GCRS adopts Dolby Atmos for new studio design

Soho-based Grand Central Recording Studios (GCRS) has announced an ambitious new studio design for its Studio Five room.

The soon-to-be-transformed Studio Five is the result of collaboration with some of the industry’s top sound experts, GCRS says, and will feature Dolby Atmos equipment designed to provide "an unparalleled audio experience to brands and agencies."

Over the past ten years that GCRS has been based in its current location, Studio Five has gained a reputation for working with brands such as Nike, Jaguar, Guinness and Heineken, and handling theatrical trailers for Hollywood blockbusters including Oscar winner Birdman, The Theory of Everything, The Bourne Legacy, Life of Pi, Les Miserables, Despicable Me and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In the past five years alone, Studio Five work has picked up a total of 16 major awards for sound.

From summer 2015, Studio Five will become one of the first commercial sound studios in London to incorporate Dolby Atmos, an audio format building on 5.1 and 7.1 by creating a hybrid channel-based and object-based mix. In addition, it places additional speakers overhead, providing an upper layer of sound.

In Dolby Atmos, every sound can exist as an independent audio object, free of the channel restrictions that are in the 5.1/7.1 bed. This new format enables sounds to be placed and moved anywhere – with multiple individual speakers – meaning that sound ‘objects’ can be placed at pinpointed locations throughout the cinema. They can now take place where they would naturally occur ‘visually’ in a scene, which allows filmmakers and sound designers increased freedom. It also adapts to any playback environment, such as cinema, at home or on the go, with the aim of making the audience feel as though they are at the heart of the action.

GCRS has long been an advocate of this technology – in 2014, it created the first commercial in Dolby Atmos for BMW, with creative agency WCRS.

Studio Five’s installation features 38 full-range monitor speakers and 12 sub bass speakers, custom designed by Exigy’s guiding force Matt Dobson, featuring his new wide-dispersion custom nAxial speakers.

Carole Humphrey, founder and managing director of GCRS, commented: “At GCRS, we have built a strong reputation, over the past 21 years, of continuously being ahead of the game when it comes to investing in the best technology for our clients’ needs. Everyone within the business is hugely passionate about sound, and, with Dolby Atmos and a brand new face for our iconic Studio Five, we are renewing this commitment to audio excellence.”