Atmos Music - 9.1.? v 7.1.?

Atmos Music - 9.1.? v 7.1.?
The Dolby Atmos Music Studio Best Practices guide calls out 9.1.4 as the best practice, yet most that I read is based around 7.1.2. It makes sense as that is the number of beds (discrete tracks) available in Atmos.

As I eagerly await shipment of my N12 I am reading and over thinking.

I have been working in discrete 9.1.4 with my ancient pro tools.

As the first thing I want to play with is Atmos Music on headphones, should I start with 7.1.2?

I would appreciate your feedback and hopefully open a discussion. …Steve

I guess I represent a minority opinion when I say that the most sensible music format is 5.1.4.

When we look at actual recordings (of an orchestra, for example), a 7.1.4 mic array is hardly a thing, let alone 9.1.6. What’s more: The side speakers usually sound strange anyway (… I’m not talking about cinemas, but private listening environments), and they don’t translate well to binaural playback.

OTOH: The four top speakers are crucial, two are definitely not enough.

Apart from that, 10 channels (or actually 9, because the LFE is taboo when mixing music) need less power than 12 or 16. :wink: In fact, most film music tends to use a quad setup for the lower layer, since the Center speaker is reserved for dialogue and such.

Are we talking about OBI or CBI? For CBI, 7.1.4 seems to have taken over. At least we get most of the orchestral recordings in that format.

When it comes to OBI, I wouldn’t even think about a certain number of channels. When encoding into the respective consumer format, the maximum is always extracted from the information: 9.1.6. All other configurations are “derived” from this format.

Basically, you would have to choose the format that is installed in most customers’ homes. I would guess that this is not 9.1.6. :blush:

Hi Dietz - In playing with up-mixing from 2-channel music so far I have found the Left and Right Wide speakers to be most useful.

I set a virtual 3D stage, like in a concert, within the immersive room. The surrounds and ceilings carry the ambiance for the most part.

Not to preclude that solos and leads all around you can’t be exciting.

Back in my film mixing days (4.0) I never had the surrounds not doing something. Many directors though they were just for special scenes like a plane flying over. i found you could use them to create a mood for a scene. I also started recording my backgrounds in x/y which when passed through a sum and difference matrix become very 3D.

The worst surround experience was during a love scene a director thought it was clever to put a thunder storm in the surrounds during a love scene. Thankfully they came out after the first preview.

If you are curious about early 3d sound attempts check out Ken Russel’s, Altered States. I had pretty much free run. I even built a 4-channel panner that was controlled by a Commodore Pet computer. Talk about primitive. I wrote a program that dragged the sound across the fronts and the surrounds to give a circle effect as the surround array was mono.

Needless to say I am a little envious of what sound designers today have to play with. What you do is only limited by your imagination…

I have just started playing with classic orchestral up mixing. My vision is to recreate the experiences I have had sitting in the prime seats in Carnegie Hall.

I can’t help regarding Carnegie, but in case Vienna Konzerthaus or Sage Gateshead are options, then this might be what you’re looking for :wink: …


Actual recordings? Really? How does that main mic array look like, then? Surround Decca plus quad top layer PLUS side mics …? I doubt that the spatial resolution would be good enough for meaningful decorrelation. Or HOA? By using what type of microphone …?

Mas - Impressive - do you know how the binaural was mixed? Atmos? 7.1?

I wish they would set it up so I could switch from the stereo to the 3D in situ…s

We get a mix that has already been processed on location, as the signal is used for live playout. The same signal is then pressed onto BD/UHD. (To save costs, not much is changed in the mix.) As far as I understand, the signal is (partly) based on an upmix. If you want to know more, I’ll have to ask one of my colleagues on Monday. :blush:

Music is a niche for us. We only work with one company for concert recordings. They usually deliver 7.1.4 mixes. But I wouldn’t say that’s representative.
I’m just the guy who has to put everything on the disc afterwards. When it comes to the conditions during the live recording, I have no say whatsoever. That’s why I prefer to do post-pro for series, documentaries and films. :wink:

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