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LSC Installs Sound System Upgrades

By Ifung Lu
Associate News Editor

Patrons of Lecture Series Committee films will be treated to crisper, more realistic sound due to a major upgrade to the 26-100 sound system, according to Daniel J. Jablonski '96, chair for the LSC Booth Improvement Fund Committee.

The speaker upgrades and the new capability to process Dolby Stereo Surround and Spectral Recording will allow moviegoers to experience a wider range of frequencies than possible with the previous sound system.

"The major change will be that the sound will be much more balanced over the entire room," said Scott D. Centurino G, former chairman of LSC. "Pretty much any where in the room, you will hear the sound in stereo. This will help a lot of the "fringe" seats as well as make the middle seats a lot better."

The old speakers in 26-100 were upgraded to Bose 502A speakers, and Bose Acoustic Wave Cannons replaced the old subwoofers, which are speakers designed to put out low frequencies. A new sound processor that supports Spectral Recording and stereo surround sound was also installed.

"Basically anything in 26-100 that had to do with sound was changed," Jablonski said.

"We replaced everything from the projectors to the speakers, except for four cables," Centurino said. "The entire system has been reworked. Every little piece of it will be improving the system a lot."

The new system relies on the concept that reflected sound is more realistic than direct sound, according to Jablonski. Reflected sound also has the benefit of being heard more clearly in a larger area than with direct sound.

LSC will have a free showing of "Sneakers" at 8:00 p.m. tonight in 26-100 to test the system under normal operating conditions. They will open their 50th anniversary season on Registration Day with "Jurassic Park" presented in surround sound.

Digital sound in the works

Planning for the upgrade started before the beginning of spring term, according to Jablonski. Once the upgrade proposal was approved by administrative, safety, and Physical Plant offices, work was begun to replace the old equipment.

The new technology comes at a cost though. LSC obtained equipment donations to cut down on expenditures.

In addition, LSC members Kevin R. Lynch '96 and Phillip A. Lisiecki '96 designed and built their own electronics to control the new sound system. Lynch and Lisiecki are currently developing a new computer system that will centralize and automate system control.

"It's a step on the road to automation," Jablonski said.

By upgrading to the new sound system, LSC hopes to keep up with theater standards. Spectral Recording is currently one of the best analog standards available.

The new system will also allow for a future upgrade to digital sound, which Jablonski hopes will happen within the next decade.

"Once a digital standard has emerged, we will be able to plug right into it," Centurino said.

"[The old system] used to be state of the art, but movie technology has come a long way. We wanted to put in the best analog system," Jablonski said.