The cinema experience is virtual reality in action, recreating natural events happening around you by tricking your senses using several sonic and visual effects that will drag you into the middle of the action where you can live the experience.
Creating immersive multidimensional sound effects requires multiple sources of sound (channels) and technologies such as Dolby or DTS that will allow the professional audio mixers and designers to combine and accurately match audio to the visuals on screen.
Dolby Atmos offers true 3D sound using two new concepts in cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers. They have captured the enthusiasm and excitement of consumers, the film industry, manufactures of home theatres and professional cinemas In a home setting you may have speakers fixed in different surround configurations. For example, 7.1.4* three at the front (Left-Centre-Right), two lateral surround, two rear surround, one subwoofer and four overhead (in-ceiling) speakers.
Dolby Atmos software is able to locate ‘objects’ (sources of sound) of up to 128 distinct sound objects which can be routed up to 64 different speakers within the three-dimensional space of a professional cinema. Therefore, you would feel as though the action is happening all around you. At home Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 create a two-dimensional circle of surround in same plane. Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 (or 7.1.2), creates a 3D effect by adding overhead speakers (extra 2 or 4).
Aside from all the above technical jargon, it would be interesting to explore how this sonic virtual reality, paired with images and the related film’s story would affect our emotions. We know that what we’re watching is fiction, but I bet that at some moment you had teared up watching a very emotional film or ever had trouble sleeping after watching a scary movie.
For us human beings, it is natural to first believe rather than be sceptical, otherwise society wouldn’t function. We accept and believe that other motorists will follow the traffic rules, otherwise we wouldn’t step into our cars, almost one in five Australians fall victim to online scams and so on because we want to believe in others. The brain is a complex organ that researchers are still trying to decode, it may be tricked by the information obtained by our senses. In the case of emotional movies, it is stimulated to makes us feel empathy, so if you cry watching movies, it’s a good thing, you’re a good and compassionate person feeling empathy for others
You are invited to visit Audiojunction at 74-84 Tudor St, Newcastle, we have home cinema demonstration facilities with nine theatre speaker systems and several surround sound receivers, along with equipment from the best brands available in the market. Come and experience Dolby 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 home solutions on display.
By Juan Leon (the Hi-Fi Doctor)