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Mixing Dolby Atmos in Pro Tools 12.8

September 25, 2017

Co-Sponsored by Avid, Dolby, and Dale Pro Audio

With over 2,800 screens in 75 countries around the globe, and with the 700th feature film in the format recently being released, it's pretty safe to say that Dolby Atmos is here to stay. The jump from formats such as 5.1 have made movie-goers fall in love all over again with the theater experience.

But it doesn't stop there. In the last several years, beginning with the Blu-Ray releases of Game Of Thrones, Atmos has begun to enter the home market. In order to accommodate the format, hi-fi manufacturers created sound bar and array speakers to convey Atmos sound. Networks such as Netflix and Hulu are beginning to create Atmos-ready content, and BT Sports in the UK have even begun showing live soccer matches in Atmos!

So what does this mean for you? If you work in post or sound for picture, you know some of the rather complicated solutions previously done to handle Atmos's object-based panning and delivery. Earlier this year, Avid and Dolby announced a partnership to meet this challenge, with native Atmos panning and outputs integrated into Pro Tools | HD (as of 12.8). With Atmos content coming into heavier demand, and more facilities needing to be ready, this could not have come at a better time.

To further this mission, Avid and Dolby Laboratories teamed up with Dale Pro Audio to host an informative overview of Atmos, how it works, and how it integrates with Pro Tools. Held at the luxurious Dolby 88 screening space in midtown Manhattan, the evening affair brought in a number of professionals from post houses, broadcast networks, indie film organizations, and more.

After a comprehensive introduction to Atmos by Dolby's Tom Kodros and David Gould (who was a key figure in the software integration), Avid's Jeff Komar took everyone on a tour of how Pro Tools 12.8 integrates the format, and some of the options one has in creating deliverables.

Will FilesThe guest of honor for the night was acclaimed film mixer Will Files (pictured), whose recent credits are pretty much a "who's who" of blockbusters: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Deadpool, and so on. Dolby also pointed out that Files was the first engineer outside of Dolby's technicians to mix Atmos content.

Using one of his newest feature film projects as an example throughout the presentation (sorry, we were told not to mention the title!) he took us through a typical workflow. Remarking that "channel based systems were not enough of a step forward", he showed how object based mixing was able to bring the film and the storytelling to life. "The movie doesn't end on the screen," he said, "but is rather a window into this world whose story is being told". Warning against overstimulation of the audience, he jumped from action scenes to dramatic ones, illustrating how Atmos can help with even the most subtle details. He wrapped up by noting how much easier cutting the film was too (thanks to the integration) and then even had time to field some Q&A's from attendees.

Attending the event on Dale's behalf were Joel Guilbert, Eric Eldredge, Dan Ross, David Prentice, and Joe Prout.

Many thanks to our valued partners at Avid and at Dolby for making this event a success!

And Now, A Word On How To Outfit Your Facility...
Dale Pro Audio is one of nation's exclusive providers of the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite. It provides audio professionals like you the tools you need to create, edit, mix, and master high-quality Dolby Atmos content for Blu-ray and digital delivery. Facilities can purchase approved hardware to run as a home theater rendering and mastering unit (Home Theater RMU) for mission-critical mastering workflows, while allowing premix rooms to edit and premix with the included Dolby Atmos Production Suite. For more on this system, click HERE.

Questions about Dolby Atmos or Avid Pro Tools?
Contact our Sales Professionals!

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