September 2014 Editor's Note: Immersive Sound in All Forms

Sep 1, 2014 9:00 AM, Mix, By Tom Kenny

Polls


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

For the past few months at Mix, we have been completely immersed in Immersive Sound. If you haven’t been out to a high-end, refurbished theater lately to see a big film, Immersive Sound is the blanket term for “surround on steroids,” a more spherical approach to mix and playback that includes height channels, five across the screen, ceiling speakers, object-based audio, zones and beds and metadata, and seemingly unlimited creative possibilities. While the competing formats from Dolby (Atmos) and Auro Technologies (Auro-3D, licensed to Barco) are vying for position, recently joined by the DTS Multi-Dimensional Audio interoperable file format, plenty of people behind the scenes (including SMPTE Working Groups) are doing their best to avoid a format war that forces theater owners and post facilities to make a choice one way or the other.

In this issue, we asked longtime contributor Larry Blake, who was a Mix film sound columnist for more than a decade, to talk to the companies and break down the technologies for our readers. Larry, a re-recording mixer based out of New Orleans best known for his association with Steven Soderbergh, is a natural-born skeptic and is not fearful of expressing his opinion. To accompany his thorough analysis of the formats, he offers an op-ed piece of sorts, where he clearly states the reasons for his built-in bias. It’s a good read, whether you work in film sound or not.

We also take a look at the A-list scoring engineer/mixer Dennis Sands’ private Santa Barbara facility, which he completely refurbished to accommodate Atmos mixes. While he may seem ahead of his time, Sands has always been that way. And he has his reasons. Give it a read.

Finally, pictured on this month’s cover is the Holden Theatre at Sony Pictures Post Production. Originally built in 1996 as part of the 10-stage creative campus in Culver City, the Holden was down for three months in late 2013 while being re-outfitted for both Atmos and Auro-3D mixes, a rare hybrid approach. The first immersive film out of the stage was The Amazing Spiderman 2 in the spring of 2014.

Sony Pictures Post Production has actually been the bridge that has taken our discussions on Immersive Sound from the pages you hold in your hand to a special one-day event—Immersive Sound: From Production to Playback—that Mix will be presenting on September 6 at, you guessed it, Sony’s studios on the lot in Culver City.

Sony is the host sponsor and has graciously opened its doors to the expected 400-500 attendees. Event partners the Motion Picture Sound Editors guild and the Cinema Audio Society have encouraged their members to attend, and we have put together a comprehensive list of panelists and panels, focusing on both the creative and technical aspects of Immersive Sound.

The main three players—Dolby, Auro Technologies and DTS—along with Yamaha (Nuage) have all signed up as premium sponsors and will be hosting workshops and demos all day in private re-recording stages adjacent to the main editorial panels. There will also be playback demonstrations throughout the day in the facility featured on this month’s cover, the William Holden Theatre. Other sponsors include Avid, Meyer Sound, Harrison, RSPE Audio, Fairlight, GC Pro, Vintage King, Imax, Formosa Group and Picture Head.

Immersive Sound: From Production to Playback promises to be a one-of-a-kind event. While the technology is still in its infancy, its acceptance has been accelerating worldwide, among both creative and exhibitors. Come join us as we dive into the biggest advance in film sound of the last 25 years.

Tom Kenny

Editor






Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.