Apple Music Home Session (Dolby Atmos Mix)


Released 05/01/22

Bastille’s recent Apple Music Home Session features a fantastic acoustic version of Thelma + Louise, and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark.’ The tracks were mixed in Spatial Audio (Dolby Atmos) by Miloco’s Chief Engineer and Dolby Atmos expert Simon Todkill, in the newly renovated Bridge Studio. Based in Miloco’s Leroy Street HQ, this superb writing space recently got the Dolby Atmos treatment, with the installation of a suite of Genelec 8350APM’s in a 7.1.4 configuration, flanked by two Augspurger 12″ Subs.

We grabbed Simon for a quick chat about the experience of mixing these tracks, and what it’s like to mix in Dolby Atmos in the all-new Bridge:

As one of the first releases from the newly renovated Bridge, how did you find the Dolby Atmos mixing experience in there?
What stands out to me about The Bridge is the imaging, its accuracy for object placement is fantastic. I think its a good sized room for Atmos in that regard, spacious enough for the sound to develop but not so much that the room becomes the star.

The stripped-back style of these songs presents an interesting challenge for an engineer mixing in Immersive Audio, due to there being fewer objects to play with. How did you overcome this?
We all know sometimes less is more. But you’re right, sometimes songs with the least elements are the hardest to mix because everything has to shine in its best light. So for these songs the goal was to keep it simple, which is exactly what the productions are, given that they’re part of Apple’s Home Session series. So really it became a game of finding the best way to create a sense of space, without making things feel too separate or disjointed and unsticking that fundamental glue the songs had. I managed to get what I wanted by using some parallel bussing and some subtle effects to create depth in the room, which makes you feel like you’re sitting in the room with the band, as opposed to making them sit in front of you.

You’ve previously said that mixing in Dolby Atmos offers interesting artistic possibilities, but also that it’s important to stay true to the original mix. How did you find getting that balance right for this project?
Well for this one it was easy, there are only a few elements in each song, so there’s not much that can change! My goal was really just to make sure that translated up into immersive audio and felt full, round and inclusive, not stark and isolated, which can happen if you just pan things for the sake of filling up space because its there.

What was Bastille’s reaction to hearing these songs in Dolby Atmos for the first time?
It was in and out really, they were happy with how it translated and signed them off straight away. I know if these were full productions we would’ve been more adventurous, Dan’s a bold guy and will use the space for sure, but that’s not this project, this one’s an exercise in restraint to best suit the songs.

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