Mixing Netflix's 'The Haunting of Hill House'

Jonathan Wales created a Dolby Atmos upmix for the hit horror series.
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Jonathan Wales

Jonathan Wales

Burbank, CA (October 31, 2018)—Jonathan Wales was recently tasked with creating the Dolby Atmos audio mix, performed at Formosa NoHo, for the 10-episode Netflix horror series, The Haunting of Hill House.

Wales wanted to convey the feeling of spaciousness in the house and create suspense throughout the mix as a family relives its scary past. Faced with needing a solution that allowed immersive output with existing tools, he took Audio Ease’s Altiverb 5.1 and Avid ReVibe outputs and sent them through Halo Upmix.

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“Mixing in Atmos is fun, but complicated,” he says. “I loved working in the format, but obviously there can be a lot of things to keep track of. One of the episodes featured scenes that were 15 minutes long in one single shot. We wanted to be able to follow the perspectives of the actors through this giant journey of directing and acting. It was amazing to see it all come together and the differences in spaciousness between the house in the past and the funeral parlor in the present.

“I owe a lot of what we were able to achieve with ambiences and reverbs to Halo Upmix,” he added. “There is a lot of control over what the Halo Upmix algorithm is doing at any point in time, so it really became an integral part of the workflow for mixing the show.”

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Halo Upmix’s ability to “spread” signals from a smaller format to a larger one was key during his mixes, according to Wales. “Spreading is easy, but having it be pleasant and useful in an immersive format and still be compatible with a fold-down is the real trick. Halo Upmix maintains great backward compatibility when folding the mixes back down and allows us to control and change what it’s doing in real-time.”

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