From left: Smart Post's President Joe Melody, Executive VP Sales Matt Preble, Re-recording Mixer Tamara Johnson, Penteo CMO Chris Stone and COO Sasha Owen. In the foreground is the Penteo/RT processor for conversion of stereo to 5.1 surround.
Photo: David Goggin
Smart Post Sound in Burbank, Calif., an industry leader in progressive audio for more than 30 years, has opened its third film and television dubbing stage. Each stage is equipped with Penteo Surround, a new process for converting stereo recordings into 5.1 surround sound.
First used in the Warner Bros. film Watchmen, the Penteo process was also used in Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster Inglourious Basterds. Penteo is also featured in the upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington, which opens on January 15, 2010.
"What first impressed me about Penteo is how flawlessly it processes and panorama slices the stereo source," explains Smart Post Re-recording Mixer Tamara Johnson. "Based on what was originally hard Left and hard Right, Penteo remaps that information to the Left and Right surrounds. We're really looking forward to doing a big project not only utilizing Penteo's panorama slicing for music, but for ambiences as well."
Penteo Surround converts stereo audio to optimum quality 5.1 surround sound for motion picture, broadcast and Internet streaming media, using Penteo proprietary technology. At the October 2009 AES Convention, the company showcased its new Penteo/RT, which automatically converts live stereo broadcasts into 5.1 surround on the fly, giving broadcasters the ability to send out all their programming as a 5.1 mix simultaneously with their stereo transmission.
"Here at Smart Post," Johnson adds, "in addition to our ADR and Foley stages and editorial bays, we now have three dubbing stages with full JBL surround monitoring. All the rooms are wired such that you put a stereo output from Pro Tools or an external source such as an iPod or a CD player into the Penteo/RT box. The Penteo processor is wired back into Pro Tools and I have the six channels right there. All of that control, using Pro Tools automation, is so exciting. It's as if you have been given an actual 5.1 original recording to work with and can create truly powerful 5.1 Surround."
The Penteo 5.1 mix automatically snaps back to the original 2-channel mix when presented in conventional stereo settings. "Stereo compatibility is not an issue," Penteo founder John Wheeler explains. "We mathematically equal the original stereo mix, but spread out over five positions, so that it precisely downmixes back to the original for traditional broadcasting."