Dolby Atmos Music strikes India with AR Rahman’s ‘99 Songs’ Album

The all-immersive audio format Dolby Atmos Music has finally touched the shores of India. The soundtrack of the upcoming film ‘99 Songs’ is the first album in Dolby Atmos Music. The music has been composed by none other than the celebrated Academy and Grammy Award-winning music director and composer AR Rahman.

Dolby India made an announcement about the first album ’99 Songs’ coming in the Atmos Music format in India. The Bollywood film and its soundtrack will be launched as per its planned schedule.

Dolby had made a formal announcement about its latest 3D audio music format – Dolby Atmos Music at CES 2020.

“We are on a mission to reinvent how music is experienced. Dolby Atmos Music envelops the listener, bringing you inside the song. We share Jio Studio, Sony Music & Mr. AR Rahman’s vision to bring his music to the world for everyone to experience and connect to like never before, in Dolby Atmos for the first time in India,” said Pankaj Kedia, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories, in a statement. 

The 3D format for music powers the music producers to compose tracks up to 128 distinct audio channels. This is 2 more than the normal music recordings. These audio channels can support a max of 34 different speakers in a home theatre configuration. Soundtracks in 3D format will give an insight into space and direction which otherwise is missing in the available 2D format.

The soundtrack of ’99Songs’ can be enjoyed on Atmos compatible gadgets like smartphones, soundbars, and speakers. But when heard on a device such as a pair of headphones, it will not give the 3D immersive experience of space and direction. It will get down-mixed to the stereo format. But it will continue to retain some properties typical to the binaural audio recording.

Dolby India has not confirmed the plans to release the all-immersive format commercially but discussions are underway with streaming services. This is because the India market was not supported by any of the distribution networks or streaming platforms.

Outside India, the 3D format is accessible on streaming platforms such as Amazon Music HD and Tidal HiFi. The 3D resolution audio streaming service of Amazon Music HD is supported only by Amazon Echo Studio. But this service is unavailable in the India market.

The viewers can still enjoy the experience of Dolby Atmos Music by watching ’99 Songs’ movie when it gets released in a Dolby Atmos-enabled movie theatre.

Written by Rashmi


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