To mark the 10th anniversary of Carole King’s first holiday album, A Holiday Carole, her daughter, Louise Goffin, has produced a new Dolby Atmos Music mix of the album, which was engineered at PMC Studio LA by leading Atmos mix engineer, Steve Genewick.
The original release was a tour-de-force of holiday albums, produced by Goffin and engineered at The Village, LA, by Nathaniel Kunkel (The Police, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett) and Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Kiss, Melissa Etheridge). It features an eclectic mix of nine well-chosen classics and three original tracks, co-written by Goffin with George Noriega, Guy Chambers and Jodi Marr, that cover the sacred and the secular. As Louise puts it, “We wanted to make a holiday album, not a Christmas album – it was important that it was inclusive, hence the inclusion of the tracks Chanukah Prayer and the Latin influenced Christmas Paradise. It’s an album for all to enjoy during the holiday season.”
Nathaniel Kunkel remembers the original sessions in LA, “Working with people you love, all these great musicians, in such a professional process was fantastic. We met up with Carole in New York for the mixing and ended up with something of which I am tremendously proud.”
The idea for a Dolby Atmos mix of the album came after Goffin was introduced to PMC USA President, Maurice Patist, by Canadian record producer, Greg Wells. The two were talking about the possibility of re-mixing highlights from Louise’s last two albums, All These Hellos and Two Different Movies, in Atmos, when the thought of working on A Holiday Carole to tie in with its 10th anniversary came about. Patist brought in expert Atmos mix engineer, Steve Genewick, from Capitol Studios.
“I had experienced Atmos at the Blackbird Studio Academy in Nashville when I enrolled in their sound engineering course in 2019,” explains Goffin. “I later heard Steve Genewick presenting on Atmos at the NAMM show in 2020, and so the chance to be in the studio with Steve, while he mixed my mother’s work in Atmos, was something I wasn’t going to pass up on.”
Louise reprised her role of Producer during the mix sessions, “We got everyone from Carole’s team, Sony Music and the engineers on board after the idea was born in September. And, after Nathaniel Kunkel tracked down the original multitracks for me, we entered the studio for an intensive five-day mixing period in October 2021.
“Our plan with the mixes was to put the listener there, in the room, with the incredible musicians who worked on the album. You’ll get the chance to hear Carole’s legendary voice and exquisite piano playing, alongside such luminaries as Louis Price, Russell Kunkel and George Noriega right next to you. It’s an experience to behold.”
The whole mixing process was covered by the online engineering academy, “Produce Like A Pro”, run by Warren Huart (Aerosmith, James Blunt, Ramones). Huart filmed a series of videos, including interviews with Louise and Steve Genewick to provide a ‘real-world’ experience of mixing in Dolby Atmos for the academy students, so they can understand what can be done creatively with this exciting new format.
It is a subject that Nathaniel Kunkel takes up, “For me the key to the successful implementation of Atmos is the use of technology to enhance the music. – I really enjoy it when engineers approach immersive mixing with the art in mind – really do what serves the music. In terms of this release, A Holiday Carole, it is the perfect album for Atmos as it is a relatively simple recording that gives you more space to illustrate the orchestration and subtle changes in the musical arrangement. In honesty, if one uses the technology as a means to better express what the artistic intention of the production was, every album can be made better as an immersive experience.”
Maurice Patist has also been championing Dolby Atmos Music, with considerable success through the commissioning of several PMC equipped mix studios around the world, including Capitol, LA and Dean Street, London. Summing up his thoughts on this latest project he says, “PMC has been setting up opportunities and encouraging artists, engineers and producers to experience Dolby Atmos Music and the possibilities it brings to the creative process. We are delighted that Louise jumped at the chance to re-mix Carole King’s fabulous holiday album and the results are simply stunning.”
The last word on this project must go to Carole King herself, “The new Dolby Atmos Mixes that Steve Genewick did at PMC Studios really enhanced my listening experience and reminded me of what a stellar job Louise Goffin did on both the original production and these new enhanced mixes.”
A Holiday Carole is available now, through Rockingale Records/Sony Music, to stream in Lossless Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio from Apple Music on compatible devices.
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.