Meeting Topic: The Sound of IMAX
Moderator Name: Sy Potma
Speaker Name: Denis Tremblay - IMAX Senior Audio Systems Designer
Other business or activities at the meeting: - London Student Executive was introduced.
Meeting Location: Fanshawe Collage, London, Ontario, Canada
Denis Tremblay was originally from Sudbury Ontario, which is where he got his start. From an early age, he was very interested in audio. At the age of 14, he disassembled his brothers record player to see how it worked, which he eventually managed to get back together. In high school, he had a job at a Hi-Fi shop. He worked there, putting together loudspeakers from kits, and learning all he could about the technical side of the gear. At the age of 24, he purchased a Revox A77, which he started to use for live recordings. He soon figured out bouncing from one track to another to create multitrack recordings like Les Paul first did in the 50's.
He started doing volunteer work as a audio tech and recording guy for NLFB, which was a big festival in Sudbury. He worked his way up to Technical Director which allowed him to still do the technical side of things which he loved, but also more direction and management. He saw an ad for a job at EMI Capital records in Mississauga Ontario for technical help. He applied and got the job and had to move to Brampton, which is where he currently resides today.
When he started at EMI it was during the transition in the music industry from vinyl to tape. During his time at EMI, he helped design and construct many audio electronics which were used in audio mastering and tape duplication in Canada, and also wrote software and tools for quality control. After EMI, he operated AudiOn, which is a company which designs and builds professional audio electronics. They were one of the first to create an Active Noise Control system, created line drives, servo sub-bass systems, and custom designed monitors.
In the mid 90's, Denis moved to Sony Music Canada, where he was in charge of quality assurance in compact disc manufacturing. When the music industry started going downhill, he left Sony to work in industrial automation, designing systems and writing programs for industrial control systems. During this he worked for Aercoustics Engineer, then Echo Logics, where he worked on their acoustics based water leak detection system.
Now Denis is working at IMAX Corporation as the Senior Audio Systems designer, where he is in charge of the development and design of the IMAX audio playback systems. He just recently created a whole new playback system which is currently in testing phases, and soon to be installed in select theaters. IMAX theaters sound systems are all designed to a specific specification. All their speakers and amps and gear is all custom made, and is very powerful. Their technology is very cutting edge, and not much can be released. Their are 5 or 6 (for big venues) speakers in an IMAX theater, creating a very distinct surround sound, and pinpoint locations for sounds. Most of their speakers (from pictures shown) are around 6 feet tall.
Written By: Alex Krotz