maxmercy

The Low Frequency Content Thread (films, games, music, etc)

3,974 posts in this topic

Fatshaft at AVS graphed it about a week ago in the ULF thread. Looked pretty good to me.

I saw the same graph and thought the same thing.  I think my Crowson will pick up some good stuff with this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far, I like what I am seeing.  I am anxious to hear it my own system.  But one thing has me confused

 

Above you say

" Not the loudest or deepest but very impactful and dynamic.  And no clipping!"

Then you say

So I'll start this off by saying there's good evidence this soundtrack is brick walled at -3dB, leading to a track that is paradoxically both lower in volume and riddled with clipped wave forms.  I'll take a close look at the waveforms this evening.

 

Not sure what brick walled at -3db means (filtered?).  But then you say it's has a lot of clipped wave forms.  So does that mean that when you just listened to it, you could not tell that it had clipping and that's why you said no clipping?  And you, plus other people said it sounded great.  But the measurements show it does have clipping but it does not affect the overall sound track in a negative way?  Is that what you are saying.  So that must mean that in the end, regardless of the clipping, the audio guys did a really good job of not having it be a bad thing for the movie.  Plus I figured that 13hz would probably be the ultimate low end.  

 

I quickly glanced over the waveforms in Audacity at 11PM before going to bed.  That program has a setting where it highlights any signal that clips above 0 dB.  Looking at TFA I didn't see any of those highlights, so I believed there was no clipping.  Maxmercy mentioned that he had done some closer examining of the actual wave forms and noticed all kinds of flat tops that indicate a brickwall limiter was being used, but set to -3dB.  So basically nothing made it through that was louder than that and it can cause the same effect as hard clipping (where the signal goes over 0dB), just at a lower volume.  I haven't had a chance to confirm his findings yet but Max is a pro at this stuff so he's likely correct, and that's why I said there was good evidence.

 

Long story short the track does not hard clip due to it's low volume, but it may have clipped waveforms regardless.

 

That being said no, I didn't find the clipping to be objectionable outside of the Starkiller base weapon firing.  That one did sound kinda bad.

 

As far as the 13Hz extension, that is the point where the bass levels are -10dB down from wherever the 'peak' frequency is.  It's not however the lowest frequency contained in the sound track.  TFA has content all the way down to 1Hz but even Bossobass Dave likely wouldn't be able to do much with it due to it's low intensity compared to the stuff higher in the spectrum.

 

Sorry for the confusion.  The lesson learned is that I shouldn't try to bang these reviews out right before bed on a weeknight :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem.  I can't wait to check this out.  I hope my Crowson is pretty active :D. At least it doesn't seem to be as objectionable as other films are.

Thanks for the explanation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 will reveal every little annoying rattle in your listening room

 

this 100%.  during the poe examination with the force...I had rattles I never  knew I had...time to replay that scene and go rattle hunting!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this seem to be the norm now.  A nice response to just before 30hz.  Then a ramp and peak right at 30hz then it just goes down from there.  Not every movie, but a lot of movies seem to employ that.  Or am I wrong.  And if I am not wrong, why did this trend start.  I hope to test it in my system pretty soon.

P.S

Thanks to everyone who does all these charts and explains what they mean  :) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks to everyone who does all these charts and explains what they mean  :) .

 

I was just thinking that today...again.  This is an incredibly informative site and I'm appreciative of all of the personal time given to get us good and timely information.  Definitely appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some comments on TFA:

 

1. LCRS are FULL bandwidth, with -10dB extension into the single digits for LCR, and the teens for the surrounds.  LFE rolls off below 30Hz, a little shallower than Iron Man.

 

2. The fact that LCRS are full bandwidth means that effects that have lots of ULF push the signal into the brick-wall limiter that appears to have been employed at -3dB, causing the clipped waveforms.

 

3. The clipping is not that objectionable because we really have no other reference for these sound effects other than the sometimes clipped soundtracks from Ep IV-VI (Empire Strikes Back is the worst offender).

 

All in all, it could have been a better track, but the film is good enough not to draw too much attention to the clipping.  It clips much like Thor did, just to a lesser extent.

 

minnjd,  I get a 1Hz extension on the peak graph for this track, as there is a 1Hz spike at some point.  I know it is a 'cheat', but other films have done the same to get 5-Star Extension ratings...

 

There will be a BEQ solution posted for this film for those that need to break their houses.

 

 

JSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the fixed PvA:

 

force-awakens-796538.jpg

 

 

Yes I saw that 1Hz bump but I ignored it because it is a cheat and almost looked like stray signal noise when it happens.  I'll adjust the numbers for the poll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a slightly different PvA.  What were your FFT/window settings?  The 1Hz bump hits nearly -20 on my graph.  Overall, the graphs are very similar.  Lots of 15-50Hz to be had here.

 

JSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this seem to be the norm now.  A nice response to just before 30hz.  Then a ramp and peak right at 30hz then it just goes down from there.  Not every movie, but a lot of movies seem to employ that.  Or am I wrong.  And if I am not wrong, why did this trend start.  I hope to test it in my system pretty soon.

P.S

Thanks to everyone who does all these charts and explains what they mean  :) .

 

Many movies have this curve due to the environment they are originally mixed for.  Most commercial theaters don't go much below 30Hz with their subs, and virtually none can go below 20Hz with any authority.  This means that any content down there is inaudible to the average movie goer.  Being that movies are being filled with louder and louder bass effects, those under 30Hz frequencies are deliberately filtered out in order to gain additional bandwidth that they can then use to really push the 30-40Hz content that theaters can reproduce.

 

This doesn't always happen though.  The Martian, for instance, doesn't employ any kind of filter on it's bass, hence the mostly flat line from 50Hz down to 1Hz.  That being said, the bass in the Martian is fairly subdued, so it's likely they didn't need the additional headroom that would've been gained by filtering the LFE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a slightly different PvA.  What were your FFT/window settings?  The 1Hz bump hits nearly -20 on my graph.  Overall, the graphs are very similar.  Lots of 15-50Hz to be had here.

 

JSS

 

1024 with a 48 decimation.  10ms scroll rate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the PvA I got, looks like our scales are just a little different.  I go down to -70dB.  We can continue this in PM

 

post-20-0-10574700-1459999958.jpg

post-20-0-10574700-1459999958_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I'm real excited for this one and the potential for BEQ to make it even better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a newcomer I am not sure if any of you have discussed tone generators before, and in case you haven't I feel like some might find it useful for demonstration purposes. 

 

So here is the one I often use: http://plasticity.szynalski.com/tone-generator.htm

 

This has also helped me minimise the nulls/peaks while doing the bass crawl at my new place -  wouldn't call it perfect yet, but the corner traps are on the way ;)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many movies have this curve due to the environment they are originally mixed for.  Most commercial theaters don't go much below 30Hz with their subs, and virtually none can go below 20Hz with any authority.  This means that any content down there is inaudible to the average movie goer.  Being that movies are being filled with louder and louder bass effects, those under 30Hz frequencies are deliberately filtered out in order to gain additional bandwidth that they can then use to really push the 30-40Hz content that theaters can reproduce.

 

This doesn't always happen though.  The Martian, for instance, doesn't employ any kind of filter on it's bass, hence the mostly flat line from 50Hz down to 1Hz.  That being said, the bass in the Martian is fairly subdued, so it's likely they didn't need the additional headroom that would've been gained by filtering the LFE.

OK.  I understand that.  But instead of willfully filtering out those frequencies in the track itself, isn't it possible to have a setup where the soundtrack and LFE channel are full range and reach their potential, but then have the actual movie theaters implement their 30hz filter on that track to make it louder but when it is brought to the home that won't happen since it was never filtered to begin with.  I realize that won't happen because it would too much work for each theater.  And having two mixes, one for the theater and one for the home remastered to lower that peak is probably a bit too much to ask also.  But if something works like all the 5 star films. and even 4.75 films here, it would be great if there was a template that could be used to carry those settings to other movies.

 

You know, that's something that I never really paid attention to.  I just took a look at a number of charts here and the majority of them, even some of the 5 star ones, have a peak at 30-40hz.  But I guess those movies have other aspects that make them 5 stars.  I still can't wait to watch this over the weekend though.  I still think it will sound nice in my room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK.  I understand that.  But instead of willfully filtering out those frequencies in the track itself, isn't it possible to have a setup where the soundtrack and LFE channel are full range and reach their potential, but then have the actual movie theaters implement their 30hz filter on that track to make it louder but when it is brought to the home that won't happen since it was never filtered to begin with.  I realize that won't happen because it would too much work for each theater.  And having two mixes, one for the theater and one for the home remastered to lower that peak is probably a bit too much to ask also.  But if something works like all the 5 star films. and even 4.75 films here, it would be great if there was a template that could be used to carry those settings to other movies.

 

You know, that's something that I never really paid attention to.  I just took a look at a number of charts here and the majority of them, even some of the 5 star ones, have a peak at 30-40hz.  But I guess those movies have other aspects that make them 5 stars.  I still can't wait to watch this over the weekend though.  I still think it will sound nice in my room.

 

You hit the nail on the head.  Most theaters aren't run by technical people and a lot of them already have plenty of problems just trying to reach a decent presentation standard.

 

Many movies these days are remixed to some extent for the home environment.  The dynamic range is often reduced and the track is EQ'ed for smaller rooms and lower volumes.  I suppose it's possible they could remove the 30Hz filters when they do this but that would likely entail more remixing work than it's worth to them.  Much as it sucks to hear, ULF capable systems are few and far between in the grand scheme of things and for the most part mixers don't pay any attention to it.

 

Even 5 star movies were originally mixed for the theater, so for the most part they will have 30 Hz peaks and some kind of falloff afterwards.  The good ones minimize that slope.  Given the demand for MOAR BASS it's getting less likely to see truly unfiltered mixes, but they are out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand.  I guess I just also don't like the loudness war either.  That seems to affect how movies sound in the home as well.  What's interesting is that I have one BR that they put the theater version of the audio and a home version of a DTS-MA soundtrack on the disk.  So the user can choose which one to play.  It's too bad more movies can't do that.  It might make a difference.  I watched it with the home mix and it sounded really good.  I have not watched the theater mix yet.  I guess the real test would be to play both back to back to see if anybody could hear a difference.  The movie BTW is the Criterion release of "The Game".

https://www.criterion.com/films/28058-the-game

As I said, one is the original theatrical release and the other was optimized for HT viewing and was supervised by the person who 

did the sound on the film.  I just thought that was interesting.  I know mixers do a lot of work but it's too bad that what I described above can't be incorporated 

into the workflow  :( .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand.  I guess I just also don't like the loudness war either.  That seems to affect how movies sound in the home as well.  What's interesting is that I have one BR that they put the theater version of the audio and a home version of a DTS-MA soundtrack on the disk.  So the user can choose which one to play.  It's too bad more movies can't do that.  It might make a difference.  I watched it with the home mix and it sounded really good.  I have not watched the theater mix yet.  I guess the real test would be to play both back to back to see if anybody could hear a difference.  The movie BTW is the Criterion release of "The Game".

https://www.criterion.com/films/28058-the-game

As I said, one is the original theatrical release and the other was optimized for HT viewing and was supervised by the person who 

did the sound on the film.  I just thought that was interesting.  I know mixers do a lot of work but it's too bad that what I described above can't be incorporated 

into the workflow  :( .

 

I have this disc as well.  I sampled the two soundtracks and they are quite a bit different, especially in overall tone.  The home track is less dynamic but also has the bass frequencies boosted, so they are audible at lower volumes.  The theatrical track had to be turned up a lot higher for that, but then the louder parts were almost deafening.  Personally I prefer the home mix.

 

I agree though that Criterion did the right thing by giving users the option and trusting us to pick the right one.  Unfortunately, Criterion is pretty abnormal in this regard.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the home track as well because people seem to indicate that it was a better overall track.  I am a big time Criterion collector.  I just wish they had a few more multi channel sound tracks as opposed to just mono.  But if you buy Criterion, you buy it for the film and picture, less for the sound.  I just wish more sound tacks could be like WOTW or Elysium or Oblivion or EOT or some of the other really good ones.  It's a shame that we have to suffer through bad sound tracks sometimes.  But...  I have yet to watch SW TFA in my own room so I will reserve judgement until then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Criterion is all about presenting their movies in their original release format.  Given the type of movies they do, mono is pretty common.  While it might annoy surround sound enthusiasts, I really respect Criterion's approach and wish more studios would do the same.  Or at the very least provide original mixes and home mixes side by side.  Hell even Disney did that for a while (on the Lion King and Aladdin).

 

As far as TFA goes you'll enjoy it.  It does clip and the bass is filtered (slightly), but it does sound pretty good overall.  Definitely the most aggressive Star Wars soundtrack yet. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BEQ solution on both the BEQ thread and the TFA thread, with caveats noted.

 

JSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now