Journey to the Big Screen
KMR Studios has become Uppsala’s first certified Dolby Atmos studio! As this happened, a thought, ambition, and curiosity arose about how our artists’ music could sound in a cinema. One of the biggest advantages of the Atmos format is precisely that; scalability and adaptability. Curiously, we began to ponder how such an event could be shaped.
We started by talking to our friends at Dolby and msonic, and later also Avid and Genelec. With their help and experience, we realized a few things. Most importantly, we understood that the event we had in mind would require much more time and attention than we could have foreseen. But now that so much of the planning was already done, we were far too excited to stop this snowball. So we decided; “The Dolby Atmos (Music) Experience” will happen.
A Nordic Collaboration
To play an Atmos audio file in a cinema, you need to have exported the file at a so-called “mix stage.” Simply put, it’s a small cinema adapted for mixing music. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? In the Nordics, there are only a few in total. In Sweden, there is one in Stockholm and one in Gothenburg. These are, of course, fully booked.
Dolby was very generous and allowed us to use their mix stage in London! This also included help from their on-site staff to prepare the pre-mixed songs for re-mixing. They also provided us with support during the day in the studio. Finally, they also helped with exporting, packaging, and forwarding to the next part in the chain; Nordisk Film.
A Cinema with a Focus on Visitors
We had talked and planned the event together with our friends at Nordisk Film Bio in Uppsala long before we flew to London to mix the music. It was important for us that the event was held at Nordisk Film for several reasons. They share KMR’s view that there is nothing more important than the customer’s experience. All of their auditoriums are equipped with well-calibrated Dolby Atmos systems. Beyond that, they also provide fantastic picture quality, and very comfortable seats. Above all, the people who work there are open, kind, and service-oriented.
So when the music was optimized and ready in London (by Filip Killander and Jake Fields), Dolby sent all the files to Nordisk Film’s headquarters in Denmark. There, the files were checked and sorted in a predetermined way. This sorting was planned by KMR, together with Nordisk Film in Uppsala. Everything from lighting, pauses, order of music videos, and images with information needed to be programmed in advance for the evening to be as good as possible.
A Premiere Night with Top Ratings
If you were to summarize the journey from the living room to the cinema, it would look like this:
- The song idea was conceived in the respective homes of the eight participating artists.
- They took the song idea to Filip at KMR Studios who helped them arrange, record, mix, and master the music. As well as film and edit their music videos.
- When the music and accompanying videos were approved, we went to London to optimize them for playback in the cinema.
- The optimized files along with introductions about the event evening were sent to Denmark to be assembled into a program.
- On the premiere night of the event, we first held a workshop where other studio owners could come and learn about how to get started mixing music in Atmos. Then the rest of the guests arrived, and we filled the auditorium’s 70 seats.
- The evening included eight music videos and insights into the creative process behind each song. As well as short but informative speeches by Dolby and msonic focusing on Dolby Atmos and how the development is progressing both in and outside of Sweden.
It is undoubtedly a privileged position we are in to have so many fantastic friends and partners who make impossible events like these possible. It’s hard to describe how happy and grateful we are for that and to have the opportunity to offer the artists we work with benefits like these at no extra cost.
The future plans for The Dolby Atmos (Music) Experience are not concrete yet, but they definitely exist. We look forward to making similar events in the future.