Day 3 of RadioWeek explored one of the biggest technological shifts in broadcast radio
dBs Institute, which also has a campus in Plymouth, offers degree and master’s programs across a range of music production, audio technology, games development and digital technology disciplines. All students will have access to the new Dolby Atmos studios, including those working in Game Development, Game Sound and Sound Design.
“We are always striving to be at the forefront of all technologies, as our facilities demonstrate,” says Nige Burt, dBs Institute’s director of HE. “As such, it is vital that we provide Atmos facilities for students to access as it is becoming increasingly commonplace in the industry.”
Matt Bernard, head of operations at dBs, adds, “We spent a lot of time researching Dolby Atmos setups and received a lot of support from Dolby and our acoustic designer, Miloco Builds. It became clear from the research that PMC is an industry standard for Atmos studios, and we wanted to ensure our students were working with the same kit they will find in commercial environments. Also, the fact they sound incredible helps!”
The new Manchester campus
dBs Institute Manchester opened in September 2022 and has already welcomed its first cohort of degree students. It has one 7.2.4 Atmos studio with 11 x PMC 6s and 2x PMC Sub 8-2 monitors. It also has a large control room with an AMS Neve Genesys Black console and three more production studios equipped with PMC result6 monitors. A large live room and two separate recording booths can connect to any space via analog and Dante tie-lines. In addition, there is a 40-seat lecture theatre with a 2.1 monitoring system comprising PMC 6 and Sub 8 monitors.
When we decided to install an Atmos studio in Bristol, we faced some particular challenges with the allocated spaceMatt Bernard, head of operations at dBs
“PMC’s new SoundAlign software was really helpful when setting up the lecture theatre as it allowed us to easily calibrate the monitors in the room,” Bernard says.
This year’s upgrades to dBs Institute Bristol facilities have also been significant. Alongside the installation of a new Dolby Atmos studio, dBs installed a Games suite, made improvements to the common spaces at its Mitchell Lane campus and invested in more d&b T Series speakers to provide a full line array for small festival stages.
“When we decided to install an Atmos studio in Bristol, we faced some particular challenges with the allocated space,” Bernard says. “To ensure we met the height requirements for the overhead speakers, we needed a thin speaker, so we opted for PMC Ci65s because they were perfect for this. Similarly, the Atmos studio must also accommodate groups of students, so we wanted side and rear speakers that did not protrude too far into the room. The PMC Ci140 speakers were the answer as they worked within Dolby requirements for the sides, while PMC Ci65s gave the required SPL for the rears.”
In total, dBs Institute Bristol installed three PMC6-2s with six Ci65s, two Ci140s and two PMC8-2 subs. The studio, which also had an Avid MTRX, is now fully operational, while the Atmos room in Manchester will be ready for students to use in January 2023.