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Making sense of cinema sound

Sound Sense, the award-winning, CEDIA, HAA, ISF and THX certified integrator had its work cut out when taking on the Dark Night installation in India – a high-end showroom owner demanded a work-class cinema solution! The results speak for themselves

Sound Sense, the award-winning CEDIA, HAA, ISF and THX certified technology integrator specialising in custom design of high-end home theatres and automation solutions, knew The Dark Night project in Anand, India, was one that would test its creative skills. A high-end electronics and home appliances showroom owner wanted a unique, discrete, world-class home cinema set-up with a large screen and a seating capacity for seven people. The cinema set-up would require AV calibration and one-touch control.

Noise priority
The theatre space is conveniently located adjacent to the store showroom and office, although the existing room structure needed updates to make it a viable theatre space. And noise isolation was a top priority, without compromising
an outstanding cinema experience.

“We faced a few challenges with the room design,” said Ankur Bhatt, founder and director of Sound Sense. “Our first obstacle was the structural planning. The entry to the cinema set-up was from the rear, centre of the room. The placement of the steps leading to the room needed to be worked out as the steps immediately followed the door opening.  We selected curved steps to allow for enough space between the doors and the step landing.

“Our next challenge was noise isolation. The home cinema room, located on the first floor of the client’s showroom, was adjacent to the client’s office space and was on the floor above the showroom’s demo floor. We carried out floor isolation to restrict all sound emanating from the home cinema. Additionally, we used door seals and automatic specialised drop-down door seals.”

The in-wall loudspeakers also played a role in abating noise. Phase Technology’s CI custom install 3-way in-wall speakers were selected for the high-end theatre audio for their high-quality sound and noise isolating properties. The patented CI 120 and CI 130 use a hybrid in-wall enclosure design that lowers the transmission of sound into an adjacent room while keeping the bass output at levels close to an infinite baffle design. With this design, a speaker with the same size rear enclosure will have bass output that extends up to one octave lower than a comparable speaker.

“The goal for this installation was to offer the client the best cinematic experience and to project the director’s intent in every way possible,” continued Bhatt. “We attended an HAA training course in Mumbai, India approximately four years ago, where MSE Audio’s Phase Technology speakers were being used for audio calibration. That’s when we became hooked on the brand and have been using various Phase Technology speakers in our demo rooms and client installations ever since.”

“We tend to stick to the custom install line of Phase Tech, including the CI-130, CI-70X, CI-7.3X and the Power FL-12 subwoofer. These speakers are helpful in discrete installations. Their on-axis and off-axis response is unique and enhances
the overall experience of the set-up. And, because of the technology used in these in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, they produce a more controlled sound that helps with noise isolation.”

The Dark Night includes a Crestron DALI digital addressable lighting interface lighting system. The Sound Sense team used the DALI system to outline the theatre walls to create low-level lighting for a striking view of the darkened room.

“Our client was quite pleased with the theatre. High-quality, reliable product solutions are the topmost priority of every AV integrator. The Phase Tech speakers used in this installation offer superlative sound and resonance recognizable by even the untrained ear. With our experience using Phase Tech speakers over the past few years, we can vouch for their consistency and reliability in terms of quality output and technical performance over time.”

Equipment List

3 – Phase Tech CI 130 LCR speakers

4 – Phase Tech CI 70X surround speakers

4 – Phase Tech CI 7.3X Atmos speakers

2 – Phase Tech Power FL12 subwoofers

Marantz AV 7704 processor

Marantz MM 8077 7-channel power amplifier

Marantz MM 7055 5-channel power amplifier

Sony BDP s1500 Blu Ray player

Apple iPad Mini for operating automation

iPort Launchport charging wall station for iPad

Milan Acoustic transparent fixed-frame screen

JVC UH1 200 Im projector

Grandview projector stand

Legrand Valrack for devices

Ubiquiti UAP AC access point

D-Link GO-SW-5G 5-port internet switch

Nvidia Shield tablet computer

Crestron CP3 automation processor

Crestron DIN DALI 2 lighting module

Crestron PW60 DIN DALI power supply

Tata Sky HD satellite TV