Advice & Support

An introductory guide to cinema audio

Not sure how to set up your cinema sound system? Read our downloadable guide.

Sound has always been a key part of the cinema experience, and achieving high quality sound in your venue is crucial for audience immersion.

Sound on film has been continually experimented with since the birth of cinema – even early silent films were almost always set to music, with title cards describing sounds from the narrative – and cinema sound technologies have consistently evolved, with new recording and processing techniques emerging every few years. Today, studios and post-production houses can encode individual sounds in a multitude of different ways, allowing for the immersive object-based sound design that contemporary audiences are used to.

Sound covers a very complex and expansive area in relation to cinema exhibition. Though films today are produced on DCP as standard, many films still only exist in their original formats and soundtrack configurations.

This guide offers an overview of modern cinema sound across a variety of different formats and set-ups. It starts with a basic overview for beginners and evolves into a more detailed reference guide for those who already have a grounding.

Download it here:

Cover image, cinema audio guide

Included in this guide:

  • Set-up of key and ancillary audio equipment
  • Calibrating, troubleshooting and maintaining audio equipment
  • Interpreting audio from digital and celluloid sources
  • Room acoustics
  • Access technology
  • Links to suppliers

Written by Alexa Raisbeck and Leigh Heathcote.

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