For the past two years, mixer and producer Stan Kybert has been at the forefront of Dolby Atmos mixing for both emerging and established artists across all genres.
With a remit to “enrich” artists’ existing music while “preserving their original vision”, Music Immersive has worked with a range of acts including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Jessie Ware, the Chemical Brothers, Bicep, George Ezra, Bastille, Lil Silva, Sam Ryder, Victoria Canal, David Guetta, Rudimental, Brandi Carlile, Tom Grennan, Saint Harison, The LA Philharmonic, Baby Queen, Ayra Starr, Elmiene, Sub Focus, Skream, Cat Burns, The Rolling Stones.
Here, he reflects on his experience with Dolby Atmos so far...
Can you tell us about the first time you heard about Dolby Atmos? And why did you adopt it in your studio?
“I first heard Dolby Atmos in action in 2019. It was a mix of a track where I’d previously worked on the stereo mix. Admittedly, hearing somebody else’s take didn’t quite connect with me, but it got me thinking about what I would have done instead. That was what piqued my interest.”
So how did you make the transition to Dolby Atmos Music?
“Shortly after that, a friend told me they were building a room in their studio to mix Dolby Atmos tracks and so I teamed up with them as their mixer. After a while, I decided to launch my own studio and business, Music Immersive, solely mixing in Dolby Atmos and I haven’t looked back since.”
In terms of the artists you’ve worked with so far, what were you able to achieve in Dolby Atmos that you couldn’t in stereo?
“Dolby Atmos Music massively enhances a song to make you feel like you are in the middle of the music and encourages people to listen in a new way. I’ve worked with The Chemical Brothers, Tom Grennan, George Ezra, Jessie Ware, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Bicep, Skream, Robbie Williams, Baby Queen and Disclosure, among hundreds of other brilliant artists. It’s not just established artists who are eager to create immersive experiences with their music – we’re also working with new artists, like Saint Harison who is incredible. Its appeal spans genres too – from pop, EDM, acoustic music and rock, to world music and classical.”
What has been the reaction from your clients when hearing their music in Dolby Atmos?
“One that comes to mind is Saint Harison, who came into the studio to approve the mix of Why Didn’t You Call. He was very interested in the technology and the creative process of mixing in Dolby Atmos. The next weekend, he messaged me saying, ‘You've made me fall back in love with that song.’ Another one was Bicep who were very protective of their music at the start. Over the following months, we built creative trust and worked brilliantly and collaboratively together.”
Music Immersive HQ in London
In your opinion, what are the benefits for artists?
“It’s a new way to express your art. It’s an enhancement that lets you communicate in ways you couldn’t before. The more tools in your toolbox, the more you can do.”
And what are the benefits for their fans?
“I love stereo, but, like a live version, an acoustic version, or a re-recording of a song with a new arrangement, Dolby Atmos lets an artist give their fans a new way to experience their music.”
More fans can listen, and more artists are making it, and that’s going to lead to even more music in Dolby Atmos
Would you say Dolby Atmos is suitable for all genres?
“Yes. With the caveat that you should always work with an experienced mixer who knows Dolby Atmos, understands what the artist wants to accomplish, and who has a feel for the music and doesn’t just want to ‘remix’ the track, be true to the stereo mix musically but with added enhancement.”
Do you see the pipeline of music in Dolby Atmos growing exponentially?
“More and more devices with Dolby Atmos are coming out, and it’s growing on streaming services. More fans can listen, and more artists are making it, and that’s going to lead to even more music in Dolby Atmos.”
What is your favourite song in Dolby Atmos?
“I’ve been very fortunate with the artists and projects I worked on in Dolby Atmos. I really enjoy them all. I have fun with all our electronic tracks using a dynamic approach with lots of sounds moving around. Disclosure, Bicep and Lil Silva are some of my favourites from last year.
Is there any advice you would give to young talents using Dolby Atmos for the first time?
“Get an experienced mixer who understands Dolby Atmos. They should have a feel for your music too. It’s art and science together. And trust your ears when evaluating the work.”
Finally, what would you recommend to create a great headphone experience?
“I use the Apple Airpods Max – and I’m not getting paid to say that. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good experience. Read some reviews and let your ears guide you.”