Update (October 29)
Dolby On has received a major update. Android users can now import audio and video files to the app for greater creative control. A noise reduction slider has also been added to take care of the ambient sounds. While exporting, the save location will also be specified.
iOS users will also get the same noise control options, along with the ability to batch delete files and low storage warnings.
We’ve all started realizing the value of artists and creators in this lockdown period in keeping us entertained and occupied. However, not all of them may have the necessary equipment to continue producing content. Dolby On aims to solve that for musicians.
Dolby On, which is now available for Android users in India, is designed for artists to easily record and share audio content with superior Dolby sound quality. The created tracks can not only be shared on social media but also live-streamed on Facebook as well as Twitch. This functionality will soon be rolled out to Android. Snippets can also be shared as Instagram Stories along with a visualizer.
Dolby On is supposed to provide a simple user experience, where the user can focus on the creation and the app will take care of the editing to make it sound better. After analyzing the audio, effects such as compression, EQ, limiting, noise reduction, stereo widening, de-essing and more are applied. Moreover, users can also choose to apply “Styles” to tune the song according to their preference and the genre of music. There is no option to mix tracks or combine vocals and the music separately, but those can be individually exported onto other apps for a proper mixing experience
We reached out to Ashim Mathur, Senior Regional Director Marketing, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories, to get a deeper understanding of how Dolby On works and how to get the most out of it.
The app can also record videos and record the music at the same time. He suggests following the best practices such as focussing on composition, having adequate light, and having an object (such as a tripod) to stabilize your shots. While recording, the app also shows the level meter, so you know to control your output when it turns red, to avoid distortion. It can be done by actually reducing the output or moving farther away from the phone. While live-streaming, it is recommended to have a secondary device nearby to check if the stream is fine and to interact with the viewers. While the app is designed to get the most out of your phone’s microphones, external mics can also be added.
He also explained why the audio is output in MPEG4 format and not MP3. “While MP3 focuses on audio compression only, MP4 files are containers which can deliver multimedia content including video, audio, stills, and subtitles.” Audio is stored as AAC files that support higher frequencies and higher coding efficiencies, even at the same bitrate.
Dolby On is entirely free on both platforms and has no ads or branding when shared externally. Our inquiry on why there was no apparent business model was met with “the app is to support musicians and content creators today who don’t have an easy way to capture great sound. We are not looking at monetizing the app.”
We’ve seen numerous artists try to create more content from their homes during this period for their audience. Using apps like these can help them improve their output quality with minimal effort.