Giles Martin on remixing Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds for Dolby Atmos: “You can’t really ‘mix for’ a technology, you have to mix for a song”

The album divided critics at the time, but became much-loved by The Beatles.

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Giles Martin and Brian Wilson of Beach Boys

Images: Karwai Tang and Robin Platzer / Getty Images

English producer and composer Giles Martin has shared insight into his experience of remixing the Beach Boys’ classic Pet Sounds album for Dolby Atmos.

1966’s Pet Sounds was the 11th studio album by the Beach Boys, and although it divided music critics at the time of its release, the record became loved by The Beatles, and subsequently inspired their Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

56 years on from its release, a new Dolby Atmos mix of the record has been completed by critically acclaimed producer Giles Martin (who just so happens to be the son of The Beatles’ producer George Martin).

In a new interview with Music Radar, Martin explains some of the key elements he kept in mind when bringing the classic and characteristic record into the spatial audio realm.

When asked if any tracks in particular lent themselves to the Atmos environment, Martin told the publication that each song did in its own way: “On this album there’s the instrumental tracks [Let’s Go Away for Awhile and the title track] where you can do crazy things. Then there’s all the sound effects at the end of the album which I can be a bit freer with and have them moving around the room.

”But, I personally don’t like going too overboard with panning and movement, I think it can get a bit gimmicky. Why would you move things around if you don’t need to?” He quizzes.

“The other thing – and this is the key thing – is that you can’t really ‘mix for’ a technology, you have to mix for a song. Atmos is ultimately a delivery system. I always say to people that you don’t have to use all the speakers on offer.”

You can stream the Dolby Atmos mix of Pet Sounds here.


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