Do you know what is the most important event in the life of Mosfilm this year? It turns out that the country's main film studio has acquired the latest Dolby Atmos Premier Studio ! And now in the recording studio there is a queue of people who want to make the coolest sound. Despite the hype, at the end of last week we managed to find a window to visit this holy of holies and see how everything is arranged there. The tour was conducted by Igor Bogdasarov himself, chief engineer and deputy general director of Mosfilm.
What is Dolby Atmos?Multichannel sound has been known for a long time, but Dolby has created a standard for recording and playing it in movie theaters: for example, until recently, Dolby Digital was the most stable and popular, where the sound was distributed over 5 channels, creating the effect of presence. This standard was enough for a long time, until in 2012 the new Dolby Atmos audio system appeared, based not on channels, but on audio objects. An “audio object” is each of the sounds corresponding to a particular scene — whether it be a baby’s cry, a helicopter crash, a car hoot, etc.
The practical meaning of the innovation is that the sound becomes realistic when it sounds not only in the horizontal plane, but also from above. Dolby Atmos was the first to get hybrid mixing: it can give the sound a trajectory similar to moving objects that the viewer watches on the screen. This is how the opportunity arises to create a three-dimensional sound picture - just like in ordinary life. And so the much-praised “immersion effect” is obtained: the viewer will have a feeling that the sound surrounds him, moving around, as if you are at the epicenter of events.
Dolby Atmos needs 48 speakers! The technology can transmit up to 128 simultaneous audio streams of uncompressed sound, and use up to 64 discrete acoustic channels. For journalists, a Dolby demo and an episode from the movie "Gravity" were included, which was one of the first in this format.
Why do we need a dubbing studio?Each film or series goes through a dubbing studio. Here, all the sounds recorded separately for the picture (music, dialogs, different noises, and so on) are gathered into a single whole. Using Dolby Atmos, the filmmaker himself can decide exactly where the sound source will be located and how it will move along the stage, helping to concentrate only on the object itself. Any sound - recorded on the site, taken in the library or synthesized - can be taken and "placed" anywhere in the studio, or even - as it were - beyond. If earlier the train could “walk”, roughly speaking, from wall to wall, now it can “go beyond” these limits!
It is here that you can see for the first time how sound is superimposed on an image. And, by the way, this is where the film is often seen "in full."
Mosfilm - ahead of EuropeBefore arranging a new studio, the management of Mosfilm waited until the standard and requirements were settled in Dolby itself. When Atmos finally won the competition, work began.
Firstly, a studio needs a lot of space: it should be comparable in size to a movie theater: Room size - more than 1300 m3, screen height - 11 m, and studio height - 7 m. By the way, we can proudly say that our studio the largest and most perfect in Europe. The English company Wite Mark took up the arrangement, because the appearance and internal conditions of the studio are important for the convenience and quality of work.
Our new Dolby Atmos studio has met the latest technology requirements for 2016: it has passed the test from Dolby employees to be eligible to wear the highest Premier category.
The multi-meter AVID S6 console allows you to work with an unlimited number of tracks, equipped with 96 faders and the latest Pro Tools workstations version 12.5. It’s clear that one director of dubbing can go crazy here, so there are 2 workplaces in the concept - the console is large, which makes it possible to split and unite the places for sound engineers.
Expensive but necessary
Naturally, all this premium equipment of fabulous money costs all. And this is not for the sake of "show off": just when you do something new, the desire to use all the very best, the latest achievements by the most modern standards - naturally. For example, Dolby Atmos studios, built a couple of years ago, are completely different. And very soon new ones will appear - better and more perfect than our studio. This is a natural process, nothing can be done.
Costs should quickly pay off - the studio at Mosfilm is very in demand: a professional translation of foreign films and series is recorded here. There are not enough films on this technology in Russia yet, but their number is steadily growing, and sound engineers are relearned as emergency workers. Dolby Atmos is the future!
By the way, Mosfilm does not receive subsidies from the state and exists on self-sufficiency, and it is very successful: last year the studio paid about 1 billion rubles in taxes. So they can very well afford the best.