10 Apr 2018 BVE Insights

The Evolution of Immersive Sound

by: BVE Editorial

Sound's come a long way in 20 years...

With almost 20 years of experience in audio post, Tim Hoogenakker is a re-recording Mixer for the Formosa Group. With varied project credits including Game of Thrones, Okja, a passion for music and film, and over 20 years, experience he shared  some thoughts with around the evolution of sound....

Can you tell us more about where you started out?

Growing up as a musician and playing with various artists/projects, I eventually found myself working as a staff recording engineer at Prince's Paisley Park Studios. Then after transplanting to Los Angeles, I moved into mixing sound for picture, where I was lucky enough to start just as DVD was in its early beginning stages along with the advent of 5.1 surround. In post production, I also started mixing for features as well as restoring older films into appropriate surround formats, as well as keeping to my music roots and mixing various music projects for picture as well. This is where I started to highlight more on surround sound mixing over my career.

Would you say immersive audio the 'next big thing' in audio?

Dolby Atmos has taken such a strong foothold in the industry, it's becoming part of the default deliverables

Back in 2014 when I started mixing immersive audio, I didn't realize how much of an impact Dolby Atmos would have at the time, especially beyond feature film. But now it's taken such a strong foothold in the industry and it's becoming part of the default deliverables with many studios and producers. From my point of view, my clients are asking for Dolby Atmos more and more. And as more consumers are hearing it, the more they get excited and ask for content in this format – which is clearly driving it forward.

In a practical setting, how is immersive audio impacting in the real world? What changes – or challenges – lie ahead?

Dolby Atmos had originally started as a theatrical feature film format, but has since then expanded into many other markets. For feature films, I've been watching immersive audio impacting the studios as they are now making immersive audio as a large part of their standard deliverables for films and elsewhere – especially being packaged with 4K. In recent years, we're seeing Dolby Atmos become part of streaming OTT through delivery such as Netflix, etc. Additionally, there's a push to supply foreign territory markets with language versions in Atmos as well, which certainly reaches further worldwide.

What has been your favourite part of BVE 2018?

It’s got be learning and gaining perspective from many of the visiting industry professionals in worldwide feature and broadcast and how other countries are looking into delivery of sound for picture with immersive sound. It's been great to learn viewpoints from others and see what is brewing both technically and creatively. It's an ever changing learning process no matter how far into your career you find yourself and BVE is a wonderful medium for this.


Tim HoogenakkerTimHoogenakker has over 20 years of experience mixing surround for film and music and carries a genuine passion for his craft. Starting his career at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios, he then moved to include sound for picture, mixing feature films, music concert shows, documentaries, and catalog film restoration.

Since 2014, Tim has been a pioneer mixing in Dolby Atmos and has handled over 70 titles to date for various formats: theatrical, Blu-ray, UHD, streaming and catalog. Titles include: The Hunger Games, John Wick, Okja, Eric Clapton, The Fifth Element, Dark Crystal and Game of Thrones.

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