Three Dimensional Surround Sound - In Nightclubs
Dolby Laboratories, most widely known for their work in cinema surround sound, are entering the world of nightclub sound.
The Dolby Atmos system first saw light in high end movie theaters, bringing a new level of immersive, three dimensional surround sound to moviegoing. In cinemas, the Atmos system allows for the sound engineers of the film to move individual sounds in three dimensional space, to mirror what's happening on the screen. But now Dolby has announced that they will be installing the Atmos system in select nightclubs.
Thump's Glenn Jackson was invited to Dolby's headquarters in San Francisco to hear a demonstration of the system, and his description is pretty intense:
"When I stepped into the "sweet spot," Atmos' potential was immediately clear: standing in the middle of the speaker arrays, I felt like I was actually embedded within the music. A Christian Martin track custom mixed by the Dirtybird artist for Atmos kept its bass and kick drums more or less front-and-center while parading the tune's more ornamental elements and hi-fi FX all around the three-dimensional audio field. Later on, a party-minded beat from Foxsky stretched a slithering synth line above my head as tumbling snare rolls moved from the top-left corner of the room to behind us in the bottom right. True to its mission, the Atmos system gave the music an extra dimension."
At this point the Atmos system is likely to remain a fairly rare installation, and performances that take full advantage of it will probably be rare, because the music will need to be specially produced to work fully with the system, in an Atmos-enabled studio. However, Dolby promises "With the plug ins and tools we have developed, artists will be able to easily integrate Dolby Atmos mixing into their existing production workflow". So if Atmos takes off within the nightclub scene, we may see producers beginning to work with these tools soon.
Check out more of the story over at Thump:
and for a more technical look at the potential of the system for DJs and producers, head over to DJ Tech Tools: