atmosSo I’m going to dork off for a minute and write a quick little thing about the latest and greatest theatrical sound system out there right now. Dolby Atmos. There are so many different types of ways that you might listen to a movie in a theater, though for the most part you’re probably going to be hearing in 5.1 or 7.1.

Those formats have dedicated speakers in the left, center, and right channels, plus additional channels in the surround (2 for 5.1 and 4 for 7.1). The .1 refers to the subwoofer(s).

3D picture, or should I say, GOOD 3D picture is something that was really brought to everyone’s attention when ‘Avatar’ came out 5 years ago but sound has been three dimensional for decades. And while I’ve only been doing this for 6-7 years, the new Dolby Atmos system is easily the most ground breaking and immersive change in audio that I’ve ever heard.

I’ll probably get some heat for saying this but sound is one of those things that tends to only get noticed if it’s really good or really bad. And I think that if you notice it to the point where it’s taking you out of the story then it’s probably bad.

surroundsoundWhat’s my point again? Right, Dolby Atmos. Never have I felt so immersed in an environment then when I was listening to a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Whereas before we only had 8 speakers, at most, to envelop the audience, Atmos gives you up to 64. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility and in the end the sound will only be as good as the movie.

I really do think that it’s worth it to see a movie that was mixed in Dolby Atmos. And that’s why I would highly recommend seeing ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ movie in Dolby Atmos if it is at all possible.

Therein lies another problem. There are only a limited number of theaters equipped with Atmos though I know that Dolby is trying to solve that as quickly as possible. And if you want to see something in Atmos you also probably have to see it in 3D, something I tend to shy away from. But again, if it’s a good movie then the 3D is usually pretty good too.

Ok, dorking off done.

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