Today we have new details on Apple Lossless and Spatial Audio for Independent Artists. Apple’s recently announced Spatial Audio and Lossless audio formats for Apple Music are expected to launch next month. While we know he’s teamed up with big-name artists like Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and Kacey Musgraves, among others, to bring the first 3D audio and hi-fi to his streaming service, what is it? does this mean to the rest of us? After code hinting at the new service surfaced ahead of Apple’s official announcement, followed by what was for some confusion over which headphones / audio playback systems can actually support it, we decided. We immediately asked if these hi-fi audio deliverables would also be available to independent artists. While there haven’t been any direct announcements yet, we’ve done some research, rummaging through the tills, and sources suggest that Apple’s new Spatial Audio and Lossless streaming will indeed be available to independents in a future. near future. More details below.
Spatial Audio for independent artists
Will Apple Lossless and Spatial Audio for independent artists be available? Can independent artists upload Spatial Audio tracks to Apple Music? Will independent distribution services even support it? How does a freelance artist get Spatial Audio mixed songs on Apple Music?
Dolby Atmos is not new technology for music producers, but Apple Music’s support for Spatial Audio streaming powered by Atmos is. Although it has already announced that thousands of tracks mixed and mastered with Dolby’s cinema-like 3D, multi-directional playback technology (or similar production suites?) Capable of creating their own Spatial Audio songs for Apple Music or no. At launch, it looks like it’s just something available to ‘pro’ artists through the big labels, but we recently heard that these features will be available to independent artists in what could very well be in the near future, although the availability calendar still appears to be in the works.
According to our sources familiar with the requirements of Apple et al., Most, if not all of the major distributors, probably including TuneCore and Distrokid – the two most popular and readily available services for independent artists and chamber producers at bedtime – have already been informed by Apple about Spatial Audio requirements and deliverables. We spoke with the chef of DistroKid who confirmed that the distributor is indeed working to be the first to activate Spatial:
DistroKid plans to be the first distributor to activate Apple’s new lossless and spatial audio formats for independent artists.
No surprises here – DistroKid is apparently the only distributor right now that allows independent artists to get the “Tidal Master” brand on Tidal – but this information, in combination with what we hear elsewhere, practically confirms music distribution. Lossless and Spatial Audio for independent artists.
Spatial Audio delivery requirements
We also have information on what independent artists can likely expect in terms of delivery requirements if and, more likely, when Spatial Audio becomes available through independent distributors. The deliverable requirements are specific but also fairly standard across the industry at this point. According to our sources, those using the Dolby Atmos mixing and mastering platform for Spatial Audio will need to provide BWF + ADM files – a standard wave file rendering format available in the Dolby Atmos suite. While these uncompressed deliverables are what Apple will need, it will be a good idea to check with your distributor of choice to make sure that this is how things work their way when the time comes.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to prepare your music for Spatial Audio and prepare your production pipeline:
- Check with your distributor of choice when they will activate it (again, Apple has notified distributors and is not preventing them from activating it).
- Familiarize yourself with Dolby Atmos. Atmos works through one or more plugins for Logic Pro (more on this below), natively in Pro Tools and Nuendo, or mastering studios that have implemented support for Atmos. Apple has initiatives to double the number of Atmos compatible studios “in major markets, offering educational programs and providing resources to independent artists.”
- Follow Apple-specific Atmos specifications for delivery (Apple requires BWF + ADM files). Dolby has a lot of great documentation on the Atmos preparation process.
Apple Lossless for India
For lossless downloads, Apple will use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) “to preserve every bit of the original audio file. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing artists created in the studio.
DistroKid, for example, accepts WAV, MP3, AIFF, CDDA, M4A, Windows Media (WMA) or FLAC at “almost” any bit and sample rate. Sources tell us that distributors are already accepting and delivering catalogs in high resolution files and it looks like these requirements will work with Apple Lossless.
Spatial Audio for Independents in Logic Pro
Dolby Atmos workflows are âenabled by native integrations in Avid Pro Tools and Steinberg Nuendo DAWsâ now. Although it seems that the Panoramic Dolby Atmos music, used in conjunction with the Dolby Atmos rendering will allow independent artists and bedroom producers to create the required BWF + ADM Spatial Audio deliverables via the AU plug-in standard on macOS. Hopefully more specific details will emerge shortly on this front, but it looks like simply installing the aforementioned two apps / plugins will allow anyone to create the BWF + ADM Spatial Audio files.
With Avid Pro Tools and Nuendo offering native support for Dolby Atmos, some kind of more direct and native integration of Spatial Audio deliverables into Logic Pro is something we plan to be in the pipeline.
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