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5.1 done right in a multi-use space

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by jbeutt, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hey All,
    So I took over a TD position in a theater which has completed a lot of renovation, but due to lack of funding and attention, still has a lot of things that need work.

    One is the 5.1 surround that was installed. It's a little funky-although I'm certainly not complaining-being made up of 5 Meyer UPJ-1Ps and a USW-1P. The 5.1 use is really just for movies.

    What I'm trying to do is figure out how to build a system that can accommodate this 5.1 setup, but under the technical infrastructure of a theater, not an A/V setup. As of now, everything runs through an A/V receiver, so it's entirely unbalanced in and out :O so lots of noise. When I have a show, I reroute so i'm just using FL and FR and C speakers, but other groups need the ease of a A/V type system, despite the many problems with that.

    I'd love to have some sort of 5.1 optical breakout into the mixer and a 5.1 output from the board. I'd probably have a 5.1 from Sound Cue System as well, but that's just a mixer capacity thing.

    Another little issue is to have a system that people can easily access in case they're just playing a movie, where DSP, channel routing, etc is all automatic. Are there any reasonable devices for doing a 5.1 D/A? Since I'm in the market for a mixer, I'd be totally happy to keep it digital through the board, in which case anyone use a good Dolby converter?

    If this seems like a vague question, I apologize. I'm really just trying to find other people with a similar problem/setup and see how they have it set up or if there's something that such a system needs which I might overlook. Feels like I'm dealing with a lot of channels in any setup I go with, but it's way more preferable to me to have a system that utilizes the sound quality of the speakers.

    Thanks a lot!

    Jack
     
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Occupation:
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    Not at all vague, it is actually fairly common for multi-use spaces. I personally think that one important thing to remember is that 5.1 is not just referencing the playback channels, it also relates to the original encoding and decoding during playback. Somewhere you have to have a decoder that takes the encoded 5.1 signal and decodes it into the 6 discrete channels.

    I often separate the "AV" and "theatre" aspects, sometimes to the point of having a separate AV switcher and decoder that provides a 6 channel output feeding a matrix DSP along with the console outputs, with the DSP then either selecting between or mixing the two sets of inputs and properly routing them to feed the six channels of the system. I sometimes even split some of the mic inputs to an automixer that also runs as an input to the DSP so that you can select an "AV" operating mode that gives you the 5.1 program sources, an automix of a limited number of mics and some limited control, allowing the room to be used for movies, lectures, classes and presentations without even having to use the console.

    If you need to have the AV sources run through the console then you might have to look at a slightly different approach. There are several surround sound processors with balanced audio outputs.
     
  3. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    I agree with museav, the way we do it at my work is we have a somewhat seperate system for Surround Sound. It would be very easy for you to just get an A/V Reciever with Balanced Outputs, they make these but they are usually called Preamplifiers because they have no Amps in them.

    Denon AVP-A1HDCI THX Ultra2

    Integra Home Theater DHC-9.9

    They can be expensive but the good thing is you can also run all your Video through it to your projector...etc keeping it all in one unified system is a major advantage when it comes to setting everything up. The Integra stuff is awesome gear....really top notch but really hard to find. It can only be purchased locally through a dealer.

    When I get the cash I plan on buying one of those Integra Pre-Amps, some Crown XTi-1000 amps and some speakers for my Home surround sound system :grin:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  4. avare

    avare Active Member

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    An order of magnitudue (fancy talk for about one tenth the price) below the Denon unit listed in the previous post is theDenon DN-A7100 from the Denon/Marantz professional series.

    Andre
     
  5. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    That's awesome, I didn't even know Denon had a professional series!

    That's definitely better then paying $7k, maybe I could convince my boss to get one for the PAC. It would be better then using the crappy Phillips DVD player that we have that uses RCA Surround Outputs...

    The only sad thing is it isn't True HD or DTS-HD capable :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  6. giwiens

    giwiens Member

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    Doing 5.1 audio properly in a multi-use room is important. For our mult-use theatre at Science World I actually have two seperate audio systems. One is a Left-Right system that gets used for live events (presentations, science shows, live theatre type stuff).

    The other audio system is a full-blown Dolby cinema system based around a Dolby CP650 Cinema Processor. This took some work to convince the accountants that we needed it (the joy of working for a not-for-profit) but it has proven itself incredibly valuable for when I hook up a broadcast-type tape deck for an event and can provide the client with a proper cinema Dolby Digital sound.

    If you can afford to go this route I would highly recommend it based on my positive experience with it.
     
  7. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    Sorry not to get back to this right away.

    Thanks for the input. Really helpful!

    I think the Denon preamp is the way to go, going into a Matrix DSP along with the main board.

    Besides getting the actual infrastructure tight, I really want things to be as close to single button operation as possible for those who just want to play a DVD. Perhaps with this rig, it will be enough to have a sequential start power switch and then switch between sources at the Preamp.

    Basically, a lot of the time this needs to be fool proof, but not in such a way that limits main productions.

    Thanks again, and if there are anymore solutions or pieces to this sort of setup, I'd love to know about them.

    Cheers.
     

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