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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion and Poll


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Poll: Poll (40 member(s) have cast votes)

Execution

  1. 5 Stars (20 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. 4 Stars (20 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  3. 3 Stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. 2 Stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. 1 Star (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Recommendation

  1. Rent (4 votes [10.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 10.00%

  2. Buy (36 votes [90.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 90.00%

  3. Avoid (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#41 maxmercy

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:37 AM

Well it is a nice soundtrack but it's not at all uncommon for the dynamic range of a typical home release to be restricted compared to a theatrical track.  That doesn't necessarily mean the quality suffers, especially if the compression is done right.

 

Done 'right' or not, compression always degrades quality, IMO.  

 

JSS


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#42 maxmercy

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:41 AM

Screening room sounds interesting, but my guess would be what we sometimes get on BD.....the compressed kid's table mix.  I bet lots of folks would buy it to watch it on their 4k screens with HTIB sound.

 

JSS



#43 SME

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 03:11 AM

It might still be better on a HTIB system than the sound systems of some theaters.



#44 maxmercy

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:38 AM

True....I have been to some truly garbage theaters in the last 5 yrs.  Strangely enough, the local '2nd run' cinema has the best sound system in town (THX certification current on 1 auditorium), followed by a true IMAX about 1hr away.

 

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#45 SME

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:02 AM

I wish I knew of a good theater around here.  I guess I'd have to travel a lot and endure a lot of crappy presentations.  The real problem is consistency.  My first visit to the Regal RPX with Atmos was very good.  I think they were running at reference, and the system and room handled it with grace.  The imaging was rather poor, but the sound was immersive.  Then I saw another movie and they somehow forgot to not play all the commercials and trailers at reference level.  I now always bring ear plugs with me, to make sure I don't miss the dialog at the beginning of movies because my ears are still recovering.  I went there to see "Star Wars", and the imaging was actually quite good for a change at my regular center 2/3s seat, but I don't think they played it at reference level.  I know for sure it didn't sound as loud as what I play at home.  That's kind of sad when you think about it.

 

The worst is when it's really loud but the quality is terrible.  Like, some idiot jacked the sub 20 dB, so every action scene is full of clipping.  Or the speakers are broken or way under-specified, or under-amped.  Or they trusted Audyssey to automatically calibrate the response.  (Ahem, LieMix.)  Or maybe a knob got bumped somehow and no one bothered to recalibrate it in 10 years.  And that's probably a reason (other than loudness in the content) why most theaters are run below reference.  Because if you have to aim too high or low, too low is less likely to be offensive.



#46 Kvalsvoll

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:51 PM

Watched this today, and luckily I decided to check one scene yesterday, planned to not do any re-eq because it will probably sound good enough out-of-the-box..

 

N O T .

 

The advice from maxmercy is spot on, there is a huge boost 30-40hz, rather lame upper bass, and the ulf is too low in level.

Bass-EQ fixed it, I only fixed lfe, modest low ulf boost and a cut around the 30-40hz booooom.

The result is a somewhat balanced bass, with lots of real ulf, many scenes where you can not hear bass all, it is only felt as the earth literally moves.

Actually my modest ulf boost was a little too much, and I suspect maxmercys beq sound very heavy on the low end.

 

Dialogue is destroyed by use of compression/limiter, easily heard when you have a system with resolution and capacity.

 

Most transients in sound effects are clipped and distorted, also easily heard when you have a system with resolution and capacity.

From the waveforms it can be seen that there is 3dB headroom on lcr, which could - AND SHOULD - be used to avoid some of the clipping and distortion.

 

This pretty much sums up the current status of sound for movies.

Thanks for the effort, but it could easily have been so much better if they had decent sound monitoring systems in the studios, with resolution, capacity and full frequency range.


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#47 maxmercy

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 02:49 AM

Yes, My BEQ solution is only for folks that do not use a heavily sloped house curve below 100Hz.  Some of the Falcon's scenes are downright seismic.

 

What is strange is that when the TIE Fighter explodes under the sand, no clipping.  NONE.  I just wish they could have made the whole film like that.

 

JSS



#48 Kvalsvoll

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 04:26 PM

I remember that scene, it was good, had a nice surprising effect.


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#49 Harbottle

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 06:32 AM

As far as bass goes, it was interesting to listen to, but I felt that the audio engineering/mix was a bit off. With that said, I am a huge star wars fan thanks to my brother in law.
I give it a 5 star.

#50 minnjd

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 08:26 PM

Off how?  Not saying you're wrong just curious?



#51 Harbottle

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 08:02 PM

Just different I guess. Nothing glaring, but some transitions felt a bit choppy. Just different. That's all.

#52 SME

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 09:09 AM

I *finally* watched this.  I got the 3D collector's edition for Xmas, but we watched the 2D disc.  No idea if the soundtrack got changed between, but probably not.  I listened at most between "-5"  and "-5.5" on the MV, which is approximately room appropriate playback level for a reference level track in my room.  Oddly that 0.5 dB seemed to make a world of difference.  Some of the dialog may have been at quite a low level, leading me to bump it, only to drop it again in other scenes.  Maybe this is related to the "choppiness" that Harbottle reports.  Contrary to my earlier speculation, I'm thinking this may have been the 7.1 theatrical mix.  It seemed quite bright for what I'd expect for a home mix, and dynamics seemed a bit exaggerated at times.  These are common characteristics I notice in a lot of movie soundtracks, but I rarely hear music tracks that sound +this bright.  Some time soon, I will experiment with different HF roll-offs for this film to try to tone down the brightness.  That might get me another 1 or 2 dB of comfortable master volume and probably cleaner dialog and better mid-bass slam as excess treble definitely can mask mid bass sound and feeling, IME.  Even despite the brightness, the presentation at home blew away the RPX at.  The dialog was still clean enough I heard a ton of stuff I'm pretty sure I missed in the theater because they turned down the volume too much.

 

I gave this a 5 star for execution because I enjoyed the use of bass in the sound design very much.  I heard a few instances of clipping, but it was mostly non-offensive to me.  That may be helped by my system having a good tonal balance, which does seem to make clipping less irritating even as it remains audible.  I also forgot about the -3 dB limiting but decided to go with "5 stars" because that was my instinct.  I don't give this rating to many films.  Rarely do I enjoy the bass like I did here.

 

For point of reference, I'm running at 18 Hz ported subs.  With that said, this is among the top films I've seen as far as noticeable ULF is concerned.  Better yet, it all sounded intentional.  Even as the soundtrack was a tad heavy on 30 Hz, it was nowhere near as humped sounding as it looks in the PvA.  The force transient effects were damn scary and pressurized the room very strongly.  I also noticed many interesting lower frequency undulations in the more continuous force effects.  The forest scene keeps getting mentioned again.  Something in there seemed to hit the 12-13 Hz floor wobble that only HTTYD is able to hit strong enough on this system (when the red dragon first bursts out of the cave) to feel.  When the ground started cracking and caving in, it felt like it, complete with a momentary sensation of the sofa sinking.  That was damn cool.  I'm pretty sure my new 4 x 21" sealed subs will have a field day with this, even without BEQ.  And I totally agree this one is real bad about audible room rattle.  The styrofoam diffusers were downright annoying but something I can probably fix.  The rattling window panes are another issue, but they rarely give me trouble like they did in this movie.  All the talk about ULF is not to ignore the solid mid bass bangs and booms offered throughout.

 

Overall, this was a lot of fun, and I am very eager to watch it again with a bit of HF roll-off, better subwoofers, and maybe better secured wall-hangings.  Considering how intense the ULF was with my 18 Hz subs, I can only imagine what the sealed subs will do, especially with BEQ.



#53 MemX

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 01:29 PM

Missus bought this for me for Xmas - looking forward to watching it :)



#54 SME

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:22 PM

Just a quick update.  I updated my target curve recently after noting that the top octave was still a bit too sharp with a lot of content.  The change amounted to a -1 dB Q 0.5 shelf centered at 12 kHz or so.  I just now decided to give this track another listen, and the tonal balance sounds much better now, so I guess the brightness issue was on my end.  The comfortable listening level is now up at "-4.5", and the transient sounds don't seem nearly as exaggerated as they did.  As such, I'm no longer so sure if this is a theatrical vs. home mix.  I guess I still can't really tell the difference.

 

Unfortunately, the -3 dBFS limiter is more apparent now that the excess "bite" is gone, but I'll live with it.  It's still way less offensive than a lot of movies from a few years ago. IMO.  And more generally, clipping in soundtracks seems like much less of a bother on my current system with lots of extra headroom.  My thinking is that inferior systems are more likely to mangle the flattops  further with cascading downstream effects that accentuate the nastiness.  As such, and assuming the use of the limiter is a "home mix" thing, I don't get why mixers think it's helpful.  :(  I'm still not going to boycott the industry over this.  Indeed, it still sounds 10X better at home than it did in the theater, to say nothing of how much most music releases suck.






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