The listening environment inside a club is about to get a lot more interesting.
Dolby Laboratories, the innovative company behind movie and home theater surround sound technology, is gearing up to make their first concentrated leap into the live music world. The company plans to bring their patented Dolby Atmos system — which powers nearly every big blockbuster in cinema — to the club setting, empowering DJs to utilize the new technology in the process.
“A club that has been outfitted with a Dolby Atmos set-up will give audiences a unique and high-quality audio experience they’ve never had before,” says Gabe Cory, Product Manager of Dolby Atmos Music. “This sets the venue apart and also draws in forward thinking artists and DJs that want to push the boundaries by mixing their music in Dolby Atmos.”
It’s a fascinating idea, especially considering music venues have long been relegated to stereo or mono setups. The concept of a surround system opens the door for an entirely new listening environment, whereupon specific sounds can be placed anywhere in the room, from above listeners’ heads, to the far corners of the venue.
“When you hear the difference between a set mixed in stereo versus Dolby Atmos, there’s no comparison. – Gabe Cory, Product Manager, Dolby Atmos Music, Dolby Laboratories
To facilitate the change, a venue must be out outfitted with a surround sound system and a DJ’s music must be prepared and delivered with Dolby Atmos software. From a producer’s standpoint, it’s an easier change than one would imagine. One can simply apply the Dolby Atmos panner plugin within a DAW and arrange specific surrounds around the 3D mixing space. Using the Dolby Atmos DJ app, one can then perform the songs and move the sounds around the listening space in real time.
Perhaps most exciting, however, is potential of Dolby’s software in the right hands. An artist like Nicolas Jaar or Amon Tobin could have a field day with surround sound performances. As it happens, Dolby is partnering with specific artists to debut the concept, the names of which will be announced in the coming weeks.