What speakers do most directors/producers use fo movies?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keir H, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    Is it M&K, Klipsch, Genelec, or JBL? Would any these or the manufacture they use most often for some of the major blockbusters be the right speaker set to choose when putting together a HT in order to get what the director intended as in the theater playback scope? Other than that, are we getting "altered" or non-authentic sound from other non professional brand names? I check out the local theaters and most all of them have either JBL! or Klipsch here in Houston. Just curious....hope it makes sense..[​IMG]
     
  2. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Keir---Sometimes the movie, especially for theatrical playback, is mixed in a large mixing theater using regular theater playback speakers, nowadays JBL has most of that market with EV a big player and Klipsch also in it. I presume older movies were mixed on Altec VOTs. Sometimes now the movie is mixed (especially home release mixes) at a desk using small nearfield monitors like JBLs, Genelecs, etc. IMO you get the best HT sound by using actual motion picture theater speakers in the home, I use Altec VOTs with JBL Pro THX subs. A speaker rig that can handle a 450 seat theater is gonna sound VERY dynamic and effortless in the home. Of course such speakers are very large and unconventional looking (cabinets painted in utility black or gray, big horns sitting atop the bass cabinets on brackets) but they sure sound good. Plus they're so efficent, 105db 1w1m is about average for such speakers, that you can drive them with low powered amps, gets the power monkey off your back.
     
  3. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    Keir,

    The assumption is often made that the recording studio made the decision on the speakers they use with a cost no object type of mentality, and that they are using the speaker they like the best. That usually isn't the case. With all the equipment in use the speakers are one of the cheaper components. It's usually a compromise amongst several sound engineers that use the same studio.
     
  4. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Mark,
    Have you priced Genelec speakers? Not cheap for anyone's checkbook! [​IMG]
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I guess this depends on what level you're talking about. In project studios, often monitoring is mediocre (I'll readily admit my small project facility for home dabbling has a pair of cheap $1000 nearfields)-- however in real facilities I think the opposite is true.

    Granted, you're going to see NS-10s everywhere because everyone knows what they sound like- but many of the nicer facilities have several monitor options, and I would guess that most spent approaching the amount on their monitoring configurations as they did on their console (and the console are often $250,000-$500,000 boards).

    -Vince
     
  6. Matt Bloxham

    Matt Bloxham Agent

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    I was over on B&W's website yesterday and it caught my eye that Skywalker Sound(George Lucas's recording studio) just switched to the Nautilus 802 surrond sound system. Looks very impressive[​IMG]
    Matt
     
  7. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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  8. HarryR

    HarryR Agent

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    For their size, in my opinion Genelec sounds downright incredible. Would have bought them on the spot if budget allowed but 3500+/speaker was a little outta my range.
     
  9. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Mark,

    Where did you get that information? Genelecs are used in many recording studios. I think you'd be surprised to find that Genelecs are used as much as M&K and JBL.
     
  10. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    No doubt many studios are still using Altec 604s and JBL 4320s, 4331s, 4333s etc.. Altec 604s and 605s are going for big bucks on ebay, quite a cult around them. I've a pair of Altec 605As and so much stuff recorded during the 50s, 60s and 70s sounds so right on them, makes some stuff really come alive. I had a pair of DIY JBL 4320 clones and The Beach Boys sounded spooky on the things. Back in the 1970s when Altec controlled about 75% of the big monitor market they argued that you should use such speakers in the home to get the best playback of what the recordists intended, made sense back then and still does to some degree.
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    At last count I've mixed music in 116 different facilities in 19 states and two countries, I have never seen M&K in a controls room once (although have seen them as an option in listening lounge). I rarely see JBL, unless you count drivers loaded in custom boxes (their 18 inch drivers are pretty popular). You will come across the JBL stuff (4200/4400 series) mostly as a C option for nearfields or in small budget project studios-- I like them to be honest, but they don't have a ton of fans in the "big leagues".

    I'd say I'm 100 times more likely to see Paradigm minis as a B-speaker in a control room than anything made by M&K.

    I don't know if the rules are different for film mixing environments (as I have almost zero experience in that world), but in the music recording world you're likely to see Genelec, Dynaudio, Tannoy, Yamaha, Quested, Auratones, etc. I can say I did see what I think was custom 4000/5000 series JBL stuff at the main theater at Dolby's office.

    -V
     
  12. Mike-grouse

    Mike-grouse Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it doesn't matter what the directors use. Unless you plan on spending the $50,000 per pair on speakers you won't be able to get the same ones.

    CD audio mixers do use M&Ks, but you need to realize that most sound mixes for music are done with the mixer 3-5 feet away from the speaker so the speakers they choose use that as a reference for production.

    For home the average person can site from 6-18 ft away which has different sound properties. Once you realize there are different properties in sound for home versus auditorium, the sooner you'll realize that the many brands out there that make speakers are all worth looking at.

    You should build your home theater for you're audio tastes (and budget limitations). It's one of the great things about HT. If you have musical tastes and plan on listening to a lot of music than you would likewise buy speakers to match those needs. I'd suggest simply buying speakers that:
    1. sound good to your tastes,
    2. can fill your room with sound
    3. are reliable

    I've used a couple forums to figure out what to look for in speakers and they were very helpful. I really only rely on one guide web site (HTadvice.com) as I haven't found anything close to it on the web or in print. You may want to check that site out if your trying to figure out what to look for in speakers. It's kinda "back-to-basics" but it did remind me of a few things I had forgotten about.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Mike---I don't know about those HTadvice people, just looked at their site and saw several goofs. For one they don't even know the proper definition of a "direct-radiator" and think it's the same thing as a monopolar. If they can't get something that simple right....
     
  14. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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  15. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    This is music.......but interesting none the less....
    Click Here
     
  16. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

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    I am a video editor in Nashville...in the post houses I have worked at, Tannoys and Genelecs are the most often found, esp. Tannoys. Since often we are mixing and monitoring for TV, usually like to have the sound as flat and "true" as possible. The final mix is always played out of a horrible, 20 yr. old Sylvania...Aunt Sadie needs to be able to hear it[​IMG] I have a good friend who has a post production studio at a place called Emerald Music (one of the top recording studios in the country)...I will have to see what he uses.
     
  17. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    Vince,

    I was mainly refering to the film industry. But your experience is interesting.

     

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