Pro Tools is one of the most popular DAWs available. There are two versions, Pro Tools Studio and Pro Tools Ultimate that unlock the configuration and routing settings required for Spatial Mic Dante. You can learn more about the different Pro Tools software options on Avid’s website and if you don’t already have Pro Tools, you can download a free 30-day trial version.
In this tutorial we will go over Pro Tool’s I/O settings, setting up an eight channel track for recording the unprocessed audio from Spatial Mic Dante and initiating the Spatial Mic Converter plugin which takes the raw audio from Spatial Mic Dante and converts it to an audio format that you can mix with.
For this tutorial we will assume that Spatial Mic Dante is setup and routed in Dante Controller and that the mic gain and output settings are already set in MicNet control. When using Spatial Mic Dante with Pro Tools, you will need to setup the Playback Engine and Hardware Device that utilizes your Dante audio network inputs and your preferred playback setup. Those settings are outside of the scope of this tutorial so we will assume those are already setup in your system. In our example below we will use Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) to keep things simple.
Step 1: Launch a Pro Tools session and go to Setup > I/O
On the Input tab, click on the New Path button. Select a new 7.1 input and select Create.
Route the inputs to match the channels Spatial Mic Dante is routed to in Dante Controller. In our example we have channels 1-8 from Spatial Mic Dante routed to the first 8 channels in DVS so we select the routing of the 7.1 input to be Channels 1-8 as well. We renamed the input to be Spatial Mic Dante to help stay organized.
Step 2: Select the output tab. Your output will depend on your speaker and monitoring setup. In this demo we are going to output a 7.1.2 surround mix so we will route a 7.1.2 output on Dante channels 1-10. We renamed the output to Surround Out to help keep things organized.
Step 3: Select the Bus tab. The Spatial Mic Converter Plugin has many different output options and you can create buses here to accommodate the output options for your session. The output options from the Spatial Mic Converter are:
- 1st Order Ambisonics
- 2nd Order Ambisonics
In the screenshot below we show a number of different routing options you can use depending on how you are working with the audio from Spatial Mic. Add new bus paths and copy the routing below. When you are finished click the OK button.
Step 4: Go to Track > New… and create a new 7.1 track (there are 8 capsules in Spatial Mic so you have eight streams of audio). We renamed this track Spatial Mic Dante to keep things organized.
Step 5: Set the track’s input to be Spatial Mic (7.1) and the output to be either an output or a bus to match your session. Here we use the Surround 7.1.2 output.
Step 6: Next add the Spatial Mic Converter plugin to the track as a multichannel plug-in insert.
Step 7: In Spatial Mic Converter plugin select Dante from the MIC drop down at the top of the window.
Next in the Spatial Mic Converter plugin select the output format you wish to use. We will choose Surround.
When the Surround output option is selected an additional drop down will appear with the channel format options. We will choose 7.1.2 for this example. Learn about all of the output options and settings available in the Spatial Mic Converter plugin in this overview.
You are now setup and ready to record. From here you can record enable to monitor the microphone and see the meters move on the track, along with the Spatial Mic Converter plugin. This can help verify you have audio streaming from the mic and routed correctly.
Going forward from here you could route the 7.1.2 to the Dolby Atmos renderer if you are doing an Atmos mix, or use the 7.1.2 output as a bed in the MPEG-H Authoring plugin for an immersive broadcast mix.
If you are ready to try Spatial Mic Dante and MicNet Control for yourself, it is available for purchase now.