Bed, or OBJ channels.

Trim, Downmix, and Renderer Outputs levels are monitored. Object View shows surround position and flow across the room.


The Nuendo 11 Control Room tab provides Speaker Channel Solo options; Down Mix options; the Channel Presets deliver audio audition for 7.1.4 downmix to Stereo.



Monitor Source buttons on the Nuage Console can be used to simulate 9.1.4 to Stereo speaker playback environments. This allows the engineer an idea of what the project sounds like on a home theater or a large cinematic theater.

Nuendo 11 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) from the AIC128 Card to the Yamaha MMP1 via Dante, and then to the Surround Sound Speakers for a state-of-the-Art Surround Dolby Atmos System.


Binaural Headphone and Multipanner Ambisonics configuration are available for Surround Sound for the Monitoring. Gamers will appreciate the Multipanner Ambisonics configuration to the Binaural 5.1 Headphone Mix.


The MMP1 parametric EQ fine-tunes the Down Mix Speaker Array to the Room Acoustics, ensuring your mix will sound great.

The MMP1 parametric EQ fine-tunes the Down Mix Speaker Array to the Room Acoustics, ensuring your mix will sound great.

mmp1 parameteric

The MMP1 can be used with just about any DAW and peripheral equipment, but Nuage Version 2 adds remote control capability so that source selection, levels, downmix and dimmer switching, talkback, and other functions can be controlled directly from physical controls on a Nuage Master or Nuage Fader unit.


eMasterSound delivers Surround Sound for the Multi-media Streaming, Film, and Gaming Industries.

Nuendo 11 Integrated VST Dolby Atmos Renderer supports 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, 5.1.4, 7.1.4 configurations.


eMasterSound Advantages include Flexible Monitoring with VST Dolby Atmos Renderer and Nuendo Control Room.
Nuendo 11 Integrated Import | Export ADM BWF (Audio Definition Model Broadcast Wave Format) Nuendo 11 options include any software with ADM BWF Import | Export capabilities.


Guidelines For Creating A Correct 5.1 to 9.1.4 Mix


Think ahead: Don’t Master on stereo, it may not be possible Master Surround Sound at a later date because the original material was deleted or lost. It’s is simple DAW function to Down Mix to Stereo from 5.1 to 9.1.4.

Determine where to place Bed and Object Tracks, and then create a Track List:

  • Dialogues: 100% Center Monitor (sometimes 20% L/R)
  • Foley: 100% Front L/R (but usually panned to phantom center)
  • Impact and strong Effects: 100% Front L/R + 50% LFE
  • Backgrounds and Ambience: 50% Front L/R, 50% Sides/Rear
  • Music Stereo: 75% Front L/R, 25% Sides/Rear
  • Music by Stems: 50% Front L/R, 25% Sides, 25% Rear

This is an example of the Nuendo 11 Integrated VST Dolby Atmos Renderer in action! Let’s look at each track and the Surround Sound Processing.


Bed and Object Channel assignment is required to determine the X/Y/Z for Surround Sound positioning in order to achieve the desired emotional response from the audience.


Bed vs. Object Channel Assignment

Bed Channels: A Bed Channel is the channel-based main output bus of 7.1.2 (LCR, LFE, Side & Rear Surrounds, and a Left/Right Overhead Surround Channels). Note that these have no forward/backward separation, just a stereo overhead. Instruments and FX Sounds with Low Frequencies below 80Hz will be a Bed Channel. This is considered our main mix bus.

Object Channels: An Object has far more accurate panning, as it’s all directed by metadata rather than channel-based pan design rules. An object is a discrete audio element that can be placed anywhere in the three-dimensional sound field. Allowing us to pan audio within an X/Y/Z virtual axis, a 3D space. We assign Objects for specific discrete sounds which want defined positions. An Objects can be static or moving and are not constrained to the outside edges of the Dolby Atmos sound field. We use objects when mixing Dolby Atmos Music at 48kHz.


ADM Authoring will automatically set the VST Multipanner to the correct mode when adding a Bed or Object Channel. Automatically created and set an Object Channel to the 7.1.4 BUS at zero db. Also, appropriately add Bed and Object Channels to the VST Dolby Atmos Renderer.

Hear the Surround Sound Demo Reel on eMasterSound.com, by clicking this link https://youtu.be/vXZWrNi_NG4?t=1

I’ve created a Demo Reel with a minimum number of channels to illustrate these basic methods and practices. The Bed and Object audio tracks are grouped in an associated fold.

Bed Channels: Starting with the Kit Loop stereo Drum Kit. A rhythm sets the tempo or pace for the effect, and events to follow.


VST MultiPanner; The Bed Mode is displayed in the upper left corner in blue. Bass instruments are added as 7.1.2 in the ADM Authorizing to Low-Frequency Effect (LFE) output. Kick Drum and other instruments with low frequencies below 120Hz are routed to the Sub-Woofer Speaker.

Bullets Impacting Metal pan from left to right, this is created with a Right Wave Fade Out as the Left Wave Fades in, giving a greater audience reaction by select Elevation Half Pipe assigns the sound to the overhead speakers or Atmos. The sound pans across while adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects.


Scene 17 (moved): Gun Shot Front to Rear is a cinematic recreation of seeing someone firing a gun from afar.  The first 2 examples are traditional Surround Sound. The MultiPanner Elevation Pattern Tunnel adds Atmos, an Immersive sound of bullets fling overhead, and then hear the impact behind you as the sound echos back overhead.

Object Channels: First is the Female Hahh track; I’ve opened the VST MultiPanner; The Object Mode is displayed in the upper left corner in blue. The X Y Z Graph shows the Dot Position for the Female Shout Out from the Front Center of the room.


Male Haa! Object Track; I’ve opened the VST MultiPanner; The Object Mode is displayed in the upper left corner in blue. The X Y Z Graph shows the Dot Position for Male Haaa! Shout Out from the Rear Center of the room.

look at them side by side. This could be a film with people standing across the room and you in the middle…

This is where things really get crazy with real-world Surround Sound.


Pass By Sports Car Automation is linear. This gives us the ability to Rotate the Squealing Sportscar screaming around the room from speaker to Speaker, in a Pan-through Array The 5.1.4 and 7.1.4 give the ability to move sound through a room with Objects to create a precision movement for a real-world experience.

eMasterSound Team can deliver Dolby Atmos Professional Surround Sound for Film, TV, and Multimedia.

Producers, Audio Engineers, and Foley Artists know that quite often you have layer sounds and then sync them together to deliver the right results.

Stop by our Georgia Studio to hear 5.1.4, and 7.1.4 Demo Reel that demonstrates we’re the right team for your next multimedia or film production.

Call 424.422.2002 or email: Jerry@eMasterSound.com

Listen to all the tracks together in this simulation of an action-adventure film or video game. This demo reel is available in 5.1 and 7.1.4 Surround Sound with Dolby Atmos.

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