Dolby Atmos arrives at our Audio-T store in Manchester...
...but first, here is a quick diary of our trip to Dolby Labs in Soho, London.
After a quick 2hr's and 9 min train journey from Manchester to Euston, I arrive at Dolby Europe in the heart of London.
Spot the Chrome Trooper..??
The famous Ray Dolby even has a lounge named after him. Did you know Dolby was actually founded in London in 1965.
After tea and biscuits we enter Dolby's custom built cinema.
In all honesty, from personal point of view, I think its probably the best cinema sound I have ever heard.
Dolby Atmos creates an "atmosphere" around you that simply envelopes you and pulls you into what is happening on screen
as well as letting you know what is happening off screen. Truly convincing, Clever stuff!
More so than anything else out there, á la DSP modes found on most surround amplifiers.
The exclusive movie clips that were played to us demonstrates exactly why there is such excitement around this great new format.
Chromey actually got his own private viewing...show off!!
And now!! how to bring this wonderful format to the home, well...
...introducing the all new Pioneer SC-LX88 Dolby Atmos enabled surround receiver.
It's coming back with me, to Manchester.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and back in Manchester we are up and running with our KEF in ceiling CI160 QR.
We have 4 of these installed in the ceiling, giving us the true Dolby Atmos experience.
Our ever faithful KEF R Series make up the fronts and rears in our set up.
The most excellent Sony VPL-HW55ES projetor takes care of our video duties.
Pioneer have gone back to their high end roots with the beautifully built BDP-LX58.
We were also given some dedicated and exclusive footage by Dolby for use in our Dolby Atmos demo room.
Dolby's Silent animated short was made exclusively for Dolby to demonstrate the new Dolby Atmos format.
It's great fun and it's definitely worth popping in to experience it.
There are several Dolby Atmos clips to get your teeth into.
And some informative shorts telling you about how the whole "object based software" helps the Dolby engineers
to get the mix just right.
Here is a small excerpt.
"The limits of channel-based audio"
There’s no question that channel-based audio can produce great sound. But the format is fundamentally limited because it is created to play back on a specific type of speaker arrangement and doesn’t have the necessary information to deliver a fuller, richer sound if you expand your system.
If a movie is mixed in 5.1, for instance, it has just the information it needs to play back to five speakers, set in predefined locations, and one subwoofer. There’s no point in adding more speakers because the 5.1 mix doesn’t know what to do with them. If you don’t place your speakers in the “right” locations, your movies won’t sound quite right.
The fact that it’s object based makes Dolby Atmos much more adaptable because it’s not locked to a certain number of speakers. Instead, the object-based nature of Dolby Atmos gives the soundtrack a wealth of data about the sound in a scene.
In Dolby Atmos, each sound in a movie scene—a gunshot or a woman’s scream, for instance—can be an object. Filmmakers can precisely specify where those sound objects should originate and how they should move.
So there you have it, the rest, as they say, is down to you popping into Audio-T Manchester and trying it out for yourself.
Munir (me), Mike, Kevin and Dave will be on hand to give you a demonstration of Dolby Atmos,
in what we believe is the only store in Manchester to have true Dolby Atmos up and running.
See you soon.
I have just been to Dolby's European headquarters in London to hear the new Atmos system at work, and it is very impressive indeed!
Pioneer had arranged an introduction to Atmos in the wonderful 60 seater cinema at Dolby HQ which I have to say is the best sounding cinema I have ever heard (plus the HQ is a lovely buiding as well)
As I'm sure many of you are aware, Atmos is the next step forward in surround sound, although it is probably better described as fully immersive sound. The new processing allows the soundtrack mixers to place sound "objects" accurately in a three dimensional space, and to move them wherever they need to within that space.
The result is a remarkable immersive experience, one clip being in the middle of a thunderstorm with the thunder literally overhead while the rain falls around you, and although it has been used in cinemas for a while it is now available for the home cinema as well. With an Atmos equipped receiver and as little as a couple of extra speakers the home cinema experiece quite literally takes on a new dimension.
Pioneer are as always at the forefront of this new technology with their receivers, including the award winning SC-LX58. They also unveiled two new BluRay players with superb construction and performance.
We have the SC-LX58 on dem in Brentwood and ready to play some Atmos soundtracks for you, so come along and see (and hear) what all the fuss is about.