With spatial audio, compelling sound can come from anywhere
The roar of a jet engine as a plane screams across the sky. A clock ticking away the seconds right behind your head. The reverberations of a guitar bouncing off the walls and ceilings of a concert venue. Sound doesn’t just exist to the left or right of us — it’s everywhere.
Capturing the “where” of sound is exactly what spatial audio is all about. It transcends the limits of two-channel stereo recordings to add an entirely new dimension to how your fans hear songs on Apple Music. And with the seamless integration of Logic Pro and Dolby Atmos, Apple is committed to supporting artists with new tools to bring their ideas to life in spatial audio — and give fans a whole new way to hear their favorite songs.
A new dimension in music
Simply put, spatial audio changes the relationship between recordings and space. With help from dynamic head tracking, it gives listeners the sensation of being immersed in sounds that feel native to their environment. And for artists, spatial audio opens up new sets of possibilities for original compositions while breathing new life into even the most well-known classics.
”It’s a very, very unique way to experience music. When you are younger, and you are dissecting music, and hearing the nuances and the subtleties, and the things that you might have missed before, spatial audio just makes it so much easier to catch those things. You’re walking down the street, you turn left, you’re going to catch something you didn’t catch before. It really makes the music be experienced through life. It’s a whole ‘nother situation, and I’m just happy that we’re able to have our songs in spatial audio.”
—Vince Staples, recording artist
How Dolby Atmos sets the stage for spatial audio
The spatial audio experience on Apple Music is powered by Dolby Atmos, the groundbreaking multichannel audio technology that maps sounds to specific locations around the listener’s headspace. With Logic Pro, everything you need to place “objects” (song elements such as drums, bass, and other instruments) onto the Dolby Atmos three-dimensional plane is natively integrated into your workflow. If you prefer working in a different digital audio workstation (DAW), you can also access the Dolby Atmos Production Suite via a standalone plug-in.
Whether you’re in a professional studio working with an engineer or you’re a DIY bedroom producer, the Dolby Atmos Production Suite fits seamlessly into the mixing process without interrupting your creative process. With automatic optimization from Dolby Atmos, each track sounds crisp and clear in any listening environment.
New standard, new opportunity
Spatial audio is all about empowering artists and producers to deploy techniques that create ear-catching first impressions. Whereas every track of a song once had to fit into the left or right channel, working in a three-dimensional field is like putting your music on a bigger stage. There’s additional space in the mix to place extra instruments, add layers of vocal harmonies, or incorporate any element you need to execute your creative vision without the arrangement feeling overcrowded.
Within Dolby Atmos, there are innovative ways for musical objects to move around this bigger stage beyond traditional left-right panning. Sounds can creep up from behind the listener as a song builds to a crescendo or bounce around their headspace to make an arrangement feel more active and dynamic.
You also have the power to change not just how your song is heard, but the story it tells. Thanks to precise control over the position of sounds around a listener’s headspace, artists can insert scene-setting narrative touches that are heard just as they would be in real life. It’s a perfect way to add in those little details that grab their attention and invite them into your world.
Taking advantage of spatial audio doesn’t require starting from scratch, either — it opens up a world of possibilities for artists looking to remaster their catalog. Whether that means more faithfully recreating the magic of the original recording session or adding new production flourishes that weren’t possible at the time, spatial audio can give even the most diehard fans a completely new way to hear their favorite songs.
If you’re ready to start sharing Dolby Atmos-enabled music with your fans, check with your label or distributor, or see which distributors are already working with Dolby Atmos.