This fall, Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas opened its doors to an entirely new experience: AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD! Not just an incredible live performance by one of the most iconic rock bands in the world, Deuces Are Wild is an epic, multimedia experience delivered through the cutting edge technology of Dolby Atmos. The show opens with an immersive 30-minute preshow sound designed and mixed by Yessian Music’s Gerard Smerek, Jeff Dittenber and Scott Gatteño, in collaboration with Dolby Labs. The preshow is an explosive and captivating ride through the history of the band, followed by an electrifying intro video, created by Giles Martin and Paul Hicks, that crescendos to bring the band onstage to the grand unfurling of the band’s infamous Wings logo.
To celebrate these very special performances of Aerosmith, the task for the preshow was to create an audio visual story book as told by each member of the band; one that would let the audience get to know the band on a deeper level, whether a long time devoted fan, or part of a new generation just getting to know their music, drawing up an unconscious dream-like experience of the music and scenes of Aerosmith from beginning to end.
“To achieve this lofty goal we locked ourselves in our studios for months reviewing and digging through all the archival footage we could find, and with the help of Abbey Road Studios and Giles Martin, we were provided access to all of the bands original multitrack recordings.” said Gerard Smerek, Global Creative Director, Yessian. “The golden rule; don’t mess with the music; it’s powerful and timeless. Every riff and drum beat is iconic. It must remain true to its intent and always pure Aerosmith. Being mindful of these facts, we felt it essential to push boundaries and take risks.”
Starting with a general framework of chapter titles, Yessian created an avant garde and kaleidoscopic documentary using the band’s multitracks, archival footage, interviews, and lots of original sound design, that was later enhanced with a 12-screen visual presentation featuring exclusive never-before-seen footage, and original animations and illustrations produced by Oscar and Emmy-winning global visual effects studio Pixomondo. Jeff Dittenber, Director of Sound Design, Yessian, said “This wasn’t just about telling their story, this was about bringing their stories to life through their own words and their own music. Even the smallest clip of archival dialog we’d find would spark an idea that would send us digging through their multitracks to build a musical mural that would be meaningful to that moment. Many times, their music was arranged in ways never before constructed, but always highlighting the brilliance of the band, and always Aerosmith. Going further into their world, we built entire soundscapes that place you into the numerous scenes of Aerosmith history. The goal was always to pull the audience into the minds of the band members, and make them feel personally connected. By the time they come on stage, the venue is electric with energy.”
According to Yessian’s Director of Technology and Lead Mixer, Scotty Gatteño, “We knew the mix had to be powerful enough to prime the audience for the incredible energy and spectacle of Aerosmith’s live performances. But it also had to have the intimacy to pull the audience in and create a real emotional connection to the band members and their stories. Dolby Atmos gave us the ability to do just that. Atmos is the best way to experience immersive audio, in the studio, in the Cinema, at home or on the go, and now during a live performance. Atmos has an incredible ability to allow mixes to translate across a wide range of environments and playback devices, and the Dolby Live Theater at Park MGM was no exception. The depth and clarity we were able to achieve was truly stunning, and the mix translated extremely well from our studios, to the dub stage and cinema at Dolby Labs, to the venue. The Atmos system at Dolby Live is truly epic and it allowed us to take chances with the mix and take this show to the next level.”
The residency closed this past week and will go down in history as the first ever live concert experience presented in Dolby Atmos Live.
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