Active MemberQQ Supporter
- Mar 11, 2022
- Nashville TN USA
If I could ask for a feature that would require a massive investment on Apple's (and the record label's) part it would be for Atmos Mastering.You’re not asking for some new little feature or minor bug fix. You’re asking the world's most valuable corporation to change a fundamental component of its whole spatial audio model in which it invested millions of dollars and years in designing.
Yes, it is a numbers game. I’m of the belief, if anything, dozens of QQers (out of 88 million Apple Music subscribers) politely requesting lossless surround is just doing some market research for Apple…but not in the positive way you imagine. Apple will ultimately make a decision to implement lossless surround based on broad market research and technical feasibility, not on some customer service emails.
As of now there is no standard or spec for mastering Atmos files via a mastering engineer. Most every Atmos track on Apple Music and Tidal that is listed as a Master is actually a Mix. Apple and Dolby have not specified a mastering standard, and the labels (who like to not spend any more money than they have to) do not want to shell out for another layer of production on these Atmos mixes, especially on legacy content that they've already been paid on that and view as a re-mix cash cow.
Mastering Engineer Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering has mastered both The Greatest Showman soundtrack and the new Lizzo record in Atmos, using discrete analog signal processing and amplifiers to retain the integrity of all 12 tracks. I think it makes a demonstrable difference in the end product. Not all mix engineers know how to or have the equipment to master a track.
I think it was either a mistake or an error of omission to not define a mastering spec or layer in the Atmos surround standard.