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Briefs: Immersive Retail; P&E Wing form Immersive Committee

The Westlake Pro Immersive Audio Listening Room in Nashville, incorporating a JBL-based 9.2.6 monitor system.

Immersive Retail: Westlake Pro Nashville

The need for Dolby Atmos music production spaces in Nashville has become clear as major streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are now requiring Atmos deliverables. Music platforms like Amazon Music HD and Tidal now boast thousands of titles available for streaming in Atmos. Westlake Pro has been a leader in designing, integrating, and supporting Atmos systems around the globe for nearly a decade, making it an obvious choice to build an Immersive Audio Listening Room at the company’s Nashville location.

Westlake Pro partnered with Harman to integrate a 9.2.6 monitoring system comprising JBL 705i and 708i passive two-way speakers for the surround and ceiling channels. The LFE channel includes two JBL SUB 18s, and everything is powered by Crown I-Tech 5000HD and DCI 8|600 multichannel amplifiers.

An Avid MTRX serves as the connection hub to multiple Apple Mac Mini workstations hosting Pro Tools HDX systems and the Dolby Rendering unit. Tactile control of all working parts of the system is provided by a 16-channel Avid S6 M40 control surface.

Crestron systems provide control of multiple video and audio components to include a Panasonic 4K projector and motorized projection screen. Westlake Pro also worked with Dave Mattingly from Sound Construction to reinforce the ceiling and walls to install the speakers with pin-point accuracy.

At the same time, to accommodate the growing needs of Eastern U.S. clients, the Westlake Pro Design Group is expanding its staff in Nashville to mirror the expertise of the design and integration team located in Los Angeles.

The Nashville showroom features Immersive Audio mixing capability with Dolby Atmos, and combines it with a state-of-the-art music recording and production studio. It is located in the iconic Berry Hill neighborhood, near Nashville’s Dolby Atmos Music studios at the former East Iris and Blackbird Studios.

Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing Forms Immersive Audio Committee

Two years ago the Recording Academy changed the title of its GRAMMY Award category for Best Surround Sound Album to Best Immersive Audio Album. Now, the Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing—widely known for its member-created recommendation papers, including “Delivery of Recorded Music Projects, Surround Sound and High Resolution Audio Production”—has formed a new committee of audio experts to deliver recommendations for immersive audio production.

Chaired by Technical GRAMMY Award recipient and GRAMMYwinning engineer George Massenburg and GRAMMY-nominated mastering engineer Michael Romanowski, the geographically and genre-diverse committee of audio experts will address topics including format-agnostic setup, nomenclature, definitions and other best practices for recording, delivery and archiving of immersive audio projects.

Previous Producers & Engineer Wing recommendations have filled a need in the music community for technical and real-world information about best recording practices. Based on the practical experience of the Wing’s members, along with advice from others well-versed in various technical audio capacities—including members of the Wing’s Manufacturer’s Council—the recommendations provide practical direction and advice to enable those working in the field to deliver the best possible quality for their music projects.

“I am always awed by the knowledge, dedication and hard work our members contribute to produce these guidelines documents,” says Maureen Droney, Senior Managing Director of the P&E Wing. “The previous Producers & Engineers Wing recommendations have been widely adopted and are a resource used by numerous universities and recording schools, record labels, manufacturers, and other industry organizations. As with those previous works, this committee plans to also engage with other professional audio and music business organizations toward the goal of establishing industry-wide consensus and widespread distribution of the recommendations.