Dolby Atmos Music: everything you need to know

Dolby Atmos Music is looking to add a whole new dimension to the music listening experience. Dolby has partnered with Universal to remix thousands of tracks from big-name artists using the new Dolby Atmos Music technology in an effort to prove Atmos isn’t just for home cinema viewing.

Dolby’s object-based sound tech may have been designed for surround sound in cinemas and later homes, but it has since expanded into tablets and smartphones, and now it’s getting into music.

What is Dolby Atmos Music?Dolby Atmos Music: everything you need to know

Atmos is an object-based surround sound tech that started life in cinemas but has since made its way into home cinema set-ups all over the world. It differs from standard 5.1 and 7.1 channel set-ups by adding in extra channels overhead (for example, with speakers mounted in the ceiling). The result? A much more engrossing sound, creating a dome of audio with the audience at the centre.

It’s much more precise than standard surround sound. Thanks to the new calibration, sound engineers can precisely place sounds at various points in the soundstage, rather than just pumping them through a select audio channel. It makes for a much more realistic and immersive home cinema experience.

And now it can do the same for music.

Until now, only around 50 tracks had been remixed using the tech. But Dolby recently teamed up with Universal Music Group (UMG) to release thousand of songs in Dolby Atmos, spanning a wide range of artists and genres.

As well as remixing existing songs, new songs will be produced using Dolby Atmos. These will span “hip-hop, pop and rock through jazz and classical music”, according to Dolby.

Several of UMG’s studios are now kitted out with Dolby Atmos Music mixing tech, including Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, Abbey Road Studios in London, and Nashville’s Berry Hill Studios. Which will help future tunes utilise the tech.

The first tranche of 50 releases includes Kraftwerk’s 3D The Catalogue, Hans Zimmer’s Live in Prague and R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People (25th Anniversary Edition). There’s also the first electronic album specifically written and produced for the format – Wolf by trance pioneer Matt Darey.

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