Hi guys,

A film I worked on that I mixed in stereo is being shown at a cinema on Saturday. The director went today to check the setup and test the film, on testing apparently the audio sounds very tinny and there's no bass.

The projectionist is saying that he can't do anything about it as my mix is not in 5.1.

Is this normal? I would suspect that a cinema would be able to do both. Is the projectionist being a bit of difficult?

He's also claiming he can't alter the brightness of the screen without changing the bulbs, which sounds very odd to me.

What can I do, please help!!

  • Hey Ed, assuming that you mixed in the correct space, I reckon you might need to provide some more details: your deliverable e.g. dcp, dvd, tape, film, etc; the cinema (new or old? Older cinemas may have blown their speakers), before some the more experienced guys can chime in?
    – user6513
    Nov 15, 2012 at 15:07
  • Good point. After conversing with the cinema and having already had a handful of stereo mixes played at other cinemas, I realise it's obviously the op(who isn't an op it's just the manager) doesn't know what he's doing or what he's talking about. They asked us to deliver on BLURAY, when we arrived they said they don't have a BLURAY player. They've got one now and hoping to check it again tomorrow and I'll have the opportunity to push the switch for the audio system from 5.1 to stereo. It's quite ridiculous and very unprofessional. Nov 15, 2012 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


You can also check and make sure that everything is in phase in your mix. That happened to me once. The theater was actually in mono and I hadn't correctly made sure that there were no phase issues.


Don't panic. Check the LFE channel if you have done a 5.1 job. If not (as I imagine), simply pump up the subfrequencis (I think Rbass by Waves could be great). Hope is not too late...

  • It's in stereo, I've re-exported the mix, pushed the bass slightly and raised the overall all level. Hopefully that'll fix it. Nov 15, 2012 at 16:03

Most Cinema's sadly have NOBODY who knows about the sound system. In recent years I've learned far too much about Dolby Cinema Processors. Some things to look out for:

Most Cinema's STILL take the analog outs of the BluRay player to their Cinema Processors Non-Sync input... even if they're runniing digital to the projector - most CP's can't take the AC3 from a BluRay or DVD (The CP850 does but the older 750 and 650 and anything else does not unless they have the DMA8 converter). In that case 5.1 won't happen... it's essentially PL/PLII decoding, which can cause it's own issues. In that case, do a quick Google search on the Processor - there are a number of settings that can royally screw up your soundtrack.

Good Luck!

EDIT; Just double checking... the 650 DOES do AC3 in some confifgurations as well as the 750!

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