On our new pro audio podcast, Noise Reduction, we chatted with MarketScale contributor and pro audio specialist Collyer Spreen. He’s just been at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show 2020 in Anaheim, CA, which he talked about recently. Today, we asked Spreen about Dolby Atmos.
Defining this technology, Spreen describes Dolby Atmos as an “immersive experience.” Designed both for enhancing entertainment at home and for audio professionals, Dolby Atmos elevates sound quality to match the incredible visual experiences of modern entertainment devices.
For example, Spreen explains how huge TVs became popular a few years ago and the visuals were stunning- but the sound was underwhelming. Dolby Atmos is an accessible way to get sound quality that matches visual advancements, like 4K television.
Collyer explains Dolby Atmos is more than traditional surround sound, which set speakers to the front, left, right, and back of listeners. “There are speakers in the ceiling too,” he says of Dolby Atmos.
To support the additional speakers and clarify sound instead of just making a space louder, Dolby Atmos is high-tech. Using percentages and distance, the technology decodes and distributes sound among a system to enhance the listening experience.
This kind of technology changes the way audio professionals engineer sound, especially as Dolby Atmos can mix up to 128 channels wide. Add in the creativity this technology allows, and sound engineers can adapt even fine details to create precise experiences, like shifting certain sound effects to overhead, and others to rear speakers, to strike the listener in different ways.
Atmos has been around in the professional audio industry since 2012, when movies were first mixed with Atmos sound. Many Academy award-winning films use the technology. Most movies are mixed in Atmos now, and movie theatres are increasingly playing using Atmos sound as well.
Now, Atmos is moving into the music industry as well. Studios use it to mix records and reimagine the sound experience. Some even use it for live monitoring as well as mastering.
Spreen has many more insights into the amazing capabilities of Dolby Atmos, which you can listen to here.
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