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Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 | 3 comments

Ambiences with Dolby Atmos

Sitting there as credits rolled after a Dolby Atmos presentation of Brave this past summer, I felt excited for the potential of this budding format. Before the film, a few seated moms and dads were even verbally excited as the usher announce that we would be watching the film in a new sound format. During the film, the theater was saturated with sound, I truly felt immersed at times.  Yet as I watched the credits fly by, I couldn’t help feeling that until sound crews sink their teeth into the format, we won’t really hear Atmos fully realized. For the format to really sparkle, films need to be designed, edited, and premixed with Atmos in mind or as Dolby would like it, premixed IN Atmos entirely. After reading about the impression Atmos left on Shaun at AES and trying to find a way to contribute to an already excellent month of ambient discussion, I decided I should contact a few sound crews that mixed in Atmos, ask how backgrounds are handled, and with that initial experience how they would approach BGs in their next Atmos mix.

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Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 | 5 comments

Dangerous Ambiences

Guest Contribution by Tim Prebble

I LOVE Ambiences!

I suspect growing up in a very quiet location on a farm in the South Island of New Zealand may have something to do with it, but I feel I have always been very aware of ambient sound. I have vivid sound memories from childhood, of ambiences! Waking up before the birds and waiting for them… The sound of the wind in blue gum trees and the sound from inside the shed when a bluegum nut fell off the tree and landed on the tin roof & rolled down… The sound of the Rangitata river when it was in flood and that time my dog swam out to an island & got stuck there for a while… what was he thinking?? Whether being sound obsessed is 100% normal I’m not sure, nor do I care, but when I first started working as a trainnee sound effects editor recording and editing ambiences was one of the first things I really relished. And decades later I still do. The contribution ambiences make to a film is so powerful, and yet they achieve their effect via the most understated duplicitous act: ideally an audience doesn’t notice them, but is deeply effected by them.

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