Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tech Committee Focused on Cinema Sound

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Brian Vessa provided an overview of the work of SMPTE’s B-chain study group and urged participation in the resulting technical committee, 25CSS, which he said is the first SMPTE committee solely focused on cinema sound. This presentation was held 25 October during SMPTE’s conference and exhibition.
The current standards for calibration of the sound produced in cinemas are based on work started in the 1970's employing acoustical real-time analysis of pink noise injected into the cinema sound system at the normalized output stages termed the B-chain.
A B-chain study group was formed in March 2010 to examine and make recommendations surrounding these standards as they are impacted by current technology. Findings suggest that performance in this area varies greatly and overall quality has a lot to do with the skill of the technicians.
A SMPTE technical committee has been formed and proposed activities include formation of an ad hoc group aimed at creating recommended practices for measurement and calibration of B-chain systems, standardizing a digital pink noise test signal, and a study of the B-chain of immersive new sound systems such as Dolby Atmos, Barco's Auro 3D and Iosono.
Vessa, who chaired the study group, urged involvement TC-25CSS. “We have to get everyone in the audio community together if we are going to make a difference,” he said, adding that this includes the participation of mixers, sound designers manufacturers and exhibitors.
The group is already starting to liaison with AES and other organizations.
The first official meeting will be held Dec. 6.

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