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History of Surround Sound

import from PP/Key
by

Michael Nunan

on 17 January 2016

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Transcript of History of Surround Sound

The History of Surround
1950s
1940s
1930s
1975-1979
1960s thru 1975
2000s
1990s
1980s
Present Day
1933
Bell Labs 3-channel stereophonic system
“Auditory Perspectives” experiments
1941
Disney “Fantasound” (developed for ‘Fantasia’)
1st of 8 variations used 3 front channels and 2 rear)
Multitrack recording, pan potting, overdubbing invented
Post-war technology boom
Strong permanent magnets
Magnetic tape, unrestricted materials use
Cinemascope
4-track magnetic prints
70mm 6-track specialty prints
Quad era:
Matrix surround systems (phase/amplitude or carrier based)
ATSC "3.0" anticipated for 2016

Beyond 7.1 ~ Height!
9.1 / 10.2 / 14.2

Object-based systems:
Dolby "ATMOS"
SRS Labs "MDA"
DTS:X
MPEG | H

Pixar's "Brave" 1st film to release in ATMOS format

Ambisonics revitalized (format agnostic recording)

Surround ~ 80 years to an "overnight success"!
Edge of 35mm film print
Angles and Limits for all current
Surround Formats
(excluding 22.2)
Atmos and Auro3D
1975
Dolby Stereo released (commenced Dolby Film Program)
Amplitude/Phase matrix (borrowed from Quad) allowed 4 channels worth of information to be stored in the 2-track optical space on release prints
1st release: “Lisztomania”
1977
Star Wars, Close Encounters
1978
Star Wars - 1st multichannel film to win Oscar
Revitalization of 70mm 6-track format:
Advent of “Baby Boom” channel
Close Encounters (70mm version) 1st film to use dedicated Subwoofer channel
Superman
1st film to utilize “split” surrounds
1979
Apocalypse Now
1st film to use the equivalent of modern 5.1
(L, C, R, LS, RS, Lfe)
1982
Dolby Surround released (Consumer ‘Stereo’ decode: Surround Channel)
1983
THX TAP released
1985
Dolby AC-1 released
1987
SMPTE codifies 5.1 for digital sound on film
1st Superbowl (XXI) broadcast in Surround
Home theatre revolution begins
Dolby ProLogic emerges (Consumer decoding of ‘Centre’ added to “Surround”)
1989
Dolby AC-2 released
1935
Alan Blumlein invents the Stereo Variable Area soundtrack
Why did it fail?
3 competing formats
Required very tight tolerances in consumer equipment
Different artistic outlooks and consumer reluctance
1991
Dolby AC-3 (Dolby Digital) released
1992
Dolby SR*D (optical AC-3) released
1993
DTS and SDDS theatrical formats released
1995
1st consumer AC-3 decoders available
“Speed” is 18th consecutive Dolby film to wins Oscar
1998
1st 5.1 (AC-3) broadcast
WBNS-DT Columbus Ohio, College Football
1999
Dolby Surround EX released
“Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”
Dolby E released
2001
ProLogic II released
1st regular drama series broadcast in 5.1 (NYPD Blue, ABC)
2004
Dolby Digital Plus released
Select events from Athens Olympic Games broadcast in 5.1
Dolby Stereo/Surround
ProLogic, ProLogic II, ProLogic Iix for decode
Dolby Digital (AC-3)
Flexible from 1 to 6 channels
Metadata
Dolby Digital Plus
Expands AC-3 to include 7.1 plus Object
Dolby E
Mezzanine compression for Production/Contribution
Dolby Pulse
Dolby ATMOS
Dolby ED2 & AC-4 (pending)
It's a Dolby World...
Full transcript