How to Setup Your Room for Atmos and Immersive Audio

I think this video by the Dolby Institute is targeted at professionals but the principals translate to the home. You’ll notice that they don’t use the ceiling speakers pointing straight down but bookshelves that are angled toward the MLP. The other thing you’ll notice is that all of the bed channel speakers are at the same height (that includes the center channel). At 16:00 minute in the video make sure to watch the part about room tuning, very helpful as to what DSP can and cannot do:

" I feel like money spent on this type of help (room treatments and acoustics) will be more valuable than any piece of gear you will ever buy"




If you use Vudu you can search for atmos and they have the dolby test tracks loaded and you can play for free.

When can you post your measurements?? I don’t know protools so no help there. You will find out quickly if your mixes hold up when you test them in your car or someone elses space.

@kota1 Thanks, one cool thing is that I have 4x Dolby Atmos systems in my house I can play it on a few of those. And I have a 7.1 system in my car that is very good I think Mark Levenson makes it. 

I don't add any EQ to my speakers in the professional rig because I want to be like Al Schmitt and get it right without tweeks as he used to position microphones without EQ for the same reason. I know some of the guys who did "fix" many of Frank Sinatras songs especially the "Duets" album even after they were told to not touch a thing, it's to hard to not make it better when you know you can. 

Listening to Apple Spatial audio atmos mixes are like anything else, some good, some not so good. I like "We Take Requests" atmos mix by Oscar Peterson, all of the Beatle atmos mixes, and Kraftwerk in atmos is really good, play it loud and it just pressurizes the entire room.

@Kota1 Say you have a speaker at 135 degrees to your right behind you and say you have a signal from 225 degrees on your left behind you. You can’t perceive a phantom center channel between them but that is how Atmos works, Atmos creates phantom channels that are moveable. To me the only way to fix this is to not have the surround channels symmetric. A much clearer example is where you have Atmos speakers in the ceiling behind you at equal angles they nearly reach your ears at the same time not allowing your brain to position them well at all. Other than using a very dead room it doesn’t seem like there is an answer other than making the speakers non symmetrical, playback would still work because no two systems would be the same about of non symmetricalness, if that’s even a word. What do you think?


@kota1 So I discovered something that I thought I knew but didn't know for sure. In  acoustics and photography and many other arts there is something called the rule of thirds, well I panned (actually I entered the info) to have the front speakers ⅓ of the way back and ⅓ of the way in, when I did that it felt like I moved into the stage a bit. It was interesting that when these numbers were exact and my head was right in the sweet spot the effect was very strong. I'm not sure panning in the traditional sense would have achieved the same effect. The only other satisfying speaker position was full blown stereo 100% left and right which felt more natural.

It is an odd thing to set up music this way, I was a musician and a monitor mixer for bands when you are in the listening position and you are facing the band looking at speakers you are engulfed in it but facing the wrong way, even with side fills as a musician is used to it feels wrong.