Audiobus: Use your music apps together.
What is Audiobus? — Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.Download on the App Store
Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.
Very interesting! Looks like I might have a new workflow to learn.
I do all my ATMOS mixing in the Metaverse.
There's definitely a push, and it makes sense for both hardware manufacturers and record labels, since a new format is the best way to drive sales.
At the moment though, very few speakers are available, so the whole thing is still in its infancy. You need something like a Homepod and Apple music to really make the most of it.
There are demos on the Dolby website that you can listen to with normal headphones, and you can switch between Atmos and regular stereo. If you compare the two mixes of What's Goin On you can hear that the Atmos mix is much more immersive and has a much greater sense of space:
Just to add that Sonos have just this month released an Atmos speaker:
Thanks! Will check it later. Was looking for a way to hear proper mixes without having to sign up to Apple Music.
“Make the whole room the sweet spot”
What’s the tl;dr?
YouTuber just realized Apple has been doing Spatial music for some time. The rest of the world really doesn’t care about spatial music.
If he's right, that might be about to change.
I think what might push it more into people’s consciousness is that Atmos is becoming very popular in the home cinema and sound bar market, so as more consumers have systems that are Atmos capable with their TV they might start also listening to Atmos music.
That along with the marketing push that Apple is making to try and get an edge over Spotify.
At least Atmos makes a tangible difference to the listening experience, unlike “high-res” audio that sounds identical to a CD. Here there is something in the format for the audio industry to get behind.
It's a huge change, but doesn't feel disorientating. Bass becomes a much bigger, more visceral experience (Best heard in "O La"), but I found the highs/sheen to be missing from the overall presentation in DA (Percussion e.g tambourine in same track). No doubt those parts could be mixed differently.
Would love to hear remixes of tracks i'm much more familiar with, as "What's Going On" was the only one I'm familiar with from this list.
I think the biggest hurdle is that authoring and proofing atmos compatible music files is not the easiest for your average muso and still requires a license from Dolby to do so. I’ve been watching this space the last two years and learning all the ins and outs in case it’s something I want to offer as part of my studio services, and it’s just not something I see most musicians really adopting. If anything interest seems to be waning.
I imagine that adoption will be pretty slow, but that is what always happens. It took stereo more than a decade to really take off, same with CDs vs vinyl, and Blu-Ray still hasn't really taken over from DVD, despite being a lot better.
But with the audio-visual and the music industry behind it, Atmos could actually become more popular eventually. From a consumer perspective it is a richer listening experience, and from an industry perspective it will lead to higher sales of speakers and the potential for premium streaming.
But I definitely think it's the home cinema market that will drive adoption first. Pretty much all soundbars that have come out in the last year or two are Atmos-compatible, and so are most of the new shows on Netflix etc... It's the AV industry that will push the tech into the mainstream.
Yeah...I guess this is very pertinent to your profession.
Seems a shame that this is so accessible in Logic, but the results would be so hard to distribute. Perhaps this latest push by Apple, with the playlist restriction, suggests that might change, also?
Do you have asny simple resources that describe this licensing process, in layman's terms?
Just to put things into perspective, stereo records and music systems entered the market in the late 1950s, but even so when artists such as the Beatles and the Stones were releasing records more than a decade later, they didn't consider the stereo mixes to be important, the mono mix was the one they cared about. It took at least into the 1970s for stereo to really become ubiquitous.
Same with CDs, introduced in 1982, but in the early 90s everyone I knew was still buying records.
A new format that requires new hardware to really appreciate is going to take time to get established.
People have been saying the same things about 5.1 for audio for over 15 years now though too, and it still hasn't taken off. Not trying to poo poo the Atmos thing, I just still am unconvinced it's going to be as widespread as people like Apple would like us to believe.
If I remember correctly the license fee is $200 for a single creator, I haven't checked in awhile though so it might have changed recently.
So is it like “Everyone will soon be listening to everything in quadraphonic sound” for the 21st century?
I honestly have never seen 5.1 music as a format anywhere, I didn't even know it was a thing. At least Atmos is a thing people have heard of, and is available on one major platform, Apple.
And I agree that it's unknowable if it will take off or not. That depends on luck to some extent. As I mentioned earlier, Blu-Ray hasn't really managed to supersede DVD, but I think that's partly because streaming is killing both. A 4k Blu-Ray with Dolby Vision and Atmos is going to be higher quality than streaming, but you lose the convenience and you also need a $200 player to watch it. Some formats make it, some don't.
That's great! Thanks!
You see where I’m going with this. 😉
I recall it being a thing in the 90s, but mostly for certain CD and DVD releases. One thing I do remember is The Rolling Stones releasing their entire back catalog in 5.1, but no one buying them as they didn’t want to pay twice the price of stereo CDs.
More than that, many composers/producers and mixers get it free with Logic. And because it can be mixed with nothing but a pair of headphones, yet scaled to huge installations (or have I got that bit wrong), there are fewer barriers-to-entry, and fewer end-result considerations than for mixing traditional 5.1. Presumably (and again, unless I have this wrong), I could learn this over the weekend, with the DAW I already have, and release a track as soon as I negotiated the license payment etc.
What i don't have to do is get a properly-treated studio-space decked out with tons of extra speakers.
If it's true that Stereo mixes can easily become stereo mixes, then there's perhaps not really much extra work to be done. It could be this lessened friction that would make this successful in a way that traditional surround audio wasn't.
Right - and you would also have needed a 5.1 audio system to play them back. I was really into hi-fi back then and I don't remember ever seeing 5.1 audio systems anywhere outside of home cinema.
But now it's a completely different proposition with Atmos: there are millions of soundbars out there which are Atmos compatible, from Sonos, Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, JBL etc... Then you factor in the Homepod, the latest Sonos speakers, and the Amazon Echo Studio and that's millions more devices already in people's hands that can play the format.
Amazon music also have some Atmos tracks available, as well as Apple, so the barrier to entry is actually pretty low. Anyone with a compatible soundbar or speaker can listen to Atmos music today. Whether they will choose to do so partly depends on how much marketing the big companies are going to put behind the format. I reckon Sonos will probably push it pretty hard, and maybe Apple too.
Thanks for sharing this - I only listened to What’s Going On, which also happens to be one of my favourite songs ever, and the difference was very noticeable between the atmos and non-atmos versions.
If they add Atmos to GarageBand, we will have crossed the Rubicon.
Would definitely recommend listening to the rest, particularly "O la". The difference is striking.
It would be awesome to hear Inner City Blues in Atmos.
Apple is always #1 for providing marketing gimmicks no one needs