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A change in studies, pain in the wallet

If things continue this way, almost everything in recording studios, be they home studios or large Abdala-style studios, will have to be changed at any moment, if production is to be serious. To say the least, Dolby Atmos has begun to be recorded in a "suspicious" manner.

This way of recording is several years old, but news has just come out indicating that the issue goes further. Apple Music has started to put this sound even before Spotify and some suggest that they might start requiring it to include music in the playlists.

If so, we will have to turn the wheel, sell or discard some things and open the wallet, because it's still expensive and there is a know-how to catch. Until today, anyone with a couple of microphones and a computer of some power could record himself at home, isolating with a few pieces of wood and egg cartons on the wall. But someone has given the stop and to spend that Dolby Atmos, the surround sound, has arrived.

Experts talk about immersive music, where the sound can come from anywhere, depending on how they decide in the mix. That is, the keyboards can be behind you, the percussion below you, or the brass from the ceiling. It's as if you were in the same place where Fito Paez plays. You would listen as if you were in the center of the band, and not in a distant armchair, looking at the orchestra; with Dolby Atmos, Paez would sing in front of you and you would hear all the accompanying instruments around you.

Up to 118 objects are available for recording in Dolby Atmos, i.e. this number of instruments or sounds could be placed in space. Imagine you are in the cinema, and the actor emits a sound that you feel in front of you and, at the same time, a cat meows in the scene that you can feel behind you. That would be Dolby Atmos sound, but in music creation.

Digital Trends says Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group are remastering tracks from their catalogs in Dolby Atmos. On TIDAL and Amazon Music HD there is a large Dolby Atmos library with music by Coldplay, J Balvin, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Halsey, Superm, Elton John, The Beatles, James Williams, Billie Eilish, Luciano Pavarotti or Marvin Gaye. There is more, last 20th was presented The Harmony Codexby the British Steven Wilson, mixed in Dolby Atmos immersive audio. Let's add that Abbey Road records in this format -at least it has the technology to do so-, and The Beatles' album of the same name was already remastered with part of the material also in Dolby Atmos.

Those who thought they had achieved a good study will have to quote Ramón Fernández-Larrea: "the blinding light will always be ahead"; that, while they sink their hand in their pockets to get in tune with this novelty that seems to be coming stronger than the surround. Because Dolby Atmos can even adapt to inferior technologies while maintaining the sound quality. The headphones continue to function until further notice. For the time being, you should buy the console and enjoy the surround sound.

Truth be told, one could live for a thousand years (well, not that long) with a Juvenile 80, a VEF or a Rodina; but gentlemen: there are guys out there who listen at a different level and missing out on that sounds like a waste.

Those who make studios should keep in mind that the industry was losing ground when home studios became popular; they were not going to stay quiet. Maybe we should all quote Larrea again: "this is also the splendor, but not either". Because when we have Dolby Atmos studios, the industry will invent something else.

Rogelio Ramos Domínguez Writer of verses and songs. Full-time journalist and especially father of Claudia Ramos. More posts

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