With surround sound increasing in popularity, there’s more demand than ever for tools that support simultaneous audio and video editing with surround sound audio. Though 7.1 surround sound isn’t as popular as the 5.1 format, it offers a more immersive experience with VR and 360° video and high-end broadcasting applications.
We combed through the most popular video editing software options compatible with 7.1 surround sound to help you find the right tools for your immersive audio needs. This comprehensive guide details the benefits, drawbacks, and nuances of editing video and 7.1 surround audio within several editing suites.
1. Avid Media Composer
Avid’s Media Composer is well-regarded for its surround sound editing capabilities, and it’s easy to see why.
In addition to supporting 7.1 surround sound, the editor includes helpful surround sound editing templates and integration with industry-leading Pro Tools. This digital audio workstation offers an entire Surround Suite at additional cost to provide upmixing, downmixing, panners, and specialized EQs to help you get the most out of your sound.
On its own, Media Composer offers several effects and automation capabilities to help you bring your sound to life. It can take a bit more time to learn Avid’s interface, but the suite’s flexibility is hard to beat.
- Best video editing software for surround sound editing capability overall with helpful surround sound editing templates
- Supports 7.1 surround sound with a convenient drag-and-drop layout for easy position adjustment
- Compatible with Pro Tools, which offers a full Surround Suite with Halo Upmix and Downmix plugins for various surround output needs
- Provides a vast library of surround sound effects for advanced audio editing and automation of immersive audio
- Full editing capabilities of sister software Pro Tools and the Surround Suite are some of the most powerful in the business, but they are expensive.
- It has a rather steep learning curve for new editors.
- You must purchase the Dolby Atmos plugin for Dolby Atmos-specific support and exports.
Pricing: The Pro Tools-compatible Media Composer Ultimate starts at $499.99 annually. Pro Tools costs $299 per year with an additional fee of $899 to access the full Surround Suite.
2. Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro is an excellent editor compatible with Adobe’s audio editing software, Audition, and both are compatible with 7.1 surround mixes. You can set up 7.1 surround projects, export mixes, and adjust channel placement, all within Premiere’s track mixer.
Audition provides additional tools for basic sound editing and clean-up, but neither it nor Premiere Pro has any advanced surround sound focused or audio automation capabilities. However, Premiere Pro is an ideal editor for surround sound mixes that don’t require much more than basic clean-up, channel movement, and level balancing. You may have to invest in an additional digital audio workstation if you need more functions.
- Adjust placement, set up, and export 7.1 surround mixes
- Robust video editing platform compatible with several Dolby Atmos plugins for additional editing capabilities
- Seamless integration with Adobe Audition for more audio cleanup capabilities
- With limited surround sound editing capabilities in Premiere Pro and Audition, extensive audio editing likely requires another DAW.
- There’s no support for editing in Dolby Atmos, though you can export in Dolby Atmos format with the Dolby Atmos Renderer for Adobe Premiere Pro plugin.
Pricing: The entire Adobe suite, including both video editor Premiere Pro and DAW Audition, starts at $59.99 per month. On its own, Premiere Pro is $22.99 per month.
3. DaVinci Resolve
For a more consumer-friendly editor that supports 7.1 surround sound, consider DaVinci Resolve. This software suite by Blackmagic includes a Fairlight audio editor that supports adjusting position and exporting full surround sound mixing. Resolve is known for its color-grading prowess, and the software provides free updates for existing users, making it a pretty affordable option.
However, DaVinci Resolve lacks many audio-editing capabilities that a program like Media Composer has, which syncs seamlessly with its sister DAW Pro Tools. Resolve can provide basic exports and placement of channels with a 7.1 surround mix, but you have to look elsewhere for a complete set of audio editing tools and functionality.
- Impressively affordable video editing suite with an approachable user interface for beginners
- Supports maneuvering and exporting 7.1 surround sound mixes via Fairlight integration
- Known for built-in industry-standard color-grading capabilities
- Fairlight doesn’t offer many advanced audio editing capabilities beyond placement, panning, and export.
- Blackmagic doesn’t provide much documentation around 7.1 setups, meaning the workflow has a learning curve.
Pricing: You can purchase DaVinci Resolve Studio for a one-time fee of $295.
4. Logic Pro X
Admittedly, sometimes the best way to execute complicated 7.1 surround sound editing is to process your audio through a DAW after working through the final video cut or vice versa. While Logic Pro X is an audio-focused platform, you can import video for synchronization.
Logic Pro X notably offers a whole host of surround sound processing features that are hard to find elsewhere. Comparable suites in the Avid-compatible Pro Tools cost $299 annually, plus $899 for the Surround Suite, but you can purchase Logic Pro X for a one-time fee of $199.
Move between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound or more specialized formats like Dolby Atmos’ spatial audio. Logic Pro X includes several surround effects and a 3D Object Panner to help you craft your sound to taste.
- An impressive array of surround sound features, including support for Dolby Atmos spatial audio alongside 7.1 surround sound
- An affordable workstation with extensive surround sound support
- Import video for limited editing and synchronization within the suite
- Logic Pro X is a digital audio workstation, making it audio-focused with limited video editing capabilities.
- It’s only available for Apple users.
Pricing: Logic Pro X is available for Mac users at $199.99, and updates are free. You can test the workstation with a 90-day free trial.
If you’re a PC user who can’t access Apple’s Logic Pro X but still wants some advanced surround sound audio editing capabilities, check out Cubase. While Cubase is audio-focused, you can bring video files into the digital audio workstation. This software is preferable for those with a finished video cut who need a more robust workstation to edit audio while keeping everything in sync.
Cubase supports 7.1 surround sound along with several other immersive audio formats. The Pro suite comes with surround sound-focused plugins, including a panner and mixing converter, easily transforming your mix into several other formats.
- Support for several surround sound formats, including 7.1
- Includes native surround sound-specific plugins for advanced audio editing
- Import video directly and extract audio from the video into a synchronized mix
- It’s not well-equipped for advanced video editing.
- Surround sound features are only available with Cubase Pro.
Pricing: Surround sound editing only comes with the Cubase Pro suite, which you can purchase for a one-time fee of $579.99.
Bonus: Collaborate in any of these tools with Evercast
Most of the top video editing tools available have some level of support for processing surround sound. However, when moving from the recording process to production, mixing, and sound mastering, you likely need assistance from several software suites, especially when syncing to video.
Fortunately, Evercast facilitates collaboration in 7.1 surround sound, regardless of whether you use a single workstation or move between several.
Our collaborative suite has everything you need to build a professional and efficient remote working environment. Stream multi-channel audio and 4K video at 60fps with 10-bit 4:4:4 color and ultra-low latency, so you don’t miss a detail while working together on your project.
Create together remotely, in real time
Evercast offers on-screen annotation and text tools that automatically tie to individual frames for real-time playback. With Evercast, you get the closest alternative to an “in-studio” experience, with the flexibility to cater to projects with 7.1 surround sound.
- Create an in-studio experience for remote collaboration across any video or audio editing workflow with compatible 7.1 surround sound streaming.
- Built-in video conferencing
- Stream with ultra-low latency (150ms global average).
- Collaborate easily with 4K, 60fps video streaming.
- Annotate, draw, record sessions, and leave time-stamped notes for future reference.
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and tvOS (Apple TV)
- No additional hardware is required; participants simply click a button to join in on your working session.
- Evercast may be priced slightly higher than typical collaboration tools, but it provides functionality that more generalized software overlooks for building an efficient, remote session.
- Since Evercast is a collaboration tool compatible with 7.1 surround sound streaming, you do need to supplement your workflow to edit audio and video.
Pricing: Evercast starts at $549/month, with flexible pricing on request. Learn more about plans and pricing here.
As a relatively new workflow, editing audio and video in 7.1 surround sound has its own distinct challenges. However, even if you separate your process across multiple software suites, Evercast can keep your team cohesive through a remote in-studio experience that makes collaborating easy.