For Immediate Release
READY FOR ANYTHINGDolby Labs screening room upgrades with QSC
Built in 1987, the screening room has come to be known as a choice of cinema heavyweights like Francis Coppola, Phil Kaufman, and Wayne Wang, all of whom have used it to work on their own Dolby-encoded films. The venue additionally supports Dolby's own research and testing, and thanks to its removable seating, serves as an ideal recording studio in its own right.
Whatever plans may include for the room, Dolby Technical Facilities Manager Tom Bruchs is the man holding the keys to the door. Not coincidentally, it was with Bruchs' help that the space recently received an audio upgrade using DCA amplification, RAVE signal transport, and BASIS network monitoring and control from QSC.
During the developmental stages of the upgrade, Bruchs worked closely with Dolby Senior VP Ioan Allen to define the nature and scope of the project. Among all the concerns the pair discussed, system flexibility emerged high on their list of needs to address.
"By no means will we ever lock ourselves into doing the same thing everyday around here," Bruchs noted while hunkered down one late afternoon in the screening room's control booth, a place which has become his de facto office. "I never know what will be coming up the stairs, so I have to be ready for anything. One day an engineer from within our own laboratories may approach me with a test or experiment that needs to be done; the next I could be working with a standards group from within the motion picture industry. In a place where anything can happen and probably will, I have to react quickly and know that the technology supporting my efforts will keep pace with whatever may transpire."
With 11 amplifiers from QSC's DCA Series providing system power, and signal transport aided and abetted by a network of RAVE (Routing Audio Via Ethernet) units also supplied by the Costa Mesa, CA-based manufacturer, a half-dozen BASIS 922az systems now outfit the room with wide-ranging control and monitoring functions.
Equipped with eight analog line level inputs and four stereo DataPort outputs, each BASIS 922az effectively combines amplifier and loudspeaker control, monitoring and protection, configurable DSP, and CobraNet transport capabilities into a single RU package. Additionally housing their own 24 x 24 DSP engines capable of combining input and output with CobraNet channels, the devices can take any combination of 16 CobraNet inputs and route them to CobraNet outputs or any of the 24 available DSP channels.
"You can accomplish a lot of flips and twists inside these boxes," Bruchs says of Dolby Laboratories' newly-acquired BASIS units. "But ultimately they are intuitive to use and reliable. In terms of the problems commonly experienced in audio management, the technology offers some very good solutions. Since we installed the BASIS units, I can quickly spring from one system configuration to another to accommodate virtually any mode of listening."
According to QSC Cinema Manager Francois Godfrey, BASIS flexibility does indeed hold bright promise within this application and all those yet to come. "While Dolby Laboratories may not be commonly perceived as the 'real world', the things we've learned here with BASIS will have a direct impact on how motion pictures are screened before the public,” he believes. “Today, more and more theatres are being manned by fewer and fewer people. Bringing the automated control and monitoring capabilities of BASIS to these environments provides reporting and management capabilities already found on the picture side of the equation to audio. This allows operators to place a larger degree of command right at their fingertips. That's important, especially with the widespread emergence of digital cinema looming not too far on the horizon."
Since the mid-'60s, Dolby Laboratories has securely maintained a trendsetting position within the audio industry. Highlights in the company's illustrious history include the development of Dolby Stereo, the first Dolby multichannel surround sound format for cinema, and the invention of Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic®, Dolby® Digital, and Dolby Digital EX. The company has been granted over 780 patents, and Dolby films are currently being mixed around the world.
QSC Audio Products, LLC is a leading manufacturer of power amplifiers, loudspeakers, signal processing, digital signal transport, and computer control systems for professional audio markets worldwide.
For further information contact:
QSC Audio Products, LLC
1675 MacArthur Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA.
Telephone (800) 854-4079 (USA only) or (714) 754-6175
Fax (714) 754-6174