Nick Rives Joins PMC To Deliver A Masterclass In Dolby Atmos Music Mixing

Sue Sillitoe

Published: 24 July 2023

Nick Rives Joins PMC To Deliver A Masterclass In Dolby Atmos Music Mixing

Grammy-nominated recording engineer Nick Rives and UK loudspeaker manufacturer PMC have joined forces with Sweetwater Studios in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to host a special seminar on mixing music in the Dolby Atmos immersive format.

The seminar takes place on August 12th and will be the first in a series of quarterly masterclasses to be held by Sweetwater Studios in its world-class PMC-equipped Dolby Atmos mix room. 

“We are very excited to be hosting these seminars, which are designed to spread awareness and teach new Dolby Atmos music mixing techniques,” says Sweetwater Studio’s Chief Engineer Shawn Dealey. “As a studio, we have fully embraced immersive audio and believe it to be the future of music because it allows listeners to be more connected to what they hear. We now have an amazing sounding PMC equipped 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos mix suite in our three-room facility, and quite often this is the first place where visiting customers and touring artists have heard Atmos in its full glory.”

Nick Rives, who was Grammy-nominated in the Best R&B Album category for his recording of Gregory Porter’s All Rise album, has extensive experience of mixing in the Dolby Atmos format. Currently Director of Audio Engineering at Universal Music Group, Nick spent 10 years at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles where he was an integral member of a team that led the internationally acclaimed facility to the forefront of Dolby Atmos music mixing. Capitol’s two PMC-equipped Atmos mixing studios were where Nick undertook his first Dolby Atmos music projects including the 2017 mix of REM’s Automatic For The People. He has subsequently tackled many more Atmos mixes for artists such as Billie Eilish, boy genius, Bob Marley, Pearl Jam, James Blake, Eminem, FINNEAS and Glass Animals. 

“I've been fortunate to work closely with the development of Dolby Atmos Music, not only as a technology but also as a creative outlet for music,” Nick Rives says. “I am excited to be sharing those experiences by listening to mixes spanning numerous genres and digging into some of the mix techniques that allow us to fully take advantage of what this technology has to offer. 

During the seminar, which runs from 10am to 6pm, Nick will cover the fundamentals of Dolby Atmos technology and explore the variety of ecosystems that exist in the market for fans to listen to the music and have a meaningful experience. Participants will learn how to adopt workflows and best practise; how to work with artists to actualize their creative vision in the immersive space and create deliverables for major labels and Apple/DSPs. There will also be an in-depth question and answer session where participants can learn from Nick’s personal experiences.

Sweetwater Studios’ PMC equipped mix room is the ideal environment to host this important series of seminars because it is specifically designed and calibrated for Dolby Atmos music mixing. 

“In the fall of 2021, we decided to change our B Room into an Atmos mix room and felt that PMC would be the best partner for this,” Shawn Dealey says. “The room, which came online in April 2022, has PMC8-2 XBDs for left and right channels, a PMC8-2 for the centre channel, and Ci65s powered by Crown CDi DriveCore 4|600s as surrounds. LFE is handled by 4 PMC twotwo Sub2s and all our processing is carried out via DADMAN on our Avid MTRX. Finally, D to A conversion is done through an iZ RADAR Converter with the UltraNyquist 192 Cards.”

Dealey adds that since it opened, the Dolby Atmos mix room has been in frequent use for customer demos.

“There has been a lot of demand for demos, and now the market is settling in for what I believe will be a continued integration of Dolby Atmos into the modern production workflow,” he says.

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