Montreal, QC (January 5, 2015) – 2014 marked the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, a publicly attended 11-day festival held every September in Toronto, Ontario. In recent years, the Festival has seen several audio milestones, and QSC Audio Products has been there every step of the way.
In 2004, TIFF installed its first QSC system in the Ryerson Theatre. As the Festival transitioned from film to digital cinema, the venue was upgraded to a QSC SC-444 amplified screen channel system, and the praises haven’t stopped: “This upgrade became the catalyst to look to QSC products as part of a long-term solution, to meet the installation requirements of new venues and to improve upon existing ones”, explains Andrei Gravelle, Senior Technical Manager for the Toronto International Film Festival.
According to Gravelle, meeting expectations and having a repeatable experience is ultimately what defines good cinema audio: “Regardless of venue size, we know we have achieved success when the critical ears of the directors, producers, audio mixers and composers attend their screenings and everything sounds as it should: powerful low frequency effects, crisp and clear dialogue reproduction, and the same timbral response as what was heard originally in the mixing facility.”
He adds, “When we were in the planning stages for our own facility, Tiff Bell Lightbox which opened in 2010, we wanted to have cinemas that were best-in-class and, based on our Festival experience, we chose QSC.”
The Elgin Theatre’s Visa Screening Room – a venue used during the Festival – had needed a surround sound audio update for several years, but because of the theatre’s classification as a historic building, upgrade options were limited. Once TIFF finally received the authorisation to make minor infrastructural changes to the venue, their technical team once again turned to QSC, and chose DCS Series SR-1030 surround speakers to provide the power handling required for this 1561-seat space.
With a total of 36 SR-1030 surround speakers installed over 10 zones, as well as a tri-amped QSC SC-444 4-way screen channel loudspeaker system, TIFF decided to integrate a Q-Sys Core250i processor to handle delay, crossovers, and EQ, mainly because of the Core’s versatility and scalability. Gravelle says, “The Q-Sys platform made for a very efficient set up. We took full advantage of network audio to place amplifiers throughout the venue in strategic locations in order to minimize cable runs.”
TIFF also purchased DPA4.3-Q and DPA4.5-Q amplifiers, designed specifically for use with the Q-Sys Network Audio Platform, which combine high power output with Q-Sys network connectivity and processing to create the ultimate audio routing and power solution for cinema.
“I have always been very impressed with the SC-444 cinema speakers, but adding the processing of the Core took it up another level”, says Gravelle. “QSC really puts a lot of thought into how their products operate together, and you always get performance that goes beyond merely the sum of all the components.”
The premiere of “Roger Water’s the Wall”, directed by Roger Waters and Sean Evans, was the film that really showcased the Elgin Theatre’s new QSC audio installation. Mixed in 7.1 with footage culled from the concert tour, the theatre’s Visa Screening Room was transformed into a stadium rock concert with studio quality sound.