Studio Alignment at Tonemestrene – Denmark

Tonemestrene Studio, CopenhagenAfter working with so many of the sound mixers in Scandinavia over the past 15 years as Dolby’s senior Consultant, it was great to see Rune Palving, Peter Albrechtson and the team at Tonemastrene, Copenhagen this year. Rune contacted me beforehand asking for advice, setting up their new studio for pre-mixing theatrical mixes. The room met minimum Dolby requirements with some discussion over surround placement and acoustics. The room did take a while to work, but the end result, with the JBL/Crown combination was superb. The low frequencies behaving, minimal reflections and more importantly, really good translation between larger rooms.

“I’ve done a couple of mixes there and it translates great, indeed. Thanks so much for your excellent work, Mark” – Peter Albrechtsen | @lydrummet

Guest Lecture at Den Norske Filmskole

Den Norse FilmskoleIt was great to be asked out to Den Norse Filmskole in Lillehammer as guest sound lecture. We focused on room calibration and alignment, whilst also covering room reverberation, acoustics and the way we perceive sound. The film school is very well equipped with a main mix stage, multiple pre-mix rooms and an in-house cinema complete with Dolby CP500 cinema processor. We encouraged the students to align their edit suites, using the JBL’s LSR4300 Control Center Software, LSR4300 system, bypassing the JBL Professional’s RMC Room Mode Correction system. We measured the room reverberation in the main mix stage, which was very well controlled and also aligned all the pre-mix room levels so they could be played directly through the cinema processor at the reference level. This really helped the students when it came to screening their end of year projects, to have the same reference in their pre-mix suits and reference cinema is what we’re always trying to aim for. Next stop, the edit suits!

Kino ABC in Lillehammer - Local theatreWe also had time to visit the local cinema in Lillehammer, Kino123 and found them very welcoming. Unfortunately the HF had not been correctly aligned, probably since installation, so all the high frequencies were missing as I entered to the edit credit music of Titanic. This was a great excersise to show the students a quick alignment and level check, putting the EQ software up on the big screen. The results were dramatic and the report back from the students the next day were very positive. Having well balance sound in the screen channels has to be a minimum for all cinemas, although you will be surprised how often this is not the case. Regular checks and alignments can really improve the experiencing of the general public at any screening venue, let alone, film students! I’ve since seen a few of the students around Scandinavia, ready and prepared for good studio monitoring.

Sound Mentor at Wiltshire College

Filming at Wiltshire Colege as part of the First Light schemeBack in February, it was great to be asked by Richard White (Creative Wiltshire) to join them as sound mentor for their up-coming film projects. Coordinated by Creative Wiltshire, this project was supported by the Lottery through the BFI’s First Light initiative. The young people were supported by professionals working from Suited and Booted Studios, Dreambase Studios and Big State Theatre.

Aspiring director, 17 year old John Marley loved every moment, “I’ve developed my understanding of what I can do with sound and editing. The shoot week was first class and the mentors were inspirational.”

The production team learned to use professional equipment including tracks and a crane, Jacob Price, 18, from Chippenham thought the best bit “was directing the Mini Cooper sequence and using the crane. It was a valuable experience. As a director I learned so much from the professionals. Mark from Dreambase was really important in helping me realize the importance of sound in the movies.”

Creative Wiltshire is the College’s community and business digital media service and aims to bring together local media professionals with young media makers supporting a talent development pathway and helping grow the local creative economy.

You can read more about the projects here.


Way Creative Studios – Sweden

filmsoundconsultant169I was commissioned to set up a new pre-mix room for theatrical mixing in Malmo, south Sweden. They had installed Genelec 1038B, 3-way speakers for the screen channels & were using 8050’s for their surround channels, with a 7071A for a dedicated LFE channel. After adjusting the low/mid/high on the 1038B’s & using minimal EQ in the Ashley Protea system II, the system was tuned to the x-curve, setting the reference level to 85dBC SPL. Note, the in-band level of the LFE should be +10dB in-band gain when referenced to the centre channel. The room had been well designed & the ratio was close to ideal, minimising room nodes & standing waves. The room also satisfied the Dolby requirements, with a minimal distance from the screen channels of 5M, also behaving well at low frequency with minimal EQ applied. The RT60 was very controlled for a room of this size, especially at low frequency & as always with smaller rooms, it’s important to add the correct delay into the surround channels. This can make a significant difference to the weight of the surround mix and therefore, typically cause a lower surround mix if set incorrectly, resulting in loss of surround presence in larger theatres.