Warner Music Dolby Atmos Upmixing (Unacceptable!)

QuadraphonicQuad

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

MrSmithers

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,377
Location
UK 🇬🇧
Ok, it's becoming apparent that there's a lot of fantastic legacy music from the Warner Music Group - that is simply and lazily being sourced from the stereo mix and then being upmixed into what is then deemed to be "Dolby Atmos". These are not discrete mixes, nor have they even attempted to do any new remixing at all. They are just being upmixed and only recently started happening. 'Photocopying' the stereo front channels into 5 or more surround channels and then slapping a Dolby Atmos badge on it... It makes a mockery of surround sound and the whole purpose of Dolby Atmos.

What has happened and why? Have Warner made a collective decision from above to do this from now on? Or is this a rogue engineer tasked with doing new Atmos remixing and then deciding not to do it properly? Or is there something else at play?

It is sacrilege to the fantastic writing skills, production and enjoyment of such legacy bands and hits (some of which I have listed below). Secondly it stops them from having a future Atmos release when this music could absolutely shine with a proper surround remix. And it starts to make Warner Music, the streaming sites uploading (and Dolby to some extent) a bit of a laughing stock.

Apple Music stated on their rules that they will not accept Dolby Atmos audio files generated from the stereo master. "Note: Dolby Atmos audio files generated automatically and/or algorithmically from a stereo master are not allowed."

Does anyone have any contacts at Warner Music to ask what is going on? There is a general contact form on the website. Perhaps we could ask Apple Music why they aren't applying their own rules? Maybe @PaulatSDE could run a story over there about this to garner more attention?

Just some of the selections of Warner Music with Dolby Atmos upmixes...

Cristopher Cross - Cristopher Cross
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
Cristopher Cross - Arthur's Theme
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
New Order - True Faith '94 / Blue Monday '88
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Enya - Shepherd Moons
George Benson - Breezin
The Trammps - Disco Inferno
Love - Always See Your Face
Los Lobos - La Bamba
Judy Collins - Send In The Clowns
Dianne Warwick - I Say A Little Paryer
KC & The Sunshine Band - Get Down Tonight
George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
Foghat - Slowride
Seals & Croft - Summer Breeze
Spacehog - In The Meantime

Honestly, it's like watching your favourite pub burn down... 😢
 

DuncanS

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
7,254
Location
UK
Ok, it's becoming apparent that there's a lot of fantastic legacy music from the Warner Music Group - that is simply and lazily being sourced from the stereo mix and then being upmixed into what is then deemed to be "Dolby Atmos". These are not discrete mixes, nor have they even attempted to do any new remixing at all. They are just being upmixed and only recently started happening. 'Photocopying' the stereo front channels into 5 or more surround channels and then slapping a Dolby Atmos badge on it... It makes a mockery of surround sound and the whole purpose of Dolby Atmos.

What has happened and why? Have Warner made a collective decision from above to do this from now on? Or is this a rogue engineer tasked with doing new Atmos remixing and then deciding not to do it properly? Or is there something else at play?

It is sacrilege to the fantastic writing skills, production and enjoyment of such legacy bands and hits (some of which I have listed below). Secondly it stops them from having a future Atmos release when this music could absolutely shine with a proper surround remix. And it starts to make Warner Music, the streaming sites uploading (and Dolby to some extent) a bit of a laughing stock.

Apple Music stated on their rules that they will not accept Dolby Atmos audio files generated from the stereo master. "Note: Dolby Atmos audio files generated automatically and/or algorithmically from a stereo master are not allowed."

Does anyone have any contacts at Warner Music to ask what is going on? There is a general contact form on the website. Perhaps we could ask Apple Music why they aren't applying their own rules? Maybe @PaulatSDE could run a story over there about this to garner more attention?

Just some of the selections of Warner Music with Dolby Atmos upmixes...

Cristopher Cross - Cristopher Cross
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
Cristopher Cross - Arthur's Theme
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
New Order - True Faith '94 / Blue Monday '88
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Enya - Shepherd Moons
George Benson - Breezin
The Trammps - Disco Inferno
Love - Always See Your Face
Los Lobos - La Bamba
Judy Collins - Send In The Clowns
Dianne Warwick - I Say A Little Paryer
KC & The Sunshine Band - Get Down Tonight
George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
Foghat - Slowride
Seals & Croft - Summer Breeze
Spacehog - In The Meantime

Honestly, it's like watching your favourite pub burn down... 😢

Some great songs there to be disappointed with. They never learn do they!

It is things like that that have held me back from going Atmos.....................still not happy with streaming music, its not even environmentally friendly!

....... and you hit the nail on the head with "it's like watching your favourite pub burn down"
 

ar surround

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
3,961
Location
New Joisey
Thanks for taking the time to do this excellent detective work @MrSmithers . But we knew it was going to happen, just like the Silverline DVD-A's that took terrible advantage of 5.1 audio format just because they could.
It is things like that that have held me back from going Atmos...

Atmos capability was actually a secondary consideration for me when I "went Atmos." I'm really happy with judicious Auromatic 3D upmixing of multi-channel material. It's the reason I installed the ceiling speakers and chose locations that would work with both Atmos and Auro 3D. Also, Neural X upmixing of DTS movie soundtracks is quite effective. Ditto Dolby Surround of DDD+ soundtracks. And, as MrSmithers has noted, we are getting some Silverline style crap Armos upmixes.
 

LennonCobain

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
QQ Supporter
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
1,147
Location
New England
Apple Music stated on their rules that they will not accept Dolby Atmos audio files generated from the stereo master. "Note: Dolby Atmos audio files generated automatically and/or algorithmically from a stereo master are not allowed."
The issue with this is that it would be nearly impossible for Apple to enforce (if it actually wanted to), because even if the record labels were simply "upmixing" stereo content, they can always claim that the resulting Atmos mixes (while not discrete) are the way the mixing engineer chose to create the mixes. In other words, there is probably no "smoking gun" in the Atmos files to prove if upmixes are or are not in fact happening.
 

humprof

Junior Senior
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,954
Location
NoCal
The issue with this is that it would be nearly impossible for Apple to enforce (if it actually wanted to), because even if the record labels were simply "upmixing" stereo content, they can always claim that the resulting Atmos mixes (while not discrete) are the way the mixing engineer chose to create the mixes. In other words, there is probably no "smoking gun" in the Atmos files to prove if upmixes are or are not in fact happening.
True that. Even so, Apple and Dolby--and its initial partner, UMG--have been very keen to promote the wonders of Atmos for a good long while now. It can't help their cause to have Warner barge in and start shitting the bed. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the backrooms and chatrooms where the talented Atmos mixers get together for drinks and gossip.
 
Last edited:

LuvMyQuad

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
4,417
Location
Western NY
It can't help their cause to have Warner barge in and start shitting the bed. I've love to be a fly on the wall in the backrooms and chatrooms where the talented Atmos mixers get together for drinks and gossip.
Sure. Maybe they are talking about how all this crap is being accepted as a valid remix by the streamers and how they should just cut the same corners instead of putting in the necessary work.
 

humprof

Junior Senior
QQ Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
4,954
Location
NoCal
Ok, it's becoming apparent that there's a lot of fantastic legacy music from the Warner Music Group - that is simply and lazily being sourced from the stereo mix and then being upmixed into what is then deemed to be "Dolby Atmos". These are not discrete mixes, nor have they even attempted to do any new remixing at all. They are just being upmixed and only recently started happening. 'Photocopying' the stereo front channels into 5 or more surround channels and then slapping a Dolby Atmos badge on it... It makes a mockery of surround sound and the whole purpose of Dolby Atmos.

What has happened and why? Have Warner made a collective decision from above to do this from now on? Or is this a rogue engineer tasked with doing new Atmos remixing and then deciding not to do it properly? Or is there something else at play?

It is sacrilege to the fantastic writing skills, production and enjoyment of such legacy bands and hits (some of which I have listed below). Secondly it stops them from having a future Atmos release when this music could absolutely shine with a proper surround remix. And it starts to make Warner Music, the streaming sites uploading (and Dolby to some extent) a bit of a laughing stock.

Apple Music stated on their rules that they will not accept Dolby Atmos audio files generated from the stereo master. "Note: Dolby Atmos audio files generated automatically and/or algorithmically from a stereo master are not allowed."

Does anyone have any contacts at Warner Music to ask what is going on? There is a general contact form on the website. Perhaps we could ask Apple Music why they aren't applying their own rules? Maybe @PaulatSDE could run a story over there about this to garner more attention?

Just some of the selections of Warner Music with Dolby Atmos upmixes...

Cristopher Cross - Cristopher Cross
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
Cristopher Cross - Arthur's Theme
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
New Order - True Faith '94 / Blue Monday '88
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Enya - Shepherd Moons
George Benson - Breezin
The Trammps - Disco Inferno
Love - Always See Your Face
Los Lobos - La Bamba
Judy Collins - Send In The Clowns
Dianne Warwick - I Say A Little Paryer
KC & The Sunshine Band - Get Down Tonight
George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
Foghat - Slowride
Seals & Croft - Summer Breeze
Spacehog - In The Meantime

Honestly, it's like watching your favourite pub burn down... 😢
Thanks for starting this thread (and summing up our sad sentiments so eloquently), Mr. S.

For good measure, in addition to the Warner general contact form, here's Apple Music's feedback form:
Does anyone have a similar page for Dolby?

Angie/@Quadgirl: It would be great if Smithers could have perpetual editing privileges on his opening post so as to keep a running tally of Warners' Atmos upmix travesties!

Has anyone come across WEA Atmos singles that are not upmixed--and if so, could we keep track of those ones here, too?
 

J. PUPSTER

💿🐕 Senior Disc Chaser 🎸
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
11,059
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
just from cursorily playing it on the phone it sounds like the original Stereo 🤦‍♀️ wtf are Warners upto!?
Here's to Fixin' it all up
beer1.gif
Warner's style.

But you won't need no harem, honey
When I'm by your side
And you won't need no Atmos, no no
When I take you for a ride
 

Bob Romano

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 26, 2002
Messages
5,633
Location
Viva Las Vegas
See... this is the same thing that happened with regular 5.1. Upmixes, in most cases lately, not labeled as such. People think they sound crappy then lose interest. I'd rather have the real thing or nothing at all. 99% of the time I am disappointed by an upmix. And especially at streaming bitrates.
 

marcb

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
726
Or 1966 all over again - when instead of creating true stereo mixes, labels simply created duophonic/fake stereo.

If/when Atmos becomes the de facto standard, these stereo upmixes will be greeted with the same derision those 60s fake stereo mixes have been for decades. The good news is since they’ll all exist only on streaming servers, hopefully many will eventually be quietly replaced and the upmixes will disappear into the ether.
 

MidiMagic

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
1,544
Or 1966 all over again - when instead of creating true stereo mixes, labels simply created duophonic/fake stereo.

If/when Atmos becomes the de facto standard, these stereo upmixes will be greeted with the same derision those 60s fake stereo mixes have been for decades. The good news is since they’ll all exist only on streaming servers, hopefully many will eventually be quietly replaced and the upmixes will disappear into the ether.
Atmos become the de-facto standard??? I do not expect this. Very few people will have the money or the room to have Atmos playback. Most will have mono, stereo, or possibly Dolby Surround.
 

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
26,964
Location
London, England
Atmos become the de-facto standard??? I do not expect this. Very few people will have the money or the room to have Atmos playback. Most will have mono, stereo, or possibly Dolby Surround.
i do because one of the features of Atmos is that it is said to be compatible with Mono, Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, etc..

so, down the line all versions could be released in Atmos as standard and then be played on any end user's equipment and delivery method.

the consumer could be listening on headphones, or earbuds, or a portable speaker (or speakers), a home Stereo (i.e. 2-channel) speaker system, or a Home theatre system comprising 4, 6, 8, 12, or however many speakers.. and it would all still be palatable.

that's the theory anyway.
 

keywhiz

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,401
Location
Northern Nevada
i do because one of the features of Atmos is that it is said to be compatible with Mono, Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, etc..

so, down the line all versions could be released in Atmos as standard and then be played on any end user's equipment and delivery method.

the consumer could be listening on headphones, or earbuds, or a portable speaker (or speakers), a home Stereo (i.e. 2-channel) speaker system, or a Home theatre system comprising 4, 6, 8, 12, or however many speakers.. and it would all still be palatable.

that's the theory anyway.
Makes sense. Stereo records and tapes were manufactured to be compatible with mono players. Weren't most (all) quad LP's downward-compatible as well?

One mix that works great for Atmos that can be folded-down to smaller systems makes more sense than creating separate stereo and surround mixes. As it is, I play the Atmos mixes on a 5.1 system and while I presume most would sound better on a full Atmos system, most sound find to me and I don't otherwise know the difference or what I am missing.

The problem is likely that so many albums still aren't initially recorded/mixed in studios set up for Atmos or by engineers familiar with the process. So the multis are, many/most times, still being sent out to somewhere/someone who CAN create such a mix.
 

MrSmithers

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,377
Location
UK 🇬🇧
Has anyone come across WEA Atmos singles that are not upmixed--and if so, could we keep track of those ones here, too?
There's some recent Aretha Franklin singles newly made available, of last week? On Tidal they are grouped together as part of the Aretha Franklin - 30 Greatest Hits. Even though it only lists 9 songs. Ironically I think in total there are approx 30 historical Aretha Atmos tracks that all have genuine mixes now? Maybe some are faked? Thankfully there's quite a few that are good/real I think... 😅
 
Last edited:

fredblue

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
26,964
Location
London, England
Makes sense. Stereo records and tapes were manufactured to be compatible with mono players. Weren't most (all) quad LP's downward-compatible as well?

One mix that works great for Atmos that can be folded-down to smaller systems makes more sense than creating separate stereo and surround mixes. As it is, I play the Atmos mixes on a 5.1 system and while I presume most would sound better on a full Atmos system, most sound find to me and I don't otherwise know the difference or what I am missing.

The problem is likely that so many albums still aren't initially recorded/mixed in studios set up for Atmos or by engineers familiar with the process. So the multis are, many/most times, still being sent out to somewhere/someone who CAN create such a mix.
Quad LPs were all billed as compatible, they all had issues of some kind however;

CD-4 folded down each Pair of Channels into the Left & Right, so that Front Left and Rear Left would both appear in the Left channel when played in straight Stereo and Front Right and Rear Right were both summed in the Right channel in Stereo.

due to this, sometimes a Quad mix on CD-4 LP might seem a bit unbalanced when played in 2-channel, especially if for example the Rears of the Quad had been mixed hotter than the Fronts, or vice versa.

SQ had "Centre Back" cancellation issues, so any material that was panned to image centrally between the 2 Rear channels would disappear when the SQ encode was played back in Mono.

also, SQ may have maintained full separation of the Front L&R channels at all times but that came at a cost in that the system had very poor Front to Back separation without employing extra processes (such as logic decoding, wave-matching, etc.)

i guess QS' biggest "compatibility sin" was maybe that it had a somewhat narrowed image all-round and in particular the main thing CBS' SQ system had over QS was QS' diminished separation in the L&R Front Main channels and so reduced separation when played in Stereo.

afaik Atmos does not suffer these particular issues?

although the quality of the mix and how carefully the engineer accomodates for their mix to translate to playback methods and devices other than 7.1.4 (what i'm now crudely calling "Total Atmos"! 😂 ) is still, i feel, bound to be of importance.
 

marcb

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
726
Atmos become the de-facto standard??? I do not expect this. Very few people will have the money or the room to have Atmos playback. Most will have mono, stereo, or possibly Dolby Surround.


Well, I did write IF/when

Nonetheless don't forget Headphones...those are also becoming the de facto standard.

And Atmos can be folded to 5.1 if you don't have a true atmos system, no?
 

Cheezmo

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
1,019
Location
Texas
Well, I did write IF/when

Nonetheless don't forget Headphones...those are also becoming the de facto standard.

And Atmos can be folded to 5.1 if you don't have a true atmos system, no?

Actually Atmos is built on a 5.1 (or 7.1?) base. The Atmos metadata pulls things out of that and moves them around.
 
Top