null Immersive Talk with KMR Studios

Immersive Talk with KMR Studios

We recently caught up with Studio Manager and Producer, Filip Killander, of KMR Studios in Uppsala, Sweden, to chat about his studio's recent upgrade and life as an immersive audio engineer.

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

Before I started managing KMR Studios, I was mostly focused on my own artistry. Later on, that lead me into music production, and I started helping other creators. The services I offered then expanded to include mixing, mastering and distribution. At the end of 2020, I moved from my home studio into a dedicated studio space, which I built inside an old garage. We moved to our current space in the summer of 2022.

I've enjoyed a lot of different experiences over the years, yet a common theme in all my passions, jobs and hobbies has been creativity, people and technology. That's what I love about my work today, that I get to dive deep into statistics, marketing and administrative work and then I get to explore sounds, lyrics and rhythms. I meet and collaborate with lots of new people, and I get to geek out about technical stuff with like-minded people. I feel extremely grateful to be able to work with my passion.

What can you tell us about KMR's studio space?

We're located in the heart of Uppsala, surrounded by historical buildings and cosy little streets. It’s a very inspiring environment that we and our artists love! We have fantastic high ceilings, old white doors and beautiful wooden floors.

There are two studio rooms here: A and B. Studio B is a homely space that's adapted for recording vocals, digital music production, photo sessions, songwriting and intimate concerts. Studio A is our Dolby Atmos room, and it's where we do larger, more complex recording sessions. It's designed to accommodate recording, mixing and mastering, which was tricky to get right, but with the help of Dolby and msonic, we made it work. It’s truly a fantastic place to work! In total, we have about 80 square metres of space.

KMR Studios entrance image

What are the key pieces of equipment in your studio?

My DAW is Logic Pro, and I most of the time I use its native Atmos renderer, except for when I do exports and final touches, where I use Dolby's Renderer and Assembler. Otherwise, my core equipment is an Avid MTRX Studio and a Grace Design m108. I also consider instruments and monitors to be essential to my workflow.

What type of work do you do in your studio?

At KMR Studios, we help artists with everything from writing and recording, to mixing, mastering, distribution and promotion. Personally, I focus on the creative parts of that process, i.e., the writing, recording, mixing and mastering side of things. Since October 2022, I’ve mainly been working with Dolby Atmos, which now makes up around 80 or 90 percent of my tasks. We're interested in exploring other immersive formats, but Dolby Atmos is a natural focus for us, as we’re mainly involved in music making.

How and when did you become interested in immersive audio?

At first, I loved the way Atmos was implemented in TV and film, and then when Apple Music announced their support, I started to read everything I could about Atmos and how I could implement it for our business. It took about a year of research and planning to get fully operational, and now we’re Atmos certified by Dolby.

Can you recall the moment you decided to upgrade the studio to immersive?

When we made the leap to immersive, I felt that the timing was spot-on for getting involved. Dolby Atmos really suits my love of music, technology and creativity, and I felt strongly that 2022 was the calm before the storm in terms of immersive music adoption. I wanted our studio to be at the forefront of this new revolution. We got a lot of support from Dolby and their colleagues at msonic, and we really appreciated their expertise when setting everything up.

KMR Studios image

How does it feel to work in Atmos compared to stereo?

I think immersive is a game changer. The biggest difference from stereo is undeniably the increased emotional impact immersive sound can have on the listener. Dolby Atmos is so much more than extra speakers or added height, it’s a different way to think about music creation, and I find it incredibly liberating and inspiring. Right now, there's a few challenges like increased export time, losing the buss-workflow and a limited supply of compatible plug-ins. Despite those, immersive is well worth the effort. The sound quality improvement alone is enough to justify it.

Can you describe your Genelec system to us?

L-C-R: 3 x Genelec 8341A Smart Active Monitors
Rears: 2 x Genelec 8040B
Height: 4 x Genelec 8030C
Subwoofer: 1 x Genelec 7370A Smart Active Subwoofer

I chose Genelec because, all things considered, it was the best option for us; SPL, audio and build quality, form factor, aesthetics, and Bass Management!

What kind of immersive projects have you been working on?

We’re in the lucky position of being about to work with a lot of returning costumers with projects we can have plenty of influence in. So as of now, all the projects in Studio A are Dolby Atmos by default. I’m very confident that more immersive customers - outside of our current circle - will start to trickle in soon. We've been getting a lot of good press from our upgrade to immersive, which in turn has led to new work and relationships. So, it’s definitely been a great commercial decision!

What do you think about the future of immersive audio?

I think, like with most technology, it’ll get more accessible and affordable each year, which will cause more creators to jump onboard. I also think that, just as Netflix, Disney and HBO have implemented and promoted Dolby Atmos content, all the major music streaming platforms will do the same. I don’t believe that listeners will consciously search for content in immersive formats, but - just as with movies - the audience will gravitate towards the superior audio experience.

KMR Studios personel image

To find out more about the KMR Studios, click here.

Do you want to be featured in our ‘Immersive Talk’ series? If so, just post some pictures of your setup on Instagram using the #GenelecImmersive hashtag. We’ll be keeping a look out for the most interesting setups, so who knows? We may be in touch with you!

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