"I feel that sound is half the experience. Filmmakers should focus on making sure the soundtracks are really the best they can possibly be because in terms of an investment, sound is where you get the most bang for your buck."

George Lucas
Interview MIX Magazine by Larry Blake. Nov 1, 2004. 

Since the birth of motion pictures, the industry and its customers have demanded continual
image and sound improvements to enhance the overall entertainment experience. 
Multi-speaker surround was the perfect means to create spatially-dynamic, immersive audio in theatres.
But in today's streaming revolution - with its limitations of a laptop's or mobile's small speakers
and ear-bud audio - Timber 3D has made the technological leap of creating theatrical quality sound  
for streaming the bigger-than-life story. 

The evolution of Sound in the movie industry

1897 - 1920s

The birth of motion pictures and the silent movies era.

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1940 - 1970s

Walt Disney’s acclaimed Fantasia, released in 1941, becomes the first film to incorporate surround sound. In the "Flight of the Bumblebee” segment the bumblebee was heard buzzing all around the audience, not just in front of the screen.
Competition from television over the following years inspired even better audio reproduction to theatres, including experiments in stereo. 

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1990 2010

The CGI age (animation and action driven films) demands better sound in the theatres. Many versions of Surround Sound are developed, and home surround goes digital in 1995 with the introduction of the first Dolby Digital laserdisc, followed by the DVD explosion and Blu-ray.

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The first “talkie”; "The Jazz Singer" opens the door to the "Hollywood Golden Age". It is the first feature-length motion picture with not only a synchronised music score, but also lip-synchronous singing and dialogue.


1977 - 80s

The big boost for surround sound was the 1977 release of Star Wars, with its swooping rear-channel effects. The success of Star Wars and the Blockbuster formula inspired theatre owners to upgrade their audio equipment to the surround sound format.

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The digital streaming revolution is in high gear now. Producers need to continue delivering immersive sound to their audiences, but now these audiences are everywhere and with streaming media our listening behaviour has changed drastically 

"The eye believes what the ear hears."

Dugan Rosalini, Filmmaker.

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Digital video has transformed the entertainment industry

Streamers and Producers now have to cope with changes in the entire supply chain, from production to distribution.


Small Stereo speakers
and headphones

Digital video distribution and portable devices limit playback to two small speakers and simple stereo out, while the surround mix is heard only in cinemas and the premium, home, multi-channel audio systems.


Films direct to VOD

Producers and distributors are investing heavily in high quality productions aimed mainly for VOD platforms.  


But in the meantime, we’re still mostly listening to regular movie theatre surround mixes optimised in the best case for stereo speaker playback, but rarely for headphones.

Unfortunately, the playback of a downmixed surround mix on stereo speakers and headphones is a far cry from the original intended audio experience.

The end result is that the listening experience in streaming falls short.

Producers and sound mixers need to deliver mixes that brings the best sound quality to these online users, it is a market that cannot be ignored.