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Workshop Dissects Immersive Music

PMC Studio in Los Angeles recently hosted an immersive audio workshop titled “The Anatomy of Immersive & Surround Sound Audio” for a select group of invited producers and engineers from across the industry.

Los Angeles, CA (December 18, 2019)—A special workshop titled “The Anatomy of Immersive & Surround Sound Audio” on the evening of December 11, 2019 at the PMC studio in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles presented 5.1 music by A Bad Think as well as Dolby Atmos mixes from the Universal Music Group catalog.

An invited audience of producers, engineers, composers, musicians and mixers that included Al Schmitt, Vance Powell, JJ Blair, Joe Barresi, David Reitzas, Rafa Sardina, Brent Fischer and others was treated to playback of several tracks in 5.1-surround from The Savior by A Bad Think at the event. Tracks from the one-man project, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Marquart, were interspersed with a panel discussion featuring Marquart and his production collaborators. The Savior is currently nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Immersive Audio Album category.

Dolby Atmos Music Now on Tidal

The panel, moderated by engineer and producer Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Prince, The Mavericks), also included Grammy-winning engineer Dave Way (Fiona Apple, Echo In The Canyon, Ringo Starr, Michael Jackson, Macy Gray), who co-produced the project with Marquart, and multi-platinum award-winning producer/engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Bryan Adams, The Cure, INXS), who mixed the double-album project in both stereo and 5.1 surround.

Marquart recounted the first time he heard Clearmountain’s 5.1 mixes: “I said, it should only be listened to in this kind of environment.” For his part, Clearmountain explained his approach to mixing each track in stereo then 5.1 and offered insights into his use of processing, particularly reverbs, delays and harmonizers, to create an atmosphere appropriate to each song’s character.

Later in the evening’s program, three-time Oscar-winning film dialog re-recording mixer Chris Jenkins, who is also Executive VP, Digital Studio at Universal Music Group, talked about mixing the music in Dolby Atmos on Ron Howard’s new documentary, Pavarotti. “I just want to be able to tell stories and get the shortest distance between the voice of the person who creates it and the listener,” he said of his approach to Dolby Atmos Music mixes.

Jenkins went on to play and deconstruct several tracks in Dolby Atmos and discussed the importance of giving credit to the mix engineer who created the original tracks, a topic that was embraced by the attendees.

A Bad Think •