Marc Theriault in the control room
Canada - Montreal studio Le Lab Mastering has built an all-Focal DolbyAtmos room, adding Atmos mastering to its offerings on top of fully analogue stereo, vinyl mastering, and lacquer cutting. The 7.1.4 Atmos studio features an all-Focal powered monitor configuration with Trio11, Trio6, Solo6, and Sub6.
The room’s layout features dual Sub6 subwoofers stacked under the left and right Trio11 monitors – four subwoofers total. This subwoofer configuration gives Le Lab’s Atmos room the ability to offer mastering for movie soundtracks and other formats that would need extended low-end response; It also offers a symmetrical low-frequency coverage in a smaller footprint.
Trio6 monitors fill out the centre and rear channels, while Solo6 are on the sides. Le Lab has already mastered a lot of legacy recordings remixed for Atmos, including Celine Dion, Sia, Whitney Houston, Usher, Yo-Yo Ma, and Eric Clapton, among many others.
Le Lab also has a stereo mastering room based around Focal Grand Utopia hi-fi monitors and Utopia EM subwoofers, “On the stereo mastering side, engineers have almost always been using consumer speakers because they’re the bridge between the professional studios and homes,” says studio owner and senior mastering engineer Marc Theriault. “I always liked the sound of Focal because they’re very natural sounding and that’s what I'm looking for.”
Although the Atmos mastering room at Le Lab wasn’t built with ‘legacy’ records in mind, the studio ended up mastering Atmos versions of many famous records on Sony’s label, including all of Celine Dion’s albums - after they were re-mixed for the format from the original multi-tracks. The studio has also mastered Sia and Whitney Houston’s albums which were also re-mixed for Atmos. Theriault commented, “Being ready so early in the process as Atmos was catching on for music, I was ready when labels said, ‘Hey, we need that now!’”

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