Nice to read from you here. I am Hugo with the FLUX:: Immersive team, the Ircam software partner and makers of the Ircam Tools. Indeed it is unfortunate that we weren’t able to maintain SPAT as a pure plugin and a major reason for this was DAW resource limitations, internal routing complexity and consistency across all formats.
An external rendering can indeed be a more complex option to deploy but this offloading (offloading outside the DAW or often offloading to a dedicated machine) is the only way to guarantee performance and provide the processing capabilities that we are looking for in today’s immersive production. And recommended scenario for many rendering tools. Yes, some things are possible within a DAW but when you look at larger sessions, a large number of plugin tools use, people adding video track to sessions, it becomes difficult to expect the same ecosystem - workstation doing the rendering processing.
We have released SPAT Revolution Essential in 2021 to bring the essential features at a better price point (as well as to provide easier access for indie creators, composers, education, and more)
We hope to keep bringing out workflow options to ease the integration. Something we have attempted with SPAT Revolution Essential and the setup wizard and more templates.
The closest thing that we currently have in DAW is the VERB, which sits between reverberation and spatialization and can be inserted on busses all the way to 16 channels (support for Atmos included). Incoming signal panning generates localized reflections like in the SPAT world.
Hope this makes sense to you. Feel free to reach in PM