For quite some time now we’ve had some great leaps and bounds with the technology of films. Practical f/x continue to get more realistic, CGI gets ever more believable, and when practical f/x are paired with CGI (as Rob Hall does), the results are amazing. But what could take the horror film to the next level? Dolby Laboratories has the answer: A better sound system for theaters!!
According to The New York Times, Dolby Laboratories recently unveiled it’s new sound system for theaters, Dolby Atmos, which pumps out sound like how we naturally hear it … from every direction. Current sound systems push sound from the sides of theaters, but the Atmos system can not only deliver sound from above, it will be able to swirl sound around the theater. Stuart Bowling, senior technical marketing manager for Dolby Laboratories, said the Atmos system was one of the most advanced technical jumps the company had made in 20 years and would create an entirely new viewing experience for theatergoers:
“You can imagine watching a scary movie, and it’s a scene when someone is hiding in a basement and there are footsteps on the floorboards above,” Mr. Bowling said. “The Atmos system will actually play that audio from above people in the theater.”
The new Dolby Atmos system will use 64 speaker feeds and is expected to begin rolling out to select theaters later this year. Dolby hopes to eventually push the new theater experience to homes with large-screen televisions and sound systems.
Horror is about using all of the senses, and the new Dolby Atmos system seems to get us a little closer to that goal. Sweet.