Surround & external Sidechain

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
Urs
u-he
25684 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Mon May 03, 2021 7:38 am

Hi everyone,

Do hosts which support surround formats (let's say 5.1) generally support external side chains? And if so, are the external side chain signals mono, stereo or surround (same as main signal)?

Do you know of any plug-ins which support surround and external side chains?

Any information would be appreciated before we dive into this deeply only to find out that we do something nobody can really use...

Thanks,

- Urs

KVRist
258 posts since 16 Feb, 2017

Post Mon May 03, 2021 7:58 am

Hi urs, I can only speak for ProTools. It of course has support for all kind of channel configurations but it only allows to route a mono external sidechain. Just checked, Fabfilter ProQ3 and ProL2 are surround capable and allow sidechains. BlueCatAudio's Patchwork can also be loaded as surround plugin. Since it has to forward all signals incl sidechains to the 3rd party plugins that are hosted within, maybe they have done more research and can tell you more.

KVRAF
1665 posts since 14 Sep, 2004 from $HOME

Post Mon May 03, 2021 12:19 pm

I don’t use surround, but I know that some Toneboosters plugins support multichannel formats and external sidechain (e.g. TB_Equalizer, TB_Compressor) for VST3, AU and AAX.

KVRist
341 posts since 8 Jun, 2009

Post Mon May 03, 2021 8:16 pm

I work a lot with surround plug ins in Nuendo 11 but haven't used side chaining with them so far. That is an interesting topic nevertheless. A quick look at the Nuendo manual reveals this:
https://steinberg.help/nuendo/v11/en/cu ... ing_t.html
Can we have a glimpse on what you would like to achieve? Will it be a new Uhbik update? If I remember correctly a lot of promises were made concerning Uhbik development for the future, but not much happened. (I do have a license for Uhbik).

User avatar
Urs
u-he

Topic Starter

25684 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Tue May 04, 2021 12:33 am

Thank you, but the Nuendo manual doesn't seem to say anything about the number of channels within the external side chain signal, or how it relates to the main signal (I guess that's why I'm asking people, since documentation seems sparse on this topic).

Yes, it's for Uhbik. We started a major upgrade two years ago, which was put on hold during the unraveling Corona crisis. We're now going back to it and need to tie up a few loose ends.

KVRist
341 posts since 8 Jun, 2009

Post Tue May 04, 2021 6:24 am

If it is for Uhbik, I can later have a closer look at Nuendo side chain capabilities and report back my findings. Thank you for the info!

KVRist
341 posts since 8 Jun, 2009

Post Tue May 04, 2021 8:23 pm

I had a look at Nuendo 11 and side chaining in surround plug ins (VST3). Third party plug ins seem not to offer this, at least I didn't found one yet. But the built in EQ "Frequency 2" by Steinberg, which is also surround capable, allows up to 8 channels as side chains, which can then be routed to the frequency bands.
Maybe that is some useful info.

User avatar
KVRian
1162 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Wed May 05, 2021 9:51 am

I tried with 1st order ambisonic files converted to 5.1 on 5.1 channels in Cubase 10.5.
Standard setup:
Track A - Signal that is send to sidechain
Track B - has insert Compressor with Sidechain input from Track A.

When I'm muting particular channels on Track A (with Insert plugin Soundfield by Rode), I'm getting a different gain reduction. LFE (solo) gives -11.5GR and LS RS (solo) -23GR for example.
So it looks like it receives surround sound.
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

User avatar
Urs
u-he

Topic Starter

25684 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed May 05, 2021 10:23 pm

Great information, thank you!

User avatar
KVRian
902 posts since 25 Jan, 2017

Post Thu May 06, 2021 12:29 am

I don't currently deal with multi-channel productions (will likely want/have to in the future), but as far as I'm able to test, Melda plugins in REAPER deal with external sidechains as individual mono sources.

The gif is portraying unlinked channels on the compressor, but they could have been linked too, providing the same GR to all channels. It's up to the plugin.

In this case it's set up for 7.1 but anyway, I only routed in 6 channels for the example.
That's why it looks weird.
.
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