Warner Bros. De Lane Lea, one of the world's premier sound post-production facilities, has added 24 additional Meyer Sound cinema loudspeakers to its primary mixing stage as part of a recent upgrade to Dolby Atmos.
The newly outfitted Stage 1 is central London's largest stage and also its first to offer this format. It has been booked for the mixing of major feature films since re-opening. Stage 1's proven track record using the Meyer Sound 7.1 cinema system since its installation in 2010 meant that the natural choice for expansion was the selection of additional Meyer Sound components to meet the rigorous requirements of the Dolby Atmos format.
"Dolby Atmos places intensive demands on the monitoring system," notes Chris Burdon, staff re-recording mixer at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea. "Replaying full-range audio across the entire surround array at high levels, while maintaining accuracy, is a new challenge. Fortunately, we've found that the Meyer Sound system provides the necessary audio fidelity and output power to mix confidently in Atmos. The traditional Meyer strong points of smooth frequency response and spatial accuracy really come into their own in helping to create a continuous sound space."
The complete Stage 1 monitoring system is anchored by three Acheron® 80 and three Acheron LF screen channel loudspeakers, one of each paired to receive a separate channel. Atmos surround sound is provided by 12 HMS-10, 10 HMS-12, and 10 HMS-5 surround loudspeakers, while five X-800C high-power cinema subwoofers in front and two X-400C cinema subwoofers in the rear provide low end. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 processor supplies system drive and optimization.
"In our most recent feature film mix, the main setting for the characters needs a wide, surround-heavy soundscape to really immerse the audience," explains Burdon. "The 360-degree sound image was well controlled, allowing the story to be told without distracting the viewer from the narrative."
Burdon notes that Dolby Atmos soundtracks "often involve high sound pressure levels, but the Meyer monitoring helps keep ear fatigue to a minimum."
Stage 1 at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea offers a seven-meter screen, an 80-fader AMS Neve DFC Gemini digital mixing console, seven Pro Tools HDX systems for playback and recording, and film and 2K 3D digital projection.
In addition to Stage 1, Meyer Sound cinema systems are installed in two other Dolby-certified mix stages at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea. The facility offers a fourth mix stage that features Dolby Atmos Home Theatre monitoring, two ADR stages, a 37-seat screening theatre with 4k 3D digital projection, and 51 cutting rooms.