'The Hobbit's' Next Technical Innovation: 3D Sound
Peter Jackson's film may use Dolby's new Atmos system
By Corwin Neuse May 1, 2012 7:56PM
Go to any movie theater in America, and there's a good chance you'll be hearing the film's soundtrack in glorious 5.1 (or maybe 6.1, or even 7.2!) surround sound. Maybe it's Dolby Digital, maybe it's DTS, maybe it's even THX certified. Whatever. Five (or six, or seven) channels of sound will is so passé. But what about 64 channels of sound?
That's the concept behind Dolby's new Atmos system, wherein speakers would be placed all along the theater's walls, and its ceiling, transmitting up to 64 unique bands of audio, creating a completely immersive, almost three-dimensional sound scape. Close your eyes, and you might still be able to hear how the characters relate to each other in physical space. Hear the crunch of gravel underfoot, behind you, the ominous rumble of an approaching train in front of you on the left. Oh, and then there's that airplane flying overhead. Or something. Intrigued?
Peter Jackson apparently is. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jackson will soon be entertaining some folks from Dolby on the New Zealand set of "The Hobbit." If their presentation is compelling enough, Jackson could add another first to "The Hobbit's" list of accomplishments; it is, or rather, will be, the first film to be displayed at 48 frames per-second, supposedly giving audiences a more realistic viewing experience. (Although some critics have complained that the effect is too realistic, but that's another story...)
What do you think, Hitlister? Does this news make you more or a lot more excited to see the finished product? Does "The Hobbit" really need all these advancements and accolades to draw an audience, or even to be a good movie? Wouldn't we all see it anyway, even if it were shot traditional, on film, in purely stereoscopic sound? And what could possibly be next? Speakers in the floor? Rumble seats? Smell-o-vision?
May 2, 2012 5:17PM
48 FPS blows!!!! If this movie is shot like that, I won't be watching. It looks like a camcorder filmed, its too, clear...
Sep 5, 2012 8:15AM
Dolby Atmos rocks! Stop those negative comments. See it yourself and you'll be convinced!!! http://houstoncustominstallers.com/
May 3, 2012 1:37PM
sorry, I see 'Atmos', all I think of is that car program that was installed in all the cars as part of the Sontaran Strategem in Doctor Who. Atmos bad!
May 2, 2012 4:12PM
Dolby Atmos is stealing that concept from Alan Howarth...interesting. He's already displayed a WALL of sound but I believe his was 128 channels un uncompressed channels. It's basically the future of sound I'm guessing. Instead of cramming all the sound intoa 5.1/7.1 mix, they leave the audio into a certain amount of stems uncompressed and let it rip. It's the equipment that is far from standard though. Everything is in a circlular motion around the theater so obvioulsy no theater will be doing it soon exvept special attraction theaters like in Universal Studios or something.
May 2, 2012 4:11PM
Gives you an idea, doesn't it, how today's fantasists suck? No, heck with new material, let's have Tolkien, Tolkien, Tolkien and More Tolkien!
Which, is probably as it should be. Today's fantasists, suck.
May 2, 2012 2:19PM
If the music is too loud then you are too old. Kidding aside, that mindset popped up some time back, you know the THX days. Sound innovation is a good thing... I agree piling to much into the existing sound infrastructure is over powering however creating a new delivery method could(most likely will) lend its self to a new era of movie sounds. Not louder, better.... I can already imagine how unsettling the scene with Gollum could be in pitch dark and 3D sound.
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