New Edge Studios Mumbai

New Mixing Room For Dolby Atmos Music Productions

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New Edge Studio were founded in 2015 by the sound engineer Shadab Rayeen. A lot of producers and musical directors preferred New Edge Studios for there projects. In 2019 the studio decided to do a renovation of one studio suite and set it up for immersive Dolby Atmos productions. Because of the Corona pandemic it need about 2 years to have the new suite ready. We got the chance to talk to Aditya Modi of Modi Digital and Rolins Thomas Roy of Rolins Arcoustics about the updated studio complex. Both were responsible for the studio suite planning and realization. Can you give us a short overview about your studio complex for our international readers?

Aditya Modi: This studio complex “New Edge Studios” owned by renowned award winning sound engineer - Shadab Rayeen, is located in Andheri, Mumbai. Shadab is amongst the most sought after sound engineers in Bollywood and has an impressive list of mixing credits to his name. So the Dolby Atmos room is the latest extension of the studio complex. Can you tell us more about the acoustic preparation and acoustic concept of the new room.

Aditya Modi: The design intent here was to have a fully equipped studio that could function throughout the 24hour time span. This meant that high sound pressure levels would be generated within the compact shell, transmitting the impact into the structural framework of the residential tower where the space is located. On the external front, ambient noise levels averaged at 85-87dB(A) considering the busy street junction, a public sports complex, and multiple places of worship. On the other hand, it was essential to get in enough sunlight into the space and reduce work induced fatigue due to the long hours within. The room needed precise analysis to restrict the outdoor ambient noise and to ensure that the neighbors were not bothered by the sound reproduction.

The Dolby Atmos Music Room has been designed keeping in mind 2 important factors – one being the ideal reverberation time required within the space despite all the reflecting planes and openings, secondly - isolating any kind of noise transmission inward and outward. Isolation was key because the number of speakers have increased, mainly the heavy low frequency content being generated within the floated shell. Given the scenario where there is a specific music being made which is going to be utilizing all the speakers at the same time, it means much more impact subjectively. So we had to focus upon our isolation details and keep it compact as it would eat up into the volume of the space.

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Rolins Thomas Roy: With the increase in number of speakers from 2 to 5.1 and then 7.1.4, the job of the acoustic consultant was further put to the test considering the reflective planes internally. Earlier it was conceptualized to be a 2-channel stereo monitoring space, but the internal arrangements were organically building up to accommodate a powerful 7.1.4 immersive layout with multiple reflective tv monitors and equipment located anthropometrically close to the user. As soon as we thought most construction details were okay to be executed, we certainly had to restructure the isolation & internal treatment halfway through. It’s certainly been a milestone for the team to try new methods, learn and overcome the technical challenges.

The team ensured physical room acoustic assessments periodically during the stages of construction. Room modelling software and analytic simulations were used to design & calculate the technical details for construction. Even before building the studio and placing the gear, simulations were created by placing the sound sources in the virtual room model along with the treatment materials. The team made revisions with each room modification and added sources to simulate and understand the room parameters and isolation requirements.

A few years ago Shadab developed an allergic reaction to several materials. We had to take Shadab’s health into consideration and design the acoustics without using materials that would cause Shadab’s health concerns. With New Edge studios, like most other spaces in Mumbai, height limitation posed an obstruction to install the central air-conditioning system as there was no space for placing the ducts and connected machine units. Your Dolby Atmos room is the first one for music recording in India. Please tell us why Dolby Atmos?

Aditya Modi: The new Dolby Atmos room undoubtedly opens up for Rayeen, an entirely new palette for creative exploration, as the fully-immersive, next-generation multichannel playback system has the backing of major content providers.

With streaming channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime already giving a choice of stereo, 5.1 and Atmos for movies, in the future the same options will be given for music. The delivery format in the future is going to be in a way that the distribution labels will ask for a stereo master and Atmos master. They will possibly release multiple formats on music streaming services, and depending on the device capabilities, one can choose stereo, 5.1 or Dolby Atmos. The new room is mainly used for music productions or music for film production?

Aditya Modi: In India, the majority of the music is film based, therefore this studio will be used for music for film production primarily.

IMG 3495 Can you give us an overview about your equipment?

Aditya Modi: Shadab mixes on multiple platforms including Pro Tools and Logic. The studio features a curved Samsung screen, the latest version of Pro Tools running on an Apple Mac Pro, plus a good range of outboard equipment, including a DigiTech S100, Bettermaker EQ 232P, MX30-Pro - Dual Gated Compressor Limiter. The I/O is being handled by a Pro Tools | MTRX Studio audio interface.

The rack itself is a very intelligent design, it is actually suspended on a rail system. One can move the entire fully loaded rack, with a single finger push to reveal a hidden room behind it. The cables have enough slack on pulleys, that move along with the racks movement, so that they don’t snap away from the equipment they are connected to. You are using a 7.1 loudspeaker setup from EVE Audio. Can you give us an overview about the used speakers and the setup?

Aditya Modi: On the ceiling, the suite has four EVE Audio SC 207 models. The front LCR’s are EVE Audio SC 305’s and all the ear level surrounds are again four more EVE Audio SC 207’s. To reproduce low frequencies faithfully in the room, there is a Genelec 7370A. Everything is calibrated through AVID’s SPQ system, and the Dolby team in India visited to calibrate the speakers.

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(Photo: pre-production Room with 2 x EVE Audio SC205 speakers) Why do you decided for EVE Audio speakers and what are the advantages of the speakers?

Aditya Modi: The client Shadab, has been India’s earliest and first EVE Audio adopter. He has since, used EVE Audio in all his spaces and is most comfortable with them. The musicality of the speakers is what appeals to him the most.

We got also the chance to speak to Mr. Pankaj Kedia, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories about Dolby Atmos Music. How are we creating awareness about Dolby Atmos Music in India?

Pankaj Kedia: People want more immersive experiences, especially with great music. Dolby recognizes the sentiment and is working to bring immersive experiences to Indian consumers. The journey of Dolby Atmos Music in India has just started. At Dolby, we always start with content and work in tandem with our content, distribution, and device partners to make music in Dolby Atmos more accessible to music fans in India. With increased content creation, distribution and its availability on devices that people have, Dolby Atmos Music will bring about a revolutionary change to how Indian music will be created and experienced.

And with upcoming studios like ‘New Edge Studios’, it is the step in the right direction to create more awareness about the goodness of Dolby Atmos Music and its immersive experience with the leading music creators and artists in India. We are thrilled to have worked with Shadab, Aditya and Roy and thank them for this collaboration. I wish them all the best and look forward to them creating compelling Dolby Atmos music tracks.