360pan suite is a VST and AAX plug-in suite for the Mac 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). There is no need to have any plug-in interfaces open while working.

Please note:

  1. For use in Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD is required.
  2. For second order (nine channel) ambisonics in AAX Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools HD version 12.8 or up is required (in VST3 Reaper 5 and Nuendo 7 or up will do too)
  3. There is no Windows support.

360pan

360pan 2 AAX plug-in screenshot

Panning and the distancing of sound sources, operated directly from the video window.

360monitor

360monitor 2 AAX plug-in screenshot

Look around and listen to your immersive mix while you are making it, instant preview. Buy the headtracker now

360reverb

360reverb AAX plug-in screenshot

Convolution reverb with ambisonics impulse responses.

360radar

360radar AAX plug-in screenshot

The radar shows you the location of your audio in your ambisonics mix.

360turner

360turner AAX plug-in screenshot

Rotate or tilt an ambisonics recording so that misalignment and calibration errors of the microphone can be easily corrected.

What is 360pan suite for ?

There are a lot of names for the type video that the 360pan suite can deliver spatial (or localized, immersive, 3D) audio for:

  • 360° video
  • VR video
  • Virtual Reality video
  • Panoramic video
  • Spherical video

to name the most common.
These type videos require a soundtrack that can turn when the head of the viewer with VR goggles on, or his phone, is turned.

There are a number of playback platforms for 360 VR videos.

  • Facebook 360
  • Oculus Video
  • YouTube
  • SamsungVR
  • Jaunt

to name a couple.

All of these chose Ambisonics as the technology that allows for the interactively turning audio mix. This means that audio-post folks need to produce ambisonics mixes. Ambisonics mixes are in a format called b-format, which consist of four channels. B-format comes in two channel orders: AmbiX or FuMa.
Youtube requires AmbiX b-format ambisonics soundtracks, so this is what 360pan delivers.
Facebook requires 2nd order ambisonics, 360pan suite 2 also delivers this.

360pan

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) video window.

Gain, distance and reverb width, along with the puck itself will show up in the (Pro Tools HD) 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.

Signal Flow

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).

360pan suite puck faders detail
360pan suite position blur detail

Position blur

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.

Head-locking audio

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

360monitor 2 AAX plug-in screenshot

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 video window to the 360monitor user interface. The smaller the Pro Tools HD video window, the lighter 360monitor operates.

Head tracking

Audio Ease, Amazon and Ali-Express all sell a head tracking unit that can be attached to your headphones and can steer the 360monitor. That more closely resembles the way your mix will be listened to by the end-user. Appendix 3 in the 360pan suite manual describes the use and calibration of the head tracker.

Buy the headtracker now

360reverb

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


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.

360turner

360pan suite 360turner plug-in

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.

Import / export
converter plug-ins

360fuma to ambix & 360ambix to fuma

The two main flavors in b-format channels are:

  • FuMa
    channel ordering WXYZ with W 3dB lowered compared to AmbiX
  • AmbiX
    channel ordering WYZX

360pan suite, Facebook, Oculus Video, YouTube, SamsungVR and Oculus all use AmbiX b-format.

Currently some technologies use FuMa ordering as their upload requirement. If you will be using the 360pan suite to create audio for:

  • JauntVR VR player
  • Audiokinetic's WWise
  • TSL's Surround Zone
  • HarpexB

Then make sure you insert a 360ambix to fuma in the ambisonics channel that you bounce, in order to get the FuMa channel order (and normalization) that is required.

360bounce export

When working in 2nd order (nine channel, 9ch) ambisonics with the 360pan suite the 360bounce export plug-in ensures you can easily export a first order ambisonics AmbiX signal (FOA). In ambisonics you can remove the higher order channels to convert to a lower order. However since we are misusing a 7.0.2 track for the ambisonics signal in Pro Tools it is really hard to be sure the channel order is correct when mixing down a nine channel stream to four channels. This is why the 360bounce export plug-in is available in Pro Tools. In Reaper and Nuendo you can simply export/render the first four channels and you will have the correct first order ambisonics signal.

Specifications

360pan suite currently features the following Mac AAX and VST3 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.
  • 360bounce export
    Exports to first order ambisonics, from second order ambisonics (Pro Tools HD only).
  • 360fuma to ambix
    convert FuMa ambisonics audio to AmbiX.
  • 360ambix to fuma
    convert AmbiX ambisonics audio to FuMa.

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.

Requirements

  • Mac OS 10.8.5 or up
  • Pro Tools 11 HD, Pro Tools 12 HD, Reaper 5 or Nuendo 7
  • an iLok.com account (no ilok usb key required)

Please note:

  1. For use in Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD is required.
  2. For second order (nine channel) ambisonics in AAX Pro Tools HD, version 12.8 or up is required (in VST3 Reaper 5 and Nuendo 7 or up will do too)
  3. There is no Windows support.

Version history

The 360pan suite 2.0.2 for Mac changes:
new VST3 and AAX plug-ins
The 360pan suite 1.0.2 for Mac changes:
Open VST beta intended for use in Reaper 5
The 360pan suite 1.0.1 for Mac changes:
Added plugins for FuMa to AmbiX and AmbiX to FuMa conversions
Corrected height parameter in 360monitor
Improved w-channel scaling in panner
Puck colors are stored in session now
When opening new panner vertical video offset remains
Several UI improvements
The 360pan suite 1.0.0 for Mac release:
Initial release, AAX, for Mac OS.

Support

Installation and authorization

The 360pan suite of plug-ins is protected using a single license. An iLok (second or third generation) USB key can be used but 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.

There is only a single AAX and VST3 plug-in which, once installed, will manifest itself as a number of plug-ins in Pro Tools HD / Reaper / Nuendo.

Installation is done by unpacking the downloaded zip file, opening the resulting folder and dragging the 360pan suite plug-in (.VST3 or .AAXPLUGIN) into the right alias (shortcut) to move it to your Plug-Ins folder.

360pan suite folder in Mac Finder

Download plug-ins

Request a link to the downloads page with the latest 360pan suite plug-in downloads.

Manual: AAX / VST3

Plug-in format specific documentation for the VST3 and the AAX plug-in.

Example projects

Quick start: download & check out the example session / project for Pro Tools HD and Reaper.

DAW Templates

Wrap your head around the basic DAW setup for ambisonics audio production using one the 360pan suite templates for Pro Tools HD or Reaper.

EULA

The 360pan end user license agreement (eula).

Call for help

+31 30 244 6335

SUPPORT HOURS
MONDAY-FRIDAY 9AM-5PM CET

LOCAL TIME @AudioEase
TUESDAY 7:17 AM

Free goodies

Here we offer a bunch of free ‘spatial treats’ that we use at Audio Ease ourselves on a daily basis. There are no warranties, and almost all of it builds upon either Google's Omnitone or FFmpeg.

Offline 360 video player
with spatial audio!

Over here

Preview your 360 Video with immersive audio right from your own hard drive or network instantly. No upload, not public, no social media, no trickery, no jump inspector or android required.
Works in Firefox on Mac or Windows. Nudge forward and replay seems broken in Chrome, Safari won’t do a thing at all.

offline player

Go now

Because the video is nice and big it this sometimes preferred over previewing in our 360monitor plug-in.
AND the best part: you don’t need extra’s like jump, or an android phone. This page uses Omnitone, Google’s own 360 web API which means you are listening to the same ambisonics to binaural rendering as the android and desktop clients viewing YouTube use. It being Google’s also means it likes .webm. Of course none of the data compression that is going on might be happening when you actually do upload to YouTube. However this is a lot quicker (and safer!) than uploading.

All local

The files play locally from your (network) drive, after loading the page you can pull internet and it would remain working (just to prove that nothing goes into the internet).

Video webm

Point to a 360 video file. webm is preferred. You can convert to webm using one of the handy droplets

Audio

Optionally the site enables you to side-load a separate 4 channel wav audio file. Simply point to an interleaved First Order Ambisonics AmbiX .wav file (4 channels, WYXZ order), hit play, drag to turn, scroll wheel handles distance (field of view).

As hires webm conversion takes a bit of time, we like to make our webm once, and then, for each mix, we just bounce a wave file from Pro Tools HD and only load this separately.

Check it out here

Mac OS ffmpeg droplets
(including ffmpeg)

Arjen, sadly, has not yet been able to type a single ffmpeg command line right in one try, so Aram built him a few droplets that will perform common tasks on videos.
The result is saved next to the input video. The ffmpeg must remain next to the droplets for them to function.

Download ffmpeg droplets for Mac OS

optimized for Pro Tools video droplet

drop any video to convert to a quarter of the resolution and to DNxHD. This makes Pro Tools happy and spiffy. (we convert samsung gear stitched 360 stuff with this).

webm droplet

drop a video with 4 channel AmbiX audio (like an exported mov from protools) to make a webm version for the offline 360 video Player

Jump inspector droplets

drop a video / audio to get the right file to locally preview on an Android device using Google's Jump Inspector

Crop stereoscopic video droplet

crop a stereoscopic video to the left side only, saves cpu load and screen room.

Do yourself a favor and download this. No fiddling with installing xcode or brew to get ffmpeg installed, no terminal embarrassments, simply drag n drop video files and wait...

And of course you are free to open the apps (droplets) with the Script Editor app to check what's going on and adapt if required by taste.

Manual

Example project workflow videos

Quick start: download & check out the example project / session featuring a short 360 video of us running around at Audio Ease, mono panning audio, a true ambisonics recording, binaural preview and export suggestions.

Open the practice project START and open the workflow video and practice along with the video.

Two manuals

Yes, two 360pan suite manuals. One for VST3 and usage in Reaper and one for AAX for usage in Pro Tools HD.

DAW Templates

To kickstart your new VR/360 audio post project use one of our templates. All routing/bussing done for you already, import the audio and video and start mixing. First order (4ch) and second order (9ch, Pro Tools HD users: this requires version 12.8 or up) are included.

Position blur

Mixing non-turning audio, like Voice Overs, using position blur in 360pan.
The first channel of the ambisonics stream is the W channel, which goes to all virtual speakers in the ambisonics to binaural converter. This means you can place non-turning mono audio there, great for voice overs.

Position blur does this. With position blur all the way open your panning is gone and the audio is mono an everywhere, with the control all the way down the panning is very precise and the audio is a point source. With the blur parameter you can make panning less hard and create clouds of audio. This way you can position stereo input, add blur and create a stereo sensation while the audio does not turn when a users turns around in the VR.

Export 360pan suite audio to YouTube

Follow these steps to upload 360 video with ambisonics audio to YouTube. So that the viewer gets interactive turning audio when looking around in the VR video.

Here's the official YouTube guide:
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6178631?hl=en

Here's our recipe:
Mix your audio and place (pan) it using the 360pan suite.
Bounce the resulting quad audio to:
- an interleaved file and ask your video producer to add this to the video
- or bounce directly to the quicktime video, using Pro Tools HD

In both situations bounce as quad (four channel) interleaved wave audio file (not compressed).

Then download the Spatial Media Metadata Injector app

Open your video with the quad ambisonics audio in the Spatial Media Metadata Injector app.
Check the first and last box (Video is spherical and audio is spatial, ambiX)

Spatial Media Metadata Injector app

Inject metadata, upload to YouTube, wait an hour for your 360 video to process. Watch in a modern browser (Chrome works for sure, Firefox and Safari might work too) to verify you get spatial audio (look around with headphones on!).

Export audio for Facebook

Offline side load in Gear VR
through Samsung VR app

If you have a Samsung GEAR VR and a compatible Android phone you can check/preview your mixes locally on the HMD without uploading (side loading). Follow this guide to get audio that will enable an immersive experience.

There are two approaches, one using a ffmpeg droplet to merge video and audio:

- export four channel AmbiX audio
- combine this with your original video by adding the audio as 4 channel AAC, you can use one of the droplets for this
- inject meta data using Google's Spatial Media Meta Data Injector app
- copy the injected video to your Android device, by using SideSync app for instance. Add it to a folder on the root of your device called "MilkVR".
- put the Android device in the Gear VR, run the Samsung VR app from the default Occulus home
- in the Samsung VR app hit the folder for local files then look under side loading and your video should be there.

Or by using the Facebook encoder app:

- export four channel AmbiX audio
- open the fb360 encode app, set this to export for YouTube video
- drop your video and audio onto the app, set the audio format to first order AmbiX
- encode - copy the encoded video to your Android device, by using the SideSync app for instance. Add it to a folder on the root of your device called "MilkVR".
- put the Android device in the Gear VR, run the Samsung VR app from the default Occulus home
- in the Samsung VR app hit the folder for local files then look under side loading and your video should be there.