Sound Formats for your next film

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Today we will talk about different options (recommendations) for your digital films. Those of which include: Dolby Digital, SDDS, DTS, and SRS.

Dolby Digital

Dolby® Digital, also called AC-3, is an advanced audio encoding/decoding technology that efficiently delivers up to 5.1 discrete channels of vibrant surround sound for broadcasting, home theater, cinema, PC, online streaming, and video game programming. (Source: Dolby’s Website).

SDDS

Created by Sony, “Sony Dynamic Digital Sound,” is a format that produced up to 8 channels of sound. Allowing for a more “surround sound” feel to the audio in the film. The 8 channels consist of the following:  Left, Center-Left, Center, Center-Right and Right channels behind the screen. Left and Right surround channels, plus a low-frequency channel for special effects, like explosions, etc…

DTS

According to the DTS web site, it is “fully compatible with all current 5.1 digital formats and systems, and DTS-ES also provides event closures to trigger dramatic trailer and feature effects, such as strobe lights, lasers, and more.”

To apply these definitions to this tutorial/tip we suggest that you look for the genre of your future film, from sci-fi to drama to comedy, depending on the movements and the need of surrounding sound will affect the choice of the latter. For a quick example: if you are looking to film an action/sci-fi film you would be better off choosing Dolby Digital to the highest level, now 9.1 surround sound. Most new cameras in the market are promoting this digital sound format as the ‘latest and greatest.’ In my opinion it sounds pretty darn good. You can always go to your neighborhood electronics store and test it out for yourself. In which case you will understand how action films will largely benefit from the rich digital sound that Dolby Digital provides us.

Keep coming back for more, we will touch on Dolby’s new Atmos formats soon.

Alex G

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Alex G is a photographer, filmmaker and designer based out of San Juan, PR. He writes about technology, photography, and film. He is an Android/Linux fanatic, proud Pixel owner.