Free Binaural VST Plugin Released By Sennheiser – AMBEO Orbit

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Sennheiser has released a public beta version of AMBEO Orbit, a freeware binaural panner in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats for DAW applications on PC and Mac.

AMBEO Orbit is a free binaural panning utility developed by Sennheiser, using the Neumann KU100 binaural microphone as a reference. The plugin is capable of placing any mono or stereo audio recording in the 3D sound field without a negative impact on sound quality. Apart from being used as a specialized tool for binaural audio, AMBEO Orbit can also work as an advanced panning utility for use in stereo projects.

The user interface is conveniently laid out, with the most important panning controls placed on top and the additional room simulation tools located at the bottom. The horizontal positioning of the audio source can be adjusted using the Azimuth wheel controller on the right, whereas the Elevation slider on the left controls the vertical placement. The Azimuth can be altered by dragging the wheel controller or by typing in the exact angle. The value of the Clarity knob determines the amount of binaural coloration applied to the signal (lower values result in more obvious coloration) and the Width knob controls the stereo width of the processed audio.

The plugin also features a simple room reverb module which simulates the early reflections of different material types (glass, drapes, curtains, brick wall, and drywall). The built-in reverb effect sounds fine, although it isn’t very versatile. Thankfully, it can be bypassed completely in case the user wants to use a third-party solution. Even without the room simulation, the 3D positioning of the audio sounds very convincing.

You can check out my quick video demonstration of AMBEO Orbit at the top of this page and decide if it’s something you’d be interested in adding to your digital audio workstation. There are just a few free binaural panner plugins out there, most notably Panagement (linked above) and GFM Psypan which is a rather old and now discontinued tool. AMBEO Orbit seems to be the best sounding among the three, although Panagement is definitely worth checking out as well.

AMBEO Orbit is available for direct free download from Sennheiser’s website (21.1 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & macOS).

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About The Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the owner and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

11 Comments

  1. Very convincing 3D spatialization, far better than a few other “3d panning” plugins i’ve tried out over the years. Testing it on some random loops, it really does sound have the ability to make something sound like it is behind, above, or below. Adding high amounts of reflections can be jarring, but i imagine a touch on several elements with the same room size & material could help with subliminal perception they are in a space together. Great that it can work on both mono or stereo material, as well as to fully or partially monoify stereo material. Analysis shows minimal phase wonkiness when adjusting. So awesome that it’s free.
    I noticed it does cause some frequency contouring no matter what when enabled (this must be part of the trick for the effect to work as it does). For the closest-to neutral signal, set clarity and width both 100%. Since the frequency contour changes at different positions, i would avoid setting multiple mix elements to the same exact positions to avoid resonance buildups, and also apply instances of this to tracks earlier rather than later in the mixing process, since it might offset a fine-tuned overall tonal balance otherwise. I’d also avoid placing it on elements meant to stay cemented front and center.

    • Tomislav Zlatic

      on

      Yes, definitely some coloration happening at any settings, although I’m pretty sure that’s necessary for the effect to work. Very powerful tool, pretty impressed so far!

      • I re-rendered a recent mix, replacing all panning automation with ambeo orbit. Very enveloping sound, rich and full. Elements seem to have a distinct physical space and there’s less stereo blur.
        Extremely impressive.

        • Tomislav Zlatic

          on

          That’s great to hear, thanks for the comment! I still haven’t had the chance to fully test AMBEO Orbit in a real mix. I’m really looking forward to it now!

  2. It’s not a binaural panner. It’s a mono/stereo panner that has creates a binaural output according to an ‘average head & ears’. Who actually has an average head & ears? It won’t work to pan a binaural source. That doesn’t matter so much for creating some nice spatial effects with maybe some backing vocals, but it is not actually a 3D panner.

  3. I’m on PC, using FL Studio. Doesn’t do a damn thing. Loads up fine, but no matter what knobs I turn, there is zero change to the sound. Lame.

  4. Wow, this is a great vst. I hear it shift unlike Pamanagement. Another instant classic. Thanks BPB for telling us about it and Sennheiser for making such a great tool free.

  5. Why there is VST on title since its also AU version? I mean some Mac users may not click the link because they thought its PC only

  6. corrosiveabuser

    on

    A very useful tool indeed, thank you sennheiser.

    – And, thank you Tomislav, for bringing this to our attention.

    – E

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