Old 12-07-2019, 06:32 AM   #1
Nick Morris
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Default Encoders and decoders

I am trying to narrow down the best sounding plugins for Ambisonics. I need a Panner and Decoders for a few formats. Binaural decoding is a big one, and being able to decode to 5.1, 7.1, and 7.1.2 at the very least.

So far I have tried the free options, dearVR pro, and I’m trying the ssa plugins at the moment. Are there plugins that are the definite top tier in sound quality?
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:05 AM   #2
plush2
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Some of the features you are after are not free but have you tried Blue Ripple Sound?
Ircam Spat Revolution is another that I would consider a best in class product. It is not cheap but provides for all your listed requirements. The Rode Soundfield decoder plugin might be one you haven't considered as it's not really part of a larger ambisonic plugin suite. Combine this with the binauraliser in the SPARTA plugin suite and you can get some really nice results.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:45 AM   #3
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I am checking out the blue ripple sound plugs at the moment. I haven’t checked out the ircam yet nor have I heard of the Sparta set. In your opinion, is there a best?
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:40 PM   #4
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"Best" is somewhat a subjective question in this situation. This field has been developing rapidly as of late, with many new tools being added and new techniques developed (SPARTA is a good example of this). Sometimes a toolkit that is a bit rough around the edges can have the particular technology that you need, like order upsampling (a la Harpex or SPARTA) so some can be forgiven for the sake of the others. In other cases a particular delivery style might dictate. What someone needs to publish to a video game or VR experience will be different than for more standard multichannel film and TV. My personal opinion (and this is just my opinion) is that the Blue Ripple Sound stuff is probably the best for strictly end-to-end ambisonic production. It offers several excellent sets of tools for capturing, mixing and delivering to a number of different formats. The specific design of the plugs might not be everyone's style but they function very well and interconnect nicely.

If you want to do a mixture (wave field synthesis, VBAP, DBAP, etc.) along with ambisonics then maybe SPAT Revolution is the best. I've never used it but with a high price tag one would expect it to be well thought out.

Please report back on your thoughts as it seems you are trying several options I've yet to install.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:13 PM   #5
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For upmixing and encoding, the IEM Suite is fantastic and free. For decoding, I haven't found anything yet that matches or surpasses Blue Ripple Sound. Their decoders are simply brilliant. I generally use Blue Ripple for both upmixing, encoding, planning, etc AND for decoding but I also really like the IEM stuff for some mixing tasks.
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:09 PM   #6
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AFAIK, there's no upmixer/upsampler (taking a lower order signal and "extrapolate" it to a higher order) in the IEM suite.

There's one in the Aalto COMPASS suite (taking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd order up to 7th order), the Harpex plug-in (1st order up to 3rd order) and Blue Ripple Sound Harpex Upsampler (1st to 3rd).

The IEM and both Aalto suites (SPARTA and COMPASS) are free, Harpex is 298 euros and Blue Ripple Sound Harpex Upsampler is 119 pounds (150 euros). Blue Ripple Sound have significantly lowered the price of their Harpex Upsampler.

I think that getting the IEM and both Aalto suites covers pretty much every need for Ambisonic production (and why not, also Matthias Kronlachner ambiX and mcfx suites).

For decoding, I think that IEM AllRADecoder (for loudspeaker array configuration), IEM SimpleDecoder (for bass management) and IEM DistanceCompensator (for tweaking the loudspeaker array) is on par with Blue Ripple Sound Rapture 3D Advanced.

Last edited by Kewl; 02-22-2020 at 08:18 PM.
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