360pan suite is a plug-in suite for Windows and macOS designed to deliver ambisonics mixes for immersive audio: audio from all directions, intended for headphone reproduction, that stays where it is even when you turn your head.
You can do all your panning, distancing and even mixing from within the video window of your DAW (Reaper or Pro Tools HD/Ultimate). There is no need to have any plug-in interfaces open while working.
- For use in Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD 12.8.2 (or up, incl. Pro Tools Ultimate) and a Mac is required.
- For third and second order (sixteen and nine channels) ambisonics in AAX Pro Tools HD version 12.8.2 (or up, incl. Pro Tools Ultimate) is required (in VST3 Reaper 5 supports 1st, 2nd and 3rd order as well)
- No AAX plug-in for Windows, only VST3 is supported on Windows.
360pan enables you to pan mono, stereo or four channel input files into ambisonics, using pucks that move on top of the (Pro Tools HD/Ultimate) video window.
Gain, distance and reverb width, along with the puck itself will show up in the (Pro Tools HD/Ultimate) video window when a panner is inserted and ‘show puck’ and ‘show overlay’ are switched on. The three sliders appear when you click the three slider icon that shows when you hover the mouse over a puck in the video window.
It is possible to use the 360reverb in a traditional way using sends and busses, however it is designed to be used in a more clever way:
mono or stereo sources are converted up to ambisonics, while giving it a left-right, up-down, and distance position in the ambisonics bus. A panner is inserted on each sound source track to do this. So panners get mono or stereo (or even 4channels) of input and output ambisonics.
Each 360reverb creates a private ambisonics input, kind of a backdoor, only accessible by the 360pan instances. Each 360reverb shows up as a send destination in each 360panner. This ties the 360pan’s to the reverb in such away that you can adjust distance and reverb-width per panned source. This goes for an unlimited amount of sources even if there is only a single 360reverb in your project (which is the most usual setup).
Besides all this the usual main input of the reverb still functions (also simultaneously with the private input).
Turn position blur up to create sound-objects that should appear bigger than a point-source. The panning position will then be their center, and they will become larger in the mix.
If position blur is turned all the way up, the audio is mono and will not move at all when the listener turns his head. You can use this to mix voice-overs or (mono) music that shouldn’t move.
Pan stereo music hard left and hard right and open up position blur halfway to create a head-locked effect in an ambisonics mix, That does not require separate head-locked tracks.
360monitor scoops video frames out of the video window and sends them into a browser style drag-n-pan screen while decoding the ambisonics mix to binaural for headphones, (or 5.0) for speaker playback, so you can look around and listen to your immersive mix while you are making it.
In the picture the mix format selected is 8 channel (8 ch). This 360monitor is therefore on an eight channel bus (7.1). It folds the audio down to 2 channels for headphone listening. It does that in the way described technically in Appendix 2 ‘Ambisonics to binaural conversion’ from the 360pan suite manual.
Tip: 360monitor can be heavy on the CPU when it is visible. This is because it is transporting frames from the Pro Tools HD/Ultimate video window to the 360monitor user interface. The smaller the Pro Tools HD/Ultimate video window, the lighter 360monitor operates.
360reverb is the first truly omnidirectional convolution reverb. A single instance can can provide pan-following reverb with individually adjustable reverb width for an unlimited amount of sound sources.
The dry/wet balance and the spread controls only function on the main (traditional plug-in) input of the reverb. 360reverb accepts ambisonics input and delivers ambisonics output. There is a separate private input that is selectable in all 360pan plug-in instances.
The dry/wet balance and the spread controls do nothing on the private audio lines each 360pan has to the reverb. The distance and reverb-width parameters for the private inputs are set in the 360pan plug-in (or through the popup faders in the video overlay).
360radar shows you when there is audio in your ambisonics mix or recording, but more importantly it shows where it is, all right in the video window.
The 360turner together with 360radar allows you to rotate or tilt an ambisonics recording so that misalignment and calibration errors of the microphone can be easily corrected.
360pan suite currently features the following plug-ins:
- 360pan - pan your audio to ambisonics using the easy video overlay.
- 360monitor - monitor ambisonics audio and preview 360 video.
- 360reverb - first ambisonics convolution reverb
- 360radar - see your ambisonics audio in the video overlay.
- 360turner - easily fix misalignments in ambisonics signals.
- 360fuma to ambix - convert first order FuMa ambisonics audio to AmbiX.
- 360ambix to fuma - convert first order AmbiX ambisonics audio to FuMa.
All plug-ins are available in first, second and third order variants (4, 9 or 16 channels).
The 360pan suite of plug-ins is protected using a single license. An iLok (second or third generation) USB key can be used however this is not required: the license can also be activated on a machine (computer) using the ilok license manager application. A free ilok.com account is required for this.