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Web chats tv | Archived lifestyle chats | Dolby sound

Dolby sound: Stop, look and listen

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Have you ever watched a movie at home with the sound muted? It is amazing what a difference the sound makes in a movie experience. Of course the dialogue makes it easier to understand what is happening but sound also adds texture, emotion and atmosphere to each scene.

Watching the latest horror or thriller would be much less scary if you couldn’t hear the footsteps of the murderer creeping up behind you. Action movies would seem unrealistic if we didn't hear the screeches of the car chase from around the corner. Even what looks like a fairly common city scene on screen involves hours of technical expertise. Imagine all the sounds that are involved from traffic, people walking down the street, the sound of the wind, music coming from cars – all this has to be put together and mixed with the film's dialogue.

Star Wars in 1976 was the first major film to incorporate Dolby Stereo and bring it to the mainstream. Since then, the company has worked to develop ever more exhilarating cinema sound, introducing Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to the cinema in 1992. In 1998 Dolby Digital Surround EX™, was launched, giving an extra back channel and therefore a wider canvas for sound designers to use. Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, was the first film to use this extra channel. For more information visit

But these benefits aren’t restricted to the cinema. With cinematic technology in our homes too we are starting to enjoy the full sonic experience in our own front rooms or even on the move. Dolby Digital soundtrack Analogue soundtrack.

Dolby’s Robin Dyer was joined by sound effects producer Mark Taylor live online on Wednesday 26th October. Together they let us into all the secrets of film sound from 'foots and moves' to 'foley', 'body moves' and 'wild track'. Mark's past projects include the movies:Valiant (Pigeon animation with Ricky Gervais), Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett), Alien vs. Predator, Troy, TV drama Band of Brothers, Snatch and others.


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