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maxmercy

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

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Some good scenecaps from Bosso in "The Equalizer" thread already voted on a little while back. Covers some of the big hits.

 

Also some caps (Bosso again) back in the "LF films 2014" thread and "Low frequency content" thread as well as some robust discussion about this film.

Found them.  Looks pretty good to me.  Looks full range and I would say it was an overall stellar track.  Hand many good punchy and room shaking moments.  But this wasn't rated right?  I may have missed it but I would have rated it pretty high.  

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Anybody see "A Most Violent Year"?  This movie had some really unexpected ULF!  I was shocked and not expecting it at all.  I felt my floor shacking like crazy and put my hands on my drivers behind me, and sure enough, they were moving really slow like they do when there is sub10hz content.  It lasted a long time in a part of a movie that you wouldn't think there would be bass.  Part of the reason why I was surprised and had to touch my drivers to make sure it was them shacking my house.

I saw it in the theater.  In the theater I did not get the feeling that this would be a big bass movie, but maybe it is.  Could be a sleeper like Ice Man seems to be.  I saw that in theater as well and I did not experience anything outrageous in that film either, but many people have said it has a lot of bass.  

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Found them.  Looks pretty good to me.  Looks full range and I would say it was an overall stellar track.  Hand many good punchy and room shaking moments.  But this wasn't rated right?  I may have missed it but I would have rated it pretty high.

 

Yes it was pretty good but did stir up a bit of controversy.

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Yessir.  That's one approach.  Purists might not like it if they want to reproduce the mix exactly as the mixers intended, but it's all about finding what works for you.

 

I've been slacking a little on the polls because 1) not enough votes to kill the ties on some (VOTE, PLEASE!); 2) lots of family was in town recently so I haven't had much time; and 3) I've been working overtime to be able to go away to Telluride this weekend.

 

Long story short, things will be back to situation:normal next week, and I'll start retiring old polls and putting up some new ones.  I'll also take some time to analyze the waveforms on a couple of movies in question.  I might even watch them as well, if given enough time!

 

Happy Independence Day!

 

 

Thank you sir for sharing your time and engergy with us!  And...

 

Happy 4th to you

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I saw it in the theater.  In the theater I did not get the feeling that this would be a big bass movie, but maybe it is.  Could be a sleeper like Ice Man seems to be.  I saw that in theater as well and I did not experience anything outrageous in that film either, but many people have said it has a lot of bass.  

There was nothing in the movie that a ported sub would have picked up so that is why you probably didn't experience it in the theater.  If you don't mind watching it again, go rent it from Redbox and see what I am talking about and let me know what you think.  You will be surprised, but it's not like it is throughout the entire movie.

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Saw Terminator tonight. I think this one has a lot of potential. Hopefully it doesn't come to us filtered or something. Bus scene has some sweeps for the sweep lovers, like the WWZ grenade kind of thing.

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Gravity Atmos-release is filtered.

 

I guess this is one of those days where you really have to question the meaning of what you are doing.

What is the point in trying to make better sound for more people when the content-providers keep digging the hole deeper and deeper.

It is not possible to develop a speaker system that makes great sound from bose-quality content.

 

I have had it with these guys.

There was a thread on a web-cast on avs recently, where they promoted the "near-field" mixes.

I try to see it both ways, a little on the diplomatic side.

Other than a few from the production-side, it soon becomes very clear that all the enthusiasts want the theatrical mix, and for obvious reasons.

 

This is just  S. A. D.

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Careful what you wish for.  While many theatrical mixes are hotter/more dynamic, many are also filtered as well, as theaters essentially are 25-30Hz systems.  I mainly just hope that soundtracks like JA get through the process without filters. 

 

It is a cruel fact that people with capable systems have just as much say in a soundtrack as the soundbar/TV speaker crowd, as we all buy one blu-ray.  That means those of us with capable systems are hopelessly outnumbered as far as our ability to sway the studios in a financial manner.  They have all the incentive in the world to reduce dynamics and cut out ULF most of the time.  

 

I hope film production and exhibition can get its act together and produce quality content, AND include theatrical mixes, or a 'mix for capable systems' on their offerings, with a 'TV mix' if needed.

 

I'm still on the fence as far as ATMOS and DTS:X.  Not sure those formats will take off just yet, as most films are still mixed in 5.1 or 7.1.  I have a bad feeling that with most ceilings being 8-9' in homes, nearly everyone has surrounds already near ceiling level, and HTiB-type satellites will likely comprise most ATMOS setups.  With a single LP, ATMOS and DTS:X can probably sound great.

 

JSS

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I can not agree with you in this, @maxmercy.

 

If they want to sell and make people want to use money, they must provide something that actually makes a difference, something that people experience as worth paying for.

On a "soundbar" or similar, the experience is really not good enough to make that difference, and they may be equally happy with watching the movie on the ipad.

 

Two things I have noticed after demoing for various audiences:

- They generally don't like it too LOUD.

- The low bass - when done right - is something that many appreciate and understands very well, and this is usually something they have never experienced.

 

Atmos is great, but it is not the ceiling speakers that makes it great, it is the improved presentation of the surrounding soundscape due to much better integration of the whole soundfield.

In Gravity the atmos 7.1 sounds much better - part from the missing ¤&&¤%/%&//%/ - panning is better, it is more disconnected from the speakers, you get a completely immersing and seamless sound field, and this is noticeable even for sounds up front coming mostly from the LCR.

All this is available with no ceiling speakers and no atmos decoding, because the 7.1 truehd contains everything rendered to the standard 7.1 configuration.

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Gravity Atmos-release is filtered.

 

What kind of filter is it?  The original soundtrack had a 15-20 dB shelf below 20 Hz or so.

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Other than a few from the production-side, it soon becomes very clear that all the enthusiasts want the theatrical mix, and for obvious reasons.

 

Careful what you wish for.  While many theatrical mixes are hotter/more dynamic, many are also filtered as well, as theaters essentially are 25-30Hz systems.  I mainly just hope that soundtracks like JA get through the process without filters.

 

Yep.  I used to blame a lot of soundtrack quality issues on "made for home" mixes, but I've basically walked back on that opinion in light of the fact that mixes intended for the theater just don't translate well to the home.  Furthermore, headroom is effectively more limited for the theatrical mixes, provided that the same monitor levels are used for both.  Why?  Because the transient sounds in any given mix will sound quieter in a theatrical environment than at home due to differences in "direct+early-reflection-to-reverberant" sound ratio.  Based on common recommendations that mixes be monitored 3-6 dB lower than reference when the room is smaller (or 6 dB or more lower on actual near field setups), it is reasonable to assume that theatrical mixes need transients up to 6 dB stronger to achieve the same dynamic impact.  In a sense, there's more trade-off between "hot" and "dynamic" when mixing for the theater.

 

I don't doubt that at least some "made for home" mixes introduce additional filtering, clipping, or unnecessary reductions in dynamics.  How much dynamics reduction is necessary for a home mix is very much debatable.  Home theaters using larger rooms with longer decay times, lower levels of early reflections, and speaker systems with less directivity may need more dynamics to achieve the same impact compared to home theaters in smaller rooms with shorter decay times, higher levels of early reflections, and/or speaker systems with more directivity.  Speaker systems with more direcitivty tend to employ horns, and larger diameter and/or greater numbers of woofers.  Similar variations exist In actual movie theaters as newer theaters often shorter decay times and therefore need lower playback levels (or some dynamics reduction) for "big dub stage" mixes to translate to them properly.  Hence, many theaters either sound too loud (Liemax) or don't actually play at reference.

 

In the long run, I may still want the theatrical mix, if for no other reason than the fact that it's production is more standardized than for any other mix type.  I'm currently looking into a more powerful and flexible DSP solution for room correction.  If that works out, I hope to experiment with a "room EQ" approach that I hope can correct the translation problem to a large extent and reproduce theatrical tracks in a home environment at reference level while retaining a proper dynamic balance and not sounding too loud.  If I am successful, then I will gladly take the theatrical track over a made for home mix, at least unless and until some proper standard is devised for those made for home mixes.

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I'm still on the fence as far as ATMOS and DTS:X.  Not sure those formats will take off just yet, as most films are still mixed in 5.1 or 7.1.  I have a bad feeling that with most ceilings being 8-9' in homes, nearly everyone has surrounds already near ceiling level, and HTiB-type satellites will likely comprise most ATMOS setups.  With a single LP, ATMOS and DTS:X can probably sound great.

 

In Gravity the atmos 7.1 sounds much better - part from the missing ¤&&¤%/%&//%/ - panning is better, it is more disconnected from the speakers, you get a completely immersing and seamless sound field, and this is noticeable even for sounds up front coming mostly from the LCR.

All this is available with no ceiling speakers and no atmos decoding, because the 7.1 truehd contains everything rendered to the standard 7.1 configuration.

 

For home releases, I think Atmos has already proven to be DOA.  When it was first announced (for the home), I was very skeptical because of all the marketing fanfare coupled with a total lack of technical documentation.  The technical details were crucial because, to my best understanding, the Bluray format does not provide enough data bandwidth for a full theatrical Atmos track without compromises.  Such compromises could have included use of lossy instead of lossless compression, a reduction in the number of available objects, or even a mix without objects at all.  I actually guessed that Dolby had opted for the former compromise, using lossy compression, because it would at least provide a simple path for mastering Atmos content for the home from theatrical Atmos content.  Only after all the fanfare did it emerge that in fact Atmos for the home relies on "spatial audio coding", which Dolby stresses is not the same as the matrix-encoding as used for Dolby Pro Logic (and derivatives).  Nevertheless, it's definitely not the same technology as is used in theaters, and its use for home mixes may require more cost and effort from the studios than they care to invest for most releases.  In my mind Dolby Atmos at home is and always was more of a branding/marketing campaign than a real technology.

 

In contrast DTS:X is yet to be released, and I think it has a lot of potential.  Whereas Dolby rushed their solution to the market prematurely (IMO), DTS has had the opportunity to learn from Dolby's mistakes.  One of those mistakes, IMO, was to design for the theater without giving consideration to how the technology would translate to the consumer world.  DTS is designing DTS:X for both commercial theaters and consumer systems, simultaneously.  In this way, they can provide a more seamless authoring experience for studios to create home mixes from theatrical originals.  There is also rumor that the DTS:X technology will be "open" in some way, so that perhaps authors will be able to produce DTS:X content without even needing to use DTS's own proprietary tool chain.  Many in the industry argue that the reason DTS HD-MA dominates over Dolby TrueHD on Bluray releases is simply the fact that the DTS tools were cheaper, more flexible, and more readily available than the Dolby tools.

 

I will say that Atmos in the theater has definitely been a success so far, and this success has undoubtedly benefited the home viewers as well.  Essentially, the Atmos authoring tools facilitate the use of more and better panning effects in mixes.  Many films authored in Atmos for the theater have 5.1 or 7.1 home mixes with excellent panning and imaging throughout, despite the reduced number of channels.  The addition of bass management for non-front stage channels to the theater setting also encouraged authoring of soundtracks with more bass effects in the other channels and increased bass headroom overall.  I believe the Atmos authoring tools supported rendering of object mixes to 5.1/7.1 channels from their inception.  It's possible that Dolby improved their down-mixing algorithms between the time that the original and the Atmos-enabled Gravity home versions were released, and this accounts for the improved panning in the latter version.

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What kind of filter is it?  The original soundtrack had a 15-20 dB shelf below 20 Hz or so.

 

Add another -4 to -6dB at 30hz, around -10 to -12dB at 20Hz.

 

The 20hz drone-sound is strange, but I liked it like that, and the few effects on impacts and hits loose all the weight.

Was it like this on the theatrical release?

Maybe.

Does not change the fact that the sound effects had more low frequency energy that was filtered somewhere in the process.

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Now this was something quite different.

 

With the low freq in place, this excellent soundmix (Gravity) can be enjoyed to its best, and now we are talking.

I would say the overall sound quality improves to a different league compared to the 5.1 dts.

The harsh, loud yelling character of the voices are all gone, panning is perfectly smooth all around the room, it sounds a lot more natural and balanced.

 

And this has nothing to do with atmos, other than what tools they used to create this, it is the processing of the sound they did in the studio.

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Saw Terminator tonight. I think this one has a lot of potential. Hopefully it doesn't come to us filtered or something. Bus scene has some sweeps for the sweep lovers, like the WWZ grenade kind of thing.

Hello tux, new here.

 

Well mixer Greg P. Russell is one of few mixers on it and he likes making Transformer videos then talks about how likes reducing dynamic range when it suits him and you can bet its gonna be near-field and may or might have some low end cut-off and what channels?

 

Best way is go back to the cinema with portable Apps or laptop with Spectrum Lab downloaded and get some cinema waterfalls that can be used to check later with in-room home version.  If your as fussed about it as I am that is what I would do. But I don't go to the cinema no more not since 2013. 

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Add another -4 to -6dB at 30hz, around -10 to -12dB at 20Hz.

 

The 20hz drone-sound is strange, but I liked it like that, and the few effects on impacts and hits loose all the weight.

Was it like this on the theatrical release?

Maybe.

Does not change the fact that the sound effects had more low frequency energy that was filtered somewhere in the process.

Considering that a fair bit of the sound design involves a lot of bass at 30 Hz, that's quite tragic.  Can they get the academy to revoke the academy award(s) for sound as I seriously doubt that the theatrical track was filtered that way.

 

With the low freq in place, this excellent soundmix (Gravity) can be enjoyed to its best, and now we are talking.

I would say the overall sound quality improves to a different league compared to the 5.1 dts.

The harsh, loud yelling character of the voices are all gone, panning is perfectly smooth all around the room, it sounds a lot more natural and balanced.

 

All of this suggests that they did a completely new mix for the Atmos home release.  It would be nice to know why they filtered the bass.  Was their sub system not up to the task?  Were they trying to avoid distortion on weaker systems?  Did someone just apply those filters because of something they read online and shouldn't have believed?  At least, it sounds like the rest of the soundtrack is much better.  Perhaps I could even enjoy it now, except that I really didn't like the movie either.

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Best way is go back to the cinema with portable Apps or laptop with Spectrum Lab downloaded and get some cinema waterfalls that can be used to check later with in-room home version.  If your as fussed about it as I am that is what I would do. But I don't go to the cinema no more not since 2013. 

While this is an interesting idea (albeit one that would probably get one kicked out of the theater if caught), I don't believe this would actually be useful.  It would be impossible to tell the difference between the soundtrack and the distortions contributed by the theater's equipment and room acoustics.  In particular, when trying to determine whether a soundtrack has a 20 Hz filter applied, you won't have any idea because most theaters can't really reproduce 20 Hz at all.

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Did you BEQ the ATMOS track?

 

JSS

 

"..and I always have a choice."

 

I wanted both - the good sound quality, and the low bass.

Well, almost there, but the sound design is different, and some scenes actually have more low frequency extension than the dts 5.1.

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Considering that a fair bit of the sound design involves a lot of bass at 30 Hz, that's quite tragic.  Can they get the academy to revoke the academy award(s) for sound as I seriously doubt that the theatrical track was filtered that way.

 

 

All of this suggests that they did a completely new mix for the Atmos home release.  It would be nice to know why they filtered the bass.  Was their sub system not up to the task?  Were they trying to avoid distortion on weaker systems?  Did someone just apply those filters because of something they read online and shouldn't have believed?  At least, it sounds like the rest of the soundtrack is much better.  Perhaps I could even enjoy it now, except that I really didn't like the movie either.

 

Well; since the sound design of the atmos 7.1 is different from the dts 5.1, it will not sound the same no matter what eq.

 

@maxmercy has a very valid point with "careful what you wish for".

Overall, the 7.1 sounds better, but the 5.1 has more impact in at least one scene.

With the low freqs retrieved, there is a lot more low frequency content in the 7.1. 

The low frequencies can be brought back, but if different sound effects are mixed in with different level, that can never be changed, and I am fine with that.

I suspect the overwhelming 20hz drone was never present in the theatrical.

 

We know the dts 5.1 is a near-field re-mix they did on a mediocre system, as they presented an article on the web describing how they did this "improvement".

The 7.1 is also a re-mix, but it is quite clear they did not do all the destructive changes that makes the 5.1 sound too loud and kind of strange on dialogue.

My guess is that the 7.1 is more close to the theatrical, maybe they did not change much at all.

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We know the dts 5.1 is a near-field re-mix they did on a mediocre system, as they presented an article on the web describing how they did this "improvement".

The 7.1 is also a re-mix, but it is quite clear they did not do all the destructive changes that makes the 5.1 sound too loud and kind of strange on dialogue.

My guess is that the 7.1 is more close to the theatrical, maybe they did not change much at all.

I didn't know that.  It explains why I thought it sounded like garbage.  I used a lower playback level than I do for almost any film, and I still found it to be uncomfortably loud at times.  It wasn't Star Trek: Into Darkness bad, but it was up there with some of the harshest sound I've heard from a blockbuster movie on my system.  I heard hard clipping in the dialog.  In later louder scenes, many sound effects were so distorted by compression/limiting as to be unintelligible.  Overall, it sounded rushed and amateur to me and made me wonder how the movie won the academy awards for sound.

 

That this new mix may be closer to the theatrical one is intriguing, even if a lot of the low end is gone.  Frankly, I don't think it added much in the 5.1 track.  I am curious to give this another spin, but like I said, I really didn't like the movie at all.  I hated both of the characters especially and found myself hoping they would die so that the movie would be over.  I thought Interstellar blew Gravity out of the water in pretty much every category.

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Unless I've missed something, the best available QSC sub is -6 dB at 25 Hz.  I believe all of their designs a ported, hence they roll off very quickly below that point, and there is probably little room gain help there in the large rooms typically seen in high end theaters.  I have heard rumors of ultra high end theaters in some major metrpoli like Chicago that offer full bass capability into the teens, but I've never seen confirmation of these claims.  As far as I can tell, most theaters are 30 Hz and up with a few of the nicest ones extending down to 25 Hz.

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Chappie (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (109.67dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.57dB)

Execution - 4 Stars

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

 

Recommendation - Rent

 

Notes:  Tons of stuff down low.  While much of it is near DC, about half of the big single effects have a component below 10Hz, and many of them significant.  Decent movie, not great, but I really thought the surround work was excellent.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-03650300-1437234214.png

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Ex Machina (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (108.03dB composite)

Extension - 3 Stars (19Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (33.88dB)

Execution - 2 Stars

 

Overall     - 3.25 Stars

 

Recommendation - Rent

 

Notes:  There are very few bass moments - heck, very few action moments in this one. That's why it has such good dynamics.  However, it has almost nothing below the 27Hz spike besides a couple effects. I liked the movie, although many of the emotional components were tenuous, at best.

 

PvA:

 
post-17-0-77931500-1437236056.png

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