“Wow!” exclaimed a guy sitting near me in the Dolby Live theater at the Park MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. “It was incredible.” As both Dolby guests, we were watching Imagine Dragons perform a benefit concert to support the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), the band’s nonprofit organization that supports families dealing with childhood cancer diagnoses.
Maybe it was my unfamiliarity with the band, or just exhaustion from a long day in Las Vegas. CES 2023 covering products such as the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, but I couldn’t match my neighbor’s level of enthusiasm. Still, he was excited about the show, and clearly the rest of the crowd was.
The live concert experience has come a long way over the decades, and the biggest change is the addition of massive video displays that allow you to actually see as well as hear the performers. Another change is the cost of concert tickets. I was attending an Imagine Dragons show with a press pass, but concertgoers attending a Bruno Mars concert later that month would have paid over $250 a seat;
When you’re paying those prices to see live music, giant video walls alone won’t cut it. You should also expect a new and improved audio experience.
Surrounded by sound
Movie buffs will be familiar with Dolby Atmos from their experiences at the cinema. The main advantage that Atmos has over previous movie sound formats is the addition of overhead effects that bring vertical dimension. And because Dolby Atmos is object-based, as opposed to a channel-based, soundtrack mixing format, there are nearly limitless possibilities for placing sound effects, musical elements and dialogue in 360-degree space.
Film sound mixers obviously make the most of these capabilities when producing Dolby Atmos soundtracks, delivering dynamic effects such as helicopters flying overhead with precise, natural-sounding placement. But you don’t have to go to a movie theater to experience Atmos at its best, as equipment like soundbars and separate speaker systems are bundled. the best AV receivers do a great job reproducing it at home.
Dolby Atmos for music, a category that is growing rapidly best music streaming services like Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music Unlimited, similar features may be employed, although the aesthetic strategy will be different. The best Dolby Atmos music “opens up” the sound field in a way that allows instruments and vocals to breathe. You won’t necessarily hear a guitar solo zooming in (although that’s possible with Atmos), but you can hear subtle guitar washes rising behind you, as well as backing vocals on tracks.
As Dolby will tell you, the idea behind Atmos music is to create a sense of immersion, and the best examples deliver just that. For example, when you compare classic rock tracks mixed in Atmos with their usual stereo options or with or using a Dolby Atmos speaker system best headphonesyou’ll find that the stereo version “sits” on a two-dimensional sound plane, while Atmos expands and gives a sense of being in the performance.
Dolby Atmos Live
The Dolby Live theater at Park MGM is a 5,200-seat venue with a system designed by Dolby engineers and precisely tuned for the best sound. The theater has the expected huge video walls, and its design divides the seats into tiers, each with the back row just 145 feet from the stage (source. Wikipedia) As a result, the venue has a comfortable, intimate quality perfectly suited to an immersive concert experience.
Imagine Dragons’ effects-heavy stadium rock could easily fill a much larger space, so it seemed like the challenge in this situation was to scale it down to fit the venue. “Believer” and “Enemy” (even if you don’t know them, there’s a good chance you’ve heard them on TV shows or during breaks at sporting events) had extremely clear vocals and a clean, detailed sound that I’m not used to. to listen to concerts. As the boy said, “wow.”
While overhead effects weren’t easily audible in the live Atmos mix (no guitars zooming in like helicopters), I regularly heard keyboards, guitars and vocals coming out of the venue’s rear speakers. The overall presentation was very similar to what I’ve experienced with good Atmos tracks I’ve listened to at home, except louder. The kick drum could have had more of an impact, though that could have been a sound mixing decision meant to preserve the clarity of the vocals.
Will the Dolby Live experience become a permanent part of other venues? Dolby Atmos live sound mixes have been used at venues in Las Vegas and elsewhere for performances by artists like Carlos Santana and Meek Mill, so Dolby Live can obviously be taken on the road. The Park MGM venue is currently the only dedicated Dolby Live theater in the world, so if you’re in Vegas and there’s an artist performing there that you’d like to catch, Dolby Live is highly recommended.