How to guide

Setting up your studio 

Composing/ mixing for Spericity’s unique 3D format is not hard, and whichever setup you currently have can be made to work. A better monitoring experience can be had with either a tracking software/ hardware for your headphones, or a spatial speaker setup, but even a conventional pair of studio headphones is enough to get you going.

1/ software

We work across a number of software solutions, and have ready-made templates for these via below links.

Our go-to DAW (digital audio workstation) is Reaper, but the below described setup will work with most DAWs. Reaper has recently updated its software to allow for a whopping 128 channels per track, but sadly, its native Reasurround plugin has not been updated as of this writing, so we will have to use 3rd party plugins to take advantage of the 128 outputs per track. A good overview of available FREE plugins can be found here:

Now for a DAW-only setup there are no free plugin solutions that can accommodate our current 124.12 audio rig, so while a lot can be done with plugins for smaller spheres, to be able to be compatible with our larger spheres, we recommend to use a plugin + renderer solution instead. A free renderer is SpatGRIS, which we have used for our templates here. The templates provided use our 52.2 setup to keep the CPU load within safe limits for most users. The speaker setup maybe changed by downloading our various .xml files here:

All templates are for Reaper, but these plugins will work on most DAWs and the SPATGris render application is stand-alone.

A note for those working with ambisonics; there are currently no free plugin suites available which can render higher than 7th order HOA (higher order ambisonics), so for ambisonics, there is another step required: The ambisonics output needs to be converted to VBAP. Sadly this can’t be done with our free software stack, but it can be done with a paid renderer called Spat Revolution.

However, up to 64 channels we can use free plugins, so we have made a template for our 52.2 rig to accommodate those of you who work with Ambisonics. The ambisonic plugin we use is the free IEM Suite

Before following this Reaper + SpatGRIS tutorial, please download and run the below templates, and install Reaper and SpatGRIS.

Before following this Ambisonic set up tutorial, please download and run the below templates and install Reaper, IEM Suite and SpatGRIS

The templates/ tutorial below should be all you need for a setup with SpatGRIS, but for more in-depth info check out the manual here:

The above templates have been set up for binaural monitoring, so your spatial mix will be down-mixed to 2 channels. Please bear in mind that binaural down-mixes are not perfect, and especially vertical panning decisions may not always translate as expected. To partially account for this, the use of headtracking software/ hardware may be helpful.

A great tutorial on the use of headtracking for spatial mixing is here:

As for free head tracking plugins, there are some available here:

While it is entirely possible to mix for Sphericity with headphones only, there are limitations to such a setup, and nothing beats a monitoring setup in physical space. Because Sphericity’s format is fully 3D, any given set up needs to have bottom, ear level and top speakers, and we have found that the smallest viable setup requires 12 speakers set up as shown below:

With speakers comes the need for a suitable interface, a structure to place the speakers, power and cabling, so the cost can easily spiral. To get a working setup for as little upfront cost as possible there are a number of options to explore.


The easiest and most widely available option would be to use powered nearfield studio monitors, and luckily these can be found for very competitive prices nowadays. There are a number of manufacturers worth considering such as Presonus/ Mackie/ KRK and many more.For instance, if we would choose the cheapest Presonus speakers, (Eris 3.5) they can be found for around $100 a pair, so $600 for our entire system.

The easiest way to mount them will be to use cheap microphone stands. We would need 4 boom stands, 4 straight stands and for table top stands, which can all be found for appr. 4 x $20/ 4 x $15 and 4 x $10 = $180

Next is a suitable sound card/ interface, and that is a bit of a bottle neck. A good solution sadly not in production anymore is the Cymatic LP-16, which has 16 output channels and can be found used on Ebay occasionally. For a cheap solution you can buy 2 8 output interfaces such as the ESI Gigaport EX, and link them. With this example, the total cost for the interfacing is around $300

We also need appropriate length audio cabling which should not be more than around $150, and an optional but definitely helpful addition would be a subwoofer, which can be found for around $200 (Presonus Eris 8 inch Sub)

The total cost of a 12 speaker fully 3D setup then comes in at around $1500 when bought new.

Link to booklet on mixing tips and tricks for Sonic Sphere