Dolby has announced that Disney/Pixar’s Brave will be the first film to use its new Dolby Atmos audio technology. Atmos is the next step in surround sound technology from Dolby, which make a massive step forward from Dolby 7.1 surround. The new system offers a more natural and realistic sound field, which transports people into the story a life-like sensory experience.
This is done by allowing audio control over every individual speaker, rather than a set of speakers, which is the case for Dolby 5.1 and 7.1. This allows content creators to give a realistic sense of movement in the audio. Dolby have created a video to explain the new technology more simply, which is embedded below.
Ramzi Haidamus, EVP for sales and marketing at Dolby said that Atmos gives the director much finer controls over audio:
It goes back to director saying, ‘I want sound that goes from one point in space to another point in space,’ then save that experience, and ship it to the theater in a way that will match what the director intended.
Atmos allows 128 audio inputs, so in a sense it’s like 128.1 audio. Currently this is a theatre-only system that will cost around $25,000-$30,000, but no doubt it will filter through to home cinema after a few years.