July 05, 2015
What is 3D Link?
3D Link is a special technology developed by Exponential Audio. It has been developed to simplify mixing in extended surround formats, i.e. formats with height channels. Most workstations stop at 7.1, and adding height channels requires a number of tricks. Making a convincing reverb has been difficult, with all sorts of odd bussing, delays and filtering. Having this patched-together reverb react to changing source placement has never been very convincing.
3D Link changes all that.
Conceptually it's quite simple. Let's say you're creating a 9.1 Atmos bed. You'll have one mix buss for the lower 7.1 and another mix buss for the high pair. Place a PhoenixVerb Surround on each buss. Now link them. Not only will each reverb react to its own inputs, but it will also react to the inputs of the other reverb. This linked input will be delayed, diffused and filtered--just as in a real space.
The same technology works if you're making a full Auro 3D bed (7.1 down and 6.0 up, with the top channel). Create a 7.1 buss for the low channels and a 5.1 for the high channels ( the .1 carries the top channel in this case). Place an R2 Surround on each buss and link them. You now have a 13.1 reverb! Pan your source all around the room--even through the top channel--and the reverb will react naturally. You can control the reverbs separately for complex spaces, or you can lock the parameters so that they act like a single unified reverb.
But don't stop there. You may have special requirements for your mix. Perhaps you need 5.0 for the low channels and quad for the top. No problem. You can link any form of a surround reverb to any other form. Mono will link to 7.0. Stereo will link to stereo, and so on. It's all about your creative needs. The only restriction is that PhoenixVerb Surround must link to PhoenixVerb Surround and R2 Surround must link to R2 Surround. You can have as many linked pairs as your mix demands.
What Workstations are supported?
Any workstation that has been approved for the surround reverbs may work, as long as it has the ability to output a mix on multiple busses. There are many very good workstations that are restricted to a single surround format with a single mix buss. These will not work. Extensive testing has been done with Pro Tools, Nuendo and Cubase and 3D Link works well in all of them. Other workstations are being tested as time allows.
Are Special "Engines" or device drivers required?
No. All the support needed is within the plug-ins. There's nothing added to your system.
What does this cost? Is it a separate product?
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