Prash 'Engine Earz' Mistry talks about mixing great music into Dolby Atmos

Prash 'Engine Earz' Mistry talks about mixing great music into Dolby Atmos


Prash ‘Engine-Earz’ Mistry is a Grammy-nominated, Billboard No.1 and Mercury-nominated mixing & mastering engineer and producer based at Tileyard, London, where he set up the first Dolby Atmos studio. From there, he offers a full stereo mix to master to Dolby Atmos service. Here, he shares insights on the future of immersive audio... 

You were an early Dolby Atmos adopter. Can you tell us about why you started working in Dolby Atmos?

“I first started mixing music into an immersive surround format for my band’s [Engine-Earz Experiment] debut album, Symbol, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy! Fast forward a few years and I started hearing rumours of Dolby Atmos, which had made it far more accessible as a format. At this point, I had been working as a stereo mix & mastering engineer with Jorja Smith’s FAMM label, and we decided to mix some tracks into Dolby Atmos. It was fantastic – there was no looking back! Since then, myself and my colleague, Lavar Bullard, have set up two high-spec Dolby Atmos and stereo mix rooms catering to a huge range of international clients with a focus on the US. We provide an end-to-end stereo mix, master and Atmos mixing service for lots of our favourite artists.”

What are the most exciting aspects of Dolby Atmos, as a professional and as a music listener?

Dolby Atmos has really democratised the production of immersive music, making it far more accessible for anyone to create. As a listener, it gives you a new way to experience an artist’s music and vision with a level of detail and depth. It also allows us to deliver music in an object-based format – which means it is scalable from stereo headphones and VR/AR, to a stadium-sized immersive rig! A big win for creators and consumers.” 

Can you mention some of the artists you’ve worked with so far? What were you able to achieve in Atmos? 

“We’ve worked with a range of incredible artists including Olivia Rodrigo, Kali Uchis, Ed Sheeran, J Hus, D4VD, Jorja Smith, Amaarae, Raye, Megan Thee Stallion, Aitch and Lisa to name a few. We try to use Dolby Atmos to highlight what’s unique about each artist, respecting the original tracks, but adding new dimensions and a sense of movement and dynamics.”

What is the difference between how US and UK tracks are mixed?

“US mixes have a notable focus on the low end of the mix, with the bass being a major feature of the records. UK mixes are still primarily aimed at the UK radio sound, so are audibly more compressed and tend to be much more dialled in on the mid-range with a roll-off on the sub bass. Both approaches work brilliantly in Dolby Atmos – for the US tracks we have use of a dedicated LFE (low-frequency effects) channel, with which we can really dial in earth-shaking, cinema-grade low end if needed. For the UK records, we have much more physical space to spread out the mix for the listener to engage with elements they may not have even known were there – it can be a real ear-opening experience for both the artists and their fans.”

Can you describe the reaction from your clients upon hearing their music in Dolby Atmos?

“When my clients are listening in a Dolby Atmos room, every one of them is blown away by it. Also, the headphone experience on Apple Music and Amazon Music has improved so substantially that many artists now prefer to listen to the Dolby Atmos mixes, because they haven’t needed to be crushed by limiting on the stereo master.”

Dolby Atmos has really democratised the production of immersive music, making it far more accessible for anyone to create

Prash ‘Engine-Earz’ Mistry

What are the benefits for artists and fans?

“A major benefit is that it allows artists to make use of physical space in a mix in ways that they could not before. It creates a major added value to their fans who, more than ever, want to understand the process behind music creation and can interact with the sound in a very tangible way. I’m particularly excited about the mass adoption of Dolby Atmos in cars, which I think is a real game-changer. The close environment of a car gives an incredible delivery of music in Dolby Atmos.”

Would you say Dolby Atmos is suitable for all genres?

“Yes, if you use it to extrapolate out the stereo mix to deliver an even more heightened emotional response, then definitely. Or if you create your music with the physical space in mind, this opens up new realms of possibilities in immersive audio. Dolby Atmos gives us a new set of tools, but in my opinion should not be used as a gimmick. Its use should be an extension of the artist’s original vision.”

Do you see the pipeline of music in Dolby Atmos growing exponentially?

“Nearly all of the major DAW manufacturers have integrated Dolby Atmos into their production suites, making them accessible to all levels of music producers. Recently we worked closely with the Presonus team in the development of their highly praised Dolby Atmos integration with Studio One 6.5, which is unbelievably good. We’re going to see a lot more Dolby Atmos mixes – and not just for labels, but from bedroom producers who will incorporate the technology into the creative process.”

What is your favourite song in Dolby Atmos? 

“It’s hard to say just one, but I think Raye’s Hard Out Here. It’s one of ours, we worked on the Dolby Atmos mix for My 21st Century Blues. The stereo mix is outstanding already and her vocal production is unbelievable. I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire. I love the dynamics on the original Serban mix and we were really able to bring even more of that to the Dolby Atmos mix.”

Finally, what advice would you give to young talent using Dolby Atmos for the first time?

“Listen to as many Dolby Atmos mixes as you can. Get some good headphones if a speaker set-up won’t work in your space and start mixing on a DAW with integrated Dolby Atmos. There are so many tutorials and resources online now – including Dolby’s own series, which is where most of us started!” 


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