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Discovering Dolby Atmos with the MPGNZ and Genelec

Date: 20-12-2023

Recently, Protel worked with Genelec and the Music Producers Guild NZ to host an Aotearoa Music Producer Series workshop at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand. The well-attended event upskilled music producers and mix engineers in the ever-expanding Dolby Atmos music playback format, with presentations by specialists David Wrench (Frank Ocean, Blur, Glass Animals), James K Lewis (Charli XCX, Rudimental), Clint Murphy (Enter Shikari, Busted, Melanie C) and Mike Gibson (L.A.B, Rob Ruha, Ria Hall, Tom Scott), along with a discussion on technical requirements and configurations for studio and consumer playback from Protel.

Each specialist openly shared valuable insights and experiences with the humbleness to admit they are still figuring their way into this new format. It was clear many attendees came away inspired to move further into this exciting next path on their audio journey.


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The Protel and Genelec ‘Discovering Dolby Atmos‘ day, organised as part of the Aotearoa Music Producer Series (AMPS) brought together a group of highly skilled practitioners in the craft of spatial mixing to exchange ideas and discuss, not only the technicalities, but the importance of retaining musicality when working in this new format. High on the agenda was the need to define workflows and simplify the process to satisfy the needs of artists and provide high-quality deliverables to the client. By the end of a long day of discussion, we all felt closer to these goals” – Greg Haver, Music Producers Guild NZ


I have recorded and mixed exclusively on Genelecs my entire career and have New Zealand’s only Dolby Atmos Music-approved studio. Protel supplied me with everything I needed to get my Atmos room up and running, and when we started planning the ‘Discovering Dolby Atmos’ day it was a no-brainer to collaborate with Protel and use Genelec monitoring.” – Clint Murphy, CMP Studios



An interesting point was raised by one of the specialists; he primarily does Atmos mixes as it is the right thing to do for the artist to protect their work from being compromised later on by some random engineer churning out Dolby Atmos mixes in bulk when a record label decides to update their back catalogue. A parallel was drawn to the days when mono was the primary format, and an excited few were pitching a new stereo format. Many engineers continued to only do mono mixes, then when consumers eventually bought into stereo, back catalogues were mixed into stereo en-masse with the results not always being ideal.

We were lucky to have the opportunity to experience some of the Atmos mixes that the experts created to serve the original music, delivering new levels of dynamics and truly immersing listeners in the artist’s world. Although the idea of moving sounds around a room seems like gimmicky sonic silliness for many, it was reassuring and inspiring to hear the euphonious Atmos examples.


Atmos music creation is an exciting new area for us all, full of promise and unchartered horizons! But just like sailing the high seas there is creativity, concepts and rules involved that help you arrive safely at the destination. The Discovering Dolby Atmos day allowed for an invaluable sharing of that knowledge thanks to Protel and Genelec, who’s monitoring at the event nailed it! It’s a special day when industry professionals talk so openly about their challenges and solutions working in emerging technologies like this and I was humbled by the discourse.” – Mike Gibson


As this workshop concluded it was agreed that this is an exciting format which will take music to new places, and we are all looking forward to a day when the Atmos mix is the primary goal towards which music is created and recorded.



The Music Producers Guild New Zealand is a non-profit trade organisation, seeded with funding from the New Zealand Music Commission, Recorded Music New Zealand and NZ on Air, with ongoing funding sourced through a subscription model. They aim to foster a supportive and successful community of music production professionals, and in turn, help champion and grow New Zealand music.


Since the founding of Genelec in 1978, professional audio monitoring has been the core of their business. Their unrivalled commitment to research and development has resulted in several industry firsts and established Genelec as the industry leader in active monitors. Over 45 years later, Genelec monitoring products remain true to their original philosophy, offering reliability, neutral sound reproduction regardless of size, as well as the ability to adapt frequency response to the listening environment.


Operating for 30+ years, Protel is a New Zealand-owned and operated supplier of audio/video technology to industries including film, broadcast, pro audio & more. Protel source from and represent many of the most respected manufacturers worldwide and are focused on professional solutions tailored to their customers.