Dolby Atmos Mixing - Spatial Audio - Immersive Audio

What is Dolby Atmos for Music?

Dolby Atmos Music is the future. What an experience! You, the listener, are immersed in audio. You are inside a three-dimensional sound field. You are literally “inside the song!” You hear and feel every breath, every note, every detail, every emotion!

And the beauty with this new format is that you are no longer hostage to the system and the amount of speakers you have or the size of your room.

There’s more and more Dolby Atmos devices becoming available, from home pods, like the Amazon Echo Studio, and smartphones, to Audio-Video Receivers, TVs, and Soundbars. Car manufacturers are also joining the wave.

But you can enjoy Dolby Atmos Music on your headphones (yes, even “regular” ones). Apple Music (Spatial Audio), Tidal, Amazon Music HD are just some of the music services supporting the format (and Spotify HiFi, the Spotify membership tier in the works, is not far behind).

The BEST way to experience Dolby Atmos (with headphones) is on the Dolby Atmos Visualizer Music page (click below). Make sure you flick between the two versions (stereo vs Atmos) with the switch on the right side of the page.

Dolby Atmos Visualiser
Dolby Atmos Visualiser

Please note. Regular headphones will sound just a bit different than headphones with binaural processing built-in (Apple AirPods Pro, AiPods Max, Sony WH-1000XM4, and others).

Apple AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with 2x more Active Noise Cancellation and Personalized Spatial Audio.

People pick up binaural cues differently. A great trick to try is to visualize where the voice is coming from when your headphones are on. In traditional headphones the voice, usually in the center front of a mix, sounds like it is inside your head whereas in headphones with binaural processing the voice sounds like it is in front of you. The singer is right there!

Here’s a video we did–part of a mini series on Atmos Binaural vs Stereo–on upmixing a traditional stereo file to Dolby Atmos Binaural. Can you hear the difference?

PLEASE NOTE: upmixes from a Stereo file to Atmos are no longer accepted for distribution by Apple.

Of course, IMHO, nothing beats a speaker setup but headphones are pretty good and . . . they will only get better as the processing gets better. Our brains are easily fooled . . .

The Living Room Studios Atmos Mixing Control Room Speaker Setup
The Living Room Studios Dolby-accredited Atmos Mixing Control Room

In this video we are going over an Atmos mix, focusing on vocals.

The amazing thing about this is that as the technology gets better–binaural today sounds so much better than binaural a year ago–the master file stays the same!!! The improvement is in the algorithms that mold the encoding and decoding process. So, 99% at this time–let’s just leave a 1% for that new tech that no-one has even dreamed about right now–you don’t need to be re-mixing or re-mastering your master files. Needless to say, strive for a production, recording, mixing, mastering in Atmos (and in Stereo) that can be as great as you can with who you are, what you have, and what you can afford.

Metallica Lux Aeterna in Dolby Atmos
Metallica Lux Aeterna in Dolby Atmos

For creatives, this is a new era where compositions are dreamed of and made a reality in a 3D space that overcomes the inherent limitations of traditional stereo recordings. Artists with years of amazing careers or just starting out are embracing the format.

And the magic extends to live performances as well. The possibilities are endless! What a time to live in!!

If you want to delve deeper in the immersive audio world, use the form below to inquire about our Dolby Atmos Mixing & Dolby Atmos Mastering services or just ask us about Dolby Atmos Music Production in general and find out how Dolby Atmos can transform your creative process, your listening enjoinment, and the listening experience of your fans-listeners!