Best routing practices for quad ambiences with rotation enabled in a 5.1 project

I am designing all my amb beds in quad. They have NO distance attenuation and Sound Size and Min Extend are maxed out, but the spatializer is needed so I can rotate the quad-field with the camera to add more realism.

I have noticed some dramatic differences in loudness and perceived “depth” when switching between a 4.0 routing in the events and/or bus vs keeping all of them as project default, which is 5.1. That said, I am also listening on headphones from my home office and currently have no way of testing how it sounds on a 5.1 setup. (the beauty of wfh and covid )

Loudness difference I am guessing is due to folding up/down pan rules, but why do I feel like in 4.0 it sounds more closer to my head, there is less sense of depth and at times it can sound almost mono depending on the rotation (that could also be a problem of how I have designed the asset which I am planning to fix).

When I don’t touch routing and I keep everything 5.1, it does sound a lot more natural. My gut feeling then tells me to keep things as is rather than matching the speaker channels to the number of channels used in my wavs files.

Help is appreciated :slight_smile: thanks!

There shouldn’t be any severe differences when changing channel formats- I do notice Quad is a little louder than 5.1, and that would be due to the different underlying mixing rules of a stereo file, going to a surround spatializer, and then back to a stereo output device. Playing an 8 channel track and it seems the difference between the channel formats is a lot less noticeable. I would expect different results again with virtual surround headphones or of course an actual surround setup.
In any case I think not touching things and verifying the mixes when you regain access to the full setup is a good call.

Just so I can check that everything is behaving correctly, what is your FMOD Studio version and how many channels do your wavs have?