SFGate has published an article talking about the Dolby Surround 7.1 Mix on Toy Story 3, the future of sound for 3D films, and how the people could take this new sonic adventure.
Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar made the latest installment of its “Toy Story” franchise in 3-D to satisfy the growing appetite for immersive visual effects.
Its next challenge: getting the sound effects to match.
The current setup in most theaters, known as 5.1, couldn’t direct sounds precisely enough to specific parts of the theater, says Paul Cichocki, post-production supervisor at Pixar. The audio didn’t feel like it was putting the viewer in the middle of the action, he says.
“We really wanted to take sound to the next level, and we just weren’t able to do much in 5.1,” Cichocki said. “If we could put sound in the right places, it helps your brain look in the right place.”
That’s why Pixar urged Dolby Laboratories Inc. to develop a new version of its sound system, the dominant audio technology in theaters. The resulting Dolby Surround 7.1 standard lets movies deliver sounds through seven speakers, plus one subwoofer, which handles bass. For Dolby, the technology helps the company keep pace with other cinema improvements — from crisper digital images to reclining seats — and give audiences a reason to keep coming back.
Sound technology alone doesn’t compel people to see a movie, says Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box-office tracking division. It’s just a subtle part of improving the experience, he says.