text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
Discoveries
design element
Discoveries
Search Discoveries
About Discoveries
Discoveries by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page

Discovery
Academy-Award Winning Cinema Pioneer Creates Theater Sound for the 21st Century

Tom Holman, developer of the Lucasfilm THX Sound Systemę used in thousands of movie theaters, is an audio engineer at the forefront of movie theater acoustics and speaker technology.

the 10.2-channel surround sound system,

Setup of the 10.2-channel surround sound system.
Credit and Larger Version

September 29, 2003

 

Sound pioneer Tomlinson Holman, developer of the Lucasfilm THX Sound System© used in thousands of movie theaters, recently received a 2001 Academy Award Certificate for Technical Achievement recognizing his more than two decades of research as an audio engineer at the forefront of movie theater acoustics and speaker technology.

In addition to developing THX -- the name derived from Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment -- Holman was lead developer of George Lucas's state-of-the-art cinema production facilities Skywalker Ranch and Skywalker Sound.

Now a professor and researcher at NSF's Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) at the University of Southern California, Holman is focusing on the next generation of cinema sound, especially the 10.2-channel surround sound system. The 10.2 system, designed for public and home theater use, uses 12 speakers in 10 locations, plus two subwoofers, to create a better sense of aural immersion.

The ranges of pitches and loudness for cinema sound have already exceeded the limits of human hearing and Holman believes sound space is the next frontier for audio research. Under the direction of Chris Kyriakakis and Holman, NSF's IMSC Immersive Audio Lab is researching methods to expand these spatial limits - what Holman calls "the Manifest Destiny of recorded sound."

"Here is where we can push the scientific envelope," said Holman of the Immersive Audio Lab, where he conducts his research. "Many people who hear of 10.2-channel sound say its crazy . . . that's exactly where we should be. Then when they actually hear it, they're astounded."
 -- Josh Chamot

Investigators
Ulrich Neumann
Chris Kyriakakis
Tomlinson Holman
Alexander Sawchuk
Chrysostomos Nikias

Related Institutions/Organizations
University of Southern California

Locations
California

Related Programs
Engineering Research Centers

Related Awards
#9529152 Engineering Research Center for Integrated Media Systems Center

Total Grants
$27,524,602

Related Agencies
DARPA

Related Websites
IMSC Immersive Audio Laboratory: http://audiolab.usc.edu
The Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) at the University of Southern California (USC): http://imsc.usc.edu

a soldier in an immersive training environment
The graphic depicts a soldier in an immersive training environment.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page