During the latter half of 2022, the Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® co-presented a series of six webinar sessions with Dolby titled "Inside the Mix," as a special engagement of the Dolby Atmos® Music Master Class series. The episodes, streamed live for P&E Wing members, each featured different experts from Dolby covering everything from room configurations and tuning to metadata for immersive audio, along with a live Q&A with producers and engineers working with Dolby Atmos immersive audio. Each webinar was introduced by Maureen Droney, Vice President of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, and Christine Thomas, Dolby Laboratories head of Music Partnerships, and moderated by four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Michael Romanowski. The entire series is now archived and available to all at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIMiwsDFHA97NjjngN3nsNXr5fFWAj-tk.
Dolby Atmos is a pioneering, immersive audio experience developed by Dolby that empowers artists with tools that can open a world of new and expanded creative possibilities. With more demand for projects to be created in Dolby Atmos, this series provides viewers with the know-how they need to start creating in Dolby Atmos today.
Episode 1 (available at https://youtu.be/ReYLwDmf9Lo) focused on deliverables, with Dolby Atmos expert Ceri Thomas presenting.
Episode 2 (available at https://youtu.be/jT0-JnbBbbY), "Room Configurations and Tuning," was led by Bryan Pennington, senior applications manager at Dolby. The discussion covered best practices in room configuration, monitor tuning and more when working with Dolby Atmos. Pennington stated, "It doesn't matter if you have the best speakers in the world; if your room is not acoustically good, then chances are your mixes won't be either!"
Episode 3 (available at https://youtu.be/7D2L_bkQe9I) featured David Gould, Dolby's senior director, content creation solutions, and John Scanlon, senior manager of Dolby Institute and events, in an overview discussion of Dolby Atmos Music creation solutions. Gould discussed a wide range of proprietary guidelines and tools, an example of a general Dolby Atmos mixing workflow, the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite, Production Suite, Renderer, and more.
In Episode 4 (available at https://youtu.be/rJrrHlrbJWY), Mike Ward (Dolby director of consumer entertainment technology) delved into Dolby Atmos Music formats with Romanowski, covering such questions as: "Where can Dolby Atmos be heard?" "Is Dolby Atmos lossy? True or false," "What sample rate limitations exist?" and more.
In Episode 5 (available at https://youtu.be/e3k823YyXoo), David Gould returned for a deep dive into metadata. "Is Dolby Atmos metadata just about panning?" "What are the trim controls?" "What are the binaural controls?" "What are the suggested metadata parameters for music?" These questions were among the questions answered in the discussion.
Episode 6 (available at https://youtu.be/EfRTmWOG3TE) saw John Scanlon returning with tips for further learning, education and support with Dolby Atmos, as he provided an overview of certification options, professional support forums and knowledge bases, and other resources for learning more.
Maureen Droney remarks, "As part of the P&E Wing's ongoing commitment to providing the industry with the most needed information, we are pleased to present these sessions recorded with experts from Dolby. These sessions were informative, timely and entertaining as well, and we invite all audio professionals to watch them for yourselves and get the inside scoop. We thank all of our guests from Dolby for their incisive commentary, and we look forward to further sessions covering more topics of importance in the future."
Also part of the “Inside the Mix” series, a separate earlier session offered the perfect primer on immersive audio: "Prelude: Immersive Audio 101." This session featured panelists Jimmy Douglass (producer and engineer: Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z), Leslie Ann Jones (recording engineer, director of music recording and scoring/Skywalker Sound, and current Co-Chair of the P&E Wing), Mike Piacentini (mastering engineer: Bob Dylan, Coheed and Cambria, Miles Ahead – A Miles Davis Biopic) and Darcy Proper (mastering engineer: Billie Holiday, Steely Dan, the Eagles), who were joined by moderator Brian (BT) Gibbs (producer and immersive mix engineer, Skyline Entertainment & Publishing) and Maureen Droney, Vice President, Producers & Engineers Wing. The session is available to view at https://www.recordingacademy.com/news/watch-immersive-audio-101-panel-producer-and-engineers-wing-recording-academy or at https://youtu.be/twI7ozdr3hA.