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Shepherd Travels in Immersive Circles

“The Traveler” by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has been mixed by engineer Eric “ET” Thorngren and mastering and mix engineer Michael Romanowski for a Dolby Atmos release on Aug. 30.

Berkeley, CA (September 3, 2019)—The Traveler by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Blues album chart earlier this year, has been mixed by engineer Eric “ET” Thorngren and mastering and mix engineer Michael Romanowski for a Dolby Atmos release on Blu-ray on Aug. 30.

Thorngren mixed the stereo version of The Traveler album, available on Concord Records, as well as six of Shepherd’s previous albums and the 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads movie, which was co-produced by Jerry Harrison.

“After mixing all the Talking Heads records in 5.1 surround with Jerry Harrison, I already have a good feel for immersive music and mixing,” says Thorngren. “And I have worked with Kenny for so many albums, in the studio and live, that I was right at home mixing the tracks with Michael—and of course I had just mixed the stereo version of The Traveler at my own LBC Studios, in Long Beach, CA. So I brought my multitrack files to Michael’s studio that were already EQ’d, just like I used for the stereo mixes.”

Harrison and Thorngren Mixing Kenny Wayne Shepherd Surround DVD, Feb. 17, 2006

Romanowski’s Coast Mastering facility in Berkeley, CA, is set up and tuned for Dolby Atmos work, with six Focal surround speakers, four Neumann overhead speakers and a Meyer sub. Romanowski also mastered this new Dolby Atmos version of The Traveler at Coast Mastering.

“The main thing in any mixing is to keep the focus on the song,” continues Thorngren. “Michael and I placed the band as if in a circle around the listener, so [the listener feels] like they are sitting in the band—which also happens to be the best way to rehearse and learn songs as a band, I think—so that makes musical sense, too, for the presentation of the music. Atmos opens up all these possibilities that could never be achieved in stereo.”

“This is an exciting time to work in immersive audio,” says Romanowski. “It seems to be really growing as a focal point across the entire entertainment industry—in games, virtual reality, and film and TV.

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“I am especially enthusiastic about the possibilities of immersive audio in music-only releases, expanding the palette of creativity that artists can use to express themselves. The Dolby Atmos system offers so many possibilities for surrounding the listener and creating a unique experience. I look forward to working with other artists and record labels bringing this level of listening and creative possibilities to the world.”

Coast Mastering •