Q-SYS for Cinema Immersive Audio

QSC Demonstrates Object-Based Audio at CinemaCon with Q-SYS 03/20/2014

At CinemaCon 2014 in booth 213F, QSC Audio Products will be demonstrating a versatile processing platform that can accommodate any object-based or channel-based immersive sound format. Q-SYS, the company’s network audio platform, now has the capability to directly accept a network connection from a Dolby® CP850 processor, and it can also function as the rendering engine for MDA, the multi-dimensional audio format developed by DTS®, Inc.

Immersive sound, which features a three-dimensional array of loudspeakers and the ability to place sounds anywhere in the cinema, offers filmmakers more creative freedom in the production of a cinema soundtrack. It also offers cinemagoers a much greater sense of engagement with the action on screen. Although standards are still being proposed, there are several formats which have been developed to produce the immersive audio experience. Leading formats today include Dolby Atmos™ and Barco Auro 11.1. MDA is a newer, non-proprietary, open platform solution, proposed by the MDA Cinema Proponents Group (of which QSC is a member).

“Q-SYS offers a complete solution that is compatible with any format,” says Barry Ferrell, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for QSC Audio Products. “Since it’s a complete digital audio network platform, it has the processing power and functionality to accomplish whatever the format requires, from complex signal routing to multiple loudspeakers and amplifiers, all the way to rendering and mapping of object-based audio files.”

In their booth 213F at CinemaCon, QSC demonstrates Q-SYS with Dolby Atmos and MDA format object-based sound, through a scaled-version of a complete QSC cinema audio system.

With Q-SYS, an all-digital connection is maintained from the D-Cinema server all the way to the power amplifiers. This minimizes unnecessary digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversions, which can add cost and compromise sound quality.  From a Dolby CP850 Atmos Cinema Processor, a simple Ethernet cable is all that’s required to connect to a Q-SYS Core processor, which then connects to QSC DPA-Q network amplifiers over Q-LAN, QSC’s media distribution technology. Combined with the appropriate QSC DCS loudspeakers, a complete QSC system with Q-SYS provides the most cost-effective solution for Dolby Atmos and other immersive sound applications.

Q-SYS Core processors also provide audio signal processing including Intrinsic Correction™, QSC’s proprietary method for optimizing the performance of QSC loudspeakers. 

“All loudspeakers have certain inherent anomalies that affect the sound quality to some degree,” explains Ferrell.  “Intrinsic Correction corrects these behaviors in cinema loudspeakers, removing any anomalies from the equation of factors that affect measured response and, ultimately, the quality of sound.” 

Support for object-based audio within the Q-SYS platform is expected to be available beginning in April 2014. Technicians or cinema operators considering Q-SYS for object-based formats are encouraged to contact QSC Cinema Technical Support at [email protected].