Demystifying Dolby Atmos - The Dolby RMU
What is the Dolby RMU?
There are technically 2 variations on the Dolby Rendering and Mastering Unit (RMU). The Dolby RMU for theatrical applications (cinema) and the Dolby RMU for near field (home theater), which is designed for Blu-ray, digital delivery (streaming) and VR content. Although both of these devices have much in common, they are not interchangeable.
Dolby RMU for Home Entertainment (Near-Field)The Dolby RMU for home theater is a specific, hardware-approved Mac or Windows based system, the most popular version being a powerful Dell Server host computer. This specialized appliance is custom configured by RSPE Audio Solutions within the strict guidelines provided by Dolby. The RMU does all of the processing for rendering objects, managing pans and authoring the Dolby Atmos file. The system is also capable of room calibration and managing speaker configurations.
The hardware interface options include DANTE or MADI IO (DANTE only for Mac) for input and output to your Pro Tools rigs (or other DAW work stations), routing and speaker monitoring system. Each RMU is carefully configured and certified by one of RSPE Audio's Certified Dolby Specialists and undergoes rigorous testing prior to delivery to your studio.
Each Dolby Nearfield RMU features preinstalled software to perform various tasks in a Dolby Atmos authoring and mix workflow. The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite may be used to calibrate the mix stage and create the room's speaker configuration although, in most system designs, using external monitor control and calibration is achieved using Avid MTRX with the SPQ Card option, QSC Q-SYS control, BSS SoundWeb and JBL Intonato. The Dolby Atmos Renderer Remote in conjunction with the new tools found in Avid Pro Tools Ultimate, are used for most of the functions required in Atmos workflow.
Dolby RMU for Theatrical (Cinema)The Dolby RMU for theatrical application is not available for sale. It is only available through a special loan and licensing agreement between Dolby and the filmmaker that also requires the attendance of Dolby engineer when creating final theatrical printmasters. RSPE Audio works closely with Dolby on the design and approval of Theatrical Dolby Atmos Systems to not only ensure your room meets all Atmos requirements, but also has a seamless workflow and sounds great.
To get started designing your studio or for more information about Dolby Atmos for theatrical, please contact RSPE Audio.
Do I need the Dolby RMU?
If your deliverables include producing an .atmos file, and you want to produce BluRay and digital delivery content, the short answer is yes.
Can I build my own RMU PC for Atmos?
Dolby only certifies two specific, custom configured systems with very particular components and performance requirements. The Windows option uses a Dell server and either MADI or Dante, while the Mac version uses a Mac Pro, with chassis and Dante PCIe card. To be Dolby Atmos Certified, this must be purchased from an experienced Dolby Atmos Certified dealer like RSPE Audio Solutions. RSPE has worked extensively with Dolby engineers and has the expertise to meet Dolby's highly optimized performance specifications, both in the OS and the hardware.
Do I Need Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite?
If you're going to run the Dolby / Dell RMU, then yes. The Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite provides the necessary software license required to run the Dolby RMU. Mastering Suite also comes with 3 licenses for the Dolby Atmos Production suite. The Dolby Atmos Production Suite is great for pre production work and for preparation of your Atmos mixes prior to delivery to the stage.
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