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New Plugin: aXMeter Ambisonic Meter

aXMeter Ambsionic meter with a third order input signal

It’s time for a new plugin – and it’s free!

The aXMeter is an Ambisonic meter plugin (VST, AAX, AU) that shows the RMS and peak levels for each of the Ambisonic channels up to seventh-order. It’s GUI size varies dynamically depending on the order of the signal it receives. For first- to third-order it shows all of the channels up to third-order. If the input is a higher order it expands to show the new channels.

Just like previous updates, this plugin exists because it was requested by users who thought it would improve their workflow. So, if there is some feature you’d like to see added or a plugin you think would be worth having, get in touch! The more requests a particular feature gets, the faster it gets made.

And the Summer Sale is continuing. There are discounts of 20% to 50% on all of the plugins in the shop. If you purchase something then you’ll be helping to support independent development of spatial audio tools.

If you want to download the free aXMeter head over here.

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aX Ambisonics AAX Release + Sale

There is plenty to get through in this post. There is some big news, so let’s get right to it!

AAX Release – aX Plugins in ProTools

A lot of people have asked for the aX Ambisonics Plugins to be available in AAX format so I’m very happy to release them. At this point they are as a public beta (you can download the demo versions to test on your system) but they have been stable for private beta testers.

Please note that the plugins run on the Ambisonic buses available in Pro Tools Ultimate (formerly HD). Unfortunately, you cannot use them with the standard version of Pro Tools at this point.

Also note that the seventh order a7 Plugins will run in Pro Tools but are limited to third order processing by Pro Tools bus structure. If you work exclusively with Pro Tools, and don’t need VST versions, then you can save money by picking up the a3 Plugins – you won’t benefit from the a7 versions.

Bundle Discounts

You can now buy the full set of 7 plugins in one click as a bundle for a discounted price of 30% less when compared to buying them all individually. You can get them from the online shop here.

Sale Pricing

Until 31st July 2018 there will be at least a 20% discount on all plugin prices. The aXPanner and aXMonitor will continue with the 50% discount. Check out the shop for more details.

Academic Discount

If you plan on using the plugins for academic or educational purposes then the you can get in touch for a discount code for substantial extra discounts.

New Activation System

In order to provide offline activation, and perhaps a subscription payment option, the plugin activation system has been changed. If you are an existing customer you will need to enter the new activation number to the plugins after installing the new updates. This should be available in your account. I will also email out all of the updated serial numbers to ensure everyone gets them. If they are not listed in your account or you need the update before I have a chance to email you, please get in touch

Bug fixes

All formats of the aX Plugins have had a number of improvements to stability and performance under the hood. This won’t change how you use them but should improve the overall experience.

Aside from these performance enhancements, a bug was fixed in the macOS version of the aXMonitor that stopped custom HRTFs loading after they had been processed.

Coming Soon…

I am working on a few new plugins that will be out in the next few months. Some will be simple (and free), while another is shaping up to be something really interesting. Check back here to keep up to date!

In the meantime, if you want to support further development you can purchase the existing plugins at the web shop. Thank you for your support.

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aXMonitor Update: Personalised Binaural with SOFA Support

The aXMonitor plugins are today updated to version 1.3.2. If you have already bought one of the aXMonitor plugins, you can download the update from your account.  You should remove any old versions of the plugin from your system to avoid any conflicts.

Today’s update is all about getting more flexibility and personalisation for binaural rendering of Ambisoinics. This is probably the most requested feature update for any of my plugins, so I am very happy to be able to announce the new feature:

  • Load an HRTF stored in a .SOFA file for custom binaural rendering.

This allows you to produce binaural rendering for up to seventh order Ambisonics with whatever HRTF you want, providing you with the flexibility you need to produce the highest quality spatial audio content possible.

If you aren’t sure why so many people want personal HRTF support, keep reading.

Advantages of Personalised Binaural

Binaural 3D audio can be vastly improved by listening with a personalised HRTF (head related transfer function). It’s the auditory equivalent of wearing someone else’s glasses vs wearing your own. Sure, you can see most of what is going on with someone else’s glass, but you lose detail and precision. Wear your own and everything comes into focus!

With that in mind, the aXMonitor plugins have been updated to allow you to load a custom HRTF that is stored in a .SOFA file. Now you can use your own individual HRTF (if you have it) or one that you know works well for you. Once an HRTF has been loaded it will be available across to all instances of the plugin in other projects.

What is a .SOFA file?

A .SOFA file contains a lot of information about a measured HRTF (though it can be used for other things as well). You can read more about them here.

Where to get custom HRTFs

You can find a curated list of .SOFA databases here. The best thing to do is to try a few of them until you find one that gives you an accurate perception of the sound source directions. Pay particular attention to the elevation and front-back confusions, since these are what personalised HRTFs help most with.

If you want an HRTF that fits your head/ears exactly then your options are bit more limited. Either you can find somewhere, usually an academic research institute, that has an anechoic chamber and the appropriate equipment. Then you put some microphones in your ears and sit still for 20-120 minutes (depending on their system). Once it’s done, you have your HRTF!

But if you don’t fancy going to all of that trouble, there are some options for getting a personalised HRTF more easily. A method by 3D Sound Labs requires only a small number of photographs and they claim good results. Finnish company IDA also offers a similar service.

Get the aXMonitor

So if you like the sound of customised binaural rendering then you can purchase the aXMonitor from my online shop. Doing so will help support independent development of tools for spatial audio.


a1Monitor


a3Monitor


a7Monitor

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50% Discount on aXPanner and aXMonitor

Today I’m having April sale and putting a 50% discount on my Ambisonic panning and decoding plugins for Windows (VST) and MacOS (VST/AU): aXPanner and aXMonitor. This offer runs until the 30th April 2018.

The aXPanner converts mono and stereo signals to YouTube360 compatible AmbiX-format Ambisonics. The aXMonitor decodes these Ambisonic signals to two-channel stereo and binaural (3D audio over headphones) formats to allow easy monitoring. Together they form the essential signal chain for spatial audio and are a great way to get started with Ambisonics.

You can check out my short tutorial on getting started with a basic Ambisonics chain here.

The aXPanner and aXMonitor available for three levels of spatial resolution: first, third and seventh order Ambisonics. Higher orders increases the spatial fidelity of the sound scene.

This 50% discount can be combined with additional 20% bundle discounts for additional savings.

You can read more details about them in my web store :