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Greg Penny Interviewed about his work in Dolby Atmos

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Bender

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Bummer is, as of now, only 1 song of Elton's is in 3d on Amazon 3d.
(backstory: I bought an Echo studio for our 12 year old daughter. It is OK. Does it compare to my 5.1 set ups in my living room, bedroom or classroom. No. No comparison what so ever. Though for $200, a device that allows our daughter to simply tell it to play Lizzo, Taylor Swift, the Mondays, or anything she desires is pretty cool. I currently have 84 more days of their high res service (ultra HD is 24/96) for free. It makes a convenient supplement to the real deal. Release these in blu ray audio - they all sell out anyway!)
 

fredblue

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Bummer is, as of now, only 1 song of Elton's is in 3d on Amazon 3d.
(backstory: I bought an Echo studio for our 12 year old daughter. It is OK. Does it compare to my 5.1 set ups in my living room, bedroom or classroom. No. No comparison what so ever. Though for $200, a device that allows our daughter to simply tell it to play Lizzo, Taylor Swift, the Mondays, or anything she desires is pretty cool. I currently have 84 more days of their high res service (ultra HD is 24/96) for free. It makes a convenient supplement to the real deal. Release these in blu ray audio - they all sell out anyway!)
how is the 3D of Rocket Man through that Echo device thingy?

i tried it from the phone app to my old avr but wasn't getting anything to write home about, it clearly needs an Atmos gizmo because i have faith in Greg! 🙏
 

Bender

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How is the 3D of Rocket Man? It is good, but it is only offered 16/44. It is NOT in ultrahd (24/96). Amazon currently has GYBR album in UltraHD while the Chateau only in HD. So, does it compare with the 5.1 SACDs? Not on any level. But for a little music player, it's nice. Amazon needs to have these in ultrahd 3d!
 

humprof

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Some previously available info on new immersive music push is now available also in the May issue of Mix magazine dedicated to Dolby Atmos music - you can download it for free if you're ok with supplying your credentials. However, there are also not so familiar facts presented:
View attachment 50822
Thanks for putting us on to this, @haikubass. It's well worth a read, even if it means getting on a bunch of marketers' email lists (which I assume I can always "unsubscribe" from).

QQ's own @Steve Genewick is featured prominently throughout the issue: we get some circumspect remarks about the process that led to the Atmos Automatic for the People, for instance, as well as his "10 Things I've Learned About Mixing for Atmos." It's also confirmed that he, Greg Penny, Nick Rives, and Colin Heldt were the "core group" who mixed those "2000 songs" we keep hearing about. (More about that in a minute.)

As haikubass says, this special issue reruns some stuff we've already heard about: Greg Penny on"Rocket Man" and David Leonard on "When Doves Cry"; David Rideau on working with Genewick on Sketches of Spain and Kind of Blue, etc. But there's also news about upcoming releases that I had not known of: George Massenburg is doing an Atmos mix for the new Alicia Keys album, for instance; John Hanes is mixing The Weeknd's After Hours; and (most exciting to me) Michael Romanowski is doing Fantastic Negrito's Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, which will be out in August. There's also a feature on the U.S. Army Field Band recording a new album at Skywalker Sound--where, we learn in a parenthetical aside, Jim Anderson just finished a new Patricia Barber album.

So at least we know there are a few actual albums in the Atmos pipeline.

Other signs are less encouraging, and they make me fear that Dolby and UMe are gonna screw the pooch on this one by hawking streaming songs--emphasis on songs (and streaming)--to the near-exclusion of everything else. (As many of us have complained here on QQ before: the fact that they decided to limit the first big rollout of Atmos to delivery & playback systems that don't really showcase its possibilities shows questionable judgment at best.) Editor Tom Kenny keeps insisting that there are "countless reasons why this time around is different than 5.1," and that those of us who are doubtful and frustrated should remember that "Dolby Atmos Music is still very much in its infancy" and that "[t]he rules are still being made." I don't know if we should trust the rule-makers when they keep emphasizing songs and streaming, though. If all those streaming subscriptions are what pays back their investment and helps them subsidize the distribution of Atmos on Blu-Ray and high-res downloads, too, then fine. But no one's even talking about that yet. There's also this, which Kenny drops in his editorial and elaborates upon in his cover story: "Dolby and many, many other manufacturers are betting the bank on headphones. It will happen, and the word binaural will become part of the audio vernacular." Oof.

To his credit, Kenny airs all of those objections--and more--near the end of the feature article, and he also reveals that some of the engineers and producers who'd been excitedly working on all those mixes felt baffled and blindsided when their brilliant work was finally unveiled to the world...on Amazon Echo. But then he puts on his Pollyanna hat again and encourages us all to "Give it time." And he finishes with a quote from Giles Baker, Dolby's "Senior VP for Consumer Entertainment":

“There are four key things that need to be present in order for us to feel like we have a healthy ecosystem,” [Baker] says. “First, do we have enough content being created? Second, is that content being distributed on services that people can get? Third, is it available on devices that people have? And then the fourth piece, is there buzz around it? Do consumers want this? Are content creators excited about creating it, and are they telling the world?"​
Well, good questions. Plenty of "people" can get Tidal and Amazon HD, I guess; it's just that they tend not to be the people who are already eager to hear Atmos--and the Atmos tracks on Tidal and Amazon HD are emphatically not available on the "devices" we already have. So give them to us, already. We are the "consumers" who actually want this, and if we had it, we'd be more than happy to help create the buzz.
 
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beerking

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Maybe there are things a foot in the summer?
Although with this dreadful virus, who knows.
Perhaps Sonos do?
 

keywhiz

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I've listened again...he sure likes the Amazon surround gizmo. It seems that Amazon have signed up a whole bunch of surround mixers to get a production line of Atmos releases ready for the updated Echo box!! Including our very own Steve Genewick.

I can hear the old cynic in me saying.....Money talks!!

Humm :unsure:

Like Ralphie, I too get the good vibes back from Greg with his passion for immersive sounds.

Please let there be physical copies available!!
It seems to me that it's more like in the old days when a song would get mixed to stereo and then the engineers would also run it through a set of cheapy speakers to make sure it still sounds good in a car.

He's making sure the mixes work well in all environments.
 

keywhiz

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Very exciting news, not just the Elton stuff but the entire scope of what he talks about working on. I took "unfolding" as simply a metaphor for how he thinks about translating a stereo mix into the 3D workspace that Atmos provides.

Also interesting how many mixers and studios he says are working basically non-stop on mixing Atmos material. Like I said in the other Atmos thread, I'm positive that Dolby isn't pushing this whole initiative simply for the Amazon echo speaker - someone is bankrolling all this mixing, and record companies (especially in this day and age) aren't in the habit of spending money on something unless they know they're going to make money off it. Maybe they've finally learned from some of the mistakes of surround launches past, and they realise that for a new format to succeed it has to a) have a large content library at launch and b) have a wider scope than simply the moldy oldies from the 60s and 70s - I for one, am OK with waiting 6 months for that.

I know there's a few thousand of us here that would buy anything released, but imagine pitching it to your friends who aren't surround savvy - it's a much easier sell if they can say "look, it's a $350 Echo Studio device and 10 bucks a month for a streaming subscription to a service that has hundreds (or thousands) of albums availabe in Atmos" than "well, you need a blu-ray player, and an Atmos-enabled home theater setup, and make sure you have HDMI 2.0 or better, and there's about 20 Atmos albums on Blu-Ray..." etc. Much like sex, i don't care what people do behind closed doors, as long as I can enjoy it the way I want to - if people buy Echo Studios and are happy with them (not everyone has the time, space, money or inclination for a full-blown surround system) and they make Atmos a profitable venture than all the better for us, we get more music available in surround on an ongoing basis. It's not like any Atmos mixes are done specifically for the Echo Studio device (ie no rear-channel information), they're all mixed in fully immersive studios that are at the very least 7.1.4 equipped. The Echo is just a delivery device - I see the difference between it and a home theater amplifier like the difference between headphones and speakers - and I'm sure it won't be long before Atmos is rolled out to every platform.

ETA: The "playing it back on consumer gear" is a tale as old as time for mixing engineers - in the olden days they'd cut acetates and play them on their home stereos, disco mixers would do the same and take an acetate to a club in New York, and even more recently Elliott Scheiner would audition his 5.1 mixes in his ELS system in his Acura. It's just about getting another perspective to make sure your mix "works" outside the controlled nature of a perfectly-calibrated studio environment.
I took "unfolding" to mean that he allows the surround mix to develop and open up as the track goes along as opposed to starting out with all speakers having full content from the opening notes.
 
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haikubass

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I wonder if this might be where the GP's Atmos mixes of The Stones are going to materialize?
The show boasts more than 400 original objects from the Stones’ own collection. Along with instruments and stage designs, it includes rare audio fragments and video footage, personal diaries, iconic costumes, posters, album covers and even the band’s studio and their modest London flat at Edith Grove.

Supplemented by unique film footage and interactive technology, the exhibition will treat visitors to an extraordinarily comprehensive look at 50 years of the history of the band and the careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. Visitors will witness the Stones’ evolution from early 1960s London blues musicians to internationally revered cultural icons. Fans will be able to journey through the band's unique legacy throughout the exhibition, ending with a special finale experience that brings fans into an iconic stones moment, delivered in multi-dimensional Dolby Atmos Sound and facilitated by PMC (the Professional Monitor Company).
source:
The Rolling Stones Exhibition - Unzipped
(Groninger Museum, Holland, from November 2020 through February 2021)
 
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ProgRules

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Sounds like an amazing experience, but wondering why Bill Wyman is being ignored? Or Brian Jones??? To a lesser degree Mick Taylor?

"the exhibition will treat visitors to an extraordinarily comprehensive look at 50 years of the history of the band and the careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. "
 

keywhiz

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Sounds like an amazing experience, but wondering why Bill Wyman is being ignored? Or Brian Jones??? To a lesser degree Mick Taylor?

"the exhibition will treat visitors to an extraordinarily comprehensive look at 50 years of the history of the band and the careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. "
My guess is they won’t be. It’s just that Rolling Stones, Inc probably only wants to mention the current members in the promo material.
 

Guitmark

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Sounds like an amazing experience, but wondering why Bill Wyman is being ignored? Or Brian Jones??? To a lesser degree Mick Taylor?

"the exhibition will treat visitors to an extraordinarily comprehensive look at 50 years of the history of the band and the careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. "
I attended the Stones Exhibit in NYC. Utterly fantastic! And lots of Brian and Bill stuff. The finale was a film of them performing Satisfaction, modern day concert. I wasn’t even aware of Atmos at the time but looking back, it sure was immersive. Just thrilling, it really was exactly like being at a Stones concert.
 

northernsoul

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Sounds like an amazing experience, but wondering why Bill Wyman is being ignored? Or Brian Jones??? To a lesser degree Mick Taylor?

"the exhibition will treat visitors to an extraordinarily comprehensive look at 50 years of the history of the band and the careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. "
Wyman is a wrong un. End of.
 
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