Los Angeles, CA (June 4, 2020)—A total renovation of the Directors Guild of America’s flagship 600-seat DGA Theater in Los Angeles included installation of a Dolby Atmos immersive sound system encompassing more than 70 Meyer Sound cinema loudspeakers.
To translate its creative concepts into design specifics, the DGA committee engaged the Gensler architectural firm, which in turn assigned audiovisual specification and engineering to Tom Schindler, senior vice president at the San Francisco-based Salter consulting firm.
“We first measured the acoustics of the room, but this element was well done with the original design,” said Schindler. “Background noise and reverberation both were well within standards, so the critical factor came down to loudspeaker selection.”
Working in consultation with Dolby engineers Jose Castellon and Gary Meissner, Schindler drafted a comprehensive performance specification with options for different loudspeaker manufacturers.
Drawing on their unique perspectives as filmmakers, the Guild committee members insisted on a live audition in order to make a final decision. Meyer Sound and one other maker brought in front screen channel systems for a comparative listening session attended by director Michael Mann and another key member of the committee, director Michael Apted.
“Both systems were technically spot on, but Michael Apted and I picked the Meyer Sound system because of a difference in emotional musicality,” says Mann. “You can listen to two or three sound systems and, even though they are technically very close, one sounds emotionally more musical than another. These are the kinds of decisions any of us on the committee would make if they were being made on a film. It was great to be able to think and execute the same way in designing how the film is exhibited.”
Anchoring the five front screen channels of the system are five Acheron 100 loudspeakers, each paired with an Acheron LF low frequency extension loudspeaker. The main LFE channels are handled by 12 X-800C cinema subwoofers, aided by eight 750-LFC low-frequency control elements for surround bass management. Surround channels are assigned to 22 HMS-12 and 32 HMS-15 self-powered surround loudspeakers. A Galaxy 816 Network Platform supplies processing for the front screen channel systems.
Integration and installation of all audio and video systems was contracted to Diversified’s media and entertainment group under the guidance of director of engineering Adam Salkin and project manager Eugene Tuzkov.
Meyer Sound • www.meyersound.com