2 pointsThere's no question that the BEQs posted to AVSForum cover a wide range of content, which also includes films that IMO didn't need them to begin with. I have a few reasons for being less than enthusiastic about them. For one, headroom requirements are a total unknown, and many appear very aggressive and likely to overload my system. For another, I strongly believe "first, do no harm" as far as the soundtrack is concerned. Ideally, filters of any kind should only be used when they are fundamentally part of the sound. The point of the BEQ, IMO, is to precisely reverse the degrading filters in place, which is not at all the same as making the PvA look perfectly smooth down to 5 Hz. Along these lines, the AVSForum BEQs appear to be to have been EQed quite aggressively for a straighter/smoother, and I strongly suspect that this has degrading consequences. People forget that the PvA data is aggregated and often reflects the contribution of many different effects which may only appear smooth "on average". So trying to make it look perfectly smooth, especially using peaking filters, is likely to screw up the sound. Related to this is the fact that the BEQs are usually made based on a sum of channels PvA, and many mixes have very different PvAs for each channel. I think only a couple BEQs posted here specify the same filters on all channels. The issue with doing this is that it won't really "correct" anything at all. Every channel will be wrong in a different way. Each is likely to come with new resonances that weren't on the soundtrack before. I don't want new resonances. The main reason I like BEQ is because it gets rid of the annoying resonance at the filter cut-off. The experience with a truly neutral bass spectrum is simply marvelous. Transient response is impeccable, and the bass delivered is simultaneously tight and firm. It moves the listener. Any resonances spoil that magic to a great extent. I also appreciate that @maxmercy does a kind of quality check and doesn't post BEQs that didn't improve anything. Very often the sound design just isn't good enough or consistent enough to make it worth it. Often the problem may be inconsistent use of filters in the sound design itself rather than anything to do with how the film is mixed. Related to this, it's possible for a mix to use dynamic filtering that respond to available headroom. Such a mix might be full-band for lower level sounds but cut off at 30 Hz for louder sounds. I suspect this may have been done in Jurassic World but don't know.
1 pointGood to hear more people are seeing the shelf filters put in place by studios and we now can at least do something about them. I wish we would not lose the object based metadata with BEQ, but oh well. BEQ was always a 'preference', not 'reference'. Unfiltered, reference soundtracks are still out there, and we still get a few of them every now and then. It seems that we got more of them in the past, though. Given the fact that even after BEQ and MV compensation for same, most BEQ'ed films do not clip nor go above a 7.1 WCS (Worst Case Scenario), the studios should be able to do the same, and with better dynamics. But the loudness war is alive and well in cinema, for many reasons. Mixing stages are often geared toward a different target response than your typical High-End HT; they try to equal the majority of decent movie houses out there, which start rolling off under 30Hz, with haphazard response above that given the current calibration standards. Due to many factors, I simply do not have the time I used to have to devote to measuring films and coming up with BEQ solutions. I will still do so for films that I like (like RP1, my current BEQ favorite), but not in the numbers I used to be able to. Good to see others giving BEQ a shot with 3ld00d's app. It is not that difficult to do, once you get a method down. But screening your BEQ is necessary. Some films simply do not improve. K:SI is one of them that is very LOUD&LOW w/ BEQ, but not much better. It is a bit of a ham-handed mix, IMO, but fits right in with PacRim1 and Godzilla(2014), although Godzilla is probably the best of the three, sound-wise. Again, IMO. JSS