Free Binaural Plugin – Sennheiser AMBEO Orbit
Sennheiser just released a free binaural panner plugin designed for mixing sound in a 3D space. This plugin is straightforward to use with a clean interface and simple controls. The idea is to place sounds within a 3D field of space without losing any quality in the overall sound, and AMBEO accomplishes this quite gracefully. This tool is specially designed to work with your surround sound mixing but will enhance any panning in stereo-based projects.
An Azimuth wheel dominates the majority of the user interface where you can control the stereo placement of your sound. Click and drag the wheel, click a position, or type in the exact degree and the wheel will follow. In the bottom right are controls for Clarity and Width, the former affects the coloration being performed by the application and the latter affects how much space your sound will take up in the sound field. The second control on the right side is Elevation, drag the meter up and your sound will appear to rise above the rest of your mix; drag the meter down and your sound will rest on the bottom. The Elevation control seems to work by applying a high or lowpass filter (emphasizing high frequencies in higher elevations and lower in lower). Finally, the Reflections control allows users to introduce reverb into the plugin emulating a couple of different surfaces (dyrwall, glass, tile, etc.) for the sounds to bounce off of. The reverb is mediocre so dial in your sounds carefully or pass on it and use dedicated reverb plugins.
Ambeo is available for Mac and Windows in AAX, VST, VST3 and AU formats. Download the plugin here for free, and check out the demo video below: