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Dolby Atmos WHITE PAPER Dolby ® Atmos TM Next-Generation Audio for Cinema Overview Announced in April 2012, Dolby ® Atmos TM is quickly becoming the de facto standard for next-generation sound in the cinema, as major studio directors, sound teams, and exhibitors adopt the solution. Because Dolby Atmos delivers an audio experience beyond anything available to date, addressing the limitations to creating truly immersive and lifelike audio that were inherent in earlier audio platforms, professionals from all disciplines within the cinema industry are embracing this technology. 'ROE\ $WPRV DGGV WKH ÁH[LELOLW\ DQG SRZHU RI G\QDPLF DXGLR REMHFWV LQWR WUDGLWLRQDO FKDQQHOEDVHG ZRUNÁRZV 7KHVH DXGLR REMHFWV DOORZ PRYLHPDNHUV WR FRQWURO GLVFUHWH VRXQG HOHPHQWV LUUHVSHFWLYH RI VSHFLÀF SOD\EDFN VSHDNHU FRQÀJXUDWLRQV LQFOXGLQJ RYHUKHDG VSHDNHUV 'ROE\ $WPRV DOVR LQWURGXFHV QHZ HűFLHQFLHV WR WKH SRVWSURGXFWLRQ SURFHVV DOORZLQJ VRXQG PL[HUV WR HűFLHQWO\ capture their creative intent and then, in real-time, monitor or automatically JHQHUDWH 'ROE\ 6XUURXQG DQG YHUVLRQV 'ROE\ $WPRV VLPSOLÀHV GLVWULEXWLRQ³ WKH DXGLR HVVHQFH DQG DUWLVWLF LQWHQW LV DOO FRQWDLQHG LQ D WUDFN ÀOH ZLWKLQ WKH 'LJLWDO Cinema Package (DCP), which can be faithfully played back in a broad range of WKHDWUH FRQÀJXUDWLRQV Content creators welcome the new power they have to tell their stories with Dolby $WPRV 6WXGLRV DSSUHFLDWH WKH VLPSOLÀHG GLVWULEXWLRQ ([KLELWRUV DUH DEOH WR RŲHU audiences a new, compelling, only-in-a-theatre experience. The audience can now enjoy a completely new listening experience with enveloping sound that brings the stories on screen more fully to life.

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Page 1: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

Dolby Atmos

WHITE PAPER

Dolby® AtmosTM

Next-Generation Audio for Cinema

Overview

Announced in April 2012, Dolby® AtmosTM is quickly becoming the de facto

standard for next-generation sound in the cinema, as major studio directors,

sound teams, and exhibitors adopt the solution. Because Dolby Atmos delivers an

audio experience beyond anything available to date, addressing the limitations

to creating truly immersive and lifelike audio that were inherent in earlier audio

platforms, professionals from all disciplines within the cinema industry are

embracing this technology.

'ROE\�$WPRV�DGGV�WKH�ÁH[LELOLW\�DQG�SRZHU�RI�G\QDPLF�DXGLR�REMHFWV�LQWR�WUDGLWLRQDO�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�ZRUNÁRZV��7KHVH�DXGLR�REMHFWV�DOORZ�PRYLHPDNHUV�WR�FRQWURO�GLVFUHWH�VRXQG�HOHPHQWV�LUUHVSHFWLYH�RI�VSHFLÀF�SOD\EDFN�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV��LQFOXGLQJ�RYHUKHDG�VSHDNHUV��'ROE\�$WPRV�DOVR�LQWURGXFHV�QHZ�HűFLHQFLHV�WR�WKH�SRVWSURGXFWLRQ�SURFHVV��DOORZLQJ�VRXQG�PL[HUV�WR�HűFLHQWO\�capture their creative intent and then, in real-time, monitor or automatically

JHQHUDWH�'ROE\�6XUURXQG�����DQG�����YHUVLRQV��'ROE\�$WPRV�VLPSOLÀHV�GLVWULEXWLRQ³WKH�DXGLR�HVVHQFH�DQG�DUWLVWLF�LQWHQW�LV�DOO�FRQWDLQHG�LQ�D�WUDFN�ÀOH�ZLWKLQ�WKH�'LJLWDO�Cinema Package (DCP), which can be faithfully played back in a broad range of

WKHDWUH�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�

Content creators welcome the new power they have to tell their stories with Dolby

$WPRV��6WXGLRV�DSSUHFLDWH�WKH�VLPSOLÀHG�GLVWULEXWLRQ��([KLELWRUV�DUH�DEOH�WR�RŲHU�audiences a new, compelling, only-in-a-theatre experience. The audience can now

enjoy a completely new listening experience with enveloping sound that brings the

stories on screen more fully to life.

Page 2: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

2 Dolby Atmos

Table of Contents

1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 3

1.1 A Brief History of Film Sound ............................................................................. 3

1.2 The Introduction of Digital Cinema ................................................................... 4

1.3 Working Toward the Next Generation of Cinema Sound ............................. 5

2 Dolby Atmos Overview ...................................................................................................... 6

2.1 Audience Immersion ............................................................................................. 6

2.1.1 Overhead Sound........................................................................................ 6

2.1.2 Improved Surround Definition and Audio/Visual Coherence ........ 7

2.1.3 Improved Audio Quality and Timbre Matching .................................. 8

2.2 Author Once, Optimize Everywhere.................................................................. 8

2.2.1 Capturing the Creative Intent ................................................................ 8

2.2.2 Optimizing During Rendering ................................................................ 9

2.3 Workflow Integration ..........................................................................................11

2.3.1 In the Dubbing Theater .........................................................................11

2.3.2 During Packaging ....................................................................................12

2.3.3 For Distribution .......................................................................................12

2.3.4 In the Cinema ...........................................................................................12

3 Audio Postproduction and Mastering .........................................................................12

3.1 Production Sound ................................................................................................13

3.2 Editing and Premixing ........................................................................................13

3.2.1 Dialogue ....................................................................................................13

3.2.2 Foley and Effects ....................................................................................13

3.2.3 Music ..........................................................................................................13

3.3 Final Mixing............................................................................................................13

3.4 Mastering ...............................................................................................................14

4 Digital Cinema Packaging and Distribution ...............................................................15

4.1 Audio File Delivery ...............................................................................................15

4.2 Appending Audio Tracks ....................................................................................16

4.3 Track File Encryption ..........................................................................................16

4.4 Digital Cinema Package Distribution ..............................................................16

5 Theatrical Exhibition ........................................................................................................17

5.1 Equipment Considerations ................................................................................17

5.1.1 Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor CP850 .............................................17

5.1.2 Integration with Cinema Servers .......................................................17

5.2 Auditorium Considerations ...............................................................................17

5.2.1 Optimized Playback ................................................................................18

5.2.2 Screen Speakers .....................................................................................19

5.2.3 Surround Speakers ................................................................................20

5.3 Dolby Atmos Commissioning Service .............................................................23

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3Dolby Atmos

1 Introduction

1.1 A Brief History of Film Sound

6LQFH�WKH�LQWURGXFWLRQ�RI�VRXQG�ZLWK�ÀOP�LQ�������WKHUH�KDV�EHHQ�D�VWHDG\�HYROXWLRQ�of technology used to capture the artistic intent of the motion picture soundtrack

and to replay it in a cinema environment.

,Q�WKH�����V��V\QF�VRXQG�RQ�GLVF�JDYH�ZD\�WR�YDULDEOH�DUHD�VRXQG�RQ�ÀOP��ZKLFK�ZDV�IXUWKHU�LPSURYHG�LQ�WKH�����V�ZLWK�WKHDWULFDO�DFRXVWLF�FRQVLGHUDWLRQV�DQG�improved speaker design, along with the introduction of multitrack recording and

VWHHUDEOH�UHSOD\��XVLQJ�FRQWURO�WRQHV�WR�PRYH�VRXQGV���,Q�WKH�����V�DQG�����V��PDJQHWLF�VWULSLQJ�RI�ÀOP�DOORZHG�PXOWLFKDQQHO�SOD\EDFN�LQ�WKHDWUHV��LQWURGXFLQJ�VXUURXQG�FKDQQHOV�DQG�XS�WR�ÀYH�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV�LQ�SUHPLXP�YHQXHV�

,Q�WKH�����V��'ROE\�LQWURGXFHG�QRLVH�UHGXFWLRQ��ERWK�LQ�SRVWSURGXFWLRQ�DQG�RQ�ÀOP��DORQJ�ZLWK�D�FRVW�HŲHFWLYH�PHDQV�RI�HQFRGLQJ�DQG�GLVWULEXWLQJ�PL[HV�ZLWK�WKUHH�screen channels and a mono surround channel, as shown in Figure 1.1. The quality

RI�FLQHPD�VRXQG�ZDV�IXUWKHU�LPSURYHG�LQ�WKH�����V�ZLWK�'ROE\�65�QRLVH�UHGXFWLRQ�DQG�FHUWLÀFDWLRQ�SURJUDPV�VXFK�DV�7+;®.

Projector

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On

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L - Left

R - Right

C - Center

OBE - Optional subwoofer

S - Surround

Key

S

Screen L

OBE

C

R

Figure 1.1 Dolby Surround

Page 4: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

4 Dolby Atmos

7KH�����V�VDZ�WKH�ODXQFK�RI�GLJLWDO�VRXQG�WR�WKH�FLQHPD��DOORZLQJ�����PL[LQJ��PDVWHULQJ��DQG�SOD\EDFN�SURYLGLQJ�GLVFUHWH�/HIW��&HQWHU��DQG�5LJKW�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV��/HIW�DQG�5LJKW�6XUURXQG�DUUD\V��DQG�D�VXEZRRIHU�FKDQQHO�IRU�ORZ�IUHTXHQF\�HŲHFWV��as shown in Figure 1.2. The surround channels were able to provide a wider

frequency response, since the band-limiting of matrix surrounds (for prevention of

“bleed” or crosstalk from the screen channels) was no longer required. The screen

FKDQQHOV�ZHUH�H[SDQGHG�WR�LQFOXGH�ÀYH�VFUHHQ�VSHDNHUV�ZLWK�WKH�UHLQWURGXFWLRQ�of “inner left” and “inner right” channels, and were further enhanced with Dolby

'LJLWDO�6XUURXQG�(;���DGGLQJ�D�%DFN�6XUURXQG�FKDQQHO��$OO�'ROE\�'LJLWDO�ÀOP�SULQWV�FRQWLQXH�WR�FRQWDLQ�D�'ROE\�65�DQDORJ�WUDFN�IRU�FRPSDWLELOLW\�LQ�DOO�WKHDWUHV�(including those with only mono capabilities).

1 2

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Digital Cinema Processor

Format 10Dolby Digital

M1 0 7.0P1

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L - Left

R - Right

C - Center

LFE - Low-Frequency Effects

Ls - Left Surround

Rs - Right Surround

Key

Screen

L

LFE

C

R

Ls

Rs

Figure 1.2 Dolby Digital

1.2 The Introduction of Digital Cinema

The introduction of digital cinema provided the opportunity for the industry to

HYROYH�EH\RQG�WKH�WHFKQLFDO�OLPLWDWLRQV�LQ�SODFH�ZLWK�VRXQG�RQ�ÀOP��:LWK�WKH�FUHDWLRQ�RI�VWDQGDUGV�IRU�GLJLWDO�FLQHPD�����FKDQQHOV�RI�DXGLR�KDYH�EHHQ�PDGH�available within a DCP to allow for greater creativity for content creators and a

more enveloping and realistic auditory experience for cinemagoers. During the

advent of digital cinema, the industry focused primarily on the development of

technologies and standards relating to image and security. At the same time, the

industry has enjoyed the ability to use existing 5.1-equipped dubbing theaters and

FLQHPDV�IRU�WKH�FUHDWLRQ�DQG�SOD\EDFN�RI�VRXQGWUDFNV�XVLQJ�HŲHFWLYHO\�WKH�VDPH�FRQWHQW�IRU�ERWK�GLJLWDO�FLQHPD�DQG����PP�SOD\EDFN�

,Q�������WKH�ÀUVW�VWHS�LQ�HQKDQFLQJ�GLJLWDO�FLQHPD�VRXQG�ZDV�XQGHUWDNHQ�ZLWK�WKH�introduction of Dolby Surround 7.1. This format continues the pattern of increasing

WKH�QXPEHU�RI�VXUURXQG�FKDQQHOV�E\�VSOLWWLQJ�WKH�H[LVWLQJ�/HIW�DQG�5LJKW�6XUURXQG�FKDQQHOV�LQWR�IRXU�´]RQHV�µ�VKRZQ�LQ�)LJXUH������7KH�LQFUHDVHG�DELOLW\�IRU�VRXQG�designers and mixers to control the positioning of audio elements in the theatre,

along with improved panning from screen to surrounds, has made the format a

Page 5: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

5Dolby Atmos

success in both the rapid adoption by content creators and the speed of conversion

RI�WKHDWUHV��:LWK�PRUH�WKDQ�����WLWOHV�DQG�������VFUHHQV�HTXLSSHG�LQ�OHVV�WKDQ�WKUHH�years since its launch, the success of Dolby Surround 7.1 has indicated a desire

within the motion picture industry to embrace new audio technologies.

Screen

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Digital Cinema Processor

Format 10Dolby Digital

M1 0 7.0P1

1 2

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2

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for dial one

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for dial two

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L

Lss

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RrsRss

L - Left

R - Right

C - Center

LFE - Low-Frequency Effects

Lss - Left side surround

Rss - Right side surround

Lrs - Left rear surround

Rrs - Right rear surround

Key

Figure 1.3 Dolby Surround 7.1

1.3 Working Toward the Next Generation of Cinema Sound

Throughout the development of Dolby Surround 7.1, Dolby continued to

investigate the future of cinema sound, working toward a new audio format. Dolby

HTXLSSHG�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHUV�ZLWK�YDULRXV�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�WR�GHWHUPLQH�ZKLFK�VSHDNHU�ORFDWLRQV�DUH�FRPSHOOLQJ�WR�D�FRQWHQW�FUHDWRU��5HPL[HG�PRYLH�FRQWHQW�ZDV�WDNHQ�LQWR�GLŲHUHQW�DXGLWRULD�LQ�YDULRXV�FRXQWULHV��HTXLSSHG�ZLWK�DSSURSULDWH�VSHDNHU�ORFDWLRQV��WR�GHWHUPLQH�ZKDW�LV�HŲHFWLYH�LQ�WKHDWUHV�RI�YDU\LQJ�size and shape. Finally, these tests were demonstrated to global exhibitors to gain

their feedback on what would work for their customers and what they would be

willing and able to install.

This cycle of research, along with Dolby’s cinema product and technology footprint,

has allowed precise targeting of requirements for the next generation of digital

cinema sound, in areas from sound design and editing to rerecording, mastering,

packaging, distribution, and replay in theatres. For example, although many

FLQHPDV�DUH�HTXLSSHG�ZLWK�LQQHU�OHIW��/F��DQG�LQQHU�ULJKW��5F��UHSOD\�FKDQQHOV��WKHVH�FKDQQHOV�DUH�UDUHO\�XVHG�EHFDXVH�D�GHGLFDWHG�ÀYH�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHO�PL[�PXVW�EH�FUHDWHG�WR�VXSSRUW�WKHP��+RZHYHU��RQ�ODUJHU�VFUHHQV��DGGLWLRQDO�FKDQQHOV�FRXOG�provide both smoother pans and more accurate placement of sound to match the

image. Similarly, while the use of surround arrays can arguably create a suitably

DPELHQW�HŲHFW�ZLWK�DSSURSULDWH�FRQWHQW��WKH�LQWURGXFWLRQ�RI�'ROE\�6XUURXQG�����GHPRQVWUDWHG�WKDW�VLJQLÀFDQW�LPSURYHPHQW�LQ�ORFDOL]DWLRQ�RI�VRXQG�UHVXOWV�IURP�increasing the number of surround zones within the auditorium.

Page 6: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

6 Dolby Atmos

In parallel to research into a new audio format, Dolby revisited critical areas of the

theatrical replay environment, including the technology and standards by which

dubbing theaters and cinemas are aligned and monitored. Introduction of a new

audio format allows changes to be implemented without breaking compatibility,

making it an ideal opportunity to revisit existing standards. In some areas the

FXUUHQW�SUDFWLFH�LV�UDWLÀHG��DQG�LQ�RWKHUV�LW�LV�LPSURYHG�XSRQ�DV�WHFKQRORJ\�HYROYHV��

This exhaustive research, along with lessons learned from decades of introducing

new cinema sound formats, culminated in Dolby’s 2012 introduction of Dolby

Atmos as the next generation of sound for cinema. The Dolby Atmos platform

HQFRPSDVVHV�SURGXFWV��VHUYLFHV��DQG�WHFKQRORJLHV�WKDW�EXLOG�RQ�H[LVWLQJ�ZRUNÁRZV�and technologies to deliver an audio experience well beyond the best available

to date.

2 Dolby Atmos Overview

Dolby Atmos achieves unprecedented levels of audience immersion and engagement

E\�RŲHULQJ�SRZHUIXO�QHZ�DXWKRULQJ�WRROV�WR�PL[HUV��,W�DOVR�RŲHUV�D�QHZ�FLQHPD�SURFHVVRU�IHDWXULQJ�D�ÁH[LEOH�UHQGHULQJ�HQJLQH�WKDW�RSWLPL]HV�WKH�DXGLR�TXDOLW\�DQG�VXUURXQG�HŲHFWV�RI�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�VRXQGWUDFN�WR�HDFK�URRP·V�VSHDNHU�OD\RXW�and characteristics. In addition, Dolby Atmos has been designed from the ground

up to maintain backward compatibility and minimize the impact on the current

SURGXFWLRQ�DQG�GLVWULEXWLRQ�ZRUNÁRZV�

2.1 Audience Immersion

7ZR�FULWLFDO�HOHPHQWV�VLJQLÀFDQWO\�LPSURYH�WKH�DXGLHQFH�H[SHULHQFH�RYHU�����DQG�7.1 systems:

�� Sounds originating overhead

�� Sounds originating from discrete sources throughout the auditorium

2.1.1 Overhead Sound

In the real world, sounds originate from all directions, not from a single horizontal

plane. An added sense of realism can be achieved if sound can be heard from

overhead, from the “upper hemisphere.”

7KH�ÀUVW�H[DPSOH�LV�RI�D�VWDWLF�RYHUKHDG�VRXQG��VXFK�DV�DQ�LQVHFW�FKLUSLQJ�LQ�D�WUHH�in a jungle scene. In this case, placing that sound overhead can subtly immerse the

audience in the scene without distracting from the action on the screen.

Another example is a somewhat less-subtle helicopter elevating on the screen and

Á\LQJ�RŲ�RYHU�WKH�DXGLHQFH��7KH�XVH�RI�PRUH�GLVFUHWH�VXUURXQG�]RQHV��DV�LQ�'ROE\�Surround 7.1, helps achieve the perception of overhead movement, but adding

overhead speakers prevents the brain from having to construct a phantom image of

the helicopter moving overhead.

Page 7: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

7Dolby Atmos

2.1.2 Improved Surround Definition and Audio/Visual Coherence

For many years, cinema has enjoyed having discrete screen channels in the form of

/HIW��&HQWHU��5LJKW��DQG�RFFDVLRQDOO\�LQQHU�OHIW�DQG�LQQHU�ULJKW�FKDQQHOV��7KHVH�GLVFUHWH�VRXUFHV�KDYH�VXűFLHQW�IUHTXHQF\�UHVSRQVH�DQG�SRZHU�KDQGOLQJ�WR�DOORZ�VRXQGV�WR�EH�DFFXUDWHO\�SODFHG�LQ�GLŲHUHQW�DUHDV�RI�WKH�VFUHHQ��DQG�WR�SHUPLW�WLPEUH�PDWFKLQJ�DV�sounds are moved or panned between locations.

In a 5.1 setup, the surround zones comprise an array of speakers, all of which carry

WKH�VDPH�DXGLR�LQIRUPDWLRQ�ZLWKLQ�HDFK�/HIW�6XUURXQG�RU�5LJKW�6XUURXQG�]RQH��6XFK�DUUD\V�DUH�SDUWLFXODUO\�HŲHFWLYH�ZLWK�DPELHQW�RU�GLŲXVH�VXUURXQG�HŲHFWV�

+RZHYHU��LQ�HYHU\GD\�OLIH�PDQ\�VRXQGV�RULJLQDWH�IURP�UDQGRPO\�SODFHG�SRLQW�VRXUFHV��Consider the example of being in a restaurant. In addition to ambient music apparently

EHLQJ�SOD\HG�IURP�DOO�DURXQG��VXEWOH�EXW�GLVFUHWH�VRXQGV�RULJLQDWH�IURP�VSHFLÀF�SRLQWV��a person chatting from one point, the clatter of a knife on a plate from another. Being

able to place such sounds discretely around the auditorium can add a heightened sense

of realism without being obvious.

$�OHVV�VXEWOH�H[DPSOH�LV�WKH�VRXQG�RI�D�JXQVKRW�ÀUHG�IURP�VRPHZKHUH�EHKLQG�WKH�audience. In this case, the intention may be to momentarily distract the viewer from

the screen, as might happen if somebody were to hear such a sound in real life. Being

DEOH�WR�SLQSRLQW�WKLV�VRXQG�FRXOG�EH�PRUH�HŲHFWLYH�WKDQ�WU\LQJ�WR�HPXODWH�LW�WKURXJK�DQ�DUUD\�RI�VSHDNHUV��7KH�LQFUHDVHG�UHVROXWLRQ�RI�VXUURXQG�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQ�SURYLGHG�E\�'ROE\�6XUURXQG�����KHOSV�DGG�UHDOLVP�WR�VXFK�HŲHFWV��EXW�WKH�DELOLW\�WR�individually address surround speakers in addition to the 7.1 arrays takes realism to a

new level.

A fundamental role of cinema sound is to support the story on the screen. Dolby Atmos

VXSSRUWV�PXOWLSOH�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV��UHVXOWLQJ�LQ�LQFUHDVHG�GHÀQLWLRQ�DQG�LPSURYHG�audio/visual coherence for onscreen sounds or dialogue. The ability to precisely

position sources anywhere in the surround zones also improves the audio/visual

transition from screen to room. If a character on the screen looks inside the room

toward a sound source, the mixer has the ability to precisely position the sound so that

LW�PDWFKHV�WKH�FKDUDFWHU·V�OLQH�RI�VLJKW��DQG�WKH�HŲHFW�ZLOO�EH�FRQVLVWHQW�WKURXJKRXW�the audience (Figure 2.1, right). In contrast, in a traditional 5.1 or Dolby Surround

����PL[��WKH�HŲHFW�ZRXOG�EH�GHSHQGHQW�RQ�D�YLHZHU·V�VHDWLQJ�SRVLWLRQ��VHH�)LJXUH�2.1, left). Increased surround resolution creates new opportunities to use sound in

a room-centric way. This approach is an important innovation, quite distinct from

the traditional approach in which content is created assuming a single listener at the

´VZHHW�VSRW�µ�5RRP�FHQWULF�DXGLR�EHWWHU�VXSSRUWV�WKH�RQVFUHHQ�DFWLRQ�

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8 Dolby Atmos

Figure 2.1 Benefits of Increased Surround Resolution for Audio/Visual Coherence

2.1.3 Improved Audio Quality and Timbre Matching

,Q�DGGLWLRQ�WR�WKH�VSDWLDO�EHQHÀWV��WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�FRUH�DXGLR�TXDOLW\�LV�DQ�improvement over existing state-of-the-art multichannel systems.

The timbral quality of some sounds, such as steam hissing out of a broken pipe, can

VXŲHU�IURP�EHLQJ�UHSURGXFHG�E\�DQ�DUUD\�RI�VSHDNHUV��7KH�DELOLW\�WR�GLUHFW�VSHFLÀF�sounds to a single speaker gives the mixer the opportunity to eliminate the artifacts

of array reproduction and deliver a more realistic experience to the audience.

Traditionally, surround speakers do not support the same full-range frequency

UHVSRQVH�DQG�OHYHO�ZKHQ�FRPSDUHG�WR�WKH�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV��+LVWRULFDOO\��WKLV�KDV�created issues for mixers, reducing their ability to freely move full-range sounds

from screen to room. As a result, theatre owners have not felt compelled to upgrade

WKHLU�VXUURXQG�FKDQQHO�FRQÀJXUDWLRQ��FUHDWLQJ�D�FKLFNHQ�DQG�HJJ�GLOHPPD�WKDW�KDV�prevented the widespread adoption of higher-quality installations.

'ROE\�$WPRV�LPSURYHV�WKH�DXGLR�TXDOLW\�LQ�GLŲHUHQW�URRPV�WKURXJK�VXFK�EHQHÀWV�DV�improved room equalization and surround bass management, so that the speakers

�ZKHWKHU�RQ��RU�RŲVFUHHQ��FDQ�EH�IUHHO\�DGGUHVVHG�E\�WKH�PL[HU�ZLWKRXW�FRQFHUQ�about timbral matching.

2.2 Author Once, Optimize Everywhere

2.2.1 Capturing the Creative Intent

In order to accurately place sounds around the auditorium, the sound designer or

mixer needs more control. Providing this control involves changing how content is

designed, mixed, and played back through the use of audio objects and positional data.

Audio objects can be considered as groups of sound elements that share the same

physical location in the auditorium. Objects can be static or they can move. They

are controlled by metadata that, among other things, details the position of the

VRXQG�DW�D�JLYHQ�SRLQW�LQ�WLPH��:KHQ�REMHFWV�DUH�PRQLWRUHG�RU�SOD\HG�EDFN�LQ�D�theatre, they are rendered according to the positional metadata using the speakers

that are present, rather than necessarily being output to a physical channel.

Page 9: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

9Dolby Atmos

Thinking about audio objects is a shift in mentality compared with how audio is

currently prepared, but it aligns well with how audio workstations function. A track in

a session can be an audio object, and standard panning data is analogous to positional

PHWDGDWD��,Q�WKLV�ZD\��FRQWHQW�SODFHG�RQ�WKH�VFUHHQ�PLJKW�SDQ�LQ�HŲHFWLYHO\�WKH�same way as with channel-based content, but content placed in the surrounds can be

rendered to an individual speaker if desired.

:KLOH�WKH�XVH�RI�DXGLR�REMHFWV�SURYLGHV�GHVLUHG�FRQWURO�IRU�GLVFUHWH�HŲHFWV��RWKHU�DVSHFWV�RI�D�PRYLH�VRXQGWUDFN�GR�ZRUN�HŲHFWLYHO\�LQ�D�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�HQYLURQPHQW��)RU�H[DPSOH��PDQ\�DPELHQW�HŲHFWV�RU�UHYHUEHUDWLRQV�DFWXDOO\�EHQHÀW�IURP�EHLQJ�IHG�WR�DUUD\V�RI�VSHDNHUV��$OWKRXJK�WKHVH�FRXOG�EH�WUHDWHG�DV�REMHFWV�ZLWK�VXűFLHQW�ZLGWK�WR�ÀOO�DQ�DUUD\��LW�LV�EHQHÀFLDO�WR�UHWDLQ�VRPH�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�IXQFWLRQDOLW\�

Dolby Atmos therefore supports “beds” in addition to audio objects. Beds are

HŲHFWLYHO\�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�VXEPL[HV�RU�VWHPV��7KHVH�FDQ�EH�GHOLYHUHG�IRU�ÀQDO�SOD\EDFN�(rendering) either individually or combined into a single bed, depending on the

GHVLUH�RI�WKH�FRQWHQW�FUHDWRU��7KHVH�EHGV�FDQ�EH�FUHDWHG�LQ�GLŲHUHQW�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�VXFK�DV�����������RU�HYHQ�IXWXUH�IRUPDWV�VXFK�DV������LQFOXGLQJ�DUUD\V�RI�overhead speakers).

Figure 2.2 Object and Bed Combination

2.2.2 Optimizing During Rendering

'ROE\�$WPRV�DOORZV�XS�WR�����WUDFNV�WR�EH�SDFNDJHG��XVXDOO\�D�FRPELQDWLRQ�RI�EHGV�and objects. The renderer takes these audio tracks and processes the content according

WR�WKH�VLJQDO�W\SH��%HGV�DUH�IHG�WR�DUUD\V��ZKLFK�SRWHQWLDOO\�UHTXLUH�GLŲHUHQW�GHOD\V�and equalization processing than individual objects. The process supports rendering of

WKHVH�EHGV�DQG�REMHFWV�WR�XS�WR����VSHDNHU�RXWSXWV�

up to

64

speaker

feeds

out

up to

128

tracks

in

Dolby

Atmos

Level

manager

Beds

Objects

Rendering

Array

correction

B-chain

processing

per speaker

Figure 2.3 Block Diagram of Dolby Atmos Rendering

Page 10: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

10 Dolby Atmos

The rendering algorithm intelligently uses the surround speakers in the theatre to

WKHLU�EHVW�HŲHFW��%\�LPSURYLQJ�WKH�SRZHU�KDQGOLQJ�DQG�IUHTXHQF\�UHVSRQVH�RI�WKH�surround speakers, and by keeping the same monitoring reference level for each

output channel or speaker in the theatre, objects being panned between screen and

surround speakers can maintain their sound pressure level (SPL) and have a closer

timbre match without, importantly, increasing the overall SPL in the theatre.

$Q�DUUD\�RI�DSSURSULDWHO\�VSHFLÀHG�VXUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�KDV�HQRXJK�KHDGURRP�WR�reproduce the maximum dynamic range available within a Dolby Surround 7.1 or

����VRXQGWUDFN�����G%�DERYH�UHIHUHQFH�OHYHO���+RZHYHU��LW�LV�XQOLNHO\�WKDW�D�VLQJOH�surround speaker will have the same headroom as a large multiway screen speaker.

$V�D�UHVXOW��WKHUH�DUH�LQVWDQFHV�ZKHQ�DQ�REMHFW�SODFHG�LQ�WKH�VXUURXQG�ÀHOG�UHTXLUHV�a sound pressure greater than that attainable using a single surround speaker.

In these cases, the renderer spreads the sound across an appropriate number of

VSHDNHUV�LQ�RUGHU�WR�DFKLHYH�WKH�UHTXLUHG�63/��:LWK�'ROE\�$WPRV��LPSURYLQJ�WKH�quality and power handling of surround speakers provides an improvement in the

faithfulness of the rendering.

Additionally, the support for bass management of the surround speakers through

the installation of optional rear subwoofers allows each surround speaker to

achieve improved power handling and potentially use smaller cabinets.

Finally, the addition of side surround speakers closer to the screen than has been

the practice for previous formats ensures that objects can smoothly transition from

screen to surround. It is important to note that these additional side surround

speakers are not used to replay content destined for a surround array (for instance,

in Dolby Surround 7.1 rendered output, or in a 5.1 bed as part of a Dolby Atmos

mix) since this will compromise the experience of using a sidewall array.

More information on speaker layout recommendations is available in Section 5,

7KHDWULFDO�([KLELWLRQ�

Page 11: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

11Dolby Atmos

2.3 Workflow Integration

'ROE\�$WPRV�WHFKQRORJ\�LQWHJUDWHV�LQWR�H[LVWLQJ�SRVWSURGXFWLRQ�ZRUNÁRZV�ZLWKRXW�adding excessive time and cost to the process.

Creation

Audio

workstation/

Mixing console

Dolby

system

Dolby

Atmos

Dolby

Atmos

Dolby theater

(KDM per title)

Standard theater

(KDM per format)

DCP

Standard

5.1 or

7.1 Mix

5.1 Mix

7.1 Mix

Packaging Exhibition

Figure 2.4 Cinema Audio Workflow

2.3.1 In the Dubbing Theater

The hybrid model of beds and objects allows most sound design, editing, premixing,

DQG�ÀQDO�PL[LQJ�WR�EH�SHUIRUPHG�LQ�WKH�VDPH�PDQQHU�DV�WKH\�KDYH�EHHQ�LQ� previous formats.

Plug-in applications for digital audio workstations allow existing panning

techniques within sound design and editing to remain unchanged. In this way, it is

possible to lay down both beds and objects within the workstation in 5.1-equipped

editing rooms.

Object audio and metadata are recorded in the session in preparation for the pre-

DQG�ÀQDO�PL[�VWDJHV�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU�

Metadata is integrated into the dubbing theater’s console surface, allowing the

channel strips’ faders, panning, and audio processing to work with both beds or

stems and audio objects. The metadata can be edited using either the console

surface or the workstation user interface, and the sound is monitored using a Dolby

5HQGHULQJ�DQG�0DVWHULQJ�8QLW��508��

The bed and object audio data and associated metadata are recorded during the

mastering session to create a “print master,” which includes a Dolby Atmos mix

and any other rendered deliverables (such as a Dolby Surround 7.1 or 5.1 theatrical

PL[���7KLV�SULQW�PDVWHU�ÀOH�LV�ZUDSSHG�XVLQJ�LQGXVWU\�VWDQGDUG�0DWHULDO�([FKDQJH�)RUPDW��0;)��ZUDSSLQJ�WHFKQLTXHV��DQG�GHOLYHUHG�WR�WKH�GLJLWDO�FLQHPD�SDFNDJLQJ�IDFLOLW\�XVLQJ�VWDQGDUG�'&3�WHFKQLTXHV�WKDW�DOORZ�ÀOH�YDOLGDWLRQ�SULRU�WR�SDFNDJLQJ�

Page 12: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

12 Dolby Atmos

2.3.2 During Packaging

7KH�'ROE\�$WPRV�SULQW�PDVWHU�ÀOHV�FRQWDLQ�D�'ROE\�$WPRV�PL[��DORQJ�ZLWK�D�standard, channel-based main audio mix. The main audio mix can be rendered by

WKH�508�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU��RU�FUHDWHG�E\�D�VHSDUDWH�PL[�SDVV�LI�GHVLUHG��7KH�PDLQ�DXGLR�PL[�IRUPV�WKH�VWDQGDUG�PDLQ�DXGLR�WUDFN�ÀOH�ZLWKLQ�WKH�'&3��DQG�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�PL[�IRUPV�DQ�DGGLWLRQDO�WUDFN�ÀOH��6XFK�D�WUDFN�ÀOH�LV�VXSSRUWHG�E\�existing industry standards, and is ignored by DCI-compliant servers that cannot

use it.

2.3.3 For Distribution

The Dolby Atmos packaging scheme allows delivery of a single DCP to any cinema,

whether or not it is equipped to decode and play back a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

7KH�FRPSRVLWLRQ�FRQWDLQV�ERWK�PDLQ�DXGLR�DQG�'ROE\�$WPRV�WUDFN�ÀOHV��$�VLQJOH�key delivery message (KDM) targeted to the cinema’s media block enables

controlled playback of the content, and a DCI-compliant server with any cinema

sound processor is able to play the composition.

2.3.4 In the Cinema

7KH�'&3�FRQWDLQLQJ�D�'ROE\�$WPRV�WUDFN�ÀOH�LV�UHFRJQL]HG�E\�DOO�VHUYHUV�DV�D�YDOLG�package, and ingested accordingly. In theatres with Dolby Atmos, the Dolby Atmos

WUDFN�ÀOH�LV�LQJHVWHG�LQWR�WKH�VHUYHU�DQG�GXULQJ�SOD\EDFN�LV�VWUHDPHG�WR�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�FLQHPD�SURFHVVRU�IRU�UHQGHULQJ��+DYLQJ�ERWK�'ROE\�6XUURXQG������RU������and Dolby Atmos audio streams available, the Dolby Atmos cinema processor can

switch between them if necessary. This switching is analogous to the Dolby Digital

DQG�'ROE\�65�WUDFNV�RQ����PP�SULQWV��ZKHUHE\�D�V\VWHP�WKDW�LV�HTXLSSHG�IRU�'ROE\�Digital replay will do so from a single inventory print, but a system that cannot

use the Dolby Digital track (or one that encounters a print or hardware issue) will

VHDPOHVVO\�UHYHUW�WR�WKH�'ROE\�65�WUDFN�WR�NHHS�WKH�VKRZ�UXQQLQJ�

3 Audio Postproduction and Mastering

&RQVLGHU�WKH�ZRUNÁRZ�LQ�DXGLR�SRVWSURGXFWLRQ³WKHUH�DUH�PDQ\�VWHSV��VRPH�RI�ZKLFK�RFFXU�LQ�SDUDOOHO��WKDW�OHDG�WR�WKH�FUHDWLRQ�RI�D�ÀQDO�PL[��7KUHH�PDLQ�FDWHJRULHV�RI�VRXQG�DUH�XVHG�LQ�D�PRYLH�PL[��GLDORJXH��PXVLF��DQG�HŲHFWV�

(ŲHFWV�FRQVLVW�RI�JURXSV�RI�VRXQGV�VXFK�DV�DPELHQW�QRLVH��YHKLFOHV��RU�FKLUSLQJ�ELUGV³HYHU\WKLQJ�WKDW�LV�QRW�GLDORJXH�RU�PXVLF��6RXQG�HŲHFWV�FDQ�EH�UHFRUGHG�RU�V\QWKHVL]HG�E\�WKH�VRXQG�GHVLJQHU�RU�FDQ�RULJLQDWH�IURP�HŲHFWV�OLEUDULHV��$�VXEJURXS�RI�HŲHFWV�NQRZQ�DV�)ROH\��VXFK�DV�IRRWVWHSV�DQG�GRRU�VODPV��DUH�performed by Foley actors.

'ROE\�VRXQG�FRQVXOWDQWV�ZRUN�JOREDOO\�RQ�DOO�ÀOP�VRXQGWUDFNV�XVLQJ�'ROE\�technologies, and continue to provide services in all aspects of the audio post

ZRUNÁRZ��7KH�IROORZLQJ�VHFWLRQV�RXWOLQH�LQLWLDO�LQWHJUDWLRQ�RI�'ROE\�$WPRV�LQWR�D�IHDWXUH�ÀOP�

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13Dolby Atmos

3.1 Production Sound

6RXQG�LV�UHFRUGHG�RQ�VHW��DQG�KXQGUHGV�RI�VRXQG�ÀOHV�DUH�FUHDWHG��6SRWWLQJ�VHVVLRQV�GHWHUPLQH�ZKLFK�ÀOHV��LQFOXGLQJ�GLDORJXH�RU�)ROH\�FRQWHQW��DUH�RI�acceptable quality.

3.2 Editing and Premixing

3.2.1 Dialogue

3URGXFWLRQ�GLDORJXH�WKDW�LV�QRW�FRQVLGHUHG�XVDEOH�LV�UHUHFRUGHG�LQ�$'5��DXWRPDWHG�dialogue replacement or additional dialogue recording) sessions. The dialogue

HGLWRU�XVHV�ERWK�SURGXFWLRQ�GLDORJXH�DQG�$'5��DQG�WKH�GLDORJXH�PL[HU�FUHDWHV�dialogue premixes containing mono dialogue tracks and several channel-based

beds of “loop group,” such as crowd noise. At this point, dialogue that would

EHQHÀW�IURP�EHLQJ�SODFHG�RU�SDQQHG�WKURXJKRXW�WKH�DXGLWRULXP�LV�PDUNHG�DV�DQ�object and panned accordingly.

3.2.2 Foley and Effects

7KH�)ROH\�HGLWRU�WDNHV�SURGXFWLRQ�DQG�UHFRUGHG�HŲHFWV�WR�FUHDWH�VHYHUDO�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�EHGV�RI�)ROH\��$Q\�)ROH\�WKDW�ZRXOG�EHQHÀW�IURP�EHLQJ�SODFHG�SUHFLVHO\�LQ�the auditorium would be marked and panned as an object.

7KH�HŲHFWV�HGLWRU�WDNHV�GHVLJQHG�DQG�OLEUDU\�VRXQG�HŲHFWV�WR�FUHDWH�ZKDW�FRXOG�EH�KXQGUHGV�RI�VRXQG�HŲHFWV�HOHPHQWV�DQG�EHGV�RI�DPELHQFHV��7KH�HŲHFWV�PL[HU�WDNHV�WKHVH�VHVVLRQV��DORQJ�ZLWK�WKH�)ROH\�FRQWHQW��WR�FUHDWH�HŲHFWV�SUHPL[HV�RI�ERWK�LQGLYLGXDO�WUDFNV�DQG�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�EHGV��$JDLQ��DQ\�VXLWDEOH�HŲHFWV�DUH�LGHQWLÀHG�and positioned as objects.

(ŲHFWV�PD\�EH�IXUWKHU�VSOLW�LQWR�JURXSV�VXFK�DV�DWPRVSKHUHV��FURZGV��DQG�movements, such as rustling cloth.

3.2.3 Music

Music is mixed by a scoring mixer and passed to the music editor and music mixer

for creation of music premixes, which can again consist of tracks and channel-

based beds. The use of full-range surround speakers allows mixers to move music

RŲVFUHHQ�WR�WKH�VXUURXQG�]RQHV�DQG�PDLQWDLQ�WKH�VDPH�WLPEUH�DQG�ÀGHOLW\�DV�WKH�screen speakers.

Mixers have also found that assigning music tracks as objects and moving the

REMHFWV�RŲVFUHHQ�ZLOO�FKDQJH�WKH�SHUFHSWLRQ�RI�WKH�PXVLF�VL]H�DQG�FDQ�HQKDQFH�WKH�DXGLHQFH·V�VHQVH�RI�HQYHORSPHQW��$GGLWLRQDOO\��PRYLQJ�PXVLF�RŲVFUHHQ�IUHHV�XS�WKH�VFUHHQ�VSHDNHUV�IRU�DXGLR�HŲHFWV�DQG�FDQ�KHOS�FODULI\�GLDORJXH�WUDFNV�

3.3 Final Mixing

$OO�RI�WKH�PXVLF��GLDORJXH��DQG�HŲHFWV�DUH�EURXJKW�WRJHWKHU�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU�GXULQJ�WKH�ÀQDO�PL[��DQG�WKH�UHUHFRUGLQJ�PL[HU�V��XVH�WKH�SUHPL[HV��DOVR�NQRZQ�as the “mix minus”) along with the individual sound objects and positional data to

FUHDWH�VWHPV�DV�D�ZD\�RI�JURXSLQJ��IRU�H[DPSOH��GLDORJXH��PXVLF��HŲHFWV��)ROH\��DQG�

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14 Dolby Atmos

EDFNJURXQG��,Q�DGGLWLRQ�WR�IRUPLQJ�WKH�ÀQDO�PL[��WKH�PXVLF�DQG�HŲHFWV�VWHPV�DUH�used as a basis for creating dubbed foreign-language versions of the movie.

(DFK�VWHP�FRQVLVWV�RI�D�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�EHG�DQG�VHYHUDO�DXGLR�REMHFWV�ZLWK�PHWDGDWD��6WHPV�FRPELQH�WR�IRUP�WKH�ÀQDO�PL[��8VLQJ�REMHFW�SDQQLQJ�LQIRUPDWLRQ�IURP�ERWK�WKH�DXGLR�ZRUNVWDWLRQ�DQG�WKH�PL[LQJ�FRQVROH��WKH�508�UHQGHUV�WKH�DXGLR�WR�the speaker locations in the dubbing theater. This rendering allows the mixers to

hear how the channel-based beds and audio objects combine, and also provides

WKH�DELOLW\�WR�UHQGHU�WR�GLŲHUHQW�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV��7KH�PL[HU�FDQ�XVH�FRQGLWLRQDO�PHWDGDWD��ZKLFK�GHIDXOWV�WR�UHOHYDQW�SURÀOHV��WR�FRQWURO�KRZ�WKH�FRQWHQW�LV�UHQGHUHG�to, for example, Dolby Surround 7.1. In this way, the mixers retain complete control

of how the movie plays back in all the scalable environments that Dolby Atmos

allows.

3.4 Mastering

During the mastering session, the stems, objects, and metadata are brought

WRJHWKHU�LQ�D�'ROE\�$WPRV�SDFNDJH�WKDW�LV�VLJQHG�RŲ�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU�DQG�remains untouched through to exhibition in the cinema. The Dolby Atmos package

contains the backward-compatible Dolby Surround 7.1 or 5.1 theatrical mix.

7KH�508�FDQ�UHQGHU�WKLV�RXWSXW�LI�GHVLUHG��WKHUHE\�HOLPLQDWLQJ�WKH�QHHG�IRU�DQ\�DGGLWLRQDO�ZRUNÁRZ�VWHSV�LQ�JHQHUDWLQJ�H[LVWLQJ�FKDQQHO�EDVHG�GHOLYHUDEOHV��7KH�DXGLR�ÀOHV�DUH�SDFNDJHG�XVLQJ�LQGXVWU\�VWDQGDUG�0;)�ZUDSSLQJ�WHFKQLTXHV�WR�minimize the risk of changes, and delivered to the digital cinema packaging facility.

As has been standard practice for several decades, the dubbing theater is equipped

and calibrated by Dolby sound consultants in exactly the same manner as the

SOD\EDFN�WKHDWUHV�WR�HQVXUH�FRPSOHWH�FRQÀGHQFH�WKDW�ZKDW�LV�FUHDWHG�LQ�WKH�VWXGLR�will translate predictably to the cinema.

In addition to rendering channel-based theatrical deliverables, the Dolby

$WPRV�PDVWHU�ÀOH�FDQ�EH�XVHG�WR�JHQHUDWH�RWKHU�GHOLYHUDEOHV�VXFK�DV�FRQVXPHU�PXOWLFKDQQHO�RU�VWHUHR�PL[HV��$JDLQ��LQWHOOLJHQW�SURÀOHV�DQG�FRQGLWLRQDO�PHWDGDWD�LQ�'ROE\�$WPRV�DOORZ�FRQWUROOHG�UHQGHULQJV�WKDW�FDQ�VLJQLÀFDQWO\�UHGXFH�WKH�WLPH�required to create such mixes.

Page 15: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

15Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos

Print MasterFinal MixRe-recording

Objects

Stems

Objects

BedsDialogue

Foley

Music

Effects

Crowd

atmo-

spheres,

moves

Render/

Mastering

5.1/7.1/9.1 Beds/Stems

Objects

Render/

Monitoring

Native

:

5.1 Mix

7.1 Mix

Dolby Atmos rendered mix

Channel-based mix

Lt/Rt

9.1 channel

7.1 channel

5.1 channel

Render/

Monitoring

Native

:

9.1 channel

7.1 channel

5.1 channel

Figure 3.1 Dolby Atmos Audio Post Workflow

4 Digital Cinema Packaging and Distribution

4.1 Audio File Delivery

7KH�'ROE\�$WPRV�DXGLR�ÀOHV�GHOLYHUHG�WR�WKH�SDFNDJLQJ�IDFLOLW\�FDQ�EH�LPSRUWHG�LQWR�an appropriate digital cinema packaging system, such as the Dolby Secure Content

&UHDWRU��6&&�������WR�FUHDWH�D�'&3��7KH�DXGLR�WUDFN�ÀOHV�PD\�EH�ORFNHG�WRJHWKHU�WR�KHOS�SUHYHQW�V\QFKURQL]DWLRQ�HUURUV�ZLWK�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�WUDFN�ÀOH�WKDW�KDV�EHHQ�VLJQHG�RŲ�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU��7KH�6&&�����FDQ�DOVR�UHVSRQG�WR�GDWD�LQ�WKH�SULQW�PDVWHU�ÀOH��VXFK�DV�ÀUVW�IUDPH�DQG�ODVW�IUDPH�RI�DFWLRQ��WR�HQVXUH�DFFXUDWH�V\QFKURQL]DWLRQ�RI�VRXQG�WR�SLFWXUH�DV�ZDV�VLJQHG�RŲ�LQ�WKH�GXEELQJ�WKHDWHU�

8SRQ�LPSRUWLQJ��WKH�0;)�DXGLR�ÀOHV��ERWK�'ROE\�$WPRV�DQG�PDLQ�DXGLR��DUH�FKHFNHG�WR�FRQÀUP�WKDW�WKHUH�LV�QR�FRUUXSWLRQ�RU�WDPSHULQJ��,I�DQ�HUURU�LV�UHSRUWHG��WKH�RSHUDWRU�ZLOO�EH�DOHUWHG�WR�WDNH�DSSURSULDWH�DFWLRQ��7KLV�ZRUNÁRZ�LV�VLPLODU�WR�successful practice used in Dolby Digital mastering for theatrical releases, whereby

WKH�'ROE\�'LJLWDO�DQG�'ROE\�65�WUDFNV�DUH�SK\VLFDOO\�DVVRFLDWHG�DQG�DOVR�FRGHG�WR�prevent unauthorized tampering.

Page 16: Dolby Atmos Whitepaper

16 Dolby Atmos

4.2 Appending Audio Tracks

&HUWDLQ�WHUULWRULHV�UHTXLUH�WKH�DGGLWLRQ�RI�WUDFN�ÀOHV�GXULQJ�WKH�SDFNDJLQJ�SKDVH��VXFK�DV�WKH�DGGLWLRQ�RI�KHDULQJ�LPSDLUHG��+,��RU�YLVXDOO\�LPSDLUHG�QDUUDWLRQ��9,�1��WUDFNV�WR�WKH�PDLQ�DXGLR�WUDFN�ÀOH��7KH�6&&�����DOORZV�WKH�DGGLWLRQ�RI�WUDFNV�WR�WKH�PDLQ�DXGLR�WUDFN�ÀOH�ZKHUH�UHTXLUHG�E\�WKH�LQGXVWU\�

4.3 Track File Encryption

8SRQ�FUHDWLRQ�RI�WKH�'&3��WKH�PDLQ�DXGLR�0;)�ÀOH��ZLWK�DSSURSULDWH�DGGLWLRQDO�WUDFNV�DSSHQGHG��LV�HQFU\SWHG�XVLQJ�6037(�VSHFLÀFDWLRQV�LQ�DFFRUGDQFH�ZLWK�H[LVWLQJ�SUDFWLFH��7KH�'ROE\�$WPRV�0;)�LV�SDFNDJHG�DV�DQ�DX[LOLDU\�WUDFN�ÀOH��DQG�LV�RSWLRQDOO\�HQFU\SWHG�XVLQJ�D�V\PPHWULF�FRQWHQW�NH\�SHU�WKH�6037(�VSHFLÀFDWLRQ�

Dolby

Atmos

audio

files

5.1 / 7.1

audio

files

DCPWrapping /

Encryption

JPEG 2000

Compression

DCP

Packaging

Distribution

KDM

From dubbing theater

Subtitle

files

Image

files

Figure 4.1 Digital Cinema Packaging Workflow

4.4 Digital Cinema Package Distribution

This single DCP can be delivered to any DCI-compliant server. Any installations

WKDW�DUH�QRW�VXLWDEO\�HTXLSSHG�VLPSO\�LJQRUH�WKH�DGGLWLRQDO�WUDFN�ÀOH�FRQWDLQLQJ�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�VRXQGWUDFN�DQG�XVH�WKH�H[LVWLQJ�PDLQ�DXGLR�WUDFN�ÀOH�IRU�VWDQGDUG�playback. Those installations equipped with a Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor

&3����DUH�DEOH�WR�LQJHVW�DQG�UHSOD\�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�VRXQGWUDFN�ZKHUH�DSSOLFDEOH��reverting to the standard audio track as necessary.

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17Dolby Atmos

5 Theatrical Exhibition

This section provides information on installation of Dolby Atmos systems in theatres.

5.1 Equipment Considerations

5.1.1 Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor CP850

'ROE\�$WPRV�DQG�WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�&LQHPD�3URFHVVRU�&3����FKDQJH�KRZ�WKHDWUH�VSHDNHUV�DUH�LQVWDOOHG��FDOLEUDWHG��DQG�PDLQWDLQHG��:LWK�WKH�LQWURGXFWLRQ�RI�PDQ\�more potential speaker outputs, each individually equalized and balanced, there

LV�D�QHHG�IRU�LQWHOOLJHQW�DQG�WLPH�HűFLHQW�DXWRPDWLF�URRP�HTXDOL]DWLRQ��&RXSOHG�with the ability to manually adjust any automated room equalization, it is critical

WKDW�WKH�TXDOLÀHG�LQVWDOOHU�NQRZ�H[DFWO\�ZKDW�SURFHVVLQJ�LV�EHLQJ�DSSOLHG�WR�D�JLYHQ�VSHDNHU�FKDQQHO�LQ�RUGHU�WR�PDNH�HGXFDWHG�GHFLVLRQV�ZKHQ�ÀQH�WXQLQJ�D�WKHDWUH�

In addition to the implementation of reliable automatic equalization, Dolby Atmos

uses a sophisticated ȟ/ȺƆ-RFWDYH��UDWKHU�WKDQ�WKH�VWDQGDUG�����RFWDYH��EDQG�equalization engine derived from the successful Dolby Lake®�SURFHVVRU��8S�WR����outputs can be processed to more accurately balance the sound in theatre. The

system also allows scheduled monitoring of the individual speaker outputs, from

cinema processor output right through to the sound reproduced in the auditorium.

Local or network alerts can be created to ensure that appropriate action is taken. In

WKH�PHDQWLPH��WKH�ÁH[LEOH�UHQGHULQJ�V\VWHP�PD\�DXWRPDWLFDOO\�UHPRYH�D�GDPDJHG�VSHDNHU�RU�DPSOLÀHU�IURP�WKH�UHSOD\�FKDLQ�DQG�UHQGHU�DURXQG�LW��DOORZLQJ�WKH�VKRZ�to continue.

5.1.2 Integration with Cinema Servers

7KH�'ROE\�$WPRV�&LQHPD�3URFHVVRU�&3����LV�FRQQHFWHG�WR�WKH�GLJLWDO�FLQHPD�VHUYHU�ZLWK�WKH�H[LVWLQJ���ï�$(6�PDLQ�DXGLR�FRQQHFWLRQ�DQG�DQ�(WKHUQHW�FRQQHFWLRQ�IRU�streaming Dolby Atmos audio data. Playback of Dolby Surround 7.1 or 5.1 content

XVHV�WKH�H[LVWLQJ�$(6�DXGLR�FRQQHFWLRQ��'ROE\�$WPRV�DXGLR�GDWD�LV�VWUHDPHG�RYHU�(WKHUQHW�WR�WKH�FLQHPD�SURFHVVRU�IRU�GHFRGLQJ�DQG�UHQGHULQJ��DQG�FRPPXQLFDWLRQ�EHWZHHQ�WKH�VHUYHU�DQG�WKH�FLQHPD�SURFHVVRU�DOORZV�WKH�DXGLR�WR�EH�LGHQWLÀHG�DQG�synchronized. In the event of any issue with the Dolby Atmos track playback, sound

is reverted back to Dolby Surround 7.1 or 5.1 PCM audio.

5.2 Auditorium Considerations

:KLOH�ÁH[LELOLW\�WR�VLPSOLI\�WKH�LQWURGXFWLRQ�RI�QHZ�WHFKQRORJ\�LV�D�FULWLFDO�IDFWRU�LQ�WKH�UHOHDVH�RI�D�QHZ�DXGLR�IRUPDW��WKLV�VDPH�ÁH[LELOLW\�PXVW�EH�XVHG�WR�DOORZ�the system to scale and evolve with the industry. Prior to the introduction of Dolby

Atmos and continuing today, we have seen 5.1 cinema sound transition to Dolby

Surround 7.1, and other exhibitors have installed even more channel-based speaker

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18 Dolby Atmos

Dolby provides recommendations on speaker layout for use with Dolby Atmos

soundtracks, as detailed in this document, but the Dolby Atmos system is designed

to allow both content creators and exhibitors to decide how they want to use it. A

PL[HU�FDQ�OLVWHQ�WR�DQG�GHWHUPLQH�KRZ�FRQWHQW�LV�JRLQJ�WR�EH�UHQGHUHG�LQ�GLŲHUHQW�SOD\EDFN�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV��DQG�DQ�H[KLELWRU�FDQ�GHFLGH�KRZ�PXFK�RI�DQ�investment to make in a given theatre in order to optimize the experience within a

budget. The ideal number of speaker output channels used will vary according to

URRP�VL]H��7KH�ÀUVW�JHQHUDWLRQ�'ROE\�$WPRV�&LQHPD�3URFHVVRU�&3����FDQ�VXSSRUW�XS�WR����RXWSXWV��$OWKRXJK������FKDQQHOV�PD\�VRXQG�H[FHVVLYH�ZKHQ�FRPSDUHG�ZLWK�W\SLFDO�H[LVWLQJ�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV��PXOWLFKDQQHO�DPSOLÀHUV�WKDW�DUH�FXUUHQWO\�DYDLODEOH�make individually addressing each of, for example, 11 surrounds on each sidewall in

a large theatre a reasonable proposition.

The recommended layout of speakers for Dolby Atmos remains compatible with

previous cinema systems, which is hugely important so as not to compromise the

playback of existing 5.1 and 7.1 channel-based formats. In the same way that the

intent of the content creator must be preserved with the introduction of Dolby

Atmos, the intent of mixers of Dolby Surround 7.1 and 5.1 content must equally

be respected. This includes not changing the positions of existing screen channels

LQ�DQ�HŲRUW�WR�KHLJKWHQ�RU�DFFHQWXDWH�WKH�LQWURGXFWLRQ�RI�QHZ�VSHDNHU�ORFDWLRQV��,Q�FRQWUDVW�WR�XVLQJ�DOO����RXWSXW�FKDQQHOV�DYDLODEOH��WKH�'ROE\�$WPRV�IRUPDW�FDQ�EH�DFFXUDWHO\�UHQGHUHG�LQ�WKH�FLQHPD�WR�RWKHU�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�VXFK�DV������DOORZLQJ�WKH�IRUPDW��DQG�DVVRFLDWHG�EHQHÀWV��WR�EH�XVHG�LQ�H[LVWLQJ�WKHDWUHV�ZLWK�QR�FKDQJH�WR�DPSOLÀHUV�RU�VSHDNHUV�

5.2.1 Optimized Playback

'LŲHUHQW�VSHDNHU�ORFDWLRQV�FDQ�GLŲHU�LQ�HŲHFWLYHQHVV�GHSHQGLQJ�RQ�WKH�WKHDWUH�design, and therefore the industry appears to agree that there is not an ideal

number or placement of channels. As a result, Dolby Atmos is adaptable and able to

play back accurately in a variety of auditoria, whether they have a limited number

RI�SOD\EDFN�FKDQQHOV�RU�PDQ\�FKDQQHOV�ZLWK�KLJKO\�ÁH[LEOH�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�

Figure 5.1 shows a diagram of suggested speaker locations in a typical auditorium;

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The reference position referred to in the document corresponds to a position two-

thirds of the distance back from the screen to the rear wall, on the center line of the

screen.

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19Dolby Atmos

1/3 Room Length

2 - 3m Spacing

Additional Surround Speakers

Optional Screen Speakers

Optional Subwoofers

Figure 5.1 Recommended Speaker Locations

5.2.2 Screen Speakers

As we have studied the perception of elevation in the screen plane, we have found

WKDW�DGGLWLRQDO�VSHDNHUV�EHKLQG�WKH�VFUHHQ��VXFK�DV�/HIW�&HQWHU��/F��DQG�5LJKW�&HQWHU��5F��VFUHHQ�VSHDNHUV��LQ�WKH�ORFDWLRQV�RI�/HIW�([WUD�DQG�5LJKW�([WUD�FKDQQHOV�LQ����PP�ÀOP�IRUPDWV���FDQ�EH�EHQHÀFLDO�LQ�FUHDWLQJ�VPRRWKHU�SDQV�DFURVV�WKH�screen. Consequently, we recommend installation of these additional speakers,

SDUWLFXODUO\�LQ�DXGLWRULD�ZLWK�VFUHHQV�JUHDWHU�WKDQ����P�����IW��ZLGH��$OO�VFUHHQ�speakers should be angled such that they are aimed toward the reference position.

The recommended placement of the subwoofer behind the screen remains

unchanged, including maintaining asymmetric cabinet placement, with respect to

the center of the room, to prevent stimulation of standing waves. Figure 5.2 shows a

diagram of suggested speaker locations at the screen.

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20 Dolby Atmos

Figure 5.2 Recommended Speaker Locations (Screen, Side Surrounds, and Top Surrounds)

5.2.3 Surround Speakers

6XUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�VKRXOG�EH�LQGLYLGXDOO\�ZLUHG�EDFN�WR�WKH�DPSOLÀHU�UDFN��DQG�EH�LQGLYLGXDOO\�DPSOLÀHG�ZKHUH�SRVVLEOH�ZLWK�D�GHGLFDWHG�FKDQQHO�RI�SRZHU�DPSOLÀFDWLRQ�PDWFKLQJ�WKH�SRZHU�KDQGOLQJ�RI�WKH�VSHDNHU�LQ�DFFRUGDQFH�ZLWK�WKH�PDQXIDFWXUHU·V�VSHFLÀFDWLRQV��,GHDOO\��VXUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�VKRXOG�EH�VSHFLÀHG�to handle an increased SPL for each individual speaker, and also with wider

frequency response and providing uniform coverage throughout the seating area

where possible.

As a rule of thumb for an average-sized theatre, the spacing of surround speakers

VKRXOG�EH�EHWZHHQ���DQG���PHWHUV����IW���LQ�DQG���IW���LQ���ZLWK�/HIW�DQG�5LJKW�6XUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�SODFHG�V\PPHWULFDOO\��+RZHYHU��WKH�VSDFLQJ�RI�VXUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�LV�PRVW�HŲHFWLYHO\�FRQVLGHUHG�DV�DQJOHV�VXEWHQGHG�IURP�D� given listener between adjacent speakers, as opposed to using absolute distances

between speakers.

For optimal playback throughout the auditorium, the angular distance between

DGMDFHQW�VSHDNHUV�VKRXOG�EH����GHJUHHV�RU�OHVV��UHIHUHQFHG�IURP�HDFK�RI�WKH�IRXU�corners of the prime listening area. Good results can be achieved with spacing up

to 50 degrees. For each surround zone, the speakers should maintain equal linear

spacing adjacent to the seating area where possible. The linear spacing beyond the

listening area, such as between the front row and the screen, can be slightly larger.

Side Surrounds Additional side surround speakers should be mounted closer to the screen than the

recommended practice for previous formats of starting approximately one-third

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21Dolby Atmos

of the distance to the back of the auditorium. These speakers are not used as side

surrounds during playback of Dolby Surround 7.1 or 5.1 soundtracks, but will

enable smooth transition and improved timbre matching when panning objects

from the screen speakers to the surround zones.

To maximize the impression of space, the surround arrays should be placed as

low as is practical, subject to the following constraints: the vertical placement of

surround speakers at the front of the array should be reasonably close to the height

of screen-speaker acoustic center, and high enough to maintain good coverage

across the seating area according to the directivity of the speaker. The vertical

placement of the surround speakers should be such that they form a straight line

from front to back, and (typically) slanted upward so the relative elevation of

surround speakers above the listeners is maintained toward the back of the cinema

DV�WKH�VHDWLQJ�HOHYDWLRQ�LQFUHDVHV��DV�VKRZQ�LQ�)LJXUH������,Q�SUDFWLFH��WKLV�FDQ�EH�achieved most simply by choosing the elevation for the front-most and rear-most

side surround speakers, and placing the remaining speakers in a line between

these points.

The distance between side surround speakers should be determined based on the

guidelines at the start of this section.

Figure 5.3 Recommended Side Wall and Ceiling Speaker Locations

In order to provide optimum coverage for each speaker over the seating area,

the side surround speakers should be aimed toward the reference position in the

theatre, under the following guidelines:

�� Side surrounds should be angled vertically to the seats on the opposite side of

the auditorium (typically aiming 20 degrees downward).

�� Side surrounds should be angled horizontally toward the reference position.

Taking 0 degrees as aiming directly across the room:

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22 Dolby Atmos

�� 1R�VSHDNHU�DQJOH�VKRXOG�H[FHHG����GHJUHHV�

�� 6SHDNHUV�DGMDFHQW�WR�WKH�VHDWLQJ�DUHD�VKRXOG�QRW�H[FHHG����GHJUHHV�

�� Speakers in the prime listening area should be left at 0 degrees.

Rear Surrounds The number of rear surround speakers, and the distance between them, should

be determined based on the guidelines at the start of this section. The back wall

speakers should have approximately the same linear spacing as the side surrounds

adjacent to the seating area, although it may be necessary to slightly increase the

density of back surrounds in order to meet the angular requirements. Such an

increase in density can also be an advantage for power handling of the left and right

rear surround zones, which are typically half the length of the side surround zones.

In order to provide optimum coverage for each speaker over the seating area, the

back surround speakers should be aimed toward the reference position in the theatre,

under the following guidelines:

�� Back surrounds should be angled vertically to the front row seats in the

auditorium (typically aiming 20 degrees downward).

�� Back surrounds should be angled horizontally toward the center line of the

auditorium. Taking 0 degrees as aiming directly toward the screen:

�� 1R�VSHDNHU�DQJOH�VKRXOG�H[FHHG����GHJUHHV�

�� Speakers in the prime listening area should be left at 0 degrees.

Top Surrounds Overhead speakers should be in two arrays from the screen to the back wall,

QRPLQDOO\�LQ�DOLJQPHQW�ZLWK�WKH�/F�DQG�5F�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV�RI�D�W\SLFDO�DXGLWRULXP��ZKHUH�WKH�VFUHHQ�ZLGWK�LV�HŲHFWLYHO\�WKH�ZLGWK�RI�WKH�WKHDWUH�DQG�WKH�VFUHHQ�WRS�LV�near the ceiling. They should always be placed symmetrically with respect to the

center of the screen. The top surrounds should have the same design characteristics

as the side surrounds to maintain timbre matching.

The number and spacing of the top surround speakers should be based on the

position of side surround speakers as determined using the guidelines at the start of

WKLV�VHFWLRQ��+RZHYHU��WKH�VSDFLQJ�RI�WRS�VXUURXQG�VSHDNHUV�LV�OHVV�FULWLFDO�WKDQ�IRU�side surrounds, and so it is acceptable for the number and front-back position to vary

relative to the side surrounds if necessary. The top surround array should also extend

to the screen in the same manner as the side surrounds, but it should not obstruct the

path of the projection light.

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23Dolby Atmos

.

The lateral position of the arrays should be chosen to optimize spatial immersion and

uniformity across the listening area. As stated earlier, placing the top surround speaker

DUUD\V�LQ�DOLJQPHQW�ZLWK�/F�DQG�5F�VFUHHQ�FKDQQHOV�ZLOO�JHQHUDOO\�JLYH�JRRG�UHVXOWV��)RU�URRPV�ZKHUH�WKH�VHDWLQJ�DUHD�LV�VLJQLÀFDQWO\�ZLGHU�WKDQ�WKH�VFUHHQ��RU�WKH�WRS�VXUURXQGV�DUH�PRXQWHG�VLJQLÀFDQWO\�KLJKHU�WKDQ�WKH�OHYHO�RI�WKH�WRS�RI�WKH�VFUHHQ��LW�LV�GHVLUDEOH�to have the overhead arrays more widely spaced. The minimum width is the Lc and

5F�VSDFLQJ��7KH�PD[LPXP�ZLGWK�VKRXOG�EH�GHWHUPLQHG�EDVHG�RQ�HOHYDWLRQ�DQJOHV�DV�follows:

/HW�(�EH�WKH�HOHYDWLRQ�DQJOH�RI�WKH�QHDUHVW�VLGH�VXUURXQG��PHDVXUHG�IURP�D�UHIHUHQFH�position in the middle of the seating area (typically 15 to 25 degrees). The elevation

DQJOH�RI�WKH�FRUUHVSRQGLQJ�WRS�VXUURXQG�DUUD\�VKRXOG�EH�JUHDWHU�WKDQ�RU�HTXDO�WR����GHJUHHV�SOXV�KDOI�RI�DQJOH�(�DV�VKRZQ�LQ�)LJXUH������)RU�H[DPSOH��LI�(�LV����GHJUHHV��then the elevation angle of the top surround array should be greater than or equal to 55

degrees.

5.3 nDolby Atmos Commissioning Service

To ensure that screens equipped with Dolby Atmos achieve accurate and consistent

SOD\EDFN�LQ�HYHU\�'ROE\�$WPRV�DXGLWRULXP��'ROE\�$WPRV�&LQHPD�3URFHVVRU�&3����SXUFKDVHV�LQFOXGH�D�UHYLHZ�RI�WKH�VSHDNHU�FRQÀJXUDWLRQ�GHVLJQ�DQG�DQ�LQLWLDO�equalization of the theatre.

Dolby Content Services engineers review design drawings and equipment selection,

XVLQJ�'ROE\�$WPRV�'HVLJQHU�6RIWZDUH�WR�HQVXUH�WKDW�WKH�VSHDNHU�DQG�DPSOLÀHU�SDLULQJV��as well as their placement and positioning, deliver the best Dolby Atmos performance

SRVVLEOH�IRU�VSHFLÀF�DXGLWRULXP�FRQÀJXUDWLRQV�

Dolby Atmos Designer software, included as part of the Dolby Atmos Commissioning

Service, helps technicians and equipment integrators optimize Dolby Atmos system

setup in any room. The software provides a full set of powerful tools integrated into an

LQWXLWLYH�LQWHUIDFH�ZLWK�D�VWHS�E\�VWHS�ZL]DUG�WR�FRQÀJXUH�WKH�DXGLWRULXP�DQG�DXWRPDWLF�equalization to calibrate each room.

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Dolby Laboratories, Inc.100 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94103-4813 USA T 415-558-0200 F 415-645-4000 dolby.com

Dolby, Lake, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. Surround EX is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories. THX is a registered trademark of THX Ltd. © 2013 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. S13/25536/26858