Los Angeles, CA (May 1, 2020)—Charged with transforming two 5.1 projects into Dolby Atmos mixes for streaming release, award-winning re-recording mixer, sound editor and sound designer Ruy Garcia elected to use Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix.
Initially, both Netflix’s Midsommar and the recently released Wendy were 5.1 projects, but with the advent of streaming releases on the horizon, film execs requested Atmos-compliant mixes. Midsommar’s theatrical release was “a very sonically complex, 5.1-format movie,” says Garcia. “After the film was sold to Apple TV, A24 and supervising sound editor Gene Park hired me to mix the Atmos version.
“With Wendy, we originally mixed in 5.1 and then, thanks to a Dolby Fellowship grant, had the opportunity to finish our mix in Atmos before it premiered. Halo Upmix allows for quick transparent Atmos capability, which is very important.”
According to Garcia, “Nugen’s Halo Upmix is incredibly useful for simultaneously delivering projects in both stereo and Atmos, and it has given us the option of making a really immersive sound field. For example, with Midsommar, there are scenes where the camera is tilting and rolling around. We literally took an entire piece of stereo score and made it flow all around us with the simple move of a fader. That was incredibly natural, and you could really feel it in the room.”
Although Midsommar was Garcia’s first time using Nugen’s Halo Upmix, he’s no stranger to the brand. “We use the company’s ISL limiter and VisLM meter to comply with Netflix or Apple’s loudness requirements,” he says. “When we were creating the theatrical mix for We the Animals, it ran the entire spectrum of loudness. Overall, it’s a very quiet film, but it is also very dynamic, and we didn’t want to lose that to hit a required level. In order to make it work for TV, we had to limit that spectrum to hit specific targets while still aiming to retaining the overall emotional feel.
“In the case of Midsommar,” he continues, “we set up a recorder system for running VisLM meters after the Dolby DMU, this allowed us to check that the 7.1, 5.1 and stereo versions would also work for Apple’s specifications. By doing so, we still had the Atmos format options and could confidently push the loudness levels, which was really useful.”
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