Over the last decade, immersive audio formats such as Dolby Atmos have become the standard for professional film and television mixes, and are becoming increasingly popular in the music industry. Immersive audio mixes can open up a whole new dimension to your sound, making listeners feel as if they’re hearing their favorite song or watching their favorite movie for the very first time.
An evolution of traditional surround sound systems, which only represent sound across the horizontal plane, immersive audio systems utilize overhead speakers to introduce a vertical component to the sound for a more immersive listening experience. Technically speaking, immersive audio is defined by the Society of Motion Picture and TV Engineers (SMPTE) as a set of criteria for channel-, object- and scene-based surround sound technologies.
Channel-based audio records the sound sources on separate channels, just like traditional 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems.
Object-based audio combines channel audio with meta-data that describes where the sound should be located, allowing engineers to move and place sound objects anywhere within the listening environment.
Scene-based audio formats, such as Ambisonics, treat the audio scene as a 360-degree sphere of sound converging on a center point, where the microphone is placed. However, Ambisonics has not yet been endorsed by major studios.
A variety of immersive audio formats have been introduced over the years, each of which utilizes a different approach to placing audio within the listening environment.
Released in 2010, Auro-3D was the first immersive audio format to utilize an additional height layer to achieve three-dimensional sound. While Auro-3D began as a purely channel-based system, the new AuroMax iteration has added support for audio objects as well and supports systems from 8.x to 13.x channels.
One of the most popular immersive audio formats, Dolby Atmos was first released in 2012. Atmos combines the advantages of channel-based audio with audio objects by introducing two overhead channels, resulting in what Dolby calls a 7.1.2 bed—although Atmos supports systems with up to 11.1 channels.
Released in 2019, Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is built on the MPEG‑3D Audio standard, which supports audio objects, channel‑based audio and Ambisonics data. Currently, 360 Audio is only supported on certified headphones and single-speaker home theater devices, such as soundbars and smart speakers.
Announced in 2020, DTS:X Pro is an evolution of the DST:X surround sound format released in 2015, which expands the number of potential playback channels from 11.1 to 30.2 channels, including dedicated height speakers.
In 2021, Apple introduced Spatial Audio, which allows you to listen to immersive Dolby Atmos mixes through supported headphones and playback devices, which utilize accelerometers to track head movement and adjust the playback in real time for an immersive experience.
When it comes to mixing in immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos, Vintage King has all of the tools to get the job done. Build your own custom immersive audio rig with multi-channel studio monitors, monitor controllers and calibration systems tailor-made for immersive mixing, dedicated hardware renderers, and innovative immersive mixing software. Or order one of our custom-built bundles for immersive audio mixing, including everything you need to start mixing immersive audio right out of the box.
Best of all, we offer free ground shipping to the lower 48 states for online orders of $99 and up. Additionally, we’re proud to add an additional 1-year free warranty on any NEW products and up to a 1-year free warranty on most used and vintage products, included with any purchase.
Not looking for immersive audio? Check out Vintage King’s full collection of products or contact our experts to let us help you find the right gear.
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