The producers of Noah recently relied on Deluxe New York’s new mixing stage at 435 Hudson Street to create the soundscape for the film by director Darren Aronofsky. The theater, among the largest Dolby Atmos capable sound stages in New York, was the site where Skip Lievsay, recent recipient of an Oscar for Gravity, and Craig Henighan mixed the film, utilizing the lifelike sound made possible by Dolby Atmos technology.
“[The stage] is a welcome addition to the city,” said Lievsay, who mixed dialogue and music for the film. “It’s nice to have another relatively large stage in the city and this is the largest with Dolby Atmos capability, which was vital for Noah. It was a great place to work.”
“Darren is Brooklyn born and bred and he has his family here,” said Henighan. “So we really wanted to be able to finish in New York. The crew at Deluxe and Dolby started in late December and burned the midnight oil to get everything completed so by the start of 2014 we were able to do all the sound work with the entire team based in New York.”
Dolby Atmos allows mixers an unprecedented degree of control over the audio with “object based” mixing – far greater than the 5.1 or even 7.1 standards, with the ability to spread sounds throughout the theater, including directly overhead, in a way that is scalable and allows each individual Dolby Atmos-enabled theater to get the most of the sound design, independent of its size or the number of speakers it has.
“Dolby Atmos gives you more options for moving energy around the room and ceiling,” said Lievsay. “If a character is speaking off-screen, say they would be to the rear left of the theater, we can accurately place that character in that space. If you’re a director who is open to that idea, as Darren is, then Dolby Atmos is really the only way to do it.”
“Obviously, there is a lot of rain in the story of Noah,” Henighan added, “and Dolby Atmos allowed me to take the rain to the back of the theater and overhead. I had recorded a lot of real rain from outside and inside wooden barns and I was able to spread all these sounds throughout the theater to give the audience an incredible sense of really being inside the ark.”