Sound as part of the cinema experience

Dr Adam Hill is part of a group of audio academics pushing for changes which could result in huge improvements in the quality of cinema sound. Paul Milligan spoke to him to find out more.

“Sound is 50 per cent of the movie going experience, and I've always believed audiences are moved and excited by what they hear in my movies at least as much as by what they see.” When someone as influential as Star Wars director George Lucas is saying that, it’s hard to understand why audio doesn’t receive the same consideration as projection does in the modern cinema experience. Thanks to the work of Dr Adam Hill, a lecturer in audio engineering at the University of Derby in the UK, and a handful of other audio engineering academics, that might be about to change. In March this year Hill visited the Audio Engineering Society’s 57th Conference on The Future of Audio Entertainment Technology in Hollywood where he presented a set of recommendations for the improvement of cinema sound. The proposals were met so enthusiastically that the industry has decided to scrap their current international standards and start afresh.

Originally from Chicago, Hill’s interest in sound began when he completed an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Miami. During his studies Hill would work at the weekends for live sound providers Gand Concert Sound. His studies then took him to Edinburgh University in Scotland to study acoustics for a Masters degree, before moving to Essex University in England to complete a PhD in Electronic Systems Engineering. He moved to a teaching role at Derby University three years ago, and now spends half his time involved in audio research and the other half teaching acoustics and live event practice to students, who eventually graduate to jobs in live sound or to work for audio manufacturers.

Learn more about the recommendations Dr Hill is pushing for in a new set of standards in the full article in the InAVate APAC digital edition.

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