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Trevor Horn on mixing in Dolby Atmos for the first time: “it was an interesting experiment”

Trevor Horn
(Image credit: PMC)

With Dolby Atmos now part of the music listening mainstream, it was perhaps inevitable that a producer of Trevor Horn’s stature would want to come to the immersive audio party, and it’s now been confirmed that he’s just remixed his first album in the format.

The record in question is Seal’s eponymous debut album, which was produced by Horn and released back in 1991. It went on to win Best British Album at the 1992 Brit Awards, with the reworked album version of Killer, which had originally been a collaboration with Adamski, winning Seal an Ivor Novello award for songwriting.

Horn, along with his engineer Tim Weidner, created the Dolby Atmos remix at PMC Studio London at the invitation of Heff Moraes, the studio’s manager. Having started his career working at Horn’s Sarm Studios in 1984, Moraes now acts as a brand ambassador for PMC products and works closely with producers and artists to introduce them to the Dolby Atmos mixing process.

Horn and Weidner spent two days at PMC Studios, with Horn commenting: “I have always liked PMC speakers because they are very accurate and don’t colour the sound. In that way they are like a scientific instrument - and one that can be relied on.

“Mixing in Atmos does require a lot of speakers and at present my own studio isn’t set up for this. However, I am in the process of installing a Dolby Atmos system and this will incorporate PMC ci Series monitors.”

When it came to remixing the Seal album, Horn said the biggest problem turned out to be getting hold of the original multitrack recordings. “It took a lot of time to track down the original tapes,” he explains. “We eventually found most of them, and what we didn’t have we worked around by using 5.1 mixes or live recordings.” 

Commenting on the project as a whole, Horn said: “This was my first experience of mixing in Dolby Atmos and it was an interesting experiment, especially for someone who has mainly recorded in stereo for the last 50 years.”

Heff Moraes, meanwhile, added: “It is a great privilege to be associated with such a groundbreaking and iconic album. The original stereo mixes were beautifully complicated and very carefully constructed, but Dolby Atmos adds another dimension, allowing more space for the listener to experience these wonderful tracks on a new and exciting immersive platform. It was a very exciting project for both PMC and Dolby Atmos.”

The Dolby Atmos version of Seal will be available soon through streaming services.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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