Multi Channel Support: 5.1 and 7.1 Surround?

Hi there,

is Cantabile compatible with convolver / surround processing plugins that expect a multi channel input (up to 7.1)? If yes, how would you configure the input ports so that the plugin is able to process the channels correctly?

I would welcome your response.

Regards
Ellef

Hi Ellef and Welcome to the forum!

This is most often addressed by opening the plugins’ audio port configuration and adding the extra inputs to Cantabiles’ virtual port & route management. So …

select the surround plugin

you will see the existing port configuration

You can select each input and output port for editing

SnapShot 274

In the edit area you also add ports if not there already and this is probably where you will spend your time getting it properly ported for both the virtual input and output ports

My examples were from K-Meter surround plug which shows it’s ports. Some plugins do not report all their ports so that is why you don’t automatically see them now on yours. You will have to add them and configure them.

Anyway that is the rough explanation of what you need to configure. It is of course also subject to the audio interface you have and it’s hardware port configuration in Cantabiles’ Audio Ports configuration in the options window. Sorry it’s not an easy thing but it is the way to get there. If you get hung there are other folks here that probably know even more about how to set up surround so don’t be afraid to ask :smiley:

Cheers,

Dave

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Hi Dave,

thank you very much for your kind and quick response! :slight_smile:

I am curious how one should set up the input section for a downmix plugin.

Audio ports > Add > Stereo Input Port

Then add each input channel seperately (“Routing A”) or as an array inside one channel (“Routing B”)?

Regards and many thanks
Ellef

Edit:
Unfortunately I have some issues with the following plugins…

Spatial Audio Designer (In-One):
“SAD In-One cannot run on mono inputs. Processing has been deactivated.”
For some reason the plugin input port is limited to mono. I have only access to “Input - #1” in the channel configuration.
Also, the whole DAW crashes when I try to remove the plugin from my mix or open another song. :neutral_face:

Waves Abbey Road Studio 3
Routing A: Only Side Left and Side Right are routed through.
Routing B: All 7.1 ports are being routed through as a centered mono sum. Head panning works. But the source is still mono.

Waves NX 7.1/Stereo
Routing A: The input meters light up correctly when a 7.1 source is played back. The output is clipping as soon as I connect it. Changing the input or output gain has no effect.
Some parameters show “-nan(ind)”.
Routing B: Everthing mono and clipping again.

Waves NX Stereo
Same as above. The output clips completely as soon as I connect it in Cantabile.

Anaglyph
Routing A: Only Side Left and Side Right are routed through. Also, the binaural engine has no effect in Cantabile as DAW.
Routing B: All chanels mono and centered again. Binaural engine has no effect.

Flux HEar v3
Routing A: Thankfully, his one comes with a routing map. All surround channels (other than Side L/R) are not recognized, though.
Routing B: All distorted and centered again.

Sennheiser Ambeo Orbit
Works in Stereo. Well, it is a stereo application, after all. :slight_smile:
For 7.1 I would have to route every channel pair through a single instance of Ambeo with different azimuth settings to define the localization. Not very convenient, but it works.

To summarize:
Routing A: The surround channels are being recoginzed in some plugins. But the downmix to stereo is still not functioning as intended.
Routing B: All channels are being summed together as a mono track. That is also why the routing is not working and the output is clipping.

Am I doing something wrong or is Cantabile simply unable to process 7.1 to Stereo downmixes?

The only solution I see is to use a panning tool made for mono or stereo ports and then assign the appropriate settings channel by channel, with a single plugin instance for every channel or channel pair.

Have a nice weekend.

Regards
Ellef

Hi Ellef,

I would actually use a combination both the stereo ports for front, rear and side stereo pairs and use the mono ports for the center and sub. Hope this works for you

Cheers,

Hi guys,

I have just found the reason why Anaglyph was not working in Cantabile. The plugin requires the playback (transport) to run, otherwise the processing will not apply to the output. :hushed:

That is what I ended up with. All the channels are now configured as mono input ports and then routed one by one through an independent instance of the plugin. The plugin’s input ports are set to mono, as well. With this parallel setup I can pan every channel individually and adjust the 7.1 soundstage to my liking.
Stereo downmix works flawlessly.

CPU load is between 3% and 5% on average. No drop outs so far. :slight_smile:

In case you are interested, here is a link to the binaural convolver plugin:


It is free but very powerful.

Flux HEar v3 and Sennheiser Ambeo Orbit do also work well in this parallel channel-per-channel configuration. There are still some stability issues with HEar though. For some reason the audio engine of Cantabile has to be deactivated on launch. Otherwise the program will crash when you open a song with a HEar module in it.

On the other hand I could not get the 7.1 routing with just one combined channel to work, yet. I will probably skip on Waves and SAD and just use the parallel configuration with Anaglyph / Ambeo / HEar (as described above) from now on.

Hope that helps anyone who is on the same quest as me. :slight_smile:

Regards
Ellef

2 Likes

Thanks much for the post, cool setup LF! :+1:

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Some additional notes:

Routing version A is correct. Add all the hardware inputs you need to one surround device in the Audio Ports configuration of Cantabile.
Then right click the surround plugin and choose “Audio Ports”. From there you have to configure the plugins channel configuration to match the hardware input configuration of Cantabile.

Start by adding an input port to the plugin’s channel configuration. Mono or stereo does not matter since we are going surround anyway. Select the channel name, then click Add > Channel to add the hardware inputs you need for the surround channel. Create them one by one, starting with say Left, Right, Center, LFE, …
You have to assign the corresponding hardware input that has been configured in the Cantabile options before. Start with “Input 0”, which matches the first line of your surround device in Cantabile’s options.

Example:

Cantabile Options > Audio Ports
Add Mono or Stereo Input Port
Add > Channel
Line 1: L
Line 2: R
Line 3: Center
Line 4: LFE

Plugin > Audio Ports
Add Mono or Stereo Input Port
Add > Channel
Line 1: L = “Input 0”
Line 2: R = “Input 1”
Line 3: Center = “Input 2”
Line 4: LFE = “Input 3”

Be aware that there are many standards that define varying orders for surround channels. Some expect a certain input matrix without asking, others allow you to choose individually. Lookup the manual in case of issues.

Do also bear in mind that some plugins require the timeline to run. Without playback (press the play button so it lights up green) some do not parse audio in Cantabile.

How that helps anyone who is on the same quest as me. :slight_smile:

Regards
Ellef