Academy Award-winning sound editor Lon Bender explains the process of adding sound to a movie, how the process has evolved over the years, and how a home-theater mix differs from a commercial-cinema mix. He also shares some anecdotes from several projects he's worked on, including The Hunger Games and Drive, talks about the problem of not enough sound isolation between theaters in a multiplex, answers chat-room questions, and more.
In this special episode live from the 2012 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, Leo Laporte and I walk the show floor, talking to representatives from Canon, Panasonic, JVC, and Sony about new technologies that will improve the consumer experience of TV and movies. Particularly interesting is the rapidly falling cost of 4K digital-video cameras from Canon, JVC, and Sony as well as a new 3D conversion technology from JVC. We also talk to Panasonic's Peter Fannon about the upcoming Summer Olympics in 3D and see 4K flat-panel reference monitors in the Canon, JVC, and Sony booths that look amazing even at relatively small sizes.
Acoustician Bob Hodas discusses the process of "tuning" recording studios and home-theater rooms, the problem of overtreating a room, different types of acoustic treatments (including egg cartons!), measurements versus subjective listening, the importance of the phase relationship between speakers and a flat frequency response in a room, speaker and subwoofer placement, answers to chat-room questions, and more.
High-end audio legend Mark Levinson talks about how being a professional musician influences his work as an audio-product designer, the importance of imparting the emotional impact of a performance through an audio system, how the high-end audio industry has evolved during the last 40 years, the goals for his latest products under the Daniel Hertz nameplate, his work restoring archived recordings from the La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy, answers to chat-room questions, and more. He even plays a bit on the Indian sarod!
Vizio product marketing manager Carlos Angulo and product engineer James Kittle talk about Vizio's soon-to-be-released 21:9 CinemaWide flat-panel TVs, including size considerations, LED edgelighting and backlighting with Smart Dimming, Vizio Internet Apps, scaling 2.35:1 movies to the panel's native 2560x1080 pixel resolution, and passive 3D. They also discuss Vizio's upcoming Google TV implementation, its 4K technology demonstrations at trade shows, answers to chat-room questions, and more.
Audio-product designer Bob Schulein talks about his long and distinguished career, including microphone design and his pioneering work on multichannel matrix encoding and decoding for broadcast and music recordings. He also explains his current project called ImmersAV, in which he shoots high-def video and records binaural audio to create a more immersive A/V experience. In addition, he discusses his extensive headphone measurements and how they relate to perceived sound quality, answers chat-room questions, and more.
Renato Pellegrini, co-founder of Sonic Emotion and my first guest geek to appear live from Europe, explains the company's Absolute 3D audio technology, which uses wave-field synthesis to create a 3D soundfield throughout the room, putting every listener in the sweet spot. He reveals several consumer products that incorporate the technology and introduces Sonic Emotion's new 3D audio app for the iPhone/iPod/iPad (and soon Android devices) called Headquake. Also discussed are several commercial installations using Absolute 3D and the company's Music in Our Schools donation program.
With a last-minute guest cancellation, I spend a pleasant hour answering questions from the chat room, including how I got my start in home theater, what it might take for an Apple television to be successful, tips for speaker placement, what to consider when converting a basement to a home theater, where the best seat in a commercial theater is, motion blur on LCD TVs, video processors, RF universal remotes, HDMI Audio Return Channel, whether or not 3D is a passing fad, using two identical projectors to display 3D, and much more.
Celebrating Home Theater Geeks' 100th episode, legendary producer, engineer, and musician Alan Parsons talks about his early days as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios when the Beatles were recording their last two albums, recording and mixing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Michael Oldfield's Tubular Bells in quadraphonic, forming the Alan Parsons Project with collaborator Eric Woolfson, his educational 3-DVD set called The Art and Science of Sound Recording, answers to chat-room questions, and much more.
Jason Hartlove, CEO of Nanosys, Inc., explains his company's new backlight technology for LCD TVs called quantum-dot enhancement film, or QDEF, which uses nanoparticles that emit light of different colors when exposed to blue light. The emitted colors can be tightly controlled in the manufacturing process, resulting in just about any desired RGB color gamut, including the original gamut captured and intended by movie producers. A very geeky episode!
Sean Olive, director of acoustic research at Harman International, talks about the importance of training listeners to evaluate sound systems, Harman's "How to Listen" training program that's available for free online, blind vs. sighted listening tests, Harman's Multichannel Listening Lab, the lack of meaningful speaker specifications, subjective vs. objective evaluation of room-correction systems, research into sound-quality preferences of high school and college students, answers to chat-room questions, and more.
Sound designer Diego Stocco reveals how he makes almost any common object into a musical instrument, how he developed the Experibass (which Hans Zimmer hired him to play on the score for the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes), the benefits of mixing to multichannel rather than 2-channel, the importance of high-quality audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. We also get to watch and hear clips of some of Stocco's amazing music.
Phil "Captain 3D" McNally, stereoscopic supervisor at DreamWorks Animation, talks about why he thinks 3D is here to stay after several previous attempts to bring it to the market, why people have such strong opinions about 3D, the difference between real-life 3D and stereoscopic images, what makes a good 3D presentation, how filmmakers can support the story with 3D while avoiding eye strain and other negative side effects, active versus passive glasses, autostereoscopic displays, answers to chat-room questions, and more.
Home-theater consultant Ray Coronado and HomeTheater.com correspondents Tom Norton and Barb Gonzalez join me to discuss our impressions of CES last week, including OLED TVs, 4K flat panels, 3D, online streaming, audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more.