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Goldcrest Studios, Soho, London

Posted on: Monday 7th of November 2016

Across its two Soho sites, which are but three minutes apart, Goldcrest offers three Dolby licensed dubbing theatres, ADR, cutting rooms, data extraction, film recording and scanning, online editing, 4K and 2K grading in 2D and 3D for theatrical releases plus Ultra HD Standard and High Dynamic Range grading passes for home cinema and broadcast transmission. The newest of these various facilities, Mix Theatre 1, is entombed way beneath their rather unassuming building on the corner of Dean and Bourchier Streets.  With a 7 metre wide screen, a 15 metre throw and a 6 metre ceiling height throughout, it is an impressive space.  Well above head height, about half way up the muted blue and gray walls, Simon Ray, Head of Operations & Engineering, points out a discrete strip of LED lights that coincidentally mark the approximate floor level of the previous theatre’s basement.  This gives some indication of the scope of what has been, strictly speaking, a redesign rather than a new installation.

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‘We had an existing theatre that had a smaller footprint.  It had a maximum ceiling height of about three metres and it had pillars, that held up the rest of the building, running through it. There wasn’t really much acoustic treatment in there so it didn’t sound great, either. It was big compared to a lot of audio rooms, I suppose, but not big enough for a major theatrical mixing suite. The aims of the redesign were increasing height, that was the main thing, and removing the pillars, because that would then give us the maximum space we had to work in.’

Theatre 1 is Dolby Atmos Premiere licensed and has a 7m wide screen with a projector capable of DCP playback. It benefits from not one but two exclusive cutting rooms and has it’s own green room too. Monitoring is JBL screen channel speakers with Meyer surrounds. The primary console is the first dual operator 72 fader AMS Neve DFC3D Gemini Digital mixing console to be installed anywhere in the world. Both theatres are on the same shared storage system so, for example, a mix that has just been finished in Theatre 1 could be listened to in Theatre 2 without copying data across. All the Pro Tools are on the same DKVM systems as well, so rigs can easily moved between rooms depending on requirements.

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The Theatre 2 console is Europe’s biggest dual operator 48 fader Avid M40 S6. The modular nature of the S6 allows Simon and his team to reconfigure the room depending on the nature of each job and major configuration changes that might have been impractical previously can now be made in a few hours.



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