New York, NY (December 14, 2022)―When HBO decided to remaster all six seasons of Sex and the City in Dolby Atmos and UHD HDR Dolby Vision, the post production team created new workflows with the help of Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix software to convert the original stereo mixes into an immersive soundtrack.
The remaster was quite the undertaking for the special internal restoration team assigned to the task. Not only did they need to go back to the original Kodak Super 16mm film and two-inch analog tape to rebuild the series from scratch, they also had to do so amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When the audio team started the project, they were together in the HBO offices. However, once the pandemic began, the team was relegated to their homes, which made the process a bit trickier.
“The mono and stereo stems from the original tapes of the series provided reasonable mix group separation, but at the same time, presented some challenges for an immersive environment,” says HBO’s director of post production sound, Glen Schricker, who served as sound supervisor and lead re-recording mixer for this project. “Despite the age of the show and what we had to work with, we were able to make legitimate Dolby Atmos mixes from those stems, with Halo Upmix in our toolkit.”
He continues, “I’m a huge fan of presets and Nugen knocked it out of the park with the hard center preset in Halo Upmix. It became our go-to background starting point. We ‘surgically’ extracted as many hard effects as possible from the original BG/FX stereo stems, yielding new FX objects for Atmos panning and cleaner stereo backgrounds for 7.1.2 upmixing. Occasionally, we would leave behind certain hard effects in stereo stems knowing Halo Upmix would appropriately direct those sounds to the center channel, which would leave the upmixed ambience intact and immersive.”
Today, all 94 episodes of the Sex and the City remastered series are available on HBO Max in Dolby Surround 5.1, a direct render from the Dolby Atmos mix.