Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Remixing Old Tracks in Spatial Audio Is ‘Sacrilegious’

Bob Lefsetz:

Let’s say you have the equipment and ability to make an Atmos mix. My understanding is right now, you send the end product to Dolby and they use their special sauce to create the final product. Furthermore, they have special sauce to turn the same Atmosfied music into two track stereo. So, in a business where how it sounds is critical, Dolby is the ultimate arbiter.

The writer at the top is right. It is sacrilegious to remix/Atmosfy classic tracks. They weren’t cut that way to begin with. It even bugs me that they’re using remixed tracks from “Abbey Road” to Atmosfy, now you’re multiple steps from the original.

No matter how good I thought Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” sounded in Atmos, it is a bit like doing a 3D movie conversion on “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The person creating the remix, no matter how well-intentioned, has no idea what the original mixer or the artist would have wanted in this situation.

Just like 3D movies, Atmos mixes only really work for songs and albums recorded with it in mind. That’s why I remain surprised that a bunch of albums recorded with the intention of a surround sound mix — “Dark Side of the Moon”, “The Downward Spiral” — are not available in Atmos on Apple Music, but a cheap conversion of “What’s My Age Again” is.