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Podcast #746: The THX Story

On today’s show we discuss THX, the history and what it means to you and your home theater, with David Kroll Global CI Product manager for KEF.

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THX Discussion

On today’s show we discuss THX, the history and what it means to you and your home theater, with David Kroll Global CI Product manager for KEF.

The THX Story

Born out of the Star Wars legacy and tied to one of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers, no other brand resonates with consumers as deeply, and with greater trust than THX.

One week after “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” debuted in theaters, George Lucas hired audio scientist, Tomlinson Holman, to design the audio mixing facilities at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Northern California. To begin the project, Lucas gave Holman one year to examine film audio throughout the entire production chain—from the set to the theater, and everything in between. Holman’s goal was to find a way to improve cinematic sound production and create specifications to design the state-of-the-art audio mixing rooms that would eventually house Skywalker Sound.

During that year, Holman was shocked to discover the state of most commercial cinemas. While Dolby Laboratories had made significant contributions to how sound was recorded and played back on film, no one had control over what happened on the production set or in the theater itself. Holman found that most commercial theaters had not seen significant technology improvements since World War II. Viewing angles were poor, inadequate light levels distorted images, and the quality of sound systems and auditorium acoustics made it impossible to hear the dialogue, let alone experience the filmmaker’s vision.


THX Deep Note

THX Deep Note was first composed by Lucasfilm sound engineer Dr. James ‘Andy’ Moorer in 1982, making its public debut in the THX trailer Wings, screened before the 1983 premiere of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Since then, Deep Note has permeated the industry to become one of the most iconic audio logos in the world.

In late 2014, over thirty years after the release of the iconic original, Dr. Moorer returned to the historic Skywalker Ranch and regenerated THX Deep Note using modern technologies and mixed it in current cinema audio formats. The rejuvenated Deep Note was released in early 2015 with the debut of the THX trailer Eclipse.






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Reader Comments (3)

WRAL-TV has signed on an experimental ATSC 3.0 station North Carolina with a 4k OTA signal. I know that this isn't related to today's podcast, but thought you would like to know about it. WRAL was also the first station to broadcast in HD in 1996.

July 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Wish I had known you would be talking to a person from KEF as I would love to know if they will release a Dolby Atmos add on speaker for the Q900 line of speaker, they have one for the reference series but they are very expensive and don't match my Q 900 at all.

Thanks for a great episode

July 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlan A

A very enjoyable interview.

July 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDP - San Diego

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