So, I’ve just finished my first “Ambeo” stereo mix. What’s that, you ask? It’s a process that allows for some degree of 360 deg directionalality to be perceived by the listener using stereo headphones. In this situation, I’ve gone with the only immersive plugin that seems to work for me, the Ambeo Orbit from Sennheiser.

From experience, I’ve learned that it’s not a good idea to insert Orbit onto too many tracks in a DAW session, and from a dear friend at Abbey Road Institute in Amsterdam, I’ve learned that these types of hrtf effects plugins basicall will only work well on tracks containing high-frequencies. As such, I inserted Orbit onto about 4 tracks to provide a bit of immersive spread. It’s interesting that I tried monitoring over my 64 Audio in-ear monitors and my studio monitors. I was surprised to hear that the results were a bit drastic from each other, so I opted to listen to the headphone plugins over stereo speakers. I was pleasantly surprised that you could actually hear rear-end directionality coming from the speakers, but given the relative success of SRS Circle Surround, I halfway expected this.

I have to say that this first try was a relative success … given that these types of surround headphone mix encoders are a bit gimmicky and are in their infancy.

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