Setting up with multichannel DAW plugin

With the release of SoundID Reference for Multichannel, we are releasing multichannel system support that offers speaker calibration for various surround and Atmos setups. This new update offers an improved DAW plugin design to comfortably support your work with a multichannel setup. If you want to see the introduced updates, see here: What's new in SoundID Reference for Multichannel? 

Installing the SoundID Reference plugin

Sonarworks headphone and room calibration can be applied in a DAW using the SoundID Reference plugin format. The plugin can also be loaded in other apps/platforms that feature plugin hosting capability in one of the formats specified below. 

SoundID Reference installer (download here) will install the plugins into the common plugin folders on your computer. Here are the SoundID Reference supported plugin formats and their respective default install directories:

  •  PC: Windows 10 or higher
VST 64-bit: C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins\SoundID Reference VST Plugin x64.dll
VST3 64-bit: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\SoundID Reference VST3 Plugin.vst3
AAX 64-bit: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins\SoundID Reference.aaxplugin\Contents\x64\SoundID Reference.aaxplugin

Tip [WIN]: Custom install locations can be assigned on Windows by clicking on Customize during the installation

  •  MAC: macOS 10.14 Mojave or higher
VST: /Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/SoundID Reference VST Plugin.vst
VST3: /Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/SoundID Reference VST3 Plugin.vst3
AU: /Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/SoundID Reference AU Plugin.component
AAX: /Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins/SoundID Reference AAX Plugin.aaxplugin


Configure your DAW for multichannel setup

Make sure you have configured your DAW for a multichannel setup. Take a look at our guide on setting up with multichannel configuration in a few well-known DAWs here: How to set up DAW for multichannel setup?


Load a multichannel speaker profile


  1. Click on Add new preset
  2. Click on New preset -> Select your calibration profile -> Open profile
  3. Find your speaker calibration profile in your files and select the profile

NOTE! By default your speaker measurement profiles are saved in these directories:


C:\Users\your_username\AppData\Local\Sonarworks\SoundID Reference\Sonarworks Projects


Macintosh HD/Users/your_username/Library/Sonarworks/SoundID Reference/Sonarworks Projects

Both the AppData folder on Windows and User Library folder on macOS are hidden by default. To access them, you will need to allow showing hidden files.

Calibration curve assignment

When first loading a multichannel profile, a notification will appear prompting you to make sure that the calibration curve assignment corresponds to the proper channels previously measured. This is an imperative step to complete to make sure that the channels are assigned correctly. 


By clicking on the Curve Assignment tab, you will be able to play test tones to ensure the correct channel is assigned and select the necessary channel from the dropdowns.



After you have completed the channel curve assignment, you will be prompted to make sure your output level is adjusted. If your workflow involves certain volume standards, note that Safe Headroom will reduce your volume. Learn more here: Listening Spot feature in SoundID Reference for Multichannel


Channel group selection sidebar 

Upon first loading a multichannel calibration profile, a multichannel group selection sidebar will be automatically shown. In the channel sidebar, you can perform channel curve assignment (see above) as well as utilize channel group selection* features.

To open and collapse the channel group sidebar, click on the fader icon located above the frequency graph.


* Learn more about channel selection sidebar features here: Channel group selection sidebar


Individual channel group output gain

Individual channel group output gain can be adjusted for each channel group individually, without affecting other channel groups, by using the gain slider. In case you want to adjust the output gain for multiple channel groups at the same time, tick the checkboxes for the necessary channel groups and use the gain slider. The channel group sliders that are also checked retain the ratios they had in respect to each other.

Learn more about checkbox behavior in individual channel group gain context here: Channel group selection sidebar


Master output gain

The master gain fader will affect all the channels; when master gain is increased or decreased, the individual channel group sliders retain the ratios they had in respect to each other.

Filter type for multichannel profiles

At the moment, only zero-latency filter can be used for multichannel profiles. More filter types will be available in updates released in the future. 

Safe Headroom

Safe headroom is an output limitation feature meant to reduce and avoid distortion that could arise by volume increase in specific frequencies resulting from calibration. For more information on Safe Headroom feature for multichannel profiles, see here: Safe Headroom feature in SoundID Reference Mutichannel


Listening Spot

Listening spot compensates for the gain so that all speakers have the same volume and signal timing at the listening position. For more information on the Listening Spot feature for Multichannel, see here: Listening Spot feature in SoundID Reference Multichannel


Hot tips:

  • Keep the SoundID Reference plugin active on the master bus throughout the entire recording, mixing, and mastering process.
  • Bypass the plugin when rendering your project - SoundID Reference plugin functions as a solution for your individual monitoring setup only. For that reason, it should be hard-bypassed when rendering your project (turn it off completely in the channel strip) to avoid imprinting your unique calibration EQ curve on the track.
  • Dry/Wet mix - this fader would increase and decrease the calibration amount to all channel groups equally, it cannot be tweaked individually for channel groups.

Learn more:

If you require additional assistance you can reach out to support by submitting a support request below.

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