Wow, this "launch" of Atmos music on Tidal is really disappointing to me.
First of all, the bitrate is much too low (the whole reason I went with Tidal was for the lossless music) and, secondly, the audio level of all of the Atmos tracks is 15 to 20dB below other music. According to Tidal, this is Dolby's fault.
Some things sound OK with all of the bit reduction but others are atrocious. For example, they posted the entire new album from Gabby Barrett, Goldmine in Atmos and it is a complete swishfest. OK, not the greatest recording in the first place, but the low bitrate encoding is clearly audible to the point where it is unlistenable to me. Not to mention that the Atmos mixes are all over the place. Some are really nice and others sound rushed and obviously done without artist or original production team approval.
The folks at Dolby need to get their act together or they’re gonna have lawsuits for blown speakers and eardrums, not to mention another failed format. There is NO REASON why these Atmos tracks have to be 15 to 20 dB below other music. And it’s not like they have all this great dynamic range either. There’s some audio compression going on as well as the low bitrate compression.
It’s similar to what Disney is doing with the audio on their Blu-Ray and UHD movies. Low levels (albeit not this low) and strange audio compression there as well. I wonder if that was Dolby’s idea too.
Not a good start.
LG OLED55C6P, Panasonic UB-820, Sony UBP-X800, Zidoo X9S, Denon AVR-X3400H, vintage Carver M1.0T amp, Axiom M60v3 Mains, VP100 Center & M2v3 Surrounds. Original SVS 20-39pci Cylinder sub. Polk RC60i Top Middle Atmos. Desktop system: Fully restored (by me) vintage Marantz 2275 stereo receiver from 1976 driving a pair of Chane A1.5s, RSL Speedwoofer 10S, MiniDSP DDRC-24 (Dirac Live).