Mike Mettler

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 29, 2022  |  0 comments

I don’t know about you, but I love hearing what I call “the humanity of performance” while listening to music. What I mean by that is, whenever I hear singers take breaths before or after they sing their lines (or even when they do it in the middle of them!), and/or I discern things like chairs scraping across floors or fingers moving across fretboards, I’m totally cool with it.

These recording elements all give me a sense of space (i.e., where the recording took place and the proximity of those involved) and even the character of the performers, to some degree. Certain producers like their recordings to be more insular than that, which is certainly fine in isolated cases—but the more “real” a recording is the better, imo.

The reason I bring this up is there are plenty of human elements involved in the five tracks I’ve selected for this week’s Spatial Audio File. As always, I’ve thoroughly spec’ed and checked each track 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 scores of stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within the ever-growing Apple Music library. >p> Let’s all now plug directly into the inherent sonic sea of humanity at hand as we collectively check out this week’s five-spot of truly immersive tracks, which are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Performances
Sound
Elton John could do no wrong as the calendar came to the close of 1971. Madman Across the Water, his third album in that calendar year alone, came out in November, and it was considered to be the best entry in his Trident Studios orchestral trilogy, featuring production by Gus Dudgeon and arrangements by Paul Buckmaster. (The previous two releases in said trilogy were April 1970's self-titled Elton John and October 1970's Tumbleweed Connection.)
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 22, 2022  |  0 comments

While I was listening to the five song selections I made for this week’s Spatial Audio File column, I was struck by the fact that we as listeners can easily have our attention sidetracked by catchy choruses—you know, the ones you just can’t help but sing along with every time you hear them. Call it the “Bohemian Rhapsody” syndrome—which, by the way, is not a bad thing at all, mind you. If anything, it proves the artists/songwriters at hand have handily succeeded in their mission to hook you with their music. But as we’re joyfully singing along, we’re not really paying attention to the music itself since we’re technically “competing” with what we’re hearing in the moment.

Hence, once I got my reflexive singing out of the way—either out loud, or in my head—I buckled down to refocus my critical listening of these five tracks, each of which I thoroughly spec’ed and checked by way of my personal deep dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. You’ll find all of them, alongside a veritable singalong fest of other stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos cuts, within the burgeoning Apple Music library.

Let’s curb our ready-to-sing enthusiasm but instead ramp up our ready-to-listen eagerness by checking out this week’s quintet of readily engaging immersive tracks, which are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 18, 2022  |  0 comments
The acquisition of Bandcamp by Epic Games could lead to some quite intriguing, game-embedded music-streaming opps that could further enhance the already large appeal of the Fortnite franchise and its Soundwave Series.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 15, 2022  |  0 comments

Spatial Audio: The Final Frontier. Those are two phrases that naturally came together in my mind as I, like many of you, marveled at the deep space images sent back to us here on Planet Earth via NASA’s James Webb Telescope. They’re a stunning reminder the universe is as big as we can comprehend, if not more so.

Audio can be like that too, especially when you listen to music mixed in 360 degrees. Done right, these fully enveloping mixes can be as vast as you can possibly imagine, and they can go to places somewhat hard to fathom, even in the exact moments they’re swirling in and around your head. Either way, they’re joys to behold—or should that be, behear?—which is but one reason I consistently relish the tracks I cover each and every week here in Spatial Audio File, because I always hear something I’ve never experienced before.

As always, each of the five deep space cuts that follow has been thoroughly spec’ed and checked 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, alongside a veritable starfleet of other astronomical Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos cuts, within the ever-expanding universe that is the Apple Music library.

Let’s now engage with this week’s cosmic cavalcade of five celestially immersive tracks, which are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 08, 2022  |  0 comments

It’s interesting how some people refer to certain summertime activities as either “hot” things to do, or “cool” things to do. When it comes to summertime listening, I tend to think it’s an intersection of both concepts. And when it comes to what I listen to for review in each weekly Spatial Audio File column during these summertime months, I consider certain tracks to be “smokin’ hot” and others to be as “cool as can be”—and sometimes, they’re actually some combo of both ideas together.

As always, each of the five hot/cool tracks that follow has been thoroughly spec’ed and checked by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. You’ll find access to each and every one of them, alongside a gaggle of other stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos cuts, within the ever-expanding Apple Music library.

And now, I give you this week’s hot-and-cool combo platter of five wonderfully immersive tracks, which are as follows. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 01, 2022  |  0 comments

If you think about it, the fireworks many of us will be experiencing this upcoming long weekend are actually Dolby Atmos primers on a much bigger scale. Essentially, you will hear those fireworks and their related sonic effects going off way above you, all around you, somewhat off in the distance, some of them much closer, some to the left of field, some to the right—in effect, fireworks are a primer of sorts for how 360-degree sound works out in the world. Now imagine getting similar dramatic results listening to great Atmos mixes—which is where your trusty weekly Spatial Audio File comes into play.

This week’s Spatial Audio File contains a number of firecrackin’ tracks of varying degrees of intensity and depth. As always, each of the five cuts that follow has been thoroughly spec’ed and checked by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. You’ll find all of them, along with scores of other stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within, the always expanding Apple Music library.

With sparklers in hand (figuratively speaking), I now present to you this week’s five-spot of explosively enjoyable immersive tracks, which are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  0 comments

Remember when we all knew exactly what the song of the summer was? With today’s non-centralized listening habits, it’s harder and harder to have a mass consensus on what constitutes the very best new song to hear pumping out of a car radio and/or at the beach—or through your headphones/earbuds of choice.

Even so, there will always be songs, whether new or old, that define the summer experience, and some of the choices herein this week’s Spatial Audio File definitely fit that bill. Naturally, each of the five tracks to follow has been thoroughly spec’ed and checked by way of my personal deep-dive listening sessions on both my home system and headphones alike. Sometimes, I even put my shades on to get into the proper full-on summertime vibe. You too can find these and other stellar Made for Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos tracks within the always expanding Apple Music library.

Shades duly doffed, I now present to you this week’s quintet of sun-drenched but wholly unbowed immersive tracks as follows. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 21, 2022  |  0 comments
Rush’s February 1981 masterpiece Moving Pictures ushered in a previously uncharted era that brought prog rock closer to the heart of the masses. And now, 41 years later, this landmark album gets its further due, thanks to a truly comprehensive multidisc box set and a fully immersive Dolby Atmos mix.
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. . .

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