maxmercy

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

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Your welcome folks.

I just figured out how to do real comparos with the films. Check it out, Battle:LA vs Avengers (had to downsize, ran out of upload space):

Any film can now be directly compared to another if a question should arise, and not just with the octave values.

JSS

PS - From all comparisons I have done, Immortals is King. Too bad the limiters clipped the track.

EDIT - Immortals is no longer king after a level-matching issue. Graph deleted to save upload space.

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There are still many films to go, WOTW, WOTT, and others. So far, I threw in the heavy hitters I own or have on loan, and Immortals took it to 'em. I am again out of town this weekend. If I get a chance, I'll get some more graphs done after that, and update the first post with ratings and ask for consensus on them, as well as any other films to graph. I plan on doing Project X, Scott Pilgrim, CitW, Prometheus, The Transformers Films, and The Iron Man films as well as Captain America and other requests. We should have a really good databass soon.

 

JSS

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Awesome stuff Max. Is there an export function out of SL? Never knew that if so...Looks like you are importing this into Excel or OO? Anyway really cool. Make sure that you do the movie 9 if you get a chance. I don't think it will best some of the super heavyweights but i expect it will earn it's 5 stars. Another good one would be The Hurt Locker.

 

BTW I brought the attachments limit to Kyle's attention last night. He is going to look into it when he gets a chance (He is closing on a new home so you know how that is. Might take a few days.) Sorry about that. We will get it fixed.

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Ricci,

 

I export peak/avg screen caps from SpecLab, then extract the data using the Java application DataThief, then import that into Excel, to be able to generate all kinds of charts, and direct comparisons. I measured my roll off and applied a correction curve in Excel, so I am flat to 2Hz.

 

Dynamics per octave and overall can also be calculated by subtracting average from peak power calculations. These numbers combined with individual scene waterfalls should provide a solid objective reference for rating LF content in films.

 

I'll add 9 and The Hurt Locker as well as WotW to the Netflix queue.

 

JSS

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Your welcome folks.

 

I just figured out how to do real comparos with the films. Check it out, Battle:LA vs Avengers (had to downsize, ran out of upload space):

 

Any film can now be directly compared to another if a question should arise, and not just with the octave values.

 

JSS

 

PS - From all comparisons I have done, Immortals is King. Too bad the limiters clipped the track.

 

Fantastic graph, Max! Comparisons like that would be very helpful. :)

 

One oldie from my dvd graphing days I'd like to see is Running Scared. Had some good single digit content, iirc. The openning shootout alone, even...

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So I went back and was looking at some data....and found a mistake. Immortals is a bit high in level due to the settings I was using. I will re-run it when I get a chance....something tells me that TIH may end up on top again...

 

Finding the best way to do this to be able to do comparos has meant some trial and error...

 

I also found an error on Avengers and Tron. They were a dB or 2 too low, so they will be updated. I now have a checklist to follow to ensure all films will be level matched.

 

I also have Sin City to run in addition to all of the requests above...not expecting too much ULF, but I remember it being better than OK, and a terrific film...

 

JSS

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OK, I got all of the graphs above level-matched and updated. More soon. Now that the graphs are level matched, here's TIH vs Immortals. Will update the first post with films graphed and rating soon.

 

JSS

 

EDIT - Updated graph

post-20-0-13689700-1352161663_thumb.png

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OK, I got all of the graphs above level-matched and updated. More soon. Now that the graphs are level matched, here's TIH vs Immortals. Will update the first post with films graphed and rating soon.

 

JSS

Cool. Looks like TIH has one scene where there is a good 8.5Hz spike, but Immortals actually has more content below 25Hz overall?

 

BTW, I was curious about the B:LA trace. It looks like there is more content at 3Hz than anything else? Is that right? It's an odd looking trace compared to all the others.

 

 

Max

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Yes. On average, Immortals has more content below 25Hz. For Battle:LA, the trace is correct. My correction file is a set of three polynomial curve fits to approximate the rolloff and properly invert it. There can be artifacts (see Avengers Avg trace 0-10Hz), but it is a systematic error, and most will be apples/apples when comparing films. It will not make or break comparos.

 

When I do Transformers, expect to see the same type of theing below 4Hz, a spike upwards in the peak graph. It is due to one scene with impressive content down to 1Hz, when Megatron Blasts Jazz on the street.

 

I have a Scott Pilgrim graph ready, but no space to upload it to the forum.

 

JSS

 

Films to be graphed in the near future:

 

Sin City

Transformers 1,2,3

Iron Man 1&2

Thor

XMen 1,2,3, Wolverine, 1st Class

Casino Royale

Quantum of Solace

Star Wars Saga

Batman Begins

The Dark Knight

Green Lantern

Speed Racer

Alien vs Predator

Wrath of the Titans

War of the Worlds

9

Cabin in the Woods

Prometheus

Project X

The Hurt Locker

 

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Scott Pilgrim, Thor and Transformers graphs are at the ready. Ricci, any word on the upload space?

 

JSS

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Thor1.jpg
ThorPH.JPG

Thor11.JPG

Thor2.JPG

Thor3.JPG

Thor4.JPG

Thor5.JPG


Bosso,

Awesome TIH graphs.

Thor:

Level - 5 Stars (114.31dB composite)
Extension - 3 Stars (19Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (29dB)
Execution - 4 Stars - Great film, too bad filtered at ~20Hz. Could have been a 5-Star overall if they included substantial infrasonics in a few scenes.

Overall Rating - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent, the Shakespearean take on the Marvel Universe may not be everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

JSS

post-20-0-83207900-1415265185_thumb.jpg

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How does everyone feel about the charts having a linear frequency axis? I would prefer logarithmic that gives equal weight to each octave.

 

I would still give it to TIH. The average shows TIH having more bass overall. Also below 20Hz there is no comparison. Thor does have some crazy peak events but a lot of them are above 100Hz. I would suspect that the wider bandwidth events are in TIH where they are much more narrow frequency bands in Thor so while the line gets pushed much higher due to a narrow band event the actual total signal strength of these events may not be much different.

 

As an example if you run a single 60Hz sine into a spectrum analyzer and set it for 110dB. You will see the analyzer capture the peak as 110dB. Now run 10 sine tones simultaneously spaced out from 20-120Hz at a combined level of 110dB to represent a wide bandwidth complex signal. What you will see captured on the peak output graph is no frequency is above 100dB and no where near 110dB even though the 10 tone signal is just as strong. A lot of those peaks in Thor look like loud very narrow bandwidth events, which there is nothing wrong with but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are the hottest signals seen as the graph suggests. Hottest energy at that one particular frequency yes not necessarily the most demanding signal on the disc.

 

That huge spike at 140Hz is interesting. I'm assuming that the bass is being redirected from the main channels into the LFE channel for these charts as well? Is there a low pass filter involved if so what type and where? I'm guessing no and that the main channels are sending full bandwidth into the analyzer? That is enough level that it appears that must be present in at least 3 if not 5 main channels. If not and it is the LFE channel which carries that 140Hz and also the 120Hz spike that would be interesting.

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Josh just hit the nail on the head, and exposed the peak graph for what it is. That 140Hz spike is when Loki attempts to lift the hammer from the crater and can't do it. Powerful effect, and I would bet money that there is more than just one channel in it... Back when I used to just graph LFE out (no bass redirection) I would see large signal strengths up into the 200s Hz-wise for many films, but others would have a sharp rolloff above 120Hz, hence my using the 160Hz mark for graphing.

 

Graphing logarithmically just doesn't work well, as too much of the graph is just the 0-10Hz, reducing resolution of the rest of the bandwidth.

 

I may have to judge overall output from the average graphs rather than the peak for this reason. Attached is a comparison of all the films by Avg level. It is done in PaHz, as doing this in dBHz makes all of the films so close in magnitude. A doubling of PaHz results in only a 3dB increase in dBHz......these films are more alike than different in overall Avg bass.

 

Although the peak graph can tell its own story. The most memorable events in TIH are the sonic cannons, and the last punch in the 'I'm gonna use both halves of a police car as boxing gloves' scene. Both show up in the peak graph, and the punch shows up in the Avg graph as well.

 

I set up the system with 250Hz crossovers from every LCRS channel so that everything below 250Hz gets sent to the sub, and the lowpass for the LFE channel is set at 250Hz. The graphs show everything on the disc from 160Hz on down.

 

As the databass grows, and we have a good feel for what dB-Hz or Pa-Hz levels constitute what star level, we can get the ratings done, and 1st post updated with same.

 

JSS

 

Going out of town this weekend, my buddy is a Top Gun instructor and got permission from Chief of Naval Air Forces to do a flyby at our alma mater for the homecoming game. As far as I know, 1st time a Division 3 school has gotten an F-18 flyby. I am gonna coordinate on the ground with radio to make sure he hits the field as soon as the choir says 'brave'....

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Nothing beats relevant data.

 

In the past couple of years I've had a few discussions with the recent proponents of low Le, top heavy drivers. The #1 reason has been making these SL graphs of scenes from every subwoofer-required film in my library. A striking theme in these graphics appears soon after studying them that, after a long while, just jumps out and slaps you in the face...

 

Look at the relative weight differences in peak and average and snapshot between the 1st 4 octaves (3-48 Hz) and the top 1-1/2 octaves (48-120 Hz).

 

 

Untitled-6.jpg

 

This clicked with something I read way back from Dolby in which it was recommended to filter the LFE at 80 Hz because the 120 Hz filter was a brick wall filter, so you would want your effects to be over before they hit that brick wall. Since then, others have said that the LFE channel is not necessarily brick walled at 120 Hz, but you can most certainly see that most soundtracks (of interest here) have a no mans land from 90-120 Hz.

 

This drove me to reconsider the added cost of a flat-to-500 Hz driver motor in terms of $ and compromises to the actual goal.

 

Max's graphs drive it home in a blink. I LOVE it when some really smart guy aims his guns at a problem and brings the results to the rest of us to see things we otherwise would never see. Awesome stuff, Max and thanks a truckload.

 

I can't tell you how aggravating it was for me to suffer the last go-round with the "the graphs aren't scientific, the content is garbage, I've heard it and it's irrelevant", and my all-time favorite, "Bosso is trying to sell subwoofers so he HAS to say it's important" ... bulllllll shit. It's a ton of work to dig up actual facts regarding the physics, industry members' takes, Dolby and Holman's input, designing and building a system to reproduce faithfully, setting up software like SpecLab, running and posting hundreds of graphs along with the facts, etc., etc. What for? Certainly not for me because I already know this shit fairly comprehensively. Then to get pissed on for keeping the general consensus on track by folks who've never posted a single shred of data for anyone's benefit.

 

Anyway, as Max said and as is usually the case, from the bad springs a better version with no noise frem the peanut gallery. Anyone who wishes to ignaore the facts can simply head back to the junk yard where the rest of that sort hangs out.

 

I agree that it was so appropriate to land it here where Josh & Kyle have done a bang-up job providing data. This sort of exercise ties in perfectly with what they've provided and hopefully it will be an ever-evolving exercise to the benefit of everyone.

 

BTW, I agree with Max, log scale gives too much weight to the first decade. I've tried it several times and just find it less usable than the linear scale. I'll post an example comparison when I get a second to be sure everyone else agrees and it isn't just my own bias.

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Bosso, Awesome TIH graphs. OK, so there is a new overall LF power champ, Thor. Now I see why bosso says this guy likely clips. I will have to look at the actual signal to see if it does, but that is another time. For now, I present Scott Pilgrim, Thor and Transformers, and Hulk v Thor: JSS EDIT - Transformers is WRONG. It is 4dB too low, as it had a Dialnorm of -4dB. Will re-run again. I was wondering why it looked so puny....

 

I was wondering if you used the DVD or BR of Thor? I found the DVD to be quite normal and the BR to be like 10dB hotter. Since that was mic'd at the LP I didn't attribute it to the difference in players (I use Oppo for DVD and Panny for BR). I guess most don't do a rent the DVD then buy the BR or if they do they don't notice a diff, but this one was strikingly different, actually potentially system-damaging different, depending on listening habits and system.

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I think I have the Thor DVD as well (multi-disc set). I will run it when I get back and do a comparo.

 

IIRC, the first film I noticed the use of multiple channels to drive home a point was the Transformers series, where Optimus' voice is used on all 3 front channels to provide more volume and 'weight'.....

 

Of course we all know about M&C, and the discrepancy between Episode II's BluRay and DVD, where the DVD is much hotter in LFE. Hope to get all of those quantified.

 

What many do not notice in the linear graph is that the roll off present is there, just shallower appearing. More films have used the upper part of the .1 channel bandwidth recently, with transformers 2's loudest effect at 120Hz, and you can see Thor's 140Hz effect above.

 

Even the high Le drivers can replicate these tones, so I do not see the problem between choosing low or high Le. I personally prefer a lower Le driver, as I ask my subs to play higher due to my Main's limitations (hopefully will change in the next year).

 

I'll be back Monday.

 

JSS

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Again really great stuff guys. Linear scale it is.

 

Thanks for the info on the channel routing.

 

The peak graph should still be used we just need to let people know that it does not necessarily mean one movie is louder overall than another.

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Found this sleeper. Assassin's Bullet with Donald Sutherland and Christian Slater. It's a pretty basic foreign intrigue flick but I found it better than a lot of the drama drivel the wife brought home to watch lately and the low end surprised me.

 

So, thought I'd add it to the list while I was at it:

 

 

AB-1.jpg

 

 

AB-1-1.jpg

 

AB-2-1.jpg

 

AB-3-1.jpg

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AB added to the queue. Even if levels aren't pushed to the max, full bandwidth sound is easily recognizable.

Here's Scott Pilgrim:

Level - 4 Stars (112.47dB composite)
Extension - 4 Stars (13Hz)
Dynamics - 4 Stars (27.12dB)
Execution - 5 Stars. Great use of LF in this film.

Overall Rating - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Buy. This film is polarizing, and although I love it, many simply do not.

 

JSS

post-20-0-91063800-1377382322_thumb.jpg

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Transformers, tied for mid and upper bass champ with Scott Pilgrim:

 

This time with the proper -4.0dB Dialnorm compensation factored in.

 

Transformers 2 next...once I have about 20 or so films done, I'll go back and do star ratings for all of them based on extension and level. And I will then ask for opinions on execution and Buy/Rent/Do not waste your time for each film....

 

JSS

 

EDIT - Deleted graph as the film is reviewed a few posts down.

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Transformers 2. We have a tie for peak power between this film and Thor, but TF2 is lower in average power than all other 8 films I have graphed so far. This means that it tops the list in Dynamics. See the charts below.

 

I really like the sound mix in this film, much more than many others. Although there is a rolloff below 30-35Hz, the film manages to keep enough subsonic power available to satisfy, if not overwhelm.

 

The dynamics are such a part of this film, that I propose having four 5-star categories. Level (Average power), Extension (using Avg or Peak power), Dynamics (easily measurable) and Execution.

 

EDIT - Graphs/Charts deleted as TF2 will get a star rating in a later post.

 

 

JSS

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