Start To Finish: Snarky Puppy Dolby Atmos Mix with Fab and Nic Hard

Pro Video

01h 59min


Since its inception in the heart of Dallas, Texas, Snarky Puppy has ignited the music world with their genre-defying creativity and masterful musicianship, garnering a list of awards that could fill a book.

In early 2022, four-time Award-Winning artists Snarky Puppy returned to the city where it all began to record the masterpiece "Empire Central." Since the band started releasing singles from the eight days of live performances recorded at Deep Elm Art Company in front of a live audience, the comments sections continue to flood with praise for the quality of the recordings and mixes.

At the helm of the production is Snarky Puppy veteran engineer, Nic Hard, assisted by Snarky Puppy's touring engineers, tasked with recording the nineteen-plus musicians in the one-room music venue with little to no isolation.

We joined the group to document the entire process, from load-in at the venue to the intimate live performances, the stereo mix, and finally, the Dolby Atmos mix with Fab Dupont.

In this exclusive, you'll join Snarky Puppy, Nic Hard, and his team of audio ninjas as they record the performances, travel to Spain for the stereo mixing sessions, and New York City for the Dolby Atmos mixing sessions.

In part three of this series, watch as Fab Dupont:

  • Explains the goal for the atmos mix
  • Breaks down his atmos mixing template, explaining his thought process and approach to the format as he goes through the mix
  • Discusses the importance of the binaural version of the mix
  • Ensures that the atmos mix does not exceed the -18LUFS rule for delivery
  • Places all of the stems from the stereo mix in the atmos sound field
  • Applies Nic Hard's Stereo Mix bus processing to the Atmos mix to keep the same aesthetic of the original mix
  • Listens to the binaural render in headphones to check mix translation and adjust balances
  • Adjusts for the difference in perceived level of height placement in the binaural version

This is your chance to see how Fab Dupont and Nic Hard mixed the iconic record "Empire Central" in Dolby Atmos from Start to Finish.

Exercise files
Equipment & Software


  • Autopan
  • Dangerous BAX EQ
  • FabFilter Pro L2
  • FabFilter Pro Q3
  • Gullfoss
  • Liquid Sonics Cinematic Rooms
  • Mod Delay III
  • NUGEN Halo Upmix
  • Process.Audio Sugar
  • RBass
  • Sound Particles Brightness Panner
  • Sonnox Oxford Inflator
  • Spanner
  • SSL Native Bus Compressor 2
  • UAD Studer A800
  • Valhalla Room
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Nic Hard

Nic Hard's career in music began in the mid 90's while DJ'ing in clubs and house parties throughout Philadelphia and later, London. On his return to the States, his resume began to take shape as he shifted gears focusing on studio recording and mixing. He quickly earned the position of head engineer at RPM Studios in New York City, a "Noah's Ark" of gear. In 2002 Nic went freelance when given the opportunity to record and co-produce The Church's Forget Yourself album in Sydney Australia.


The Bravery

Aberdeen City

The Kin

The Ropes

Ghost Beach

The Perfects

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2022 Dec 13
Great Video, are there any future Atmos Mixing videos that would include a working protools Atmos template setup from Andrew or Fab like we have had before?
2022 Dec 08
What binaural settings did you use?
2022 Dec 04
Great video, so much knowledge about the decision making and workflow. Merci beaucoup Fab et Nic!!!
2022 Dec 03
Does anybody knows Wich fader is he using?
2022 Dec 01
This is great and has been a great series. You might want to add the timecode start to the ADM file for anyone who is loading it into the renderer. It starts at 00:02:45:16.
2022 Nov 28
Great video!! Fab, you mention the ADM file being available. Where do we find that?
2022 Nov 27
This was awesome, thank you! In the video, you say we can download the ADM to listen - where do I find that?
2022 Nov 26
First time hearing something in ATMOS (in cans) and it's mind blowing...!! I guess the fact that the song is live helps, but everything feels fuller, biger, wider, etc... It's like movies; we had black and white (stereo) and now we have color (ATMOS).
2022 Nov 25
Put Spanish subtitles soon please. Thank you so much..!!!!
2022 Nov 25
Xmas comes early. Such a gift. First Spicerack and now this! A boatload of bananas in Berea. Thank you to all. (kicking covid's butt right now!)