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Author Topic: a poratable surround sound system for movie night help please  (Read 5079 times)

Brad Weber

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Re: a poratable surround sound system for movie night help please
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 10:05:35 am »

Well we had the movie night already. I attended late, but learned someone brought their Bose System from home and just placed the speakers around the sanctuary.

Sometimes I get hung up on always providing sound needs for any function at my church. And the sound for this event was too bassy, and muffled.

I inquired about surround sound for future purposes; church members have decided they want to have more movie nights, and  I would like to provide a better setup for the next one.

But if a surround sound system carries a hefty price tag, it might be better to scrap this project and concentrate on other ones.
A non-technical apect to consider is licensing.  A 'movie night' would not be covered under the religious use exemption of copyright law, so make sure you either already have or procure the appropriate rights for the content and events.
 
Beyond that there is a large range of potential options in form, complexity and cost between getting some form of surround sound and providing a cinema type experience.  Quite frankly, given your existing system noted it may not make sense to invest in supplementing what you have to handle surround sound unless you are willing to make a sizable investment and upgrade the system overall.  For example, integrating the left/center/right main speakers and LFE (subwoofer) channels of 5.1 surround sound with your current powered stereo mixer is probably going to be more difficult than if you either had a system designed to serve both purposes or simply left the systems separate.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: a poratable surround sound system for movie night help please
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 12:32:56 pm »

...there is a large range of potential options in form, complexity and cost between getting some form of surround sound and providing a cinema type experience.
Brad,

Agreed.  The whole point of surround sound is to provide an immersive experience that allows the viewer to feel like they are in the environment being viewed on the screen (of course, special/spatial effects are fun, too, and definitely add to the experience if used correctly - and sparingly).

I think that the OP's biggest struggle will be determining exactly how to provide the horizontal Left-to-Right coverage needed to be to achieve accurate localization for the viewing area.  There's a reason that movie theatres are almost always long and narrow, not wide and shallow.  I should think that there would have to be a few delay zones to keep things lined up with the on-screen image.

Also, as I see it, the surround speakers should be considered complementary, not standalone...a fact lost on many people, I fear.  I guess it might be important for them to be capable of standing by themselves (hard-panned speech/shouting/effects), but not usually necessary.  It's not my area of expertise, but I'd sure like to know!

I don't know the typical SPL requirements for cinema sound systems (but judging from the annoyingly loud levels most movies are shown at nowadays, they must compete with typical SR systems); the dynamic range needs to be quite large, I'm sure, and the noise floor probably has to be quite low since it's a more focused listening environment.  That being said, most of the modern movies I've seen seem more compressed than those in the past - I miss having to actually listen to hear the quiet parts (or maybe the system processor just wasn't setup properly...I don't know).

It'll be interesting to see what comes of this project.
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Jordan Wolf
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix
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