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L.A.’s Chace Audio Celebrates Two Decades

Chace Audio, well known for sound preservation and restoration, celebrated its 20th Anniversary in April 2004, marking an important milestone for the Los Angeles area facility.

Chace Audio, well known for sound preservation and restoration,celebrated its 20th Anniversary in April 2004, marking an importantmilestone for the Los Angeles area facility. Having witnessed the birthof digital audio, and its transformation and widespread acceptance overthe last two decades, Chace Audio remains one of the preeminentindependent providers of stereo remastering for film soundtracks. Thefacility is regularly called upon by leading studios to resurrect andtransform film soundtracks damaged by the effects of time into stunning5.1 or 6.1 multichannel stereo for DVD or theatrical re-release. Of theAmerican Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 films of all time,Chace Audio has lent unique services to an impressive 86 titles.

Chace’s strength has always been an ability to maintain afocus on the interrelated process of preserving, restoring andremastering the sounds for which Hollywood is famous. Over the previous20 years, Chace has restored, preserved or remastered cinemamasterpieces that include Gone With The Wind, The Wizard OfOz, Close Encounters Of the Third Kind–The Director’sCut, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Seven,Singin’ in the Rain, Easy Rider, and TheGodfather trilogy. For each project it undertakes, Chace seeks notonly to restore or re-master the soundtrack itself, but also topreserve and understand the history of audio in cinema. Ultimately, thegoal of preservation, restoration and remastering is to maintain whatfacility founder Rick Chace dubbed, “the original look, sound and feelof every project.” Twenty years later, the passion for this missionstill remains true.

A big part of the remastering process incorporates the proprietaryChace Digital Stereo® processor (CDS), first conceived andinvented by Chace in the 1980s. The CDS processor is a patented,programmable, workstation-based system for making true directionalstereo with stereo surrounds from monaural sources. No sounds areadded; none are removed. The CDS processor is not merely a 5.1 panningdevice, nor is it a stereo width expander. Rather, it is an advanced,integrated and fully programmable system that transforms mono audiointo natural and real 5.1 surround stereo.

“We have relied on Chace Production’s mix of talent andtechnology many times to restore and remaster the soundtracks to manyclassic MGM titles,” states John Kirk, director of technicaloperations for MGM. “Films including three Blake Edwards’Pink Pantherclassics, Mad Max, and The Battle ofBritain were all remastered into 5.1 for DVD release by MGM HomeEntertainment using Chace Digital Stereo technology with captivatingresults. What impresses me most is the respect the Chace engineers holdfor artistic integrity with which these diverse titles were made andthe meticulous attention to detail they demonstrate throughout eachproject.”

Over the last two decades, Chace Productions has expanded from itsoriginal 7,900-square foot building to now include a four-buildingcomplex, encompassing over 26,000 square feet. Dubbing capabilities inthe renowned THX®-certified Rick Chace Theatre, ADR/Foley andoptical sound recording (in SR-D and DTS) are located in the Rick ChaceFilm Center – a separate 7,000-square foot complex around thecorner from the main compound. Chace’s two newest buildingsinclude a 5,000-square foot short-term storage vault with segregatedstorage for severely deteriorated elements and a 6,800 square footadministrative and research and development building.

“The last two decades have seen tremendous changes in both thefilm and audio industries, and we are extremely pleased to still be aleading service provider to the entertainment community,” statesBob Heiber, president of Chace Audio. “Within the last fiveyears, the growth of home theater has powerfully demonstrated thecapabilities of the multichannel stereo format. As a facility with thelongest legacy working in this medium, we look forward to the next 20years.”

He concludes, “New equipment for handling elements inextremely difficult conditions, along with a fourth generation opticalreader, is already in the works. We’ll only get to the future byrecovering the past, so we want to be as ready for it aspossible.”

For more information about Chace, go to their Website at