Spatial Audio File

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Mike Mettler  |  Apr 01, 2022  |  0 comments
“Jack & Diane,” the second No. 1 single from John Mellencamp’s multiplatinum breakthrough album, April 1982’s American Fool—which was originally released (and still catalogued) under the gimmicky stage name he never personally liked, John Cougar—cemented the feisty Midwestern rocker as an American songwriter to be reckoned with. The track’s most definitely best-they-can Atmos mix only serves to make this knowing tale of growing up in the heartland and clutching onto the fleeting vibrancy of youth that much sweeter.
Mike Mettler  |  May 13, 2022  |  0 comments
A veritable houseful of tracks by L.A. legends The Doors came onto the Dolby Atmos marketplace last week. Being a consummate fan of the legendary envelope-pushing ’60s band, I just had to check them out, most especially one of my absolute favorite tracks of theirs—“Riders on the Storm,” the last cut on Side 2 of their April 1971 swan song of sorts, L.A. Woman. I say “swan song” only because it was their last album with vocalist/lyricist/shaman-in-chief Jim Morrison as frontman. (Sadly, and somewhat mysteriously, Morrison passed away in Paris, France just three short months after L.A Woman was released.)
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 18, 2022  |  0 comments
Hear ye hear ye, o fine fellow hi-fi-inclined friends o’ mine! It’s Week Three here in the always aurally intriguing world of the Spatial Audio File, and I’m more than ready to delve right on into five more choice selections for the best of this week’s Dolby Atmos mixes Made for Spatial Audio on Apple Music. Happy Spatial Listening, everybody!
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 30, 2022  |  1 comments

Where did all the time go? Time, flowing like a river. Time is on my side (yes it is). Time to play B-sides. Are you eye-rolling at all my lyrically borrowed time comments yet? Anyway, it’s high time to take stock of what we’ve heard and what we’ve learned this past calendar year, seeing how a) time flies, and how b) time is indeed all around us—just like the best Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos mixes are, in fact.

With all this time sensitivity in mind, it seems to be the exact right time (last one, I promise) to comprise my Top Ten list of the best immersive audio tracks of this past year. As always, I’ve thoroughly spec’ed and checked all of the tracks I’ve selected here by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. You’ll find each and every one of them amidst the cavalcade of Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within the ever-expanding immersive audio libraries on Apple Music Unlimited, Amazon Music, and Tidal.

Enough with all the time-wasting—here are my choices for the ten best, thoroughly immersive audio tracks of 2022, which are, in reverse order from 10 to 1. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 03, 2022  |  1 comments

Sum-sum-summertime is officially in full-full-full swing, which means cueing up the latest five-spot of my all-new Atmos recommendations here in Spatial Audio File can only lead to many fun, fun, fun hi-res listening times ahead.

As always, each track herein has been fondly and thoroughly test-driven aurally via personal listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. As you’ll soon find out when you scroll and read on down, the artists themselves totally get why listening to the very best offerings of immersive Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks available in the always expanding Apple Music library is the right way to go.

And this week’s quintet of winning summertime fun immersive tracks are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  1 comments
Spoiler alert: Rush’s February 1981 masterpiece, Moving Pictures, is my personal No. 1 favorite album of all time, so I was very much looking forward to hearing the entire album in its full glory in Atmos. Interestingly, stellar Atmos mixes of two great Pictures tracks, “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight,” were released last year on Apple Music in anticipation of celebrating the album’s 40th anniversary, but the balance of its seven tracks were held back until now, mostly due to supply-chain issues in order to align with the physical release of the Moving Pictures Super Deluxe Edition box set that finally came to market earlier this month—a mondo-disc collection that features a 24-bit/96kHz Atmos mix of the entire album on its included Blu-ray.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 30, 2023  |  0 comments

After scoring big last year with his stellar Atmos mix of The Beatles’ seminal August 1966 album Revolver, producer Giles Martin was more recently tasked with giving the Atmos treatment to The Beach Boys’ benchmark May 1966 release, Pet Sounds. Martin got on Zoom with music editor Mike Mettler from across the Pond to discuss how he made sure his Pet Sounds Atmos mix stayed true to the music’s “real” intent, what his approach to dealing with all those infamous Beach Boys vocal stacks entailed, and how he made sure “God Only Knows” comes across as being nothing short of heavenly in its Atmos incarnation. Read on to glean all the immersive details accordingly. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  0 comments

As the lead track for this week’s Spatial Audio File is very much a cosmic experience by its very nature, it served as a nice parallel for how truly great Atmos mixes can put you in a different listening space altogether—one that’s fully enveloping and takes you on a journey outside of your normal, day-to-day environmental confines. Frankly, any time music can take you somewhere you usually aren’t is something that’s a-ok in my book.

As per my usual SAF M.O., each of these five tracks has been quite thoroughly test-driven aurally via personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. It’s hardly difficult to tell by now that I quite enjoy engaging with the very best offerings of Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks found within the ever-enlarging Apple Music library in any listening experience locale I can.

That said, this week’s five-spot of cosmically cool and universally immersive tracks are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 28, 2022  |  1 comments

The Beatles’ Revolver further solidified the creative validity of the rock album format when it was released in August 1966. Seeing how Revolver’s Super Deluxe Edition multidisc LP/CD box set incarnations have been officially released via Apple/UMG today, October 28—not to mention the inherently excellent Revolver Atmos mix by producer Giles Martin concurrently being made available digitally—I had to find out why I needed to get that Atmos mix into my listening life. Therefore, Martin and I got on Zoom together recently to discuss exactly that. He also shared with me what his late father, original Beatles producer George Martin, thought of his multichannel mixing skills. These are all perfect topics for this month’s Spatial Audio File (he said he said), so read on, read on. . .

Mike Mettler  |  May 06, 2022  |  0 comments
Can it really be 20 full years since singer/songwriter/piano ingenue Norah Jones burst on the scene with her stunning, multiple-Grammy Award-winning February 2002 debut album, Come Away With Me? This breakthrough album is currently being properly feted with a 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition that contains bonus tracks galore, but the immediate impact of its lead-track sensation “Don’t Know Why” is what sealed Jones as the real deal in the first place—and it mesmerizes the ears (and soul) even more fully in its Dolby Atmos incarnation.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Could it really be that Elton John is turning 75 today, March 25? (And here I thought he was on such a timeless flight. . .) Well, in celebration of our favorite pop piano maestro, we’re going to kick off this diamond birthday gala edition of Spatial Audio File with a pair of prime Elton tracks in all their Atmos-ified glory.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 11, 2022  |  1 comments
It only took Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, a.k.a. the twin towers of Tears For Fears, 18 years to follow up what was thought to be their final album (September 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending), but February 2022’s The Tipping Point might just be the release that resides at the apex of four decades’ worth of their creative push-pull partnership. (Incidentally, you can head on over to The S&V Interview later today to catch my deep-dive conversation with Orzabal about the making of the new album and his thoughts about TFF’s long penchant for serving up great surround sound releases.)
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 04, 2022  |  0 comments
Welcome one and all to the inaugural weekly installment of Spatial Audio File. Some people call me the Spatial Audiophile—some people call me Maurice, though I advise against it—but at any rate, each Friday in this space, I will be reviewing select Spatial Audio releases on Apple Music by vetting and recommending key individual tracks and (occasionally) full albums via listening sessions on my home system and headphones alike.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 10, 2022  |  0 comments

One thing that struck me as a most interesting common thread connecting the five tracks I’ve chosen for this week’s all-new Atmos recommendations here in your trusty Spatial Audio File column is how, to get the most out of these mixes, you really need to listen to them with your eyes closed and your head swaying along with their respective rhythms. Hence, these five finely Atmos-ified cuts are best experienced while on the beach and/or in your personal listening space, and not necessarily when you’re driving a vehicle. (You have been duly warned!)

As per usual, each of these tracks has been quite thoroughly test-driven aurally via personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. Fact is, engrossing myself in the very best offerings of Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks found within the burgeoning Apple Music library always tend to make the vibes of my week much cooler overall.

With that said, this week’s quintet of eyelid-gazing and ear-canal-fulfilling fully immersive tracks are. . .

SV Staff  |  Jan 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Sound & Vision has long been an advocate for surround sound music. Back in the SACD and DVD-Audio disc heyday, we regularly reviewed multichannel music releases in those formats, and when they eventually ground to a halt, we moved on to music-only Blu-ray audio discs and then Deluxe Edition box sets. The latter now serves as the most common outlet for surround music on disc, most often presented on Blu-ray in the immersive Dolby Atmos sound format.