Legendary film director, Francis Ford Coppola, has had his American Zoetrope film studio in California’s Napa Valley fitted with Meyer Sound EXP cinema sound systems.
Coppola—famous for films such as The Godfather (1972) and Apocalypse Now (1979)—fitted the system in three of the rooms at the American Zoetrope studio.
The new Meyer rig in the ADR Stage, ADR Control Room and Screening Room will supplement a previous Meyer EXP installation in the studio’s Re-recording Stage. With further rooms introduced to EXP tech it will ensure that there is seamless translation between the new rooms and Zoetrope’s Re-recording stage which in 2009 became the first facility of its kind to install a complete EXP system.
“With Meyer Sound, there has been a tremendous increase in power, yet with distortion eliminated,” explained Coppola on his experience with Meyer’s EXP rig. “If the sound were a picture, you would immediately notice how incredibly focused it is, with no blurring.”
Coppola used the Meyer Sound EXP system in the Re-recording Stage whilst working alongside re-recording mixers, Walter Murch and Pete Horner, on his 2009 film Tetro.
So what has actually been fitted? The new intimate screening room at the studio—dubbed the Center Theater—has been fitted with Meyer Sound Acheron Designer screen channel loudspeakers, Meyer Sound X-800C cinema subwoofers and Meyer Sound HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers.
In the ADR Studio, the team plumped for an EXP system composed of a Meyer Sound UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers which were deployed in a 5.1 screen/surround configuration. In addition, the ADR Studio rig includes an X-800C self-powered subwoofer.
Finally, the ADR Control Room installation fitted an identical Meyer Sound UPJ-1P self-powered loudspeaker 5.1 configuration. However, it was supported by Meyer Sound 500-HP subwoofer which was scaled to the smaller room volume found in the ADR Control Room.
What about processing? Well each of the three rooms used the same Meyer Sound Galileo loudspeaker management system with Galileo 616 processors for loudspeaker system control and optimisation.
This Galileo tech means that the various resources in the studio can be flexibly and innovatively repurposed as necessary. This has been an important tradition at American Zoetrope ever since Murch’s pioneering work on the Academy Award-nominated Apocalypse Now. For example, Zoetrope’s Avid ICON console can be moved from the ADR Control Room to the ADR Stage. This quickly converts the ADR Stage to a pre-mix suite.
Watch the fascinating interview with Francis Ford Coppola himself below: