The 5.1 surround sound format remains one of the most popular selections for broadcasting film, and the music and gaming worlds are increasingly incorporating it. As the demand for immersive audio grows, having the proper set of tools to edit videos in surround sound is essential.
This guide details several software solutions with surround sound capabilities, allowing you to seamlessly edit video while working with the nuances of a 5.1 setup. We share the immersive audio functionality you can expect from these software suites so you can confidently build seamless sequences with surround sound.
Avid Media Composer
It’s hardly surprising that parent company Avid created video-focused Media Composer (typically known as “Avid”) which leads the pack as one of the most flexible editing suites. Along with music-industry standard Pro Tools, Media Composer holds the proverbial gold medal for editing in immersive audio. Media Composer supports 5.1 surround sound and provides a panner, meter, seamless bus routing, and support for Dolby Atmos.
However, it’s critical to note that the full capabilities of surround sound editing come with Media Composer’s sister software, Pro Tools, through the Surround Suite, both of which come at an additional cost. Media Composer and Pro Tools seamlessly integrate so you can edit your immersive audio while keeping your sequence in sync.
- Industry-standard software suite for surround sound editing
- Support for 5.1 surround sound with Dolby Atmos support through optional Dolby Atmos plugin
- Offers a surround monitor, panner, and meter, as well as a library of effects and automation tools for editing sound
- Includes surround sound templates to jumpstart your mix
- Both of Avid’s software offerings can have a steep learning curve.
- It’s one of the more expensive video editing software options, especially if you’re investing in the Surround Suite and Pro Tools.
Pricing: Media Composer Ultimate starts at $499.99 per year with the option to integrate with Pro Tools. Pro Tools costs $299 per year, and the specialized Surround Suite has a one-time fee of $899.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is well-loved for its editing capabilities, and the software’s track mixer lets editors set up, export, and adjust the placement of a 5.1 surround sound mix. Premiere Pro integrates with Adobe Audition for additional audio editing and track clean-up capabilities.
While you can set up and export a 5.1 surround sound mix within the Adobe Suite, the software lags behind contemporaries like Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools for immersive audio-focused tools. Premiere Pro is excellent for editing, and Audition can provide basic audio editing, but for professional mixing, you likely need a digital audio workstation with expanded 5.1 surround sound editing features.
- A top video editing platform
- Set up, adjust panning, and export 5.1 surround sound mixes
- Integrates with Adobe Audition for track cleanup and basic mixing
- A somewhat outdated user interface may require a learning curve to get into the editing workflow.
- Both Premiere Pro and Audition’s surround sound editing capabilities are pretty limited.
Pricing: Premiere Pro starts at $22.99 per month. Pricing for the entire Adobe suite, including the audio-focused Adobe Audition, starts at 59.99 per month, which integrates directly with Premiere Pro.
DaVinci Resolve, popular for its industry-leading color-grading suite, has expanded to support 5.1 surround sound exports. The bus mixer allows you to select the pan for individual tracks and roughly place them according to your immersive audio preferences.
While Resolve is an excellent video editor in its own right, it’s simply not optimized for advanced audio editing, even though it includes Fairlight integration. Resolve is a robust place to edit video, but you likely need additional software for final sound mixing and design tasks associated with the video production process.
- Excellent software for video editing, industry-standard suite for color-grading capabilities
- Supports 5.1 surround sound exports and pan selection
- Impressive functionality and flexibility for a fairly affordable price with a clean user interface
- The included Fairlight audio editing suite doesn’t provide enough advanced surround sound editing capabilities to complete an entire mix within the Resolve suite alone.
- Resolve has limited surround sound automation capabilities.
Pricing: DaVinci Resolve Studio’s one-time fee is $295.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
If you’re looking for a software suite with bare-bones 5.1 surround sound editing capabilities at an affordable price point, you might consider Corel’s VideoStudio Ultimate. The sound mixer panel provides a surround sound diagram of a room with speakers, making it easy to visualize the listener’s environment.
While this software lacks many editing capabilities of higher-end software, VideoStudio may fit the bill for those seeking something more consumer-friendly for casual creation.
- Supports Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
- 360-degree video editing with flexible audio placement
- Affordable software with a consumer-friendly user interface
- The software’s general accessibility can come at the cost of increased functionality.
- VideoStudio has limited audio editing functions and fewer built-in plugins for processing.
Pricing: The VideoStudio Ultimate Suite (the edition that includes the immersive audio capabilities) is $99.99 and offers a 30-day free trial.
Bonus: Collaborate in Any of These Tools with Evercast
While processing immersive audio, you likely move between audio-focused software and your video sequence. Whether you work within the video suites listed above or separate your workflow across several workstations, Evercast facilitates seamless collaboration in surround sound (both 5.1 and 7.1).
Create together remotely, in real time
Evercast offers several other essential collaboration tools that help you move through sound sessions. Stream from any source and use the screen share, draw/text tools, and interactive playback to nail your mix.
When working remotely, Evercast creates the closest thing to an in-studio experience. It’s an all-in-one tool with seamless broadcasting in 5.1/7.1 surround sound, 4K video streaming, and ultra-low latency (under 150ms globally). Whether you prefer to work in a DAW or video editor while curating your audio mix, Evercast provides reliable flexibility.
- Evercast is an all-in-one tool for collaboration with 4K video conferencing, streaming, annotation tools, and real-time playback.
- Create an in-studio experience and utilize any NLE or DAW software.
- Stream multichannel audio in 5.1 surround sound with ultra-low latency.
- Service backed by 24/7 white-glove support.
- Security approval from every major Hollywood studio.
- Evercast is a collaboration tool that provides 5.1 surround sound streaming, so you’ll need additional software to edit video and audio accordingly.
- Though slightly pricier than other collaboration tools, Evercast has functionality that generalized software overlooks.
What Evercast customers are saying:
“We needed to figure out how to recreate that vibe of everybody being in the same place and sharing creativity together. I settled on Evercast as being the most successful and also the one that gave me the most control so that we could modify the workflow to be what we needed. It's only running a couple hundred milliseconds behind live, and it's so quick that it really does feel like you're in the same room."
— Jonathan Wales, re-recording mixer, Warner Bros.
Pricing: Evercast’s pricing starts at $549/month, with flexible pricing on request. Learn more about plans and pricing here.
For remote ADR, recording, mixing, or sound design sessions, Evercast delivers a comprehensive studio experience to carry out any workflow efficiently. Participants can join a session with the click of a button.