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Friday 4 December 2015

Solent is First University in UK to install Dolby Atmos

Southampton Solent University has officially launched its new Dolby Atmos technology in its 3D cinema, which will provide students with exceptional sound and mixing facilities.

The Dolby Atmos technology, which was installed during the summer, allows sounds to be placed and moved anywhere in the cinema, including overhead, to make audiences feel as if they are inside the movie and not just watching it.

The launch, which was held on Wednesday 25 November, was an opportunity to showcase the new technology and facilities.

Solent is the first and currently only university in the UK to install and use Dolby Atmos and is among just a handful of universities worldwide that has these facilities.

As well as presenting films in the new surround-sound format, the system will allow students to mix content in Dolby Atmos in a studio that has been equipped with the state-of-the-art sound technology.

Pete Richardson, technical instructor for media technology at Solent University, says: “It’s quite an exciting space to have access to in the University and the investment represents our vision for our courses and our facilities.

“As the only university with Dolby Atmos in the UK to have these kind of facilities, to have this for students is really special. Not many places in the world can boast this sort of experience for their students!”

Pete’s advice to current students is, “Make sure you take advantage of your time here, and get involved.”

The new technology was installed and calibrated this summer; eight speakers on the ceiling, 17 speakers around the walls and two extra subs as well.

Commenting on Solent’s facilities and the benefits to students, Javier Foncillas, Senior Regional Director, Western Europe, Dolby Laboratories, says: “With Dolby Atmos sound comes alive and moves all around you with incredible realism. You are completely immersed and feel as if you’re in the middle of the action on-screen, rather than watching it from a distance.

“Dolby Atmos also gives students more creative freedom and the chance to experiment. While this adds a new and exciting element to their training, the greatest advantage is that all of this experience can then be applied in the real world. Dolby Atmos has been embraced by filmmakers and sound mixers worldwide, so Solent University is giving their students a fantastic head start.”

Other industry representatives at the event included Dean Humphreys, a re-recording mixer, sound editor and sound designer.

With forty years in the sound industry and having worked on films such as Donnie Brasco, Taken 2, Taken 3 and The Pianist, Dean says: “I think it’s incredibly exciting and very forward-thinking of the University to embrace technology and thinking right at the leading edge of what the industry professionals are doing; to expose the students here to something that is absolutely the very forefront of technology. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them.”

Media technology students who choose to take the sound design module in their second year will now have the opportunity to mix in Dolby Atmos. In their third-year option, broadcast and cinema sound, they will be able to learn how the latest surround sound technology works.

The cinema is also used by Sonar Film, the University’s student-run cinema, to show recent blockbusters at an affordable price.

For more information about the University’s courses and facilities visit