Podcast: Improving the Experience of Sound in the Cinema with Brian Vessa

Aimée Ricca sits down with Brian Vessa, founding chair of SMPTE’s Technology Committee on Cinema Sound Systems (TC-25CSS) and executive director of digital audio mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment, to discuss the challenges of sound quality in the cinema and the ways that movie theaters can improve sound quality for moviegoers.

Transcript:

Aimée Ricca:                00:14               Hello and welcome to our series of chats with industry leaders so that you can get to know them and the technologies that you use better. My name is Aimée Ricca and I'm here today with Brian Vessa. Brian is the executive director of digital mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and he's also the founding chair of SMPTE Technology Committee 25CSS and that's Cinema Sound Systems.

Brian Vessa:                  00:38               It's correct.

Aimée Ricca:                00:39               Now it's been years that you and I I've been discussing cinema sound and I know that this is a really, really passionate topic for you. Why is this so important to the industry? 

Brian Vessa:                  00:51               Well, when movies are created, there's a tremendous amount of effort that goes into the sound and there's whole sound team. There's people that work very hard to make it just right and the sound is done on very high-level mixing stages, high-level people. And then it's like an entire vision that the director has with the sound that goes with his movie that they're one piece, sound is 50% of that experience. It's very important that when we go to the theater that we actually get that. We get that intention that the director had and the sound designers had and we come away with that whole impression of the movie and if sound is not as good as it should be, you may not know why you didn't like the movie as much, but you come away "Ahhh, that movie wasn't that good." So I think it's very important to preserve that artistic intent and bring the listeners, the moviegoers into the movie and experience it the way the director intended. 

Aimée Ricca:                01:49               What are the common issues that are experienced in terms of a quality in theater? 

Brian Vessa:                  01:55               Well, there's some basic stuff like a speaker. One or more speakers is just not on, not producing sound. It could be that maybe the screen speakers is around, but you're not getting anything from the surround speakers or the Subwoofer, which gives you a lot of impact and immersion. You could have blown speaker which then creates distortion or you could have a general harshness in the sound, that's very common. You could have a system that's out of calibration and the imaging and the frequency response isn't right. So it's not translating the mix well. A very common thing is that the movie theater is older and the sound system was installed 20, 30 years ago. And movie soundtracks have progressed tremendously in that time and those systems just aren't really designed to handle modern soundtrack. So they have a very bad quality to them. 

Brian Vessa:                  02:47               The speakers can be fatigued or just maybe the system just wasn't amped up enough to do what it needed to do. So that's a problem. Another common problem is that the screen can be clogged or be an older screen and it impedes the sound quite a bit, which can affect the dialogue intelligibility and it can make the sound kind of dull and less immediate. You don't feel it as much a lot of people think, well, I can just compensate for that by cranking up some trouble leaky. With that doesn't really work because it gives harshness and distortion. So, those are the common things that I find when I go to-

Aimée Ricca:                03:22               That's Interesting that you said that about the screen impeding the sound because I wonder how many people that are sitting in a theater realized that there's actually speakers behind the screen. 

Brian Vessa:                  03:34               Yeah, I know. I mean that's something we would know being in the industry, but the common person they just see the speakers that are on the walls, they may not be thinking about those speakers that are behind the screen. In the old days so to speak, the screens were nearly solid, so when they mixed the movies, they had to do all kinds of compensation to try to even get reasonable sound through the screen and if you go back and listen to those movies now through a regular system may sound all mid-rangy and harsh and you have to sort of compensate for that. And then they eventually figured out how to make perforations in the screens and things like that. But there's whole studies that we've done just on the effect of screens on the sound, there is study SMPTE has done and there is reports out there. It's really quite a thick subject actually. 

Aimée Ricca:                04:24               So, I remember when you did these study groups and it was we were trying to figure this out a little earlier. We couldn't figure out exactly what it was maybe 2014, we could probably go look that up. But how did you conduct those studies? Did you actually go out to movie theaters and test them? 

Brian Vessa:                  04:41               We did. We started this whole thing off of the study group in March of 2010 and the reason we started the study group was we said, well, we think that there's an issue, we think that theater's aren't really performing as they should and there's a lot of inconsistency from theater to theater. You can hear the same movie in different theaters and they all sounded different and of course if you ever had the opportunity to hear it on the mix stage and you compared it to the theater, there was quite a bit of difference there. So we said, why is this? And so we actually did go out and we tested a number of theaters, and also some mixing stages. And we actually got up early in the morning before the showings and showed up and set up microphones and did the whole thing and did quite a bit of testing and then we put all that together into a report that simply released, I think it was around 2014 that has quite a bit of detail in it, but also some conclusions and I think that was quite a noble effort from that that allowed us to start a technology committee the 25 CSS and to create some standards. 

Aimée Ricca:                05:45               I'm just trying to think of some of what I've experienced it's very obvious. And some of what I've been told anecdotally from people is the trailers are too loud and they come blasting in, but then the feature is not. I've also heard people complain, "Oh, the theater next door to where to the one we were sitting in, it was blasting through the walls." So are these the kinds of problems that you found and that you're trying to address? 

Brian Vessa:                  06:18               Well, I think that the trailer situation is kind of on its own because that's a mixing decision. The decision about the problem with the sound coming through the wall from the theater next door is just bad design. I mean they just didn't do what they needed to do to create the isolation that was necessary and or perhaps it's an older theater before they had subwoofers and had really low frequencies in movies and they just didn't design the rooms for that and it's like you're listening to your TV and you go from the movie, did the commercial, the commercial comes on blasting and then you go back to the movie and it's normal again. So you have to go up and down on your volume. At the movie theater they sort of need to do the same thing because the trailers who mix very loud and so the best way to do this is to have one volume setting for the trailer, which is usually down quite a bit in order to make it manageable. And then when the movie comes on, you really need to turn it back up again. And if you don't do that, then the movies come across incredibly quiet and you can't hear the dialogue and especially when you have a lot of people in the room, people absorb sound. You're like, "Want am I doing here? I can't even hear the movie." 

Aimée Ricca:                07:28               Movies are meant to have ambiance in them. So there's parts that are meant to be louder and parts that are meant to be lower. So when part of the dialogue just isn't that loud and you're in a crowded theater, it can be very, very difficult to hear. 

Brian Vessa:                  07:43               Oh yeah, I mean the, what you're referring to is the dynamics of the movie.

Aimée Ricca:                07:45               Yeah.

Brian Vessa:                  07:45               which is part of what-

Aimée Ricca:                07:48               That's the right word. Thank you Brian!

Brian Vessa:                  07:52               Good movies made with dynamics so that you're into the movie and then when the louder things happened, they have some impact. And then you go back to the quiet stuff. And that's part of the cinematic experiences that you get these wide variations between this soft and loud. But if the overall volume in the theater has been turned down, those things that are supposed to be quiet normal and gets you into things, all of a sudden you can't hear him at all. If you just turn your volume down and leave it there and say, "Oh, I'm always going to set my volume here." Then I think a lot of movies just don't play well. So I really think that the theater owners should have someone check each movie when they come in, when they get the movie safe, it's going to open on Friday. They get the movie Thursday the key opens up Friday morning or something. They check it out, listen to it in the theater and determine is it really too loud? I mean, I should play this with calibration. Right? Or maybe this is a really loud movie. So I do have to come down a little bit or I'll get complaints. But actually check it out like on a per movie basis. 

Aimée Ricca:                08:59               You think a lot of this comes sort of from a reactionary point of view where one person will complain, "Oh, it was too loud," and then it becomes very soft. 

Brian Vessa:                  09:10               I think that there is a reactivity going on in the industry where they just feel like I don't want complaints, I don't have anybody in the theater that I could really trust to listen to all the movies and set the volume where it goes so I'm just gonna pick a volume that's safe. And that volume is often six to 10 DB lower than how it was mixed, which is quite a bit and really changes the feel of the movie. And as we talked about, makes it very difficult to hear the dialogue, really affects your enjoyment. I mean you should be able to sit there and let that movie envelop you should be able to get inside the movie and that's what the soundtrack is designed to do and needs to be played the way it was designed, otherwise it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. 

Aimée Ricca:                09:58               For the studio, the director, the cinematographer, the sound mixers, the composers, all of these people work really, really hard in creating what their vision is and a piece of art. So it's a shame for them that many don't actually get to experience it the way they meant for it to be. 

Brian Vessa:                  10:19               I think that we're kind of getting to an important place on this particular topic. I mean, The National Association of Theater Owners is now very well aware of the fact that the theaters are not playing at the level that movie was mixed and they've actually done studies and they have data and Statistics. And it's actually starting to become a discussion topic for maybe the first time. I think one of the big draws about going to the movies is that cinematic experience, which part of that's the big screen and part of that's the big sound. And if you don't get that big sound, it really doesn't feel quite as cinematic.

Aimée Ricca:                11:03               As you said only. 

Brian Vessa:                  11:00               It just didn't feel quite as cinematic.

Aimée Ricca:                11:02               Well, as you said earlier, it's 50% of the experience. I mean, it's 50% visual and 50% audio, so if something's off, it's off.

Brian Vessa:                  11:13               Yeah. It sure is, and that means that you're not hearing stuff you should and you're not feeling it the way you should. And it's unfortunately a pretty big problem.

Aimée Ricca:                11:23               What else can you do to ensure that we don't have these kinds of issues in the cinema?

Brian Vessa:                  11:31               Well, I think that if your system hasn't had attention for a while, or if it's over 10 years old, and especially if it's 20 or 30 years old like a lot of them are, it really pays to hire an acoustic consultant and technician to thoroughly go through the system, just get it all up to snuff one time. Just optimize everything, make sure it's performing the best that it can.

Brian Vessa:                  11:55               And even though there is some money in that, you're doing it once to bring the whole system up to where it's good again, and then from there, you can just sort of do maintenance. That really pays a lot of dividends to do that. 

Brian Vessa:                  12:07               I think a lot of people just don't do that. The sound system just sits there and if a speaker blows up then somebody finds out about it, they'll go in and stick another speaker in there, but nobody's going through and making sure that system's doing what it was designed to do. 

Brian Vessa:                  12:23               The other thing you can do is, once you've got your system working the way it should, you should calibrate it really well once, which in SMPTE we call it a baseline calibration. We created a document, SMPTE-recommend practice 2096-1, with details, all the steps in doing that, which some physical checks and some calibration. 

Brian Vessa:                  12:45               The idea there is you go through your system one time and you get it all right, and then you store all the data from that, and then from that point forward, you just maintain. You just check it, and if everything's kind of lining up, you don't have to do anything. You just have to check it and see and that one day you check and go, "Whoops, something's wrong." Then you know you can really tell.

Brian Vessa:                  13:08               So it pays a lot of dividends to go through that once, and you can usually do those two things at the same time. You can give the system a tune-up, and then you can get the baseline calibration done on the system. That pays a lot of dividends.

Brian Vessa:                  13:23               The either thing you can do that I think a lot of people forget is you can actually kind of get to know your sound system. Once you have it all calibrated and everything's right, you just listen to it and you kind of get to know its character.

Brian Vessa:                  13:36               Every time you get a new movie in, you put it up and you listen to it, and you can check one thing, see how loud it is, but the other thing is you can just kind of check the quality. If it sounds right to you, everything's probably good. If you go, "Hm, something's wrong," you'll know.

Brian Vessa:                  13:52               I think that qualitative thing means an awful lot, because that's what the audience is going on. They don't know anything about the numbers or all the technical parts of the sound system. They just know if it sounds good. So it's a good idea to have someone just listen to the sound system from time to time, make sure everything's right.

Aimée Ricca:                14:13               That's more of an intuitive type QC, if you will. You could have to have the baseline calibration, get to know that baseline calibration in order to do that.

Brian Vessa:                  14:22               Yeah. You need to do it in that order. You have to tune up the system, get a baseline calibration, and then listen to it.

Aimée Ricca:                14:30               That's like when you have your car tuned up. You know what your car sounds like when it's in good condition, and after it's been running for a while, you start to notice it's making this noise that wasn't there before. That's when you take it in to have it serviced. 

Brian Vessa:                  14:43               Exactly.

Aimée Ricca:                14:44               It's not much different. Yeah, there's a checklist. You make sure that the floors are vacuumed and the counters are wiped down. There could be a checklist for a daily sound check, if you will.

Brian Vessa:                  14:58               Yeah, a daily sound check, and same thing with the projector. You look through the projector, make sure the light seems right, it's focused on the screen, blah blah blah. There are some systems out there that actually can be put into a room and can run like a self-diagnostic on the room every day. 

Brian Vessa:                  15:18               There are theaters that care about it that much, that they actually have a self-diagnostic system set up in there that checks all that stuff about the projector and also about the sound, and if it returns errors, that goes back to a central point and somebody goes, "Okay, that theater needs attention." 

Brian Vessa:                  15:36               I know every theater's not going to get that sophisticated, but it's that same kind of thing you're talking about, where at least you go through the checklist every day.

Aimée Ricca:                15:46               At the minimum. I think what might be off-putting is just taking the time to set it up to begin with, and then enforcing that it happens. That's always a challenge, I think, no matter what business you're in, that whatever best practices you put into place, that they're actually being followed through. 

Aimée Ricca:                16:04               So that could be a challenge, but I think at the end of the day, it's worth it. And it's something that, if the theater wanted to market the fact that they take pride in their sound ... and I don't know that I've seen a theater do this, but they could. Theaters advertise all the time about their chairs and their food service. Why not advertise that you've got great sound?

Brian Vessa:                  16:30               And you know, I think a lot of people are thinking, "Well, if the sound is great, that must mean it's loud." Actually, there's a big misconception there because when the sound system is really good and it's not being strained to play the movie and it's just effortlessly working, it's not harsh. It's very easy to listen.

Brian Vessa:                  16:49               When the sound system is fatigued and messed up and harsh and it's trying to get through an old screen and you listen to that, you get hurt. Your ears are hurting. You go, "I hate this." And you think, "It's just too loud," because that's your first reaction. It's too loud. But actually, it's probably mostly like, distortion. And distortion is very ...

Aimée Ricca:                17:13               Well, it's the highs and lows, right, that are coming through. The highs can be piercing if they're not coming through correctly.

Brian Vessa:                  17:22               Well, yeah. That's part of what I'm calling "harshness," I guess. 

Aimée Ricca:                17:25               Okay.

Brian Vessa:                  17:27               Harshness is usually kind of in the upper frequencies, and there's a distortion there that's kind of ... and it just hurts your ears, and you don't really ... I mean, unless you're an audiophile, you don't recognize that that's what the problem is. You just know that, "My ears are hurting," and so you interpret it as too loud, but actually what it is, is the sound system is distorting.

Brian Vessa:                  17:48               And so if you go to a really high-end theater in the premium room and they have a really good sound system and you listen to the movie at the volume it's intended, it doesn't hurt your ears. You listen to the one next door that's got the 30-year-old sound system that hasn't been maintained, and they're playing it even lower than the premium screen, your ears are hurting. Because it's not the level. It's the distortion.

Brian Vessa:                  18:13               This is why doing that 60,000-mile check is so important. You talk about your car, it's like your car goes along and it's really good and you just have to give it little bits every now and then, an oil change and whatever. Then you hit that 60,000 mile or whatever, and then they need the major deal where they put in all the spark plugs and they do all the stuff.

Brian Vessa:                  18:32               And then you come away, you go, "Gee, the car's running really well." And then the car runs really well for a while and then another 40,000 miles down the line, you need another thing. But in between, you just have to sort of maintain it. It's really very similar to the sound system.

Aimée Ricca:                18:47               So do manufacturers put out any guidelines on how to do this for specific systems, or how often to do it? Or do you have recommendations?

Brian Vessa:                  18:57               I think that you should do a maintenance check every two to three months, just to make sure the system's maintaining calibration, which is really quick. You just use SMPTE 2096-2 which is the companion document to -1. It just tells you, "Set this up. Look at this. Does it compare to this? Yes? Good. If it doesn't, then time for calibration."

Brian Vessa:                  19:17               So it's just a really quick check, really worth doing. And then probably, you're going to end up doing a baseline calibration something like once a year, and depending on how the maintenance calibrations show, from every few months, how the drift is going. And of course, if a component fails, then you have to recalibrate that channel when you replace it.

Brian Vessa:                  19:38               But it's really not as bad as it sounds. I think it's just a matter of getting into a routine, where you treat the sound system like you would treat anything else in the theater, and just give it some love.

Aimée Ricca:                19:51               What are the current trends in cinema sound, and what should an exhibitor consider when they're investing in a new system?

Brian Vessa:                  20:00               Well, certainly the most trendy thing right now is immersive sound, which you may have heard of, Dolby Atmos or DTS:X or Auro-3D. And this is where you add speakers above you, so that you have the experience of height as well as the speakers on the wall and behind the screen. It's really interesting because five years ago or so, this was a novelty, but now it's really become entrenched in the mixing world. 

Brian Vessa:                  20:32               You find all of the major movies, the tent-pole movies, all the big movies are all being mixed in immersive sound. So it really is a value add, and I think if you hear a movie in immersive sound that was mixed that way, it really does bring you in. You may or may not know that you got speakers on the ceiling and there's interesting things going on, but I think you'll feel it, because it encompasses you more.

Brian Vessa:                  21:01               You feel the whole room around you. It's very immersive, literally. I think that that's probably the biggest trend. There's also some interesting things going on with some of the big venue things where they've got more speakers on the sides or they've got two screens and they've got speakers behind those, and speakers in the back, and various things like that that are kind of trendy. But for your basic movie that's going on, I think immersive sound is really the ticket for the future.

Aimée Ricca:                21:37               Do you have recommendations for immersive? Are there certain size cinemas that it works better with? Is it any existing build can install on?

Brian Vessa:                  21:47               There's the manufacturers I mentioned that make these systems, and they make them in different scales and different price points for different sizes of rooms and budgets. So it's not like all of a sudden you have to be thinking, "Oh, this is going to be way too expensive," because things have really come a long way.

Brian Vessa:                  22:00               ... too expensive, because things have really come a long way from when it was first came in, about five years ago. And we have more content now as well. Like I said, the movies are being mixed for that, and SMPTE has also been working very hard to standardize a delivery for immersive sound that will play on any system, and that is about to be published, so that's very exciting.

Aimée Ricca:                22:26               That is exciting. Thanks for the heads-up on that. So, if you're a smaller theater, maybe a mom-and-pop theater, or you're a small chain and let's say you don't have audio technicians or projector technicians, or projectionists. If there something you can do to get everything calibrated and up to speed? 

Aimée Ricca:                22:49               Would that be something that ... If you install something new, I imagine it's all done at that time and recommendations can be made, but if you have an older system, maybe not an immersive system, is there someone you can contract with? Are there independent people out there that you can work with?

Brian Vessa:                  23:07               There are, and I think it's important to get those people involved, because they really know what they're doing, and even though you might go, "Well, I don't have the money to pay them," you're going to pay more money trying to widget it and keep it going.

Brian Vessa:                  23:22               It's much better to hire somebody that really knows acoustics and have to figure out how your room is, how your system is, does it really fit the room? Do things need to be adjusted? How to optimize what you have, basically, so you don't have to buy a new system to ramp up and get significantly better sound than you have.

Brian Vessa:                  23:47               You don't have to buy an immersive audio system to have it be good sound. There are many 5.1 and 7.1 systems that really rock, that really sound great. They just really bring you in. The immersive audio is a wonderful icing on the cake, but no matter system you have, I think it's really worth taking the time to just get your system up to the best it can be, and I think you hire an acoustician to check your room, make sure how your room acoustics are, because the acoustics of the room make a big, big difference in how the sound system will sound in the room.

Brian Vessa:                  24:23               And then, if the acoustics right, then you get the sound system right for that room, have all the speakers aimed correctly and optimized and calibrated and all that, then you'll be amazed at, for just that much work right there, how all of a sudden you'll feel like, "Gosh, it's like I have a brand new sound system." You know? It really is worth doing it, and there are professional people that do that and they're very worth contacting if you don't have people like that in your organization.

Aimée Ricca:                24:51               So just to clarify for maybe listeners who don't know, when you say "5.1," you're talking about what we used to call "surround sound," right?

Brian Vessa:                  25:03               Yeah. It's what they call "stereo surround sound." At the very beginning, "surround sound" meant that you had the three speakers behind the screen and then they added speakers on the wall, and that was just one channel of surround. That was the original surround sound.

Brian Vessa:                  25:18               5.1 split that and so then, now I have a stereo surround, so I still have the same speakers on the wall, but the right side is separated from the left side, so you can get a stereo effect between that. 7.1 adds speakers in the back, so that you now have a front-to-back relationship as well as a side-to-side relationship. 7.1 is a really great format. 

Aimée Ricca:                25:41               And then immersive takes it to the level of having the speakers overhead?

Brian Vessa:                  25:46               They have the speakers overhead, exactly.

Aimée Ricca:                25:48               Okay I just wanted to make sure that everybody understood what the difference between the formats was.

Brian Vessa:                  25:53               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Aimée Ricca:                25:56               If you were going to, in summary, explain how to assure that any given movie is played well in a theater, the way that it was intended by the sound mixer, what are the five points you might give them?

Brian Vessa:                  26:12               Make sure the sound system is tuned up and doing the best it can do. Make sure it's calibrated, using ST SMPTE RP 2096-1. Make sure it's being played back at the calibrated level, which is seven on the cinema processor. Those are the three big hits right now.

Aimée Ricca:                26:37               That's a SMPTE Recommended Practice?

Brian Vessa:                  26:40               It's SMPTE Recommended Practice (RP) 2096-1. This is all the details, everything you need to do to calibrate your system, make sure it's working all right physically, everything's good. That's a very important document. 

Brian Vessa:                  26:54               It'll be the first time that a standards organization like SMPTE has actually spelled all of that out, because it's usually like hearsay or you learn it in a class or just throughout time, people have sort of figured some stuff out. This actually lays it all out, tells you exactly what to do. 

Brian Vessa:                  27:13               And then the companion document is SMPTE Recommended Practice 2096-2, which tells you just how to do a maintenance check once you've done that calibration, which is a very fast thing but a very important thing to do, to make sure the theater's maintaining its tuning.

Aimée Ricca:                27:32               So that would be the role then, that standards bodies play. You mentioned that there's an immersive audio standard so that's, I guess, taking the calibration to a new level in that SMPTE's standardizing immersive audio. 

Brian Vessa:                  27:50               Yeah. I think a standards organization like SMPTE can really create the references that people can go to, to have interoperability and consistency. The two RPs that I just mentioned will give you a good deal of consistency between movie theaters and between the mixing stage in the theater, which is really important to convey the original intent.

Brian Vessa:                  28:14               And then the immersive standards that we've been working on is a way to actually deliver a single DCP, digital cinema package, that has immersive audio in it but can be played on any brand of system, any configuration of system, immersive audio system that you have.

Brian Vessa:                  28:34               Because up to now, everything's been very specific. If you buy this system, you have to get delivered a DCP for that system and the people have to mix for that system. Now we're going to be able to mix one immersive soundtrack, deliver one DCP, and any theater can play it. So I think that's a really major step to allow immersive sound to really become inter-operable and become easy for people, because it makes it easy for the distributors, makes it easy for the exhibitors, makes it easy for the mixers.

Brian Vessa:                  29:05               The exhibitors get a big buy because they know like, "Now no matter what system I buy, whatever system I can afford, I'm going to get all of the immersive audio content that's out there and not just the immersive audio content that was mixed for the system that I bought." That's been a big bugaboo up to now, where people have been kind of reticent to invest because, "Well, if I invest in this system, then I can only get stuff that's mixed for that system and blah blah blah."

Brian Vessa:                  29:27               Now they're going to have one DCP that can play on all of those systems, so I think SMPTE has done a really big favor for the industry to work that standard. And that took us like, five years to do, but it's essentially published. It should be published here in the next few weeks, and we have some companion documents that talk a little bit about some of how the devices talk to each other and some of the other things that need to do to ensure interoperability, that'll be coming out. So it's very exciting. SMPTE has played a very large role in all of this that we've talked about today.

Aimée Ricca:                30:02               Well, I would think that would help exhibitors, and studios for that matter, because they don't have to worry about what system someone's playing it on. So when the exhibitor receives something, they're not going to call the studio and go, "You gave this to me in the wrong format. I can't play it tonight."

Brian Vessa:                  30:18               Exactly.

Aimée Ricca:                30:20               So that's a pretty big deal because more times than people imagine, things like that do happen. 

Brian Vessa:                  30:26               Oh, yeah.

Aimée Ricca:                30:26               Now, is this because of the SMPTE digital cinema package, or is this part of the immersive audio standard? Or both? Is it a combination of both of those working together?

Brian Vessa:                  30:38               Well, the digital cinema package is how you distribute a movie today. You don't send film anymore, right? You send a digital cinema package. The digital cinema package has the image file for the projector and has all the sound files for the sound, and also has subtitles and things like that. 

Brian Vessa:                  30:57               What's had to happen in the past for immersive sound is I've had to make one DCP (digital cinema package) for this system and another DCP for that system, and another DCP for that system, and all the mixers and studio people have to mix it for each one of those. 

Brian Vessa:                  31:11               Now what we're going to be able to come to is a single-inventory immersive audio digital cinema package that can be distributed to any theater that has an immersive audio system, and they can play it. Which I think is a huge change. It's like a big sea change in the whole business.

Aimée Ricca:                31:29               It's huge. 

Brian Vessa:                  31:30               It is. It's huge.

Aimée Ricca:                31:32               I think it's huge for everybody.

Brian Vessa:                  31:34               We worked very, very hard on it, let me tell you. SMPTE TC 25CSS, we worked very hard.

Aimée Ricca:                31:40               I don't think, a few years ago, anybody would have imagined that being possible. So thank you for that. And Brian, thank you for spending some time with us today. 

Brian Vessa:                  31:51               You're most welcome.

Aimée Ricca:                31:52               We hope to catch up with you again real soon. Keep us updated on your standards.

Brian Vessa:                  31:56               Will do. Thank you, Aimée, very much.