... oh man really good software, but one sad thing I used it half a year and from then on it wasn't compatible any more with my Mac System. Wanted to give it a chance again, but got in some registration issues ... after one hour I gave up ...Read Review
The Spatial Audio Designer (SAD) is a modern and multifunctional panning tool. SAD is developed and produced by a Hamburg based company called New Audio Technology. It can handle all Surround and 3D audio formats as well as upcoming multichannel solutions. One of the highlights is the ability to work on the mix with virtual speakers: with simple headphones you can listen to all the supported multi-format mixes (up to 22.2) in a virtual room environment. With this feature it's a great tool to "show" customers without a specific speaker-array surround (or 3D) mixes. I've used the Spatial Audio Designer already this way – very successfully.
But, first things first:
The Spatial Audio Designer covers Windows (XP and above) and MacOS (10.6.2 and above) and the major plug-in formats (RTAS, AU and VST). 32-bit and 64-bit hosts are supported. SAD features an off-beat copy protection. Neither iLok nor eLicenser are needed to authorize and use this software. First, you download a small application which generates a unique ID for your computer. Then, you have to insert this computer-related ID on the website. Your personal (computer-related) copy of SAD will be generated and made ready for download. An interesting option is to authorize standard USB storage for copy protection purposes. The USB flash drive can still be used as such; furthermore, it fulfils the duties of an iLok or eLicenser for SAD. That's pretty unusual, isn't it? You should use a Core2Duo (or above) and 2GB of RAM (minimum), 4GB or more (recommended).
There are many Surround panners out there, but this one is different. First, it can pan all formats like 5.1, 7.1, Auro-3D up to 22.2 (yes 3D, I mentioned it already), second it does not work speaker-related (like all the others do) but position-related. So you can change the speaker setting completely "on the fly" without updating or changing the pannings manually – nice. And you can use the existing automation data in SAD – a time saver.
Every signal (mixing channel) can be positioned freely by this panning tool. There are two areas: a bird's eye view (from the top) to pan front, surround and the sides; and a view from behind to define height of signal. In both views, a head is shown to visualize the relative position of the listener's head. The speaker positions are shown as well.
For laptop/headphones users (e.g. in trains or planes) and users without the desired speaker array, SAD offers a virtualization mode. This mode can be used where no appropriate speaker system is available to make Headphone Surround soundtracks as a special feature for Blu-rays or DVDs or to create new Headphone Surround 3D versions!
The virtualization is available for mono mixes up to 22.2 mixes too. It only works on headphones – but on all headphones. There are a lot of virtual locations to mix in and the company is constantly introducing new ones.
The SAD is a really innovative tool which is – in this special form – competitor free in the market.
You can pan Stereo, Surround and 3D audio up to 22.2 with one panning tool. In the whole mixing process, the speaker settings are changeable on the fly, without losing mixing or automation data. This option can be used to play out several mix-versions (Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 11.1 and so on). Virtualization on headphones or using real speakers is both possible. Whether your DAW supports the desired bus structure or not – SAD will handle it for you. I recommend this tool for all producers, engineers and other users who want to work on Surround and 3D audio and who have to, or want to, start without too much investment – it's a cool tool.