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77: Apple Spatial Audio & Dolby Atmos – Is This The End Of Stereo?

You've probably heard about Apple Spatial Audio or Dolby Atmos...


...and you've probably heard the marketing message, telling you you're missing out if you're still listening to music in stereo.

Is this true, though? And does that mean we need to upgrade our home studios and build expensive immersive audio rooms? Or switch to headphones exclusively? Is your stereo setup becoming useless?

Let's discuss!

More...


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

The Dolby Website (with sound examples):

https://www.dolby.com/technologies/dolby-atmos/

About Apple Spatial Audio:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212182


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 077

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] It's never been things like where is this in the stereo field? Or like it's around or whatever. It's always things like emotion in the lyrics, in the music. How intimate, how close is something. This is the self recording band podcast. The show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are.

DIY style. Let's go.

Hello and welcome to the self recording. Podcast. I am your host and a Dick time. And I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood. How are you, buddy? 

Malcom: [00:00:35] I'm good, man. I did a half marathon yesterday. 

Benedikt: [00:00:38] Wow. Super set. Use very 

Malcom: [00:00:41] exciting. Your first. Uh, I did one when I was 16. I think. So this is essentially the longest I've run as an adult.

Yeah, it 

Benedikt: [00:00:49] was awesome, but I didn't know. You've been running before. Like I thought you'd just started running now. What was the time? Did you have a goal and did 

Malcom: [00:00:57] you meet it? I, I didn't have a [00:01:00] time goal. It was more so like, just to finish it. Cause my, my longest run up until this point was 13.5 kilometers in like recent months, pretty much added like equal meters or something.

All at once, which is a big jump, like just finishing and, uh, I was limping to the end. 

Benedikt: [00:01:15] Okay. So what was it, what was the time? 

Malcom: [00:01:19] Uh, two minutes and 40 or two hours and 49 minutes. Like most of it was on trail, so that's actually not. So 

Benedikt: [00:01:26] I was about to say is like, totally depends on the, on the course as well.

And it was like 

Malcom: [00:01:31] 600 meters elevation. 

Benedikt: [00:01:33] That's totally a totally different story than big 

Malcom: [00:01:36] doozy of a run for sure. But, uh, yeah, I had a 

Benedikt: [00:01:40] blast in that case time goals are like really makes sense because it's much hard. Like some people say like for the first half management or whatever they want to run, they want to run like sub two hours or something.

But that's only possible if you have a really flat, fast chorus. Like, I mean, it's possible on trade as well, but. Us mere mortals with our [00:02:00] first attempt at a half marathon. Like everything's up to is like really, really fast, like a good thing to accomplish. But if you're going to have such a hard time doing that on a tray like that with elevation and all that, so totally 

Malcom: [00:02:13] I'm super stoked that we did it.

Just have 

Benedikt: [00:02:15] such a good time. Congrats, man. That's awesome. Thank you. Did you run it with your tissues? 

Malcom: [00:02:21] I did scrape. Um, yeah. You know what I want, the sound was four though, is I feel like they're more acceptable to wear in public than my 

Benedikt: [00:02:27] toe. Same here. Actually, I use them for running sometimes, but I kind of switch back and forth, but I just use them for walks or hikes and like just, yeah, some are being outside.

You 

Malcom: [00:02:38] got them on. You're good. 

Benedikt: [00:02:39] Yeah, exactly. And it's, it's the closest to like walking around barefoot in a way. And like, I mean, Tosha is art as well, but I like the, you know, freedom free the toes, so, yeah. That's awesome. Cool. Cool. All right, Congress. And now what's next. Take one, one final question. You, what is next?

Like, are you planning on like doing a marathon or, or any other trail race [00:03:00] or, or street race around? Both the 

Malcom: [00:03:02] guys I was running with are, um, I can't really stress enough how much I'm limping today. Like yeah, no, I'm planning to figure out how I can do that without almost dying. 

Benedikt: [00:03:13] Make sure you drink enough today because the more water you drink, the quicker, the soreness and like joint pain and joint pain and everything would go.

Not only for hydration, but it really helps the inflammation go out of the body or the, how about you? How was your week? Um, was awesome. I was, uh, this week, like yesterday I was, or this weekend I was at my mom's place. They had a family, um, celebration thing, like no real, it's not a birthday or anything.

It's just an annual family meetups sort of thing. So we, uh, the kids and my wife and I, we camped and in my mom's my mom's garden. And there were a lot of people there. Um, yeah, family meetup. And that's how we spent the weekend. I was also running like just 10 K yesterday, but I got up in the morning and.

Like yeah, got out for a run and it was my [00:04:00] attempt at like defeating the hangover and it works. I, 

Malcom: [00:04:05] it really works. It is the hardest thing in the world to get out there and do it. Yeah. Awesome. 

Benedikt: [00:04:09] Yeah. Other than that, like, yeah, it was a lot of mixing. The usual stuff. And then this weekend was pretty awesome.

And today I'm back in, usually I don't make as much on Mondays. Uh, it's just my day to like where I catch up on emails and do invoices proposals and work on the business side of things and then do this podcast and do revisions and everything. Couldn't get done over the weekend or whatever. But, um, today I actually like, we are so swamped in projects right now here that I actually did a mix today and it's a pretty, uh, pretty cool, pretty exciting project, um, for a Canadian, um, guy, um, There's that?

Yeah. Do I know them? Is it Tim? No. No. Um, I dunno if I can say any more. I don't think he has announced anything. That's fine. Okay. Let's dive into today's episode. Um, something we've never talked about and it [00:05:00] is, and this is like, um, I don't know if a lot of podcasts talk about that. Like the DIY recording podcasts and musician podcasts already talk about that because it's a little.

Outside of what we've been doing all the time. Um, we are talking about immersive audio and that includes Dolby Atmos or apple spatial audio. Like I w w I was about to say like multichannel audio, but it's actually not true. Um, so what it really, really is, is like a new. Sort of surround sound. We'll get into that.

What it actually is, but it's something that apple just announced. I think Spotify and we'll announce a will like, um, supported soon. I'm not sure about title. There are a couple of platforms who are about to jump on that. And then there is, there'll be Atmos, which has been around for a while. And this is just one way of doing this and we're doing this episode because a lot of people are worried right now, whether they have to build an Atmos room or get like five or 10 more speakers or get the [00:06:00] plugin to do it on headphones, or like whether their, their audio, their records, their releases will now.

Sound inferior to everything else if they stick to stereo. So there's this fear out there and I've, I've seen this in forums. I've seen this in Facebook communities. I've seen this, um, I've actually gotten questions about this from our audience. And people are just wondering if they have to dive into this whole immersive audio world now, because they are missing out.

They feel like they're missing out if they don't. And that's what we're going to talk about today, because we have an opinion on that and we want to share it with you. We're, we don't know where this will go. Of course, because we can predict the future, but we have an opinion of. Where it is right now. And whether or not you should be worried.

Yes. 

Malcom: [00:06:46] Yeah. I think really what we're talking about is apple spatial audio, because they're the ones that are doing it right now. And they're also the ones that have kind of caused the hysteria and all the worry about it, with [00:07:00] how they've marketed it. I mean, I, like you said, we don't know where it's going.

I do think there's going to be some cool stuff that comes out. But currently, I think it's kind of like, it's been blown out of proportion and it's, I don't really think it's going to be the, the new wave of how we consume music. 

Benedikt: [00:07:17] And the thing is it's good that you say we, we mainly talk about apple spatial audio, because.

Atmos is kind of the big deal right now where you see all these, um, big producers built these Atmos rooms, these Dolby Atmos rooms, like Greg Wells, just build building spectacular room, like with a custom made analog console where he can mix these Atmos mixes. And like, Andrew Shep's just. Even in reshapes who was like known the last couple of years for just mixing on his headphones in an untreated room and stuff like that.

He just got himself like an Atmos set up in his room at home. And he started to treat the room because. I think if you want to be like an official, like Atmos studio, Atmos room, you got to do certain things and they come and [00:08:00] like measure the room and like set everything up. And then you are like a certified Atmos mixing studio.

So I think Andrew Shaps just did that. Greg Wells did that. A couple of others did that as well. So this is kind of the big deal right now, but it has been around for awhile, like Dolby Atmos existed since 2012, I think. And it's mainly. And movie or gaming and virtual reality thing. And for that, it is really great.

And it's already been, um, been used a lot. And I think that's really the application where we're at this totally makes sense, because if you are in at the movies, if you are in a cinema and you have this. These well thought out setups that really work then it's, it's kind of spectacular. Like, and with a movie, it makes sense.

If you see things go from front to back, you also hear them front to back and up and down and all those things. And most 

Malcom: [00:08:45] importantly, you're in an environment that has surround sound speaker setups. 

Benedikt: [00:08:49] Yeah, exactly it. So if you hear it behind your head, it's actually behind your head. So that's a different thing.

And I'm not sure whether these mixers, these producers, their studios. Whether they [00:09:00] are doing more audio for movies now, or I don't know what we'll, we'll see what comes out of that, because the weird thing is, so, as I said, it's been around since 2012, but the weird thing is that now it sort of, it's sort of transitioning out of the movie gaming VR world into the music world.

Yeah. Again, these setups that those people have, they can do real Atmos mixes so they can actually play something in the speaker behind them. But to reproduce it accurately, you'd have, you'd have to have an Atmos set up. You can have headphones or a soundbar, or even just a phone that supports Atmos. So that works, but that is then just an emulation and algorithm that just does it sort of like the real thing.

And I don't know. So that, that's the interesting part about it. If, if you make the switch to the music world and those people mix it on their Atmos systems, how well will it translate to your soundbar? How well will it translate to your headphones? It's cool that it's it's supported and that you don't have to have the [00:10:00] 9.1 or 9.2 or 9.4 point something set up.

Um, so there's no clear definition. That's not like with a 5.1 surround that you have to have a certain set of speakers. I think you can start with a minimum number and then it goes up to 64 or a hundred and something, I don't know, crazy amount of speakers and everything in between that. So that's cool that it works on all of these setups, but if it's not the exact thing that it's been mixed on, it will always just be.

An approximation. That's the part that we are a little concerned about and you can do the test yourself. I mean, Malcolm, you've listened to some of the examples on the Dobie, and now we're still talking about Dolby. We switched to apple soon, but, um, you've been listening to some of the example, um, mixes on the Adobe website, right?

Malcom: [00:10:43] Yes. Yeah. If you, if you're not aware, you can go to their website and they have a little example video and stuff like that. You can check. Good. 

Benedikt: [00:10:51] So what do you think you listen to those on headphones? What was your emotion? I mean, it 

Malcom: [00:10:55] did sound more spaced out. Um, [00:11:00] it kind of sounded a little fazey to me if I'm honest.

Um, and then when I pulled up the original mix, I was like, Hm, I like this more. It sounded different. Um, and like, so I'm talking specifically about the there's a Marvin Gaye example. Um, and yeah, it did, it did some stuff, but it, you have to think. In this situation, Marvin Gaye, that, that song wasn't mixed to be on that.

That's not what the artist intended when they put it out. So whenever we go through a process with, uh, an artist and we do mixes and they give us revision notes or whatever, like that, we're, we're tailoring something to be specific to their vision. And it's going to be released exactly how we as a team and trying to make it sound.

You do that. And now somebody grabs apple spatial audio, for example, and can like, listen to it through this algorithm. It's going to do things that you had no intention to your 

Benedikt: [00:11:56] music. Yeah. Yeah, totally. So. [00:12:00] I think we need to clarify first, um, before we go any further in depth about this is that there's two ways of doing that.

As I said, you can build a mix room, a real Atmos room and mix in Atmos or any other surround or immersive format there's that, but then they also give you a plugin. Um, uh, software and that's true for like the apple spatial audio. And that's also true for Dolby Atmos, and I think apple spacial supports there'll be Atmos.

And like th th this is also part of the confusion that there is different formats and you're not really sure which is which, but in essence, you can make a true immersive mix or you can take stereo, or maybe I think even a motto, I don't know, but you can take a stereo mix. Run it through this plugin or software, and then it spits out an immersive mix.

And so it hasn't been mixed in this format. It's just converted, it's been converted to this new thing and I don't know how it actually detects what element to place, where, so I don't [00:13:00] know if you have control over that. But as you said, it's, it takes something that's not been intended to be that way and turns it into this and which can be cool.

I guess it may, there might be situations where actually sounds exciting, but the problem is that they market it as if you were missing out without it. And that's just not true because. Immersive does not equal better. It's just different. And it's sort of a lottery. It can be exciting and cool, but it can also be really weird.

And it's definitely not what the sound was supposed to sound to. The song was supposed to sound like. And I find it kind of weird that they make you feel like now everything's better if you're listening to it, listening to it in spatial, because that's definitely not the case. And also this comparison of the Marvin gay thing, especially that you've been talking about.

I thought when switching back and forth between the stereo and the immersive one, not only did it sound like Facey and stuff, but I think it's kind of an unfair comparison because what it mainly does is [00:14:00] it, it makes the original sound, I dunno, flat or dull in a way. And the immersive one suddenly like as if the, if it were.

I don't know, it suddenly opens up in a way. And I think to someone who's not experienced, this might sound impressive at first because it seems wider and it maybe seems even a little louder. It seems a little more exciting, but if you, so it's a little bit of an unfair comparison, I think, because if you would do the volume match properly and if you, I don't know if it's just so different, you can't really compare it and I'm not sure if the first.

Impression that you get that might actually be impressive or, or exciting if that lasts for long, because I think it will be a little fatiguing and also distracting to listen to a whole record like that because some, some parts of it are just out of focus. You can't really make a debase anymore and like not, not as focused and center anymore.

And it's like, I dunno, it's [00:15:00] probably subjective. But I think it's kind of an unfair comparison to do it that way. And I'm definitely, I definitely don't think you're missing out if you don't listen to music that way it's just different. 

Malcom: [00:15:12] Yeah. The, so again, Adobe room has a ton of speakers it's coming from all over the place.

And that probably sounds completely different than what like the apple spatial plugin is going to do. When you listen through that, now they're kind of marketing. It as if it's the same thing that they're saying that if you listen with apple spacial audio, you have this big. Immersive like surround sound thing, but you don't, you actually still have stereo.

It's still two speakers, which is the definition of stereo. Um, so you, you're not actually getting surround sound at all. You're getting something that is trying to make it seem like you have surround sound and obviously there's compromises to be made there. It just can't be surround sound possible. 

Benedikt: [00:15:59] Yeah.

And now [00:16:00] if you think about how careful. People are and how, and we've talked about that a lot as well. How careful we all are when we treat our stereo bus, like our, our mixed bus or in mastering, how careful we are with things like, even like things like filters or. Things like, and then especially things like widening and stuff.

We use that very carefully to not mess up the song and the mix and everything. Now imagine what happens if you put the whole mix through a software like that, it messes up a whole lot of things. There are crossovers and filters and weird, like, um, yeah, widening and what, I dunno what effects they are, but it definitely changes how the individual elements sound and it's.

I don't know, it just seems weird to me that we are so careful and we make this 0.1 DB changes and we check like the phase of the filters and all that. And then you throw it all through this algorithm and it totally changes everything. It's like, that's just weird to me. And I also think [00:17:00] that this will be, this has to stay.

And H headphone only thing, at least for awhile, or like it has to probably stay like that because there's no way that all the bedroom producers in home studios are going to adopt this and we'll build like proper Atmos studio. So we will do that on headphones. And that can be cool, but it's always going to be this massive, like processing that we have to go through then.

And we have to monitor through that even. And it's like, I just don't see. The benefit in it. It just destroys so much that I don't see. Yeah. I don't see the benefit and I don't even know why I would want to hear an instrument in front of me or in the back. I don't know. It's just, I don't see the why behind all that.

I totally see it with, we are at gaming and movies. But I don't really see it with music. 

Malcom: [00:17:48] Yeah. I, I agree. I, I don't really see it now if it sticks around, like we said, like Dolby has been out for a long time. Um, but if it sticks around with these big companies marketing [00:18:00] in this way, which ultimately if they trick the consumers into thinking, it's the best thing ever, we're stuck with it.

What I hope will happen is that artists understand that they need to do to. We need to do a mix for spatial audio and a mix for stereo. And hopefully our streaming platforms are smart enough to let us provide different mixes for those situations. Somehow, otherwise like we're in for like a big hit on quality of quality control and music.

And I think that's why we're seeing music mixers with these big budgets that are able to build Dolby rooms because Adobe room is. It's gotta be in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, honestly. And they have to be really big rooms. I've been in one. It was really impressive. Yeah. But, uh, like it's not something you can do on a shoestring budget at all.

So I like, that's the only reason I could think of somebody like chaps doing it right. Where he can, you can make somebody like Adele on headphones, you know, and, and just do amazing work on headphones. So why is he spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on this room? And I [00:19:00] think it's. These labels are expecting a mix in spatial audio as well.

But that's the only 

Benedikt: [00:19:06] thing I could think of. Yeah, exactly. And I, I think that is, that will only work and I think they are experimenting with that as well. It could also turn out to be a really bad investment. I don't know, like from the labels perspectives, especially because they are now paying for these Atmos mixes will be, which will be pretty expensive.

Like chefs will not charge the same, I guess, for the Atmos mix then like for the mix. So these labels are investing a lot of money in these Atmos releases, hoping that it will, that people will adopt it and like it, yeah. But they want to do it properly. They want to have the real Atmos mixes. They don't want to have the stereo converted.

So they do that. The weird thing is the M on the end consumer. And like for the end consumer, it will still be somewhat converted because most people will still listen on two speakers or even one if they're listening on their phones. So, yeah, it's an experiment. I mean, it could be the cool thing about it.

So I want to say one positive thing. The cool thing about [00:20:00] it is that it's sort of the wild west. And you have like people who are doing real Atmos productions, like with the Atmos in mind and like, not just the converted series. They can now define a whole UW way of, of recording and producing stuff, because there is no definition of what an Atmos mix should sound like because in stereo, we sort of have these, um, templates in our minds already in our heads already from listening from years and decades of listening to music that we know that usually kick snare bass are in the middle guitars are left and right.

Vocals are in the middle. There's always the exception, but we have the. Um, th the sort of an idea of what a stereo mix sounds like typically, and now with an Atmos mix, there are sort of no rules. Like where do you put things, is a guitar like a little higher than the base? Or is it like, you know, like, is it in front of you or in the back of you or over, or under your head?

I don't know. So now you have the chance to define that and maybe, maybe some people come up with really cool concepts for that. [00:21:00] Maybe if you have the right playback system, it can be actually really exciting. I'm not sure, but that's the one opportunity that I see that you can do something really new now.

I mean, 

Malcom: [00:21:11] an application I thought of is like, In a movie with a band on screen, you know, if like the, the actor walks past the stage, the music can be behind the listener now. Cause like that's the point of view of the camera or something, you know, they, it can be really immersive that way, which could be really, really interesting.

Um, but again, that's like kind of what we've been saying this whole time games and movies and TV, it seems like just a great application. Worth the trade-off of, of like messing with the Sonics, right. For that environment of being like mercifully in a, uh, uh, an environment, but with music. Where there is no imaginary environment, really.

I mean, we try and create a stage of like, there's a band in front of you kind of thing, but nobody stands in the middle of a band and weather. 

Benedikt: [00:21:58] Yeah, totally. The only thing you could do [00:22:00] is what they did for like decades. Now with 5.1 surround. Is that you could maybe have the four live concert recording or whatever you could have the audience sort of behind you or next to you.

Or you could have like reflections from the back wall of the club or whatever, like things like that. You could do that, but you don't really need Atmos for that. And also, I still think to. Have that experience to really fully enjoy this experience and make it worth it. You'd have to have a proper Dolby setup at home because on headphones or even like with a soundbar, it will only be an approximation.

And I'm not sure whether or not this will give you the experience you think you'd have. So people are having a hard time, like setting up two speakers most of the time that, however, how, how are like normal people going to do it with like nine, 10 or whatever speakers. Like, I wouldn't know how to set them up properly.

I would have to do research and probably mess it up. I don't know. I don't see homes with like proper Atmos setups anytime soon. And that's sort of the [00:23:00] challenge here now, the other thing, and that's, I'm curious to hear your thoughts about that and I'll come when we reduce it to what music actually is and what it does to us and what defines that or what makes us feel a certain way or what creates this emotional reaction that we have when we listen to them?

It's never been things like where is this in the stereo field or in like, even in surround or whatever. It's always things like, what's the, what's the melody, what's the groove. Um, how hard does it hit? How soft is it? How. Like the emotion in the lyrics, in the music, how intimate, how close is something or, um, I don't know the core progressions, the harmonies, all those things.

They are totally independent from the format of like Monasterio or surround. Like you can make more space in stereo compared to mano, but the essentials, you can even have those in mano, like even a mano music [00:24:00] recording and mix can be really, really. Um, cool. And make you react to it emotionally because the core things are there and I'm a little afraid that those things are even harder to really get across in an immersive situation because you don't have this intimacy.

You it's harder to have something really focused. At least to me, like the sample sound like that. At least it all sounds. Like the same club or we're groom that it's recorded and it's not, nothing's like really close and intimate. It's all, it all has this weird ambiance around it. And I don't want that ambience on every single element all the time.

Sometimes I want a singer right in my ear, like really close. I don't want it in this, this weird thing. So I'm wondering if we need a format like that to get across what's most important. And that is the emotion and that is what the song makes us feel, because I don't think it lies in the panning or, or.

The ambiance or anything like that. Right. 

[00:25:00] Malcom: [00:25:00] I think I agree with you. I need to keep listening. We need to see how things develop, uh, with people mixing for it, um, for the format, which currently, I don't know anything about, like, I, I haven't heard anything about access to a plugin that lets us mix. 

Benedikt: [00:25:17] Yeah, you can, you, you, you have access to that.

Um, Um, you can, but by the, the, the Atmos plugin from Dhabi from, um, what is it then? Yeah, there'll be, then, then you have the Sony thing, which is a little different, but there's that, and then apple, I think has, or will come up. I don't know if it's out already, but I'm pretty sure they will release something like the apple digital masters thing that you can run big SIS through, but like for mixing in Atmos, like placing things.

Where you want to place them. There is the original Atmos plugin, and there's, I think, two ways to do it. There is the real setup where we need all the speakers and you need a certain type of interface. And I don't know much about that, but then there is [00:26:00] also the plugin that you can use to mix, um, Atmos mixes on headphones.

And it's not that expensive. I think I'm not sure what it costs, but it's not that expensive. And it works with logic and it works with pro tools. And I think it works with new window. It doesn't work with Cubase, but like certain dos supported and yet there's this plugin and you can in theory right now, make, create an Atmos mix on headphones.

It's part. 

Malcom: [00:26:25] Well, if anybody wants me to try and do a surround sound mix on their song. 

Benedikt: [00:26:30] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I don't know. I don't, I'm not sure right now, I don't even want to invest like the thousand bucks or whatever it is to do that. Or a couple hundred. Right. I 

Malcom: [00:26:40] think it's still we're in a wait and see what the consumers do.

Moment where. Uh, for me, I'm, I'm hoping that people don't fall for this, like over-hyped marketing and, and kind of realize that this isn't better yet. Like if it's not better, there's no reason for us all to be try, uh, jumping on [00:27:00] to listen to music that way. Um, in fact, currently it's not better. It's just like unintentional changes to mixes.

So. We'll see, I guess we just got to wait and see what happens. 

Benedikt: [00:27:11] Yeah, totally. So bottom line is you don't have to be worried. Not at all bedroom studios and stereo setups are not going to go anywhere because that's the whole music industry went in that went that direction. And there's no way that people are going to build Atmos rooms at their homes.

So it's going to be an headphone only thing. And in that case, you still have two speakers attached to you. And you have two speakers in front of you if you don't mix with headphones. So it's always going to be too, like, at least for the foreseeable future, it's going to be two speakers still. And if you think about it, mano didn't go anywhere.

Like you can still mix a mono mix and you can still play it back on, on, on, I don't know if you like that, but you could in theory and it works. So even if people. Listen to a lot of Atmos mixes. Now you can still mix in stereo if you prefer that and it will play back perfectly fine. [00:28:00] So there is no technical need to switch to anything.

And I don't even think there's any other reason to do, to worry about it or do it. And if you want, you can download the plugin or buy the plugin and experiment with it. But yeah, no need to be afraid. Yeah. Just make good music. I think the most important message we can put out there is that you shouldn't, it's interesting to follow these conversations and do the research and stay on top of things, but we still need to focus on what's really important, and that is just making good music and making it feel a certain way, creating these emotions, making sure that our messaging comes across.

That our songs actually matter to people and move people that we are proud of our work. And if you do that in stereo mano or any sort of surround format is like secondary, it's like not the most important thing to worry about. So that's basically it. I mean, the time that I've spent now learning about this, researching it, listening to podcasts episodes, hearing the before and after examples, just because I'm a geek and want to know about it.

[00:29:00] I dunno. I could have written and recorded a song that time and I don't know. Yeah. You know, So I think for now, I'm just going to stop. I'm going to keep an eye on it, but I don't, I will not like get lost in that rabbit hole. And that just focused on making great music music 

Malcom: [00:29:15] researching for this podcast was a waste of time.

Benedikt: [00:29:20] I mean, for this pockets, not, this was actually valuable, but I did a lot of that of research for myself before that. And I think the conclusion was, well now I know a little bit about it, but. Still don't care. And 

Malcom: [00:29:33] well, here's an interesting thought. Um, like we've said to truly do this accurately, you need to do it in a room.

That's equipped to do it. And I bet if there was somebody fast, a fast mixer in one of those rooms pumping up mixes every day for 24 hours a day, every day. And each of them, these Atlas studios, there wouldn't be enough content for the world. They're like, they're, you could max out these studios and they wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand for new music.

So it's not even an [00:30:00] option for the industry to switch to at most it's, it's not possible. So either like the worst case scenario is that they accept people using this plugin as an alternative. Um, and that becomes standard, but I like, I really don't think stereo, it was going anywhere. 

Benedikt: [00:30:15] That's an interesting way to think about it and yeah, I think you're totally right.

It's not even, there's not even enough Atmos rooms too. Do it, 

Malcom: [00:30:22] yeah, it's too expensive. Um, then another thought came to mind though. Cause we were talking about the imaging of a band. Not really correspond to him with. This format very well. Um, but it did kind of make me think, oh, I wonder if there'll be like a whole new genre of instrumental music, soundscape stuff like produced around the spatial idea.

So maybe there's some interesting stuff coming down the pipe 

Benedikt: [00:30:46] for that. I totally agree. Yeah. That, that's an important thing to add actually, like we are always talking from the perspective of, you know, working with bands, rock music, pop music, stuff like that. Like. But yeah, totally. There, there [00:31:00] are already genres that have nothing to do with anything in the real world.

Like they're totally electronic, like yeah. Um, genres that don't have to be realistic. And in that case, yeah. I think right. In that case, there are no rules and it could be, be an experience that actually benefits from that. So, yeah. We'll see. Yeah. And that could even work on headphones because then I don't know, there might be.

We'll see, but I can really see genres where you just put on your headphones, they lay down on the couch and then put a song on, and that takes you on a journey. And it's like a whole different thing that really works on headphones. So I could totally see, 

Malcom: [00:31:40] I think it's going to, there's going to be a little bit more of a divide between just normal music in this and, and new experiences.

But 

Benedikt: [00:31:47] in that case, they also. They have to be produced and mixed for that format, but because it will still not really work or not be as great of an experience if you just do it in serial and then convert it to [00:32:00] apple spatial or whatever. So you'd have to, even if you did with the plugin, but you have to intentionally place those things and that make them move around and like really produce the song with that in mind.

I think. Yeah, I agree. Awesome. Now what I'd love to hear is if you are. I don't know if, if there's, if there are any mastering engineers listening to this podcast, because it's not really our target audience, but if you are mastering or if you work together with a mastering engineer really closely, um, especially with like someone who's like really specialized in mastering with an expensive stereo mastering.

There has been an interesting conversation in a mastermind group that I'm in a mastering Facebook group, where people were talking about whether or not they have to change the set ups now and stuff like that. I would love to hear from people. I would personally love to hear your perspective, or like if you, if you hear of anybody like ditching their stereo set up and moving to an Atmos setup or anything like that, I'd love to hear because there's one thing that I absolutely don't have any answer for in there.

[00:33:00] So far as I know, as far as I know there won't be mastering for Atlas because it's not a stereo channel thing and it's not even like a multi-channel thing. It's a weird, I don't know how it works technically, but there can't be mastering. So you, you make the mix and that's what you export and publish.

There's no extra mastering step. If the listeners really want Atmos or spacial in the future. And that's the only thing we will listen to. Will all the mastering studios suddenly disappear or will all of them become mixing studios for Atmos or a weird combination of that. So if like you're listening to this a year from now two years from now, or whatever, and you are noticing a trend or, you know, people that are ditching the stereo and move to atmosphere.

So like keep us updated. I just want to see where this all goes, because it seems so unlikely to me that this is going on. But who knows, like, especially with mastering. Yeah. Interesting 

Malcom: [00:33:50] thought. You'd have to think on that 

Benedikt: [00:33:52] more. Yeah. Because like, these are the most expensive, most thought out setups in the world.

And these people are really highly like, well [00:34:00] paid. They have contracts with labels. They have, they are well connected in the industry and they would all have to disappear. It's there. It wasn't a thing anymore. Odd. And with them, all the AI, AI mastering platforms that. Um, appeared during the last couple of years, they would all die as well.

There would be no Lander and no master and no, all those things that they are, uh, they would all disappear. So think about that. Cool. Um, interesting to your thoughts, maybe we have someone in the community who already makes like electronic surround music or whatever. I remember when we did our last meetup, that one of the missions was actually a surround mix.

It was not an atmosphere, but I think it was a 5.1 or some sort of multi-channel mix that they sent. So I'm curious, maybe we have people in our community who know more about this than we do, who actually experienced it and tried it, or are currently experimenting with it. If so, Let us know, correct us if we got anything wrong.

Yeah. Tell us about the benefits of spatial audio. If we [00:35:00] miss, if we miss something and 

Malcom: [00:35:01] of course go try out the demos yourself. Like if you haven't already checked out the special audio thing, you should, I think you should try it. Um, keep in mind, like, I think Benny and I both were like, Still prefer the stereo and this, like, this is her best examples.

These are like the hand-selected ones, but, you know, it's, it's new 

Benedikt: [00:35:21] long way to go. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think you've got to listen to the different things that are out there and not confuse them. So you have to listen to that. There'll be Atmos examples, and then you'd have to listen to apple, spatial examples, I think.

And. So that alone is a challenge that people won't confuse that in the future. And, yeah, we'll see, but check it out. Do the comparison, uh, tell us your thoughts. Send us a mix. If you made one, maybe like if you made an, a mixing, you think is really exciting, send it to us. I'd love to hear it. That'd be great.

All right. See you next week. Thanks for listening. Bye. [00:36:00]


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