Is there a manual?
Yes! Here is the manual as a pdf. If you sill can't find what you're looking for, scroll to the end of this FAQ page.
How to set up a MNTN session with Ableton Live?
First, check out the tutorial on YouTube.
ABLETON LIVE PREFERENCES
- Launch the Ableton Live app
- Select Soundflower 64 Ch as your output device
- Click on "Output Config"
- Select all 64 channels in "Output Config"
- Launch the MNTN app
- At the "engine tab", select Soundflower 64 Ch as the input dvice
- Select the built-in output as the output device
- Connect your headphones
PREPARE YOUR SESSION
If you are one of those people who like to make things easier, skip the following and jump right to the extremely hoz tip. However, here you can learn what it needs to prepare a session from scratch:
- Drag a MNTN plugin instance in your track
- Route the audio of that track to output channel 01
- Open the MNTN plugin with the tool-icon, and set the channel number accordingly to the audio routing of that track, means channel 01
- Repeat the previous 3 steps as often as many sound objects you would like to create.
EXTREMELY HOT TIP
Download the session presets from the downloads page, and open one of the completely prepared Live session templates. No need to prepare a session yourself!
MNTN or Soundflower does not install
Make sure to check "System Preferences" => "Security" => "General" => "allow apps downloaded from" => "Mac App Store and identified developers" to allow installation.
You can also control & click installer to open which allows one-off override of security protection. Then go to system preferences => security => general where a box appears asking if you want to allow “matt_ingalls” software.
I have clicks and drop outs, what's going wrong?
You very likely run two different audio interfaces, and even when it's a virtual one, Soundflower works as any other hardware audio interface, and clocks need to be synchronized. On a Mac, go to Audio MIDI Setup and create an aggregate device that includes all interfaces that you're using.
The MNTN plugin in my DAW can not connect …
Have you launched the MNTN app? You will find the MNTN app in the applications folder of your Mac.
What do I need to work with MNTN?
First, you need a DAW or any other application which can run a VST, AU, or AAX plugin (the MNTN plugin which remotely controls the stand alone MNTN app). Second, you need a multichannel audio interface to the audio signals individually from each track to the MNTN app (can be hardware, but also Soundflower which is included in the installer). Third, you need to install and launch the MNTN app. And last, you need an hardware audio interface with as many output channels as loudspeakers you would like to connect (at least the built in stereo output of your MacBook for binaural 3D mixing on headphones).
Is MNTN a plugin or a stand alone application?
MNTN is a stand alone application which gets connected to your DAW by using the MNTN plugin for each channel you want to send from your DAW to the MNTN app.
The MNTN panner seems to be 2D, how can I mix in 3D?
Imagine the panner as a hemisphere, or a cuppola, which is seen from above. When you move a sound along the outer circle, the sound will move horizontally around you. And if you move the sound gradually to the center of the panner (the zenith), the sound moves gradually overhead. In other words, you can control two angles, the horizontal angle, and the elevation angel – which enables you to intuitively move sounds in 3D with a 2D interface (e.g. a standard mouse).
How can I simulate my multichannel loudspeakers setup on headphones?
The binaural processing does not simulate a certain loudspeaker setup, but the sound objects contained in your mix. So no loudspeakers in between! However, if you have channel based mix for a specific loudspeaker setup, you can put the MNTN sound objects in your DAW on the respective positions. For example, you can easily put a 5.1 mix and listen to it on headphones.
Is there a trial?
Yes, we offer a fully equipped 30 day trial. Just download the app, create a user account, and there you go!
Which export formats are supported?
You can export your 3D mix to create a multichannel playback file, or to share it digitally in social media or 360° and VR videos on YouTube:
- any custom multichannel loudspeaker format
- binaural 3D audio
- Ambisonics 3D audio for YouTube 360° and VR videos
- Multichannel input from your DAW (pre-mix)
Available file formnats are WAV, AIFF, FLAC, and OGG Vorbis with up to 32 bit in your original sample rate. You can choose to export your mix as mono split files or multichannel interleaved files. The latter can be played back with the QuickTime Player or even out of the finder preview, as long as you have connected an audio interface with enough output channels.
Is MNTN available for Mac OS and Windows?
MNTN is currently available for Mac OS. We have a Windows version in our pipeline, but it's not sure when it will be published. Let us know if you're seriously interested! The more messages we get, the harder we try.
Can MNTN display the speaker position in the scene tab or the panner?
The conceptual idea is to separate the 3D mix from a specific loudspeaker setup (object based approach). Hence, we decided to not visualize the loudspeakers in the scene, because it would be spatially distorted anyway. However, if you feel it would help to get some kind of indication about the speaker positions in the scene, please let us know – if we can see that there is significant need for such a feature, we’ll make it happen.
Is MNTN based on, or does MNTN have relationships with cycling '74 Max?
MNTN is a stand alone app built from scratch, so there is no connection to Max.
I hit the button "Permanently Lock”, but what if my MacBook will be lost or broken?
If you're facing problem when your license is locked permanently to your computer, please let us know. We can help. And you’ll keep the license, of course.
Do you have a special offer for students?
Yes, because we support artistic research! As a student, you can request a free base license. The base license enables you to prepare your spatial mixes in binaural 3D audio on headphones. You could then continue with your work on your institute's multichannel loudspeaker setup. Moreover, students are eligible for a 50% discount on any product available in our online store.
Do you have a special offer for education institutes?
Yes, because we support artistic research! Educational institutions can request free licenses for studio facilities or mobile systems. All students can get a free base version and prepare their work independently from the studios, and they can then seamlessly continue working in the studios.
What headphones can I use for binaural mixes?
Basically, you can use any headphones. The better the quality the better the result! A personal advise from Johannes: "I've never experienced such a precise spatial resolution on headphones as with the AKG K-702. They are extremely neutral and analytical."
Can I use MNTN on Mac OS 10.7?
Yes, but you should install an older version of Soundflower. You can download it on https://code.google.com/archive/p/soundflower/downloads
Does MNTN any changes regarding audio quality when exporting the mix?
No, except the spatial processing we don’t do any other changes to the audio. You can export in WAV, AIFF, FLAC, and OGG Vorbis with up to 32 bit sample depth in your original sample rate.
What ambisonics format can be exported with MNTN?
MNTN supports the 1st order ambisonics format as specified for YouTube 360° and VR videos. Please find the detailed reference and definition here: https://support.google.com/jump/answer/6399746?hl=en
When I export the final mix it comes out blank, what am I doing wrong?
You’ve probably tried to export the mix from Live. Actually, you need to record the mix in the MNTN app. You can do the export in the yellow EXPORT TAB.
When I send the effects / reverb the way I normally do, it doesn't seem to register.
It makes sense to reserve at least two, better four MNTN objects only for the reverb. A good way to create a spatial reverb with MNTN is:
- Send the output of a return track not to the stereo master, but to the MNTN objects 01-02 / respectively Soundflower output channels 01-02 (can be any other numbers)
- Now create a second return track, and route it to MNTN objects 03-04 / respectively Soundflower output channels 03-04 (again: can be any other numbers)
- Copy the reverb plugin from return track 1 to 2, and slightly vary some parameters
Now you have a 4-channel reverb, or a 4-objects-reverb, whatever sounds better to you. And as a free person, you can move these four sound objects to any place in space you want.
On a loudspeaker setup with more than 4 loudspeakers, you could repeat steps 2) and 3) and add more sound objects with reverb, which would lead to a more diverse spatiality of the reverb. But usually more than 12 reverb objects don’t make a huge difference anymore.
For some reason whenever I open a vst instance in your ableton template I get no audio from it. Instead of the plugin saying Channel Claimed, it blinks in red "connecting" "socket open error".
There are two things different to a usual workflow:
- Select Soundflower 64 Ch as an output device in Live.
- Launch the MNTN app from your applications folder.
Now you’ve routed each track from Live workstation to the MNTN app individually. While you do what you always do in Live, only the panning happens in the MNTN app. In Live, the MNTN plugin is for creating scene data, not for processing the actual audio.
Is there a simple way to make all the speakers sound at the same time, such as playing a background music? I tried to play audio in one track and then sent to other tracks or buses, but the effect is not good.
Putting the same stereo or mono signal on all loudspeakers usually does not bring good results. I usually create a multichannel reverb with 4 - 12 channels (2-6 Return Tracks), putting on each Return Track a stereo reverb with only slightly different settings. Then route the return tracks to 4-12 MNTN inputs an place the sound objects around the listening area.
How do the subwoofer channels work? Is there a LFE channel?
If you add a subwoofer to the speaker setup, all signals below the set crossover frequency from all loudspeaker channels will be directed to the subwoofer. If you use more than one sub, the signals will be spatially distributed (sub frequencies from front to the front sub, sub frequencies from back to the back sub, and so on).
Currently, we do not have a LFE channel. But the effect can be easily done: Create a Return Track and insert a low pass filter. Then route the audio output to a MNTN channel and put the object where ever it males sense. Now you can gradually add LFE frequencies from each channel to the return track.
I got a crash report, what should I do?
In the very unlikely situation of a crash (no, it's not an airplane's instruction!), please send us a screenshot like you just did, and also give some contextual information. To get the bug fixed, it is important for us to know at which point exactly the crash happend, and if the error is replicable. Thanks a lot for your help!
How should I setup a reverb?
Create an aux send track, insert a reverb (100% wet), and route the output of the aux track to one of the MNTN inputs. Usually it makes sense to create at least 4 reverb channels (2 x stereo) and place the four (or more) objects around and above the listener area.