The HUMAX Cinema location based in Yokosuka, a city in central Japan is welcoming audiences back following the go-ahead to reopen with an upgraded sound system with d&b Soundscape providing enhanced capabilities.
Early in the renovation process, it was decided that one of the theatre’s rooms would be re-designed as a multi-purpose venue to showcase live events as well as films. Yokosuka HUMAX Cinemas, alongside distributor Xebex, was tasked with installing a stage and audio system into the new multi-purpose room called “Movive Theater.” Following a process of research and consultation, the decision was made employ d&b Soundscape.
“This is a unique project. Using a space such as this for movies and live events poses a significant challenge and we needed the right sound system that was capable of delivering on both,” explains Yusuke Iwano, Yokosuka HUMAX Cinema department manager. “We listened to d&b Soundscape at two previous events — Kraftwerk concert in Tokyo and Sapporo City Jazz Festival — and knew straight away Soundscape would be the best fit for us. The decision, ultimately, was an easy one.”
The installation came with challenges as the system needed to be able to capably support both applications in what marks the first time Soundscape has been installed in a movie theatre. “We’ve received some great feedback already on social media, with audiences expressing how clear the sound is compared to other cinemas,” Iwano says. “The last few months have been hard and it has been a long road to get to where we are, but d&b have been a huge support throughout and it has truly been worth the wait.”
The core of the d&b Soundscape is a DS100 Signal Engine, a high-performance audio processor with Audinate Dante networking, a64 x 64 level and a delay matrix with input/output processing. The potential of d&b Soundscape is accessed via two optional software modules — d&b En-Scene and d&b En-Space, both accessed via the d&b R1 Remote control software.
Microphones were installed in the ceiling of the theatre, and they directly feed the En-Space engine to energize the room with natural reverberation. Also in this project, a Q-SYS control system from QSC is introduced, and it offers a plugin for the DS100 that enables an operator to control and monitor the d&b amplifier on an iPad. It’s also possible to control reverberation signatures of the room directly from the Q-SYS control tablet.
Meanwhile, the loudspeaker configuration includes five 24S/24S-D in front and 16 8S as surrounds. The team decided that two sets of xS subwoofers were needed, and they’re deployed in different positions: four 18S subs installed behind the screen for movies and two 21S subs under the stage for live events.
“Soundscape allowed us to bring our unique vision to life,” Iwano concludes. “There is no other cinema in Japan that can offer audiences both live performances and movies. With Soundscape we are giving audiences the ultimate immersive audio experience is a multi- purpose venue.”