The August issue of ‘Post Magazine’ has an article about mixing to create an immersive experience – both in 7.1 and 5.1. It features interviews with Craig Henighan for ‘Real Steel’ (he also talks about crowd and robot design), Mike Minkler for ‘Fright Night’ (the remake) and Steve Pederson for ‘Final Destination 5′ (mixed in 5.1 and his thoughts on not using 7.1 and how it might have benefitted).
Even though home enter tainment equipment has become more sophisticated, experiencing a movie in the the- ater is still unsurpassed. With the increase of digital cinemas, a greater offering of IMAX films, the improvement of 3D technology and the growing popularity of the 7.1 format, theaters are able to offer the audience a movie experience like no other.
According to Robin Selden, senior VP, marketing at Dolby, Dolby Surround 7.1 is one of the fastest growing cinema audio formats in the history of their company.Their 7.1 format consists of eight chan- nels in the layout: Left, Center, Right, Low-Frequency Effects (LFE), Left Surround, Right Sur- round, Back Surround Left and Back Surround Right.With the addition of two surround speak- ers, mixers are able to more accurately pinpoint where a sound is placed.They also enhance the spatiality of the sound.
Dolby has published a series of video interviews on his YouTube channel, featuring interesting talks with Gary Rydstrom, Tom Myers, Jeff Haboush, Erik Aadahl. I’ve published the videos on Designing Sound TV:
Thanks go out to Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, and Al Nelson from TOY STORY 3 for taking time out to answer few questions about their work on the film!
TM = Sound Designer/ Sound Re-Recording Mixer Tom Myers MS = Sound Re-Recording Mixer Michael Semanick AL = Sound Editor Al Nelson
JAKE: “Day & Night” the short film that played before “Toy Story 3″ was so creative in the way it used sound. Were there discussions early on about how sound design would drive the story? Pixar has a rich tradition of selecting short film ideas from fellow Pixar employees’ pitches. Who does sound for these short films at Skywalker?
TM: The sound duties for Pixar’s shorts are split between Skywalker and Pixar. For some of the earlier shorts, we did all the work at Skywalker, but over the last few years Pixar has developed a small staff of very talented sound folk. On “Day and Night” the sound design was done by Barney Jones at Pixar with guidance from Sound God Gary Rydstrom who splits time between the two companies. I did the mix here at Skywalker with the director Teddy Newton and Barney present.
MIGUEL: When did you guys start on “Toy Story 3″? How did Lee Unkrich interact with the sound department and what was his take on how sound would be utilized in the film?
TM: We saw a storyboarded version of the film in early 2009 and then had preliminary spotting sessions with Lee and composer Randy Newman. I started sound design in late 2009 and the rest of the crew started in January of 2010. Lee was very involved in the process and knew the library very well having been the editor on the first film and codirector on the second. He is very detail oriented, even spending time with the foley crew. His first concern sound-wise was that we make the third film a continuation of the world created in the first two. All three films needed to feel organically part of the same aural universe, just as they were visually.
AN: I came on the show for the first temp mix in the fall of ’09. This was a great broad stroke introduction to how Lee intended the film to sound. We walked away with some great notes to think about for the final, though, I didn’t actually start cutting effects on the film until late February. So, I’d like to acknowledge Dustin Cawood, Terry Eckton and Tim Nielsen who fortunately did all the hard work before I jumped in.
I went to the theater yesterday to see “Toy Story 3″, and all can I say is that you will have a lot of fun. What a fantastic adventure. The sound was great. If you want to know about it, let’s check the new profile of SoundWorks Collection:
Join Skywalker Sound’s Re-Recording Mixer and Sound Designer Tom Myers, Sound Re-Recording Mixer Michael Semanick, Director Lee Unkrich, and Stuart Bowling, Technical Marketing Manager at Dolby Laboratories as they take you behind-the-scene and discuss the sound of Toy Story 3.
Toy Story 3 will be released in Dolby Surround 7.1 in 12 languages in select cinema chains throughout Australia, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, New Zealand, North America, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
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.