By Mark Kerins
Since electronic encompass sound know-how first seemed in cinemas twenty years in the past, it has unfold from theaters to houses and from videos to tv, track, and games. but while 5.1 has develop into the traditional for audiovisual media, its effect has long gone unexamined. Drawing on works from the earlier 20 years, in addition to dozens of interviews with sound designers, mixers, and editors, Mark Kerins uncovers how 5.1 encompass has affected not only sound layout, yet cinematography and modifying besides. past Dolby (Stereo) contains precise analyses of struggle membership, The Matrix, Hairspray, Disturbia, The Rock, Saving inner most Ryan, and pleasure journey, between different motion pictures, to demonstrate the price of a really audiovisual method of cinema studies.
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Indeed, one can hardly talk about Dolby Stereo without at least mentioning 1977’s Star Wars. 57 The wild success of Dolby Stereo films such as Star Wars showed exhibitors that audiences noticed quality sound, and they rushed to install Dolby’s system in their theaters. 58 Ironically, much of Dolby Stereo’s success can be attributed to its association in the public consciousness with spectacular effects that were not supported by its standard 35mm incarnation. The vast bassdriven audio of the opening scene in Star Wars mentioned earlier, for instance, was only achieved through a “work-around” of the standard Dolby Stereo setup.
23 These various systems achieved multi-channel sound through two different technical approaches. 25 Fox’s system had a major advantage over all the other formats, as its single-strip system offered widescreen aspect-ratio images and multi-channel sound using the standard 35mm projectors that exhibitors already owned (Todd-AO’s single-strip system used 70mm prints), with only a new lens required for the image and a new magnetic head for the sound. 27 26 · P roduc t io n a n d S t y l e The “effects channel” out in the auditorium quickly became a problem for the 1950s multi-channel systems.
One of these was standardization. Only a couple years after DSS’s introduction, virtually every major release featured a digital soundtrack—but not all prints used the same digital system, as each studio had allied with a specific format. 95 Thus equipping a theater to show films from every studio required the installation of all three competing systems. While a few of the biggest venues did exactly that, for most theaters this was a financially impossible proposition. 96 Through a combination of luck and strategic planning, no technical conflicts prevented printing multiple digital sound formats on the same film—each DSS system had opted for a different placement of its soundtrack.