DOLBY ATMOS MIXING FAQ

Dolby Atmos mixing is a process that takes the stems from your finished song and positions it into a 3D space. Your song does not have to have been produced in atmos, it can be produced in stereo, the beauty of Dolby Atmos mixing is the ability to transform a stereo mix into an immersive masterpiece. Dolby Atmos is an advanced audio technology that revolutionises sound experiences in entertainment media like movies, TV shows, video games, and music. Developed by Dolby Laboratories, it adds height to the traditional surround sound setup. In a conventional setup, sound is played through speakers around the listener for a surround sound effect. Dolby Atmos takes it further with overhead speakers and movable sound objects, creating a 3D audio environment.

The initial mix (mix 1) will be returned to you within the time frame selected when placing your order. Turnaround time is based on days the engineer works between Monday to Friday. If you have a specific day you need your mix or master back for, please let us know when placing your order.

  • 1 Working Day (mix 1 returned next working day)
  • 2-5 Working Days (mix 1 returned within 2-5 working days)
  • 5+ Working Days (returned after 5 working days)

Stem mixing is the mixing of your processed stems. By definition a stem is a processed stereo audio recording sourced from the finished song. Stems are not RAW and must always include the processing applied to the track in your session. Playback of your stems should playback the finished production and playback exactly as your reference / rough mix does. Stems must include all processing that is active in your DAW except for any master bus processing. Stems can be broken down into individual stems such as kick, snare and hi-hat. Or can be sent as a complete drum stem. Providing more stems gives us more flexibility to mix each individual sound in the mix.

Multitrack mixing is the mixing of your RAW audio recordings. By definition multitrack audio recordings do not include any processing and are 100% RAW files that need to be mixed from the ground up. RAW audio recordings can be mono or stereo and include as much or as little processing you wish to apply.

Audio mixing is the process of combining and adjusting multiple audio stems together to create a balanced and cohesive mix. Various individual audio elements such as vocals, instruments, drums, and ambient sounds are blended together in a way that they complement each other and create a pleasing sonic experience for the listener. The goal of mixing is to achieve clarity, depth, and balance within the audio, ensuring that each element can be heard clearly and that they interact harmoniously.

Audio mixing involves several important tasks:

  • Level Balancing: Adjusting the volume levels of different audio elements to ensure that none of them overpower or get lost in the mix. This helps create a clear and even sound.
  • Panning: Placing audio elements in the stereo field to create a sense of space and direction. Panning determines whether a sound appears to be coming from the left, right, center, or somewhere in between.
  • Equalization (EQ): Using equalization to shape the frequency balance of each audio element. EQ is used to enhance or reduce specific frequencies to make elements sound clearer, warmer, or more distinct.
  • Dynamics Processing: Applying tools like compression and limiting to control the dynamic range of audio elements. Compression helps balance the difference between loud and quiet parts, while limiting prevents audio from exceeding a certain loudness level.
  • Effects: Adding various audio effects such as reverb, delay and others to create depth, ambiance, and texture within the mix.

The ultimate goal of audio mixing is to translate the artistic vision of the content creator into a polished and engaging audio experience for the audience. A skilled audio engineer will use their technical knowledge and creative instincts to shape the mix and bring out the best in each element, resulting in a final mix that sounds professional and emotionally impactful.

Once your mix is confirmed as complete and ready for mastering, we will move on to the mastering process. The primary goal of audio mastering is to prepare the mixed audio for distribution by ensuring that it sounds its best across a wide range of playback systems and platforms. Processing is applied to the master bus in order to achieve a sound that is glued together and sounding the best it possibly can. Processing includes EQ, compression, limiting, saturation, stereo widening, de-essing and other processing. Mastering in the hands of a professional engineer will achieve a wider, more detailed and controlled sound. Mastering ensures playback of your song is correct across all devices.

By adding + Dolby Atmos Mix & Master to your mixing order, we will deliver back to you the Dolby Atmos ADM master and binaural mix and surround sound re-renders. This ADM file can then be used to distribute your music in Dolby Atmos on streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon Music.

Dolby Atmos mastering is a process that allows us to take the finished mix and transform it into a Dolby Atmos master. Working in our 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos mastering studio we are able to position and pan your song in a 3D space. Creating a fully immersive and spatial master that can then be released on streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Amazon and Tidal. The difference this service makes is outstanding and quite honestly takes your music to an unimaginable level.

There are a few major benefits of releasing a Dolby Atmos master.

  • Superior Sound when compared to a standard stereo master. A Dolby Atmos master can achieve a sound that has more space, depth and is overall more true to life and pleasing to the ear.
  • More Royalties from streaming platforms. You will earn a better percentage of royalties from streaming platforms when release a Dolby Atmos master.
  • Online Algorithms will favour songs that are released in Dolby Atmos as well as stereo, especially Apple Music that say that the preferred format is Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio.
  • Future Proofed with Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is going to eventually replace stereo on all streaming platforms. By releasing your music now in Dolby Atmos ensures you are future proofed and ready for the inevitable switch.
  • Better Chance Of Being Playlisted. By releasing a Dolby Atmos master you will have a far better chance of being playlisted on certain platforms. Being playlisted can make or break a release.

By adding + Additional Mixes to your order, you will receive back the mixes for any of the following additional file types in stereo.

  • Instrumental
  • Acapella (vocal bus only)
  • Performance Mix (version with lead vocal removed)
  • Radio Edit (additional stems must be supplied)
  • Extended Edit (additional stems must be supplied)

By adding + Mixed Stems to your order, you will receive back all stems as they are mixed in the session. Mixed stems will included all mixed buses as well as any reverb and delay sends. Playback of the mixed stems will playback as the finished stereo mix does. Mixed stems can be used for remix purposes and further production.

Orders / payment must be made before work on your song begins. This ensures our engineers, take the necessary time and care required to return you the very best mix and master.

A stem should not be confused with a multitrack audio file. An audio stem refers to an individual isolated track or element that is part of a larger mix. Stems are created by splitting a full mix into its constituent parts, allowing for greater control over the individual elements during mixing. Stems are never sent RAW without processing and always include the plugin processing that is active on the channel.

Your stems can be uploaded safely and securely via our upload form in your account here. Bypass all processing you may have on your master bus. All sound design processing must be left active on each stem. Do not normalize stems or change their volume. Playback of your stems should be exactly as your rough mix or finished production plays back. We recommend loading your stems into a new DAW session and referencing against your finished stereo mix to ensure playback of your stems is correct.

  • File Type: Wav
  • Bitrate: 16/24/32bit
  • Sample Rate: 44,1kHz – 96kHz
  • Headroom: -3db / -6db

Your multitrack audio recordings can be uploaded safely and securely via our upload form in your account here. Bypass all processing you may have on your master bus. Multitrack audio recordings are sent RAW with as little or no processing active on them, giving us the flexibility to create the mix from the ground up.

  • File Type: Wav
  • Bitrate: 16/24/32bit
  • Sample Rate: 44,1kHz – 96kHz
  • Headroom: -3db / -6db

All mixing packages include 3 revisions. Mix revisions give you the peace of mind that the end result is going to be exactly as you want it. On the rare occasion you exceed 3 revisions, you can always purchase more via our revisions and re-runs page here.

100% yes, this is essential when working with an online mix engineer. The rough mix or demo mix will be used to establish that the stems you have sent playback correctly as well as include all automation and necessary processing. The rough mix is also used to correctly establish the balance you intend for each stem to be in the mix. By listening to the rough mix we can establish at what volume you intend a certain sound to be and where you intend it to be positioned in the mix.

There is technically no difference. Apple Spatial is what Apple call it and Dolby Atmos is what everyone else calls it. Apple spatial is played back through Apple’s own codec. All other streaming platforms playback using the Dolby Atmos codec.

The Dolby Atmos ADM and stereo master can be given to your desired distributor to release on platforms such as Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon Music. The Dolby Atmos and stereo masters sit alongside each other and depending on which format the listener has their device set to will determine which version they will hear. It is highly important that the Dolby Atmos and stereo versions perfectly sync with each other. If they do not sync perfectly your masters will be rejected.

Yes, if you are distributing Dolby Atmos you will also need to distribute a stereo master. The two files play alongside each other and need to play in sync with each other too. The reason for this is that on streaming platforms you will be able to switch between the two formats on the fly and by doing so switches from stereo to Dolby Atmos instantly. If in sync your files simply switch from one to the other seamlessly.

Get in contact with us via email and we can simply replace the files. Please be sure to get in contact with us ASAP to ensure we have the correct files to mix before work commences. If work has already started on your mix and the entire mix requires new stems, charges will apply.

A good mix engineer will be able to work with all genres of music not just one. At Audio Animals we pride ourselves on the fact that we work with all genres of music from every corner of the globe. Being an online mixing and mastering studio working worldwide there is not a genre of music we have not worked with.

Stereo mixes are returned in the following formats, if you require any others, please let us know: 

  • 96kHz 24bit wav

Stereo masters are returned in the following formats, if you require any others, please let us know: 

  • 96kHz 24bit wav
  • 48kHz 24bit wav
  • 44.kHz 24bit wav
  • 44.1kHz 16bit wav

Dolby Atmos masters are returned in the following formats:

  • 48kHz 24bit ADM
  • 96kHz 24bit ADM
  • 96kHz 24bit binaural mix
  • 96kHz 24bit re-renders
  • 768kbs mp4

For stem mixing you must leave all plugins active. Playback of your stems must playback identical to your finished production and include all sound design and processing.

For multitrack mixing you can remove any plugins and send RAW audio recordings.

For stem mixing you must leave all panning active. Playback of your stems must playback identical to your finished production and include all sound design and processing.

For multitrack mixing you can remove any panning and send RAW audio recordings.

For stem mixing you must leave all automation active. Playback of your stems must playback identical to your finished production and include all sound design and processing.

For multitrack mixing you can remove any automation and send RAW audio recordings.

For stem mixing you can leave reverb active. If your reverb is the reverb you want printed to the song or it is used in a creative way that is part of the sound design of the song, then you must leave it active. We will add reverb and it is better for us to apply reverb at the correct volume for the mix.

For multitrack mixing you can remove any reverb and send RAW audio recordings.

For stem mixing 100% yes. Delay is something that can have a million different outcomes. If you have added delay that is specific to your taste and how you want delay to sound, this delay would be considered as part of your production. To remove this delay would be to remove an essential part of your sound. We always recommend leaving delay active if you want it in your track. We will not add delay as standard as this is a creative effect that is specific to the production and not necessarily the mix. If delay is required from a mix perspective we will by all means add it how we see fit to get the best results.

For multitrack mixing you can remove any delays and send RAW audio recordings.

For stem mixing you can not send RAW vocal recordings. Vocals should be organised and comped ready to be mixed. Unwanted clicks, pops and breathes should be removed. All vocals should be tuned and ready to be mixed. You should never send a raw unedited vocal recording for stem mixing.

For multitrack mixing you can send RAW vocal recordings.

No all vocal tuning must be performed before mixing. If you require vocal tuning please contact us to discuss a price as an additional service.