Howard Audio leading the way in sound design, now Dolby Atmos enabled

Adam Howard has once again quantum leaped his sound game by making Howard Audio one of South Africa’s first Dolby Atmos enabled and calibrated Home Entertainment mixing studios for commercials, music and OTT streaming services such as Netflix. What is Atmos and why should you give a damn? Here’s a hint, it’s not only a cinema thing anymore…

To put it simply, Atmos is surround sound but even surround-ier. The Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound that you’ve (hopefully by now) heard of has speakers surrounding you, right? Well, with Atmos, (wait for it….) you also have speakers ABOVE you. This added “height sound” means you are totally inside or immersed in the sound field the way you experience sound in real life. Think of sounds that are naturally above you; a helicopter flying or wind, trees, birds, you can now hear these sounds from where they are supposed to be, above you! Still confused? Miss Dolby Atmos herself explains it as: ‘Atmos technology can place each voice, instrument, or sound in its own space. Wherever you hear it, you’re in the centre.’ BOOM

‘There have been so many final mixes I’ve done and in hindsight, I can see it was screaming for Atmos to really create the immersive experience for many end users.’ Says Adam Howard.

But here is why you need to give a damn… Netflix, Apple TV, Disney, Amazon Prime, Tidal and Apple Music are already offering content in Atmos with more major platforms joining all the time. Atmos is the future of sound, and according to Adam pretty soon all content will need to be ‘Atmos enabled’. The game-changer is that you don’t have to be in a cinema to experience the ultimate sound anymore, you can now experience Dolby Atmos at home on sound-bar speakers or even headphones, MIND BLOWN.

Soon after launching the service, Howard Audio was awarded a Netflix 6-part series for final mix in Dolby Atmos (for Jan 2022) and has already completed 10 Atmos music mixes for African artists through their friends at Jazzworx. Clickety click here to listen to Howard Audios work on an EP for Nigerian artist Lade and below Howard Audio’s Courvoisier ‘sound experience’ that was a finalist at this years Loeries; ‘Although originally just in stereo, we knew that this was screaming to be in immersive sound.’ Says Adam.

Grab your headphones for the Dolby Atmos experience.

Grab some headphones and listen to the Courvoisier ‘sound experience’. PS: Not those free headphones you get on the Cape Town City bus tour please.

Many of our streaming clients, including Netflix, are now insisting on Atmos mixes for many projects. With YouTube no doubt to follow soon, creatives will be all over Atmos to get their commercials, content and short films all mixed in the 360-degree sound world – especially with the format being able to translate on headphones – where 99% of end-users will experience Atmos.’ Says Adam Howard.

And then explore a little on Apple Music. Keep your headphones on, go to your music app settings (latest iOS 14) and turn on Dolby Atmos – and search for albums in Atmos! John Mayer’s Sob Rock is a great Atmos mix, but if your body is not a wonderland, there are other playlists too like Stormzy’s ‘Clash’ or Coldplay’s latest album.

Not that you can see all the high-end technology installed at Howard Audio just by looking at these studio pics, but believe us, it’s a super fancy Atmos setup. ‘We have a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos environment, which means we have 7 surrounds, a sub and 4 speakers on the roof! I am so proud of this addition to our offering and that Howard Audio is the first South African studio to be certified by Avid’s brand new PT210D Atmos Production course.’ Says Adam.

‘With audio going through our 4 Metric Halo ULN sound-cards for conversion – being fired through 12 Unity Audio speakers – it’s safe to say the sound in our treated studio will be nothing short of spectacular.’ We have no idea what any of that means but we are hear for it…hear 😂

Staying ahead of the sound game and offering this kind of innovation to the commercials industry, but also music and long-form for streaming, once again proves why Adam is the top-ranked SA music composer and music supervisor for the 2020 Loeries rankings.

Wanna Atmos some more? Here’s a link to the Dolby Atmos site

Why not (s)stalk some more? Howard Audio on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.

Contact Howard Audio

Belinda Howard (Head of Production):
Adam Howard (Sound Director):
+27 11 463 8538

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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