Frank Filipetti IAA Interview

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sjcorne

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fredblue

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This was actually done way back in July, not sure why it took this long to go live. As always, hope you guys find it interesting!
fantastic interview!! 🥰

oh how i'd like to give him a big ol' bear hug for all the wonderful Surround he's done over the years!! 🐻🤗💘

6790C547-D7D1-4DE0-89A1-5065EE30DF8C.jpeg


it does make me wish Elliot Scheiner would go Atmos as well.. 🤞
 
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humprof

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Great interview, as usual, Jonathan! I didn't know he'd cut his teeth on that Dave Grusin West Side Story album. Interesting answers to the center-channel vox question (adjusting EQ to counter the "brightness" of isolated vocals, "comb filtering" issues with 5.1.4 and up, etc.). He didn't quite take your bait on unreleased 5.1 mixes, but I'm glad you went fishing. And getting adventurous with placing distinct elements in the height channels: bless him! "It’s like in the old days of mono transitioning to stereo, when a lot of mixers were afraid to pan things because listeners had their system set up wrong." Connecting the dots--as you implicitly did with your next question--I gotta think his analogy also covers those mixers who are holding back on their Atmos mixes out of fear of how they'll sound over headphones and soundbars.
 

ar surround

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AYanguas

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This was actually done way back in July, not sure why it took this long to go live. As always, hope you guys find it interesting!

As always, the right questions/answers that interest us so much to the members of this forum. Thanks Jonathan.

One think that caught my attention was when Frank Filipetti talks about his preference for the height speakers locations for Atmos. He seems not to use the Dolby recommendations of 45º elevation in-ceiling speakers, but, instead, talks about the locations of Fronts and Surrounds. Just above that locations is the Auro-3D recommended locations for the Auro-3D height speakers.

So, perhaps he would have a speakers arrangement possibly valid for both systems Atmos and Auro (without changing or switching speakers), but he does not mention he would mix for Auro-3D at all. Only Atmos and 360 RA, which is what is beeing promoted now. That also reminds me what Ronald Prent/Joey DeMaio do in Valhalla Studio for ALL existing immersive systems: They bet also for Auro-3D, just in case it would be successful one day...
 

AYanguas

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it does make me wish Elliot Scheiner would go Atmos as well.. 🤞

Some time in the past, both Elliot Scheiner and Steven Wilson, said that 5.1 is enough for surround music.

Steven Wilson, didn't know about Atmos or didn't know it would be profitable for music. Now he is convinced.

Still waiting for Scheiner to change is mind.
 

privateuniverse

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Hey @sjcorne - one thing I might be interested to know when you're doing future interviews....

....there are those of us who are still in the dark ages and "only" doing surround in 5.1 (i.e., we don't have Atmos). There are a lot of cases where the Atmos mixes downmix well to 5.1, but other cases where it ends up sounding funky in 5.1. I am wondering if any of these surround engineers take into consideration how well the Atmos mixes will sound on a 5.1 system. Do they create their mixes so it will sound good in either environment?
 

sjcorne

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....there are those of us who are still in the dark ages and "only" doing surround in 5.1 (i.e., we don't have Atmos). There are a lot of cases where the Atmos mixes downmix well to 5.1, but other cases where it ends up sounding funky in 5.1. I am wondering if any of these surround engineers take into consideration how well the Atmos mixes will sound on a 5.1 system. Do they create their mixes so it will sound good in either environment?
It's definitely an important (and interesting) question that has briefly come up in a few of the interviews thus far.

Mills Logan:
I’ve always found it interesting how the objects render to different size arrays (5.1.2, 7.1.4, etc). In fact, I recently checked my 5.1.2 setup with Dolby’s 7.1.4 test tones on Apple Music and was surprised to find that the “side surround” pair is directed solely to the rear speakers.

That's interesting, because, on a recent conference call with Universal and Dolby, I heard that you can control how the fold-down happens using a setting called “direct render.” That setting should yield a better phantom center between left and right or front and rear on the fold-down. We definitely don’t want the information directed to the sides to pile up in the back.

When I'm mixing on the renderer, there's a drop-down menu under “monitoring” in the upper-left corner that gives different output options: 7.1.4, 5.1.2, etc. I can switch between those to see what my Atmos mix sounds like folded-down and it usually works. It's a little different, but nothing bothers me enough to actually change the position of an instrument.

Bruce Soord:
I know that the Dolby Renderer app allows one to dynamically change the number of speakers they’re monitoring on, in order to see how the object-oriented information will scale up and down. Do you ever change your monitoring output to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 to see how the listening experience changes?

Yeah, it's a bit like when you're mixing stereo and press the mono button to make sure there’s no disasters. That being said, I would never just create an Atmos mix and then generate the 5.1 and stereo from that. I’ll always do a dedicated 5.1 and stereo.

It definitely makes a difference, especially for fans who haven’t yet taken the Atmos plunge. On Nothing But The Truth, you made the interesting decision of panning the vocal mainly to the side speakers. It sounds great on a 7.1.4 setup, with the vocal positioned dead center in the listening space, but all that information would be sent to a single rear pair on a 5.1.4 or 5.1.2 array.

On the dedicated 5.1 mix, that shouldn’t be. I remember hearing from people at the time of release that the 5.1 was back-loaded, but they must have been listening to a fold-down of the Atmos. If it were the other way around, I think you’d lose a really nice feeling of having me right in the middle. There are always compromises to be made.

Richard Chycki:
You’ve recently become an advocate for the new Dolby Atmos immersive format, having created new Atmos remixes of The Tragically Hip’s Road Apples (1991) and Rush’s Moving Pictures (1981). How does mixing in Atmos differ from 5.1? What kind of elements do you typically place in the height speakers?

A 5.1 mix involves literal placement of elements within the sound field of a single plane of speakers in a narrowly-defined configuration. If the speaker configuration changes to 7.1 or 9.1 for example, those additional speakers are not used unless DSP gets involved to ‘fake place’ audio in those speakers. Conversely, going from 9.1/7.1 to 5.1 involves some sort of downmixing or the audio assigned to those speakers is lost.

Atmos uses a combination of a 7.1.2 bed plus a series of objects that use metadata encoded into the mix container to actively adapt to the number of speakers in a setup. As a result, the format is inherently more resilient to varying listeners’ playback systems and a mixer’s intentions are less susceptible to compromise.

Ronald Prent:
What if the client wants a standard 5.1 mix? Do you simply fold-down from the 13.1?

If there's time, I prefer to do a separate mix in 5.1 on the console. It just sounds better and more coherent, because folding-down or down-mixing can often have unforeseen consequences. Sometimes it works well, but other times there can be issues where instruments become too loud or disappear entirely.

Since I work both analog and in-the-box, my console allows me to do separate 5.1 or stereo mixes alongside my immersive format. I always make a discrete stereo mix as well, because the client often requires that the stereo mix be identical in length to the immersive mix.

From my own limited experience mixing in Atmos, there are definitely steps you can take to ensure a better 5.1 fold-down. For example - if you make the 'side' channels part of the bed, all that information will be sent in the rears on a 5.1 setup. However, if you assign the side channel content to a stereo object it will properly render half-way between the front & rear speakers in 5.1. As mentioned in the interviews, you can switch between monitoring in 7.1.4 and 5.1 (or any other sub-configuration) with a single mouse click.

Another weird thing with Atmos is that you cannot apply any form of processing to the final output bus. Some say this is a useful check against the loudness wars, but having a carefully-set compressor acting on the entire mix can really improve the overall result (it might explain why so many people think Atmos mixes lack 'punch'). Bob Clearmountain was able to get around this by modifying the internal compressor in his SSL desk to support up to 16 channels.
 

4-earredwonder

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This was actually done way back in July, not sure why it took this long to go live. As always, hope you guys find it interesting!
GREAT interview, Jonathan,

It just seems INCOMPREHENSIBLE that SONY who originated the BD format and doesn't have to pay itself royalties did NOT include a BD~A 5.1/ATMOS physical disc in their upcoming George Michael OLDER box set. And that the other two Frank Fillipetti George Michael ATMOS remixes won't be forthcoming with physical discs, as well.

It seems German Classical label, DGG, is one of the only releasing companies who are currently offering BD~A 5.1/Stereo/ATMOS remixes packed to the gills with musical content, including the content of 5~7 RBCDs or MORE on a single BD~A.

AFAIK, SONY has never even attempted this. Putting mutliple albums on a single BD~A which have been known to have sufficient real estate to hold the contents of as many as 16 RBCDs seems to elude them!

If you really want to sell a format ..... LOAD it with multiple music content .... instead of releasing it over and over on multiple RBCD box sets. Since blu ray players are ubiquitous, wouldn't that be much more cost effective?

WHEN WILL THEY LEARN??????
 
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