Dolby Atmos is a new immersive audio format that can output up to 64 discrete audio channels. It’s not just a new improved listening experience but also a completely new approach to mixing/mastering immersive surround audio.
When it comes to mixing Dolby Atmos unlike traditional 5.1, 7.1 and similar surround audio configurations, in which the audio is mixed directly to discrete speaker channels, the audio in Dolby Atmos is mixed in X, Y, Z spatial axis by utilizing 3D panners.
Atmos masters can be played back on 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1.2, a full-blown cinema configuration, a headphone binaural or any other configuration that support Atmos playback without the need for any adjustments.
To mix in Dolby Atmos, a Dolby Atmos Renderer is required. The software that runs alongside your digital audio workstation and can reside on the same machine or a dedicated computer.
Dolby Atmos Renderer lets you mix, monitor and fold-down Atmos mixes in real time.
When it comes to mixing, the renderer works with audio in the form of beds and objects.
A Bed is a “traditional” mix (up to 7.1.2) that is played back through the according speakers/speaker arrays in your configuration. A bed source would be a dedicated bus in your digital audio workstation.
An Object is a mono or stereo audio source that is positioned fully in 3D in your DAW. In the case of an object a renderer fully takes care of to which speakers the signal should be routed to. An object source would be a mono/stereo track in Pro Tools routed to a dedicated object output. Objects don’t have access to an LFE channel by default.
Atmos renderer has 128 channels available for you to set up your beds and objects.
The renderer can produce a delivery/broadcast ready .atmos masters as well as provide live re-renders in different formats such as 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, 7.1.2, 9.1.2, headphone binaural which can be routed back into your DAW for recording or directly to different sets of speakers if required.
Our 30 years of audio experience keeps us on our toes with evolving technologies. The explosion of Atmos streaming content across platforms such as Netflix has meant many studios are looking at how best this technology can be integrated into their facility. Initially, Dolby Atmos was steered towards Film and Television, but now that companies such as Apple are allowing their subscribers to Apple Music enjoy this immersive experience, the technology has made everyone stand up and (literally) listen.
Mediaspec was one of the early adopters of installing Dolby Atmos solutions, and we are here to guide you through the workflow options that would suit your requirements. Quite often this involves taking your room dimensions and producing a document known as a DARDT (Dolby Audio Room Diagram Tool). This enables entry of proposed speaker types, speaker layout dimensions, speaker locations, and speaker and amplifier details with a view to maintaining Dolby specifications. Mediaspec has had success installing varying sizes of Dolby Atmos studios; some of which involving extensive networking workflows. So feel free to give use a call to discuss how Mediaspec can help realise your Dolby Atmos future.