What’s that sound? It’s the sound of problems with alternative content audio

By Patrick von Sychowski | October 12, 2007 10:55 pm PDT

Yes, you really are seeing double

A good article in Variety takes alternative content music events and cinema design to task for not being perfectly suited for each other. Particularly older cinemas might have to upgrade both the audio systems and the sound proofing to properly play alternative content music concerts such as the upcoming ‘U2 3D‘. The article (Concert films pump up the volume) makes the point that:

“Movies have a tendency to be very large hills and very deep valleys. You may get things that are very dynamic and very loud, but they’re generally short and things calm down. Then it happens again.

“In a concert, generally speaking, you have more sustained sound that is probably louder for longer periods of time. That means leaking into adjacent theaters becomes more of an issue.”

Whether the issue is soundproofing or theater sound systems, all these experts agree that older theaters may need upgrades if they’re to support concert programming.

Listen to a Dolby person give a presentation and they will always tell you that audio is the overlooked aspect of digital cinema, but it is true. too often it is badly done. Take the ‘U2 3D’ footage, which when it was played at IBC 2007 was pumping six channel mix through an 8.1 speaker configuration. Not good, even before Bono’s hand reached out towards me. And it was not much better at Cannes, “While viewers were high on ‘U2 3D’ at Cannes, the band was not thrilled with the audio quality,” Variety tells us.

Patrick von Sychowski
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