Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos

dolby atmos

More Speakers Than Ever, But Doesn’t Mean Louder

It has finally come to a stage where having as many speakers as possible is one of the final steps to creating a fully immersive experience. If you were impressed by cars seemingly driving by from left to right and a bit of a tweeting bird in the background, then Dolby Atmos will blow your mind. The massive amount of speakers are more like what pixels are for image, in that the new computer program can literally pin point individual sounds to certain speakers, that can be as small as individual rain drops. It would be awesome to hear and see a thunderstorm coming in and having that rush of tiny rain drops sweep over you.

This is done more effectively through a mixer placing sounds where they want them to come from and the computer system doing all the leg work to figure out the best speakers to place it with, so again the more speakers the better.

But Lets Rewind

Senior director of sound technology Brett Crockett ran Dolby Atmos project which was founded in one of Dolby Studios sound labs in San Francisco, where the lab/theatre is a room inside a room mounted on rubber blocks. This is to keep the outside world from effecting the acoustics of the theatre. Inside are rows of speakers all over the walls and ceilings and behind the screen.

New Standards

I should stop saying this sort of thing except for historical reference that this will probably become a new standard for many mainstream theatres, mainly the ones with 3D movies. Currently in 200 theatres worldwide, Dolby hopes to increase that to 1,000 by the end of the year. I’m sure with the success its had with reviews of Pacific Rim it will be a nice addition to the big action movies where they can turn down the epileptic light shows and do even more with the sound.

The Round Up

This offers an exciting new aspect of film making and I can’t wait to hear the results. How the concept will evolve ever more will be interesting too and I feel this will be the newest standard for any multiplex especially if they want to keep 3D sales up, which get so generic after a while.

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Matt Price

Matt Price

I am a London Based Sound Mixer and Sound Recordist working on Feature Films, Creative Content, Documentaries and Commericials.

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