Biggleswade, UK—Dean St. Studios in London has unveiled what is reportedly the UK’s first dedicated mastering facility incorporating Dolby Atmos mixing following an upgrade of the facility’s second studio.
The new suite is equipped with a 9.1.4 surround system comprising PMC’s MB3-XBD-A monitors for left and right main channels, MB3S-A for the center channel and Ci Series Ci65 monitors for surround and height channels. Two years ago, Dean St. transformed the main Studio 1 control room into a Dolby Atmos recording and mixing room, also incorporating PMC monitors.
Jasmin Lee, who along with her mother, Suzanne Lee-Barnes, has owned Dean St. Studios since 2007, says, “We were the first independent music recording facility in the UK to install a Dolby Atmos studio for music mixing and we are now also the first to recognize that this format needs a specialist approach to mastering. To that end we have built an acoustically accurate room that can cater specifically for this market, and we have equipped it with monitors that are so detailed and clear that our engineers can hear every nuance of the tracks they are working on, even at very low volumes.”
Lee believes two things are vital for Dolby Atmos mastering: having a room with a high-end 9.1.4 monitoring system that is built specifically for mastering, and having engineers who understand surround mastering and can apply that expertise to mastering projects in immersive audio.
“It is a new format and there is definitely a learning curve involved when it comes to tackling these projects,” she explains. “Right now, Dean Street is ahead of the trend on both counts because we were one of the first facilities in the UK to tackle Atmos for music projects and therefore our staff have a wealth of experience to call on. The amount of Atmos work we are attracting means we need a second studio that can cope with it, but what really makes our new room unique is that we can master in stereo, 5.1 and Atmos using the same equipment, which ensures accuracy and delivers a much smoother workflow.”
Kurt Martinez, Dean St. Studios’ Atmos engineer, will be overseeing both rooms. In recent months he has been working on numerous Atmos mixes for music releases, live concerts and podcasts.
Based in London’s Soho, Dean Street Studios has a long and illustrious music industry history encompassing top artists such as David Bowie, T-Rex, Tina Turner, The Smiths, Dusty Springfield, Ed Sheeran and Adele. After starting out as a film audio facility in the 1950s, it became a music facility in 1976 when producer Tony Visconti opened Good Earth Studios. In 1989, Visconti sold the lease to music production company Joe & Co. who developed some of the premises into music recording and production suites but left Visconti’s legendary Studio 1 intact; Lee-Barnes and Lee subsequently took over.