Alex Solano became a music tech enthusiast when, at age 12, his older brother brought home an electric guitar. His journey since then has led to him becoming one of the leading voices in spatial audio production and engineering, having worked with countless independent and label artists and catalog remasters.
The following was developed in collaboration with AlexProMix, a company DMN is proud to be partnering with.
AlexProMix founder Alex Solano believes Spatial Audio has revolutionized the audio world. Past multi-channel high-resolution audio formats like DVD-A and SACD (super audio CD) were held down to the status of a ‘niche product’ due to requiring a physical media format with proprietary disc players and 6+ connected speakers to enjoy. For artists and distributors, the new Spatial Audio formats can easily be integrated into existing DSPs.
The adoption and massive push for Spatial Audio by music streaming services is a game-changer, Solano explains, and allows artists to ‘get more exposure and future proof their music.’ Moreover, the format’s core qualities of better fidelity and dynamic range also bring IP owners higher per-stream royalty payments from platforms like Apple Music.
Solano calls Dolby Atmos ‘an amazing immersive experience’ that engulfs the listener with sound, adding, “For music producers, songwriters, and artists, this is truly the way of the future. “Once you hear your music in Dolby Atmos, you can’t be satisfied with Stereo again.”
Solano emphasizes that amplifying the expression of music isn’t a technical process — and is more about finding the ‘sound of the song and the message of the lyrics.’
“There are endless opportunities for creating immersive sounding mixes that will be able to distribute your song and your message — and who you are as an artist — in the days to come.”
Solano provided DMN with a few examples that he points to as ‘reference quality’ in Spatial Audio mixing:
- Stressed Out, Blurry Face — twenty one pilots
- Renegades, VHS — X Ambassadors
- Blessed, (feat. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition — Wizkid
The tools artists use for mixing in Spatial Audio can be an important differentiating factor.
We plan on covering some of Solano’s favorite plugins for mixing in our next article, but in the meantime, we wanted to highlight some of the most used tools. Tools like NUGEN Audio Halo Upmix, Perfect Surround Penteo Pro, and Sound Particles’ Energy Panner and Brightness Panner are invaluable. They enable creative sound placement, which is essential in immersive audio.