We recently took our Advanced Post Production students down to Dolby HQ in London for an exclusive listening showcase of the new Dolby Atmos surround sound format.
Dolby Atmos technology allows up to 128 audio tracks plus associated pan metadata to be distributed to theaters for optimal, dynamic rendering to loudspeakers based on the theater capabilities. That is, Dolby Atmos enables the re-recording mixer, using a Pro Tools plugin or a Dolby Atmos equipped large format audio mixing console, to designate a particular location in the theater as a three-dimensional placement, where each dynamic sound source should seem to be coming from. Sounds that are not dynamically moving, such as ambient sounds and center dialogues, are still separately pre-mixed in a traditional multichannel format.
This was a great field trip for the students who gained an improved understanding of a format they will be working with in their future careers through first hand listening.