I recently built a Dolby Atmos 9.1.4 mixing and mastering studio. The room we built sounded incredible. But the issue is with having a 15 speaker array that wraps around the room and across the ceiling..... Is no matter how good your room is, that many speakers is never going to be 100% accurate.
I mixed in my Dolby Atmos room for a week. I was enjoying it and I was under the impression the room was 95% there. I have the ability to tweak and calibrate the room using my Avid MTRX studio which is great. But the more I mixed the more I became unconfident that what I was hearing was not 100% true. And lets face it the last thing you want to be doing as a mix engineer is making changes to a sound based on inaccurate monitoring.
I started to look for a solution. I spoke with Dale at SX Pro who I think of as a speaker wizard. To me he knows everything there is to know about speakers. Much of it goes over my head. Now I know how my wife feels when I tell her about my new compressor over dinner. Anyways.... Dale recommended I take a look at a Trinnov as every issue I was describing such as phase, speakers sounding louder at the front compared to the back of the room, a non cohesive movement from speaker to speaker etc... he said would be fixed once I add a Trinnov. I was like OK this is not going to be cheap. It wasn't, it was upwards of £10k.
Dale brings the Trinnov into my Dolby Atmos room. Within 10 minutes we are setup and calibrated ready to hear the results. I turned the Trinnov on and listened to the room. It sounded great, the room sounded like it was gelled together. I'm impressed. Then Dale said to me now hit bypass and check the difference.
I hit bypass and my jaw hit the floor. I turned to Dale and said to him, you can't take this away from me. Get me one ASAP I don't care how much it costs. This thing is a gamechanger. I have incredibly expensive compressors, EQ's and saturation units which are game changing pieces of equipment. The Trinnov is by far the best piece of equipment I have ever owned.
Think of it like this. You could have the best EQ in the world going into the best compressor ever made but if you are monitoring on inaccurate monitoring you will never make the right choice on how to EQ or compress should sound. Your equipment is only as good or as accurate as you can hear it.
This is why I say the Trinnov is an essential tool in every Dolby Atmos studio. Can you get away without using a Trinnov in a stereo setup? Maybe... But ultimately your monitoring is never going to be as accurate as if you did have one. And in a Dolby Atmos studio with 7 or 8 times the amount of speakers compared to 2 in a stereo setup, there are a hell of a lot of phase issues.
Now I will leave you with this final thought and my honest opinion on Trinnov.
Trinnov gives me the confidence that what I am hearing is 100% true and accurate. You can not put a price on how valuable as a mix engineer it is to have that reassurance. I know definitely that the choices I am making to a song whilst mixing are 100% the right ones.
If you have got this far I can tell you are sold on Trinnov. Seriously get in touch with Dale at SX Pro, tell him you read an article written by Paul Ashmore at Audio Animals about the Trinnov and you want to look into getting a one. He will help you out and talk you through everything like he did with me.