Halo boosts Atmos capabilities with Neve DFC upgrade

Halo has upgraded their AMS Neve DFC mixing console to v11 DFC3D with DAWSYNC plugin as part of increased efforts to bring Dolby Atmos mixing to a wider client base.

The upgrade follows Halo’s recent Dolby Atmos installation in their flagship Studio 1 film mixing stage.

A 24-fader Avid S6 M40 mixing console has also been integrated into the existing DFC surface, providing access for DAW control for a hybrid mixing experience.

“The DFC continues to be the gold standard in film mixing, and AMS Neve’s ongoing commitment to developing for and streamlining the Dolby Atmos mixing experience is fantastic,” said Halo’s head of audio operations Richard Addis. “That said, with Pro Tools 12.8’s Atmos integration, there are other options out there, which means Atmos is now highly accessible to projects of all sizes and budgets, and not just for film. We needed a solution to cater for all, and with the S6 integration, we now have that.”

Head of film at Halo, David Turner, added: “We have upcoming projects with the FX being mixed entirely in the box, and dialogues and music on the DFC. This has been the case for a number of years, but now with S6 integration we have a solution that is both progressive and ergonomic. With Dolby Atmos deliverables also beginning to appear on delivery specs for providers such as Netflix, investing in upgrades that streamline the Dolby Atmos production workflow are of clear benefit to us across the business as a whole, not just for film.”

Dolby Atmos mixing has been possible on the DFC since the release of DFC V8 software, yet the additional features afforded by the DFC3D upgrade made the proposition extremely attractive.

“The DFC3D v11 update, combined with the integration of the Avid S6, means you really do have access to everything you need on the surface,” stated Johnathan Rush, Halo’s lead mix technician and re-recording mixer. “As well as control over the Dolby Atmos Rendering and Mastering Unit (RMU)’s monitoring level and re-renders, the integration between DFC and the RMU allows for direct control and display of all object pan information, regardless of whether those objects come from the DFC, Pro Tools, or any other DAW.

“By combining the new AMS Neve DAWSYNC plugin with our existing SoundMaster Atom and Avid Satellite network, we have an elegant solution to instantly lock all Pro Tools systems, the DFC and the VCube together, no matter where you press ‘Play’,” Rush added. “By having use of the DFC’s surround monitor and Pec/Direct module, we retain accurate Bus/Tape metering, which is a must when working with multiple playback and record rigs.”