Guide to Immersive Audio
Spatial Audio is here !
When Apple Music announced it was adding Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio to its services – with support for Dolby Atmos too – the news reverberated throughout the artist, producer, and engineering worlds. This was a quantum leap forward for the music business – a new and exciting dimension for creating and releasing immersive audio for global music consumers. With Dolby Atmos, surround-sound technology originally developed by Dolby Laboratories for movies, it not only gives an engineer unprecedented control in placing sound-objects on a 3-D grid to create an immersive soundscape, but it also places new demands on studio monitoring – for which Amphion is fully designed and geared to deliver.
Demands on Monitoring
Atmos for the movies was widely adopted, but the demands for monitoring in immersive music and post-production are often overlooked. As the number of channels grow, even the slightest shortcomings in monitoring lead to a lack of cohesion – clearly evident in many early Atmos mixes. Precise imaging and immaculate phase behaviour are non-negotiables when placing objects exactly on the 3-D grid. Many monitoring solutions just don’t do this well, failing to convey depth information correctly. With Amphion´s waveguide and lower crossover to improve driver-integration and phase-coherency, you get that pinpoint imaging needed for a seamless, exquisite, three-dimensional soundscape.
Seamless and Uniform
Consistent sonic balance between monitor models is a must for immersive systems. Total systems often consist of different models – risking differences in voicing and basic balance. Every Amphion monitor utilizes proprietary waveguides, passive radiators, identical tweeters with 1600 Hz crossover, and drivers with tight production tolerances – a seamless uniformity contributing to sonic consistency and product behaviour with different placements. In smaller rooms where listening distance is short, drivers must integrate well and monitors must work well even when close to the boundaries. Amphion’s controlled dispersion and passive radiators allow monitors to be placed surprisingly close to the walls with no noticeable affects to the sound.
Amphion monitors are free of DSP processing, and powering them externally contributes to highest level of resolution – both aspects deeply rooted in the DNA of Amphion products. The newest generation of immersive monitor controllers are built around powerful DSP engines. To use them to their full potential, monitors need to be as transparent, resolving, and as phase-coherent as possible. As all signal control – such as setting up correct delays and target/correction curves – takes place in the monitor controller, the highest level of system synergy and performance is achieved by keeping speakers acoustically as advanced, yet electrically as simple, as possible. Removing all the unnecessary clutter from the monitoring chain is the only way to harness the full performance of the powerful DSP engines integrated within Atmos-capable monitoring controllers.
Hear what others hear – even in their Headphones
In recent years, Amphion has become the go-to mixing tool for many of the world´s top engineers. These product qualities, that have contributed to industry-leading translation, are equally valid in immersive environment. As headphones offer the easiest way to embrace immersive sound for consumers, all immersive mixes must work equally well in headphones. Due to their phase coherence and pinpoint imaging, Amphion monitors translate particularly well to headphones, as they allow you to correctly reproduce information in all planes including width, height, and depth.
The Perfect Bass
Since the introduction of first Base Extension system in 2015, Amphion has insisted that stereo bass information, with highest possible resolution, be kept all the way down to the lowest frequencies. What is valid for 2-channel is equally valid for an immersive system. Correctly-produced bass information not only improves channel separation, but also contributes to three dimensionality – which is of particular importance when talking about Dolby Atmos. The ability of the latest monitor controllers allows users to create digital crossovers between the monitors and bass extenders/subwoofers which provides flexibility to system design. As the monitor/bass extender crossover is produced by the monitor controller, the monitoring chain can be kept as transparent as possible. To achieve this, we designed the Amp1200 power amplifier, which can be used to drive the Bases to their fullest capacity.
Optimizing Cost | Performance
Longevity and high cost/performance ratio are an integral part of Amphion’s philosophy. Instead of focusing on single products, our emphasis is a modular and system-centric approach, which allows for creating new solutions that allow for developing technologies ie. previously-purchased products can be fully utilised when expanding the system further. As the number of channels increases, the cost-benefits of offering multichannel amplification, instead of powering monitors per-channel, becomes a reality. In order to provide optimal solutions for different rooms and system configurations, Amphion has designed new, immersive-specific amplifiers – first in the line-up, an 8 channel Amp400.8 for powering the surrounds and overheads of the most common Atmos configurations. Naturally, Amp400.8 can be used for other multichannel purposes too.
Safe & Speedy Installation
To ensure both safe and speedy installation, Amphion monitors can be equipped with our custom adaptor, which connects securely to industry-leading Konig & Meyer mounting hardware – a company that provides a wide range of wall and ceiling mount solutions. The adaptor is connected directly to the cabinet, and uses the same connection points to fasten the binding posts to the cabinet. To ensure precise and vibration free installation, the connection does not go in, but instead, through the material, and has a zero-flex approach applied to the adaptor design. Our Technical Support and Product Information pages contain mounting advice and instructions for professional installers.