Formosa Blog

Dolby Atmos Designers: Formosa Group

SOURCE:   DATE: June 2, 2016   BY: Michael S. Palmer


Walking into Formosa Group’s loft-like Santa Monica offices is a bit of a homecoming. I haven’t worked here, personally, but a few years ago I formed a friendship with Formosa employee Tim Hoogenakker, who is not only one of the preeminent Dolby Atmos re-recording mixers in Los Angeles, but also one heck of a nice guy. When we first met, Tim was re-recording stereo mixes into 5.1 (the DVD days) before seguing into 7.1 mixes for Blu-rays. More on all of this in a minute.

Formosa Group offices feel like the genetic coupling of a Silicon Valley startup and a Hollywood Studio. An ivy-strewn entrance leads to the vaulted ceiling reception area and a kitchen with beer on tap. The beating heart of a busy building. Hallways meander off in all directions to meeting rooms, office spaces, a server farm and, of course, dozens of sound mixing and recording environments.


In each of these environments, here in Santa Monica as well as across their four other Los Angeles locations, Formosa Group has in-house professionals ready work with various feature film, television, musical score, video game, and commercial productions. If you’ve watched ANY movies and TV, or played video games, in the last few years, there’s a significant chance you’ve heard sound mixes and music that were created, edited, recorded, and/or finalized within the Formosa family.

‘Star Trek: Beyond’, ‘The Revenant’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘Ballers’ ‘Jason Bourne’, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ ‘Uncharted 4’ and ‘Call of Duty Black Opps III’ are just the tip of the iceberg.


The reason I’m at Formosa Group today is to demo Dolby Atmos (to be fair, that’s usually why I’m anywhere). I write about the technology a lot, but if you haven’t been following along at home, here’s a quick recap:


Dolby Atmos redefined home and theatrical surround sound, taking conventional surround mixes, which were built for a specific number of “channels” in hopes of creating 360-degree immersion, and adding individual sound OBJECTS to the mix as well as OVERHEAD SPEAKERS.

The result is an enveloping HEMISPHERE of sound.

The home entertainment version of Dolby Atmos works by adding height channels to traditional 5.1 or 7.1 configurations. And, because customers don’t always want to cut holes, Dolby partnered with speaker companies like Klipsch, KEF, Definitive Technology, Pioneer, and Onkyo to make Atmos-enabled speakers and add-on modules, which bounce height sound elements off your ceiling, tricking your ears into believing you have in-ceiling speakers. Cool, right?




Dolby Atmos Expert Speaks Volumes About Startling Audio Technology

The master mixer behind a trove of home entertainment sees consumers tuning into latest in audio delivery

Broadcasting&Cable 6/27/16 – Chris Tribbey B&C ARTICLE


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