mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs

Hi.
The following mp4 files are taken from the same sources as the free DCPs available for the non-technical cinema manager, the ones used to check the cinema auditorium. The only difference is that the sub-titles are burned into these QuickTime files. In the DCPs, the sub-titles are a file that the server and projector use to create the sub-titles. Perhaps the higher compression shows bands in the greys as well, but on the big screen they should look and sound fabulous.

This first sample is derived from the xkcd.com/1080 site, to give a bit of interesting “other” after using the Align1 and Faces1 DCPs. Continue reading “mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs”

mp4 Samples of Technicians Toolkit DCPs

This first DCP is an idea gone mad. It started as just a basic grey scale pluge, then it was noticed that there are 24 blocks on screen which led to a chasing dot per frame…then the idea crossed – hey, you must put a pop white patch in case someone has one of those cool pop sync devices! …but who wants to have a screen of white to blind them after all the grey? How about red, it goes with black…at least it did in the days of film. Who know why I chose the star burst. Tell me if you want something different.

Just an aside: A little research and it turns out that the reason for red lights in the developers lab had less to do with night vision as much as the way that film didn’t get exposed so quickly…or some such – seems kind of illogical now that I read it in my own handwriting. Anyway, there is something to the idea of maintaining night vision…the red doesn’t trigger the rods as the white flash would.

This 2Pop Sync test DCP repeats 6 puts the pop tone in different 5.1 speakers around the room. There is a bit of a cheat on the .1 speaker. That is, instead of a 1 frame long 1k tone, it is a 240Hz tone. Let’s hope that everyone is rolled off by 1k, though who wants to bet that many aren’t. Anyway, the last set puts the pop in all speakers.

Do you have some simple articles that you have made to teach the lightly trained person in audio and/or picture. Let me know in the Contact link above.

Thanks. C J

Here is a QuickTime file of the DCP:

2) Do This First…An Evolving Story – Light and Color

There are many goals and many purposes for this project that you are involved with. There are many things that need to be done.

Fortunately, they don’t all have to be done at the same time.

So, if you don’t have the organizational support to download DCPs onto a USB drive and get them into the Media Player/Projector system right now – you can still download some audio and light measuring tools, then experiment with them until you can use them easily in a dark room.   Continue reading “2) Do This First…An Evolving Story – Light and Color”

What Means, New SMPTE Pink Noise…and How?

SMPTE ST-2095-1 is a new standard for Pink Noise. It took a great deal of work by a great number of clever people, a lot of listening and testing and tweaking. The cool thing is that it isn’t made with a lot of transiticators, but rather, with digits. This is THE Digital Pink Noise Standard.

Pink Noise has been one of those things that has always been around, and people don’t think much about it. Flick a switch, and there it is. But it took a sophisticated circuit to do right, and it wasn’t always implemented the same…or even well. That is much less likely now because with the standard is a python script that is very easy to implement. Continue reading “What Means, New SMPTE Pink Noise…and How?”

3) Do This First…An Evolving Story – Sound

Since there are many goals and purposes for this project, there are many things that need to be done.
Fortunately, they don’t all have to be done at the same time.

So, if you don’t have the organizational support to download DCPs onto a USB drive and load them into the Media Player/Projector system, you can still download some audio and light measuring tools, and experiment with them until you can use them easily in a dark room.  Continue reading “3) Do This First…An Evolving Story – Sound”

Audio (Basics): Part 2

Hi again.

At the very end of Audio (Basics), Part 1 we introduced the concept of Frequency when discussing waves. We also mentioned some basic information about the speakers in the room, which create the waves that we eventually hear. This article will build from there. You can skip all of this and you can still talk to a technician, but it is really simple. It just looks long because there are a lot of examples. Continue reading “Audio (Basics): Part 2”

6) So Now You Want To Measure Sound Level

Hopefully you have read through the post named Basics: Audio (Sound), Part 1 and Part 2. It is good to have a basic understanding of frequencies and speakers and surround and amplifiers and level and Loudness. Hopefully you’ve noticed some of the many ways that the human hearing system has made things “interesting” in normal life, and while you have walked around your cinema theaters since learning more about these things. Continue reading “6) So Now You Want To Measure Sound Level”

Basics: Audio (Sound)

Sound is all around us. We don’t need any particular talent to use it. Doctors tell us that we can hear sounds in the womb.

Using sound well is a different story. Being able to judge sound so it is the best possible for your clients is another different story.

For a simple definition, “Sound” is what we hear. But actually every sound involves hundreds of steps. These steps start with a motion that occurs at one point. You can think about it like a pebble that is thrown into a pond.
Continue reading “Basics: Audio (Sound)”

What’s It Mean? Distortion?

Let’s go through a few terms that everybody uses but which have a specific meaning if you need to get an idea across easily to the Tech Team to get a problem solved.

Distortion – Distortion is a term used to describe an imperfect reproduction of the original sound or picture.

Since we in the cinema were not there for the recording or post production mix, we really don’t have a way to know if something is being played back correctly. We can presume that grossly cracking and ugly sounds are not right. But if the sound seems “dark” or “jagged”, maybe that was what the director wanted.

But we can assume a few things and be right most of the time.

If you ask any sound mixer, they will say something like, “We mix the dialog so that it sounds like the natural level for the person speaking in the scene. Then we mix the music and sound effects around that so that everything can be heard.”

Statistically, something like 80 or 85% of the dialog comes from the center speaker. The rest is mixed in the center and left or the center and right speakers.

So, we know that if the dialog doesn’t sound natural and if it is coming from one of the side surround channels, that something is probably wrong – and should be reported.

What does it mean, ‘natural’?

That is a great question and the answer is amazingly simple and amazingly complex.

Human languages are incredibly complex. There are some parts of words that you can throw away and no one notices.

but there are some sounds that, if they go missing, the word doesn’t sound like a word – or maybe it could be one of 20 words.

What’s It Mean? Contrast…

Let’s go through a few terms that everybody uses, but have a specific meaning if you are going to get an idea across to the Tech Team to get a problem solved.

First, Contrast – Simply said, in the cinema, it is the range or difference between what looks like white and what looks like black on the screen. In most auditoriums, there is no real white on the screen or real black on the screen. There are many reasons for this, and it will always be. But there is a range that each room is capable of, and the equipment is in a war to try to make it stable, which it always loses. Continue reading “What’s It Mean? Contrast…”

1) How to: Manager’s Walk Through

The most difficult thing about this Quality Assurance process is being prepared to write while in the dark. After that it is just paying attention to what is being played and – most importantly – its affect on you.

It may take 10 or 15 evaluation before you get comfortable. Every time after that you will notice something you hadn’t seen or heard or experienced before. Continue reading “1) How to: Manager’s Walk Through”

0) Ideas Behind The Checklist

The amazing thing about picture and sound is that no one understands either of them completely, even after thousands of years of study. So don’t feel like you are the only one. It was only 110 years ago that Einstein proposed what seems to be the best working theory for light, but they were just untested theories. Now, every year, someone makes progress proving another piece of his ideas.

More recently, it was a long and hard 15 year transition from film to digital projection. A lot of lessons have been learned. And now it seems projectors are changing again, to laser light…a completely different set of ideas. Audio also has many topics that are argued about in the professional groups. There’s always something to learn. Continue reading “0) Ideas Behind The Checklist”

Artistic Intent…Protecting the Dream

We would like to introduce a new product line to you.

The Manager’s Walk Through Series is a product line of DCPs and checklists that help the non-technical manager evaluate the auditoriums under their care.

We look forward to helping you help present the best possible version of the Director’s Artistic Intent on your screens – which is what I bet we all woke up thinking about, eh?

Coming soon, to theaters and drive-ins everywhere. (I always wanted to say that~!)

Saturday MWT 13, 14, 15

3 Rooms a Day…let’s find the problems before the customers do!

Use the Manager’s Walk Through Form on paper on a clipboard, with your audio and luminance test device, then summarize things here.

Broken chairs, sticky or slippery floors? Lights not going on or off all the way? Rattles in the Air Conditioning? A weird smell?