Music mixed in immersive audio formats is becoming increasingly popular, and one of the major platforms driving the demand is Apple Music, which now offers a wealth of content mixed in Dolby Atmos. However, whilst the rendering used by the service to deliver such content on Apple devices, headphones and earphones is available to those working in Logic Pro, checking how mixes will sound on Apple Music has been a more complex process for users of other DAWs.
Audiomovers aim to solve this issue with the release of Binaural Renderer for Apple Music, a new plug-in which makes it possible to audition Apple’s rendering directly from any major DAW.
In order to develop the new plug-in, Audiomovers worked closely with the relevant teams at Apple and Apple Music, and were provided with access to the same rendering process used by the streaming platform. It supports a 7.1.4 channel layout, and is capable of accepting audio in a number of different routing methods such as Dolby Audio Bridge, Aux I/O (for Pro Tools users) and via Audiomovers’ own OMNIBUS routing software. In order to process mixes with channel layouts that exceed 7.1.4, it is recommended that users create a re-render using the Dolby Atmos Renderer application.
With Binaural Renderer for Apple Music set up, users are able to monitor their mixes with Apple’s rendering applied, auditioning how their mix will sound when uploaded to the streaming service — a drop-down menu provides access to three rendering profiles: two for music, and one for movies. Content can be auditioned in real time on Spatial Audio-capable systems such as built-in MacBook or iMac speakers as well as headphones and earphones, and there is support for head tracking and personalised HRTFs for compatible headphones and systems. There are also per-channel Solo and Mute functions, making it possible to isolate channels in a mix from within the plug-in.
The plug-in was recently demonstrated at a launch event at New York’s Republic Studios, where its impact on the immersive mixing process was praised by Ariel Borujow, a Grammy-winning mix engineer who has mixed albums for the likes of Puffy, Madonna, T.I and Imagine Dragons. Here’s what he had to say: "Being able to share what we're doing in real time is amazing. But having the ability to just check the Apple mix real fast and say yes — rather than testing it, the MP4 and the phone and then checking the Binaural Render versus the MP4 and hearing the room — it's eliminating a lot of steps.”
Binaural Renderer for Apple Music is supported on Apple Silicon Macs running macOS 12.6 and above, although macOS 13 is recommended. As the plug-in utilises technologies exclusive to Apple devices, there is no Windows version available. It is available in VST3, AU and AAX plug-in formats. The AAX version requires Pro Tools 2023.6 or later.
Pricing & Availability
Binaural Renderer for Apple Music is available now, priced at $79.99.