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MXF IAB export master and DCP?

Hi everybody!

I have a question about the MXF IAB (Immersive Audio Bitstream) export master feature included in the DAPS Dolby Atmos Renderer. Is there any way to include this MXF into a DCP package?

Or in other words, Is there any commercial DCP creation software that supports the MXF IAB package generated through the Dolby Atmos Production Suite? I tried to include this MXF in EasyDCP in the Dolby CineAsset Editor and it wasn't recognized by the software.

Thank you very much,

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Hi Jose,   The IAB.mxf which can be exported from both the Production Suite and Mastering Suite is not compatible with DCP.   However the IAB.mxf (or .atmos or BWF.wav) can be converted to dub_out.rpl via the Dolby Atmos Conversion Tool and a workflow to create a DCP could be started from that point.   Best, Adam.

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Thank you very much Adam!

So the question is, Do you know any resource / link where I can find information about how to create a DCP from the dub_out.rpl file?

Best wishes,

Hello Jose! Atmos MXFs that go into DCPs can only be created in Dolby approved theatrical mixing stages. These rooms are set up in a way that you can be confident that it will sound the same as in a commercial Atmos cinema. You would need to contact a Dolby approved theatrical mixing studio in your area. And go there with either your Pro Tools session or your ADM-WAV or the .rpl Master file Adam mentioned. They can monitor the master under cinema conditions and create the theatrical MXF. Best wishes, David

Hi David,

don´t want to hijack the thread, but allow me a few comments. I was reading with interest to check how far somebody that wanted to do an Atmos mix on DAPS and put it on a DCP could go :-) And then I had a smile when you posted. Basically because I would like to do that too, although I know it´s not possible.

The whole idea of going to an approved theatrical mixing studio, so that you can create a DCP with Atmos, assuming that the monitoring conditions are the same as a commercial Atmos cinema makes sense. However, in real life, commercial Atmos cinemas can be a bit disappointing in that sometimes, what you hear, is not the same on every cinema and probably different from the sound stage. I went to see Joker in Atmos recently. Before the film started, there was this spectacular sounding Atmos trailer (by Dolby), sounded really good. I antecipated a great sound for the film. But then the film itself, was way much lower in volume and all the impact was gone and it was a frustration. It could have been a normal 7.1 mix altogether. I then watched it on IMAX on another cinema, non Atmos mix and it sounded fantastic. The same happens with non Atmos mixes, just normal 5.1/ 7.1 mixes. Recently I was involved in a feature film mixed in 7.1. I went to 3 pre-release private screenings in 3 different cinemas. All sounded way different. The same cinemas that a few years ago were playing Dolby Digital and still use Dolby processors like CP650 or 750 to EQ the room and get the audio from the DCP server. So, if we need to go to approved stages for Atmos, even if only to open our mix prepared on a smaller stage, do a few tweaks and pay, fine, but I would like to see the same criteria applied to the cinema multiplexes regarding the requirements for showing Atmos content.

Also, does Dolby intend to have an Atmos certification for Commercials and Trailers, for smaller rooms? There´s a lot of clients that would like to go Atmos for short sequences like advertising, but the cost is prohibitive for small scale productions, if always implies going to a certified stage later. We do advertising for cinema in our studios in 5.1/7.1 and it translates well in cinemas, although being smaller than what the Dolby certification for theatrical demands. We could do Atmos as well, as clients ask for it and we have the speaker setup, but we are stuck with your certification demands at the moment. Can you consider being more open in the future and allow smaller scale businesses on smaller countries like mine to work in Atmos too? Thanks.

ago Hello Paulo! Unfortunately, we can not control if there is maybe a technical problem on a particular evening in a particular screen. With 5500+ Atmos screens in the world this would be hard to achieve. The cinemas maintain their rooms, and they also to control the volume during playback. If you are disappointed with the playback in a screen it’s best to reach out to the cinema directly. They need the audiences to tell them if something is wrong so they can address it. I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed by the screening of “Joker” - let me assure you it is a great Atmos mix. Maybe you have a “Dolby Cinema” near you and want to try this? These screens all have fantastic audio and image, speaking from my own experience. Well, all we at Dolby can do is, to ensure that all Atmos content that is mastered for cinema is mixed under consistent conditions worldwide, to make the translation to cinemas as good as possible. That’s why we have these pretty strict guidelines for theatrical mixing stages. For smaller rooms, were offering our certification program for Home Entertainment Atmos - happy to answer any questions if you’re interested in this. (But this certification also doesn’t allow creating theatrical masters). Best wishes, David

Thanks for your reply David. Don´t think we have any "Dolby Cinema" around here. We don´t have a Dolby Rep either. Anyway, I´m aware of the Dolby certification for HT and I recently was involved in the building of a new post studio. We installed a 7.1.4 setup as close as possible in terms of acoustics and layout to the preliminary specs for Dolby Atmos HT setup, kindly provided by Dolby UK. The idea is that if in the future we need to apply for certification, most work is already done. Point is that for the moment, in terms of ROI is not worth the investment, due to our particular small market. Some years ago, I was also involved in a Dolby Digital certification for Commercials and Trailers on a studio I was working at the time. It´s a pity you don´t have a similar certification programme for Atmos, as for advertising and trailers (local content), in my opinion you don´t need the same specs as for features. If you had it for Dolby Digital at the time, what´s stopping you to have it for Atmos? Basically, you´re loosing money, as most adverts are being made in plain surround, as for most advertising budgets, clients don´t want to pay the extra money that needs to be spent in going to a theatrical approved Atmos studio, just for being allowed to do a DCP in Atmos, considering that most work will be already made at the audio post house in the first place. And is not practical either in terms of logistics as most audio post houses don´t have theatrical certification, so that involves that the client needs to go to two studios to approve things. So, in my opinion, a less demanding certification programme Atmos for Commercials and Trailers would be welcome for smaller studios. Those studios could also have the HT certification and the RMU. What I mean by less demanding specs, is related to room volume and SPL, not to the acoustics and monitoring. Considering that cinemas rule the volume as they want as you´ve mentioned, I don´t see the problem. But is your call obviously. I´m just sorry that there are no other viable options for immersive sound in cinemas at the moment.Sorry for the sincerity!

Hello Paulo!

Your request for Dolby Atmos Commercials and Trailers approval was noted, thank you very much for the feedback - always important to hear!

I know that this subject was discussed internally before, and I can´t comment if maybe this will come at some point. But for the moment we´re concentrating on Dolby approved feature and premiere feature studios on the one end of the spectrum, and Dolby certified Home-Entertainment studios on the other.

Thanks for your interest in Dolby Atmos mixing!

Best regards, David

Hi David, thanks for your reply. Looking forward for the type of certification I mentioned, just hope it doesn´t take too long. I really think it would be an incentive for smaller post houses to go Atmos, if they can diversify their offer and making a better investment return, by providing clients both Atmos HT and adverts and trailers, as some of those market segments are interchangeable, notably in terms of streaming, web and theatrical releases for short duration material. 

I think it would be a good deal for everybody. Regards,


Hi David,

I was recently reading on Resolution mag, an interview with a guy that works at Factory in London and apparently they have a certified Dolby Atmos room (studio 4) for Commercials and Trailers:

Also on Jigsaw website, it states that Comms & Trailers is an available certification option as well:

There are three variants of Atmos certification, each of which qualifies you to create Atmos mixes for different destinations. They're known as home, commercial & trailer, and theatrical certifications.

So, is the programme available or not? I´m slightly confused as you say it isn´t above. I have clients with rooms the same size or bigger than Factory studio 4, that would like to be certified for both HT and Comms and Trailers. Or is this Comms & Trailers Certification not for cinema release? I presume is the Atmos equivalent of the old certification programme that you had on the times of Dolby Digital. Can you possibly explain? Thanks.

Hello Paulo!

Yes, we had an Atmos Commercials+Trailers program until about 1.5 years ago. From this time we have a handulf of existing Coms+Trailers rooms, which of course maintain their staus, but this is legacy.

I confirmed today again with the person in charge of this programm, (just to be 100% sure): The program is currently suspended. We´re currently focussing only on Home-Entertainment certification and theatrical feature studios certification.

We might re-launch the programm (or something similar) at some point, maybe towards end of 2020.

I forwarded your post, that you would appreciate being able to certify Coms+Trailers Atmos in the future. And of course feedback like this has an influence on our decision making, so good thing you got in touch with us.

But for now I can´t promise anything or can´t give any confirmed timescale, I´m sorry.

Best wishes and have a nice Christmas time, David

Hi David, thanks for the reply and to forward my post. In certain countries/markets that rarely work on original post for streaming companies like Netflix etc, but only on localization work, having an Atmos HT certification alone, doesn´t provide significant return, considering the downfall of physical media like bluray releases etc. But if you can have HT and also Commercial and Trailers for cinema, opens up interesting possibilities. Provided the room dimensions and acoustics meet both requirements, in my opinion is a good move for both parties.

Hope the programme or something similar will be available in 2020.

Have a great Christmas time and Happy New year.



Hi David,

just wanted to +1 on what Paulo said. We certainly would be interested in that Coms+Trailers certification as well.

See you in a week!


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