Digital Cinema
Re-opening of the MMZ in Halle with the latest studio technology

Re-opening of the MMZ in Halle with the latest studio technology

The premises
The Mitteldeutsches Multimediazentrum (Mid-German Multimedia Center) in Halle is an entrepreneur’s center for the creative and media industry in Sachsen-Anhalt and part of the campus of the University of Halle’s Department of Media and Communication Science. The Media Center’s focus is on film production, graphics and design, and the development of software and websites.

The MMZ in Halle was severely damaged during the catastrophic floods of June 2013. The four lower floors of this striking building, which is situated right by a branch of the Saale River, were completely flooded along with their studios and all the equipment in them. Approved flood relief funds were used to return the Multimedia Center to its original purpose in September 2015, so that film and television production can once again be prepared, shot and post-produced in Halle as they are at other film-making locations like Berlin and Munich, thus attracting future film projects and their editing to the area.

The task
avs Medientechnik GmbH in Berlin was commissioned to plan professional cinematic sound and image processing equipment under the project leadership of Florian Strucken. ASC Berlin won the tender for the installation of media technology. The task was to restore outstanding cinematic sound and the best possible image processing. Most of the flood relief funding flowed into the construction of the new cinematic sound mixing facility which occupied the previously little-used movie theater on the second floor of the MMZ’s cubic block, putting it out of the reach of any future floods. In addition to the new sound mixing facilities, MMZ will from now on be offering top-level professional image editing so that the studios can attract more work. The aim was to procure the very latest AV technology in order to secure long-term, successful utilization within a permanently changing production environment.
The solution
A total of three (post-)production studios were set up at MMZ Halle: a 7.1 Dolby Atmos Premix Stage, a grading and image processing studio, and a Dolby Atmos cinematic sound mixing facility which is also suitable for image post-production. The acoustic demands were very high, particularly in the cinematic sound mixing facility, and especially because the aim was to create the first studio in the German-speaking world to feature the Dolby Atmos Premium Standard.
The new sound editing station has an American Harrison MPC5 digital film mixing desk with 64 faders, 16 displays, integrated Madi-Routers and 40 MADI I/Os with up to 2,560 input and output channels, as well as the appropriate signal processors for mixing movies in Dolby Atmos format. Various audio interfaces were also incorporated in order to enable different devices and effects processors and their digital audio signals, such as DANTE, MADI, BluLink, AES/EBU, to be connected to one another. This created a well-equipped work-place offering masses of potential for pre-production and video preparation, which includes full downwards compatibility with older formats such as 5.1.

Seven MAC PRO computers including AVID Pro Tools, AVID Media Composer and effects licenses enable professional sound editing at MMZ. The newly installed Ihse Draco tera compact KVM Matrix provides bidirectional distribution of high-resolution video, audio, and data signals. The Matrix also facilitates easy simultaneous operation of multiple ProTools computers during production.

Furthermore, Qube DCP servers including IMBs were installed and set up in order to enable encrypted DCP content to be played, including Dolby Atmos sound format, and to facilitate production with input signals up to 12 G-SDI.

A total of 44 Studt Akustik speakers were installed to Dolby specifications. They are driven by Crown DCI-8-600 N and DCI-4-1250 power amps to provide movie theater sound. This technology allows audiences to experience the same outstanding sound regardless of where they are sitting.

4K picture facilities demonstrate how far the MMZ in Halle has advanced as a new, high-performance, high-tech location for post-production. Featuring high frame-rates – which means up to 60 images per second – and High Dynamic Range contrast, the image editing facilities are state-of-the-art. The smaller grading studio is situated in the suspended cube, where a Barco DP4k-P post-production projector is also used. Color correction can be performed in either studio. The projectors are identically configured so that the venues can be allocated flexibly and working processes can proceed smoothly.

Several Crestron control centers can be used to manage the numerous items of equipment installed in the different areas of the MMZ. They enable the facility’s technicians to operate all of the media technology components easily and centrally.

ASC’s work included installing and commissioning, as well as running a workshop for MMZ’s technical staff to train them in the safe, routine operation of the equipment, thus ensuring smooth operation.

Questions? We’ll gladly assist.

  • 150921-MMZ-Halle-Slider-01-MMZ_02.jpg

    Multimedia Center in Halle

    MMZ Studios were reopened on 9.10.2015 with modern, sophisticated equipment for image and sound editing.

  • 150921-MMZ-Halle-Slider-02-Studios_02.jpg

    Multimedia Center in Halle

    The aim was to make the studio the first in the German-speaking world to feature the Dolby Atmos Premium Standard.

  • 150921-MMZ-Halle-Slider-03-Tonmischpult_02.jpg

    Multimedia Center in Halle

    At the heart of Dolby Atmos cinematic mixing is the American Harrison MPC5 sound mixing desk with which sound engineers can control each of the 44 speakers in the venue.

  • 150921-MMZ-Halle-Slider-04-Bildbearbeitungsplatz_02.jpg

    Multimedia Center in Halle

    The new cinematic sound and image editing facility at MMZ is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

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