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

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nube    142

Man of Tai Chi (5.1 DTS-HD MA)


Level        - 2 Stars (106.3dB composite)
Extension - 4 Stars (12Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.9dB)
Execution - 3 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 3.5 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Whoa!  ;)  Thanks, Keanu, for being an eternal joke.  This one cheats on extension by having exactly 1 scene with exactly 1 effect that digs deep.  The rest of the movie is a 30Hz fest.  And it's a snoozefest, with generally boring design by this thread's standards, in bass content, surrounds usage, and its mediocre plot.  Not much to see here.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-71311100-1386694465_thumb.png

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nube    142

Despicable Me 2 (5.1 DTS-HD MA)


Level        - 2 Stars (106.5dB composite)
Extension - 5 Stars (8Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (31.4dB)
Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4 Stars

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

Notes:  Will update once I watch it.  Looks to have great design, just low levels.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-33356400-1386694738_thumb.png

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nube    142

Dead in Tombstone (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 4 Stars (112.3dB composite)
Extension - 5 Stars (5Hz)
Dynamics - 4 Stars (25.74dB)
Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  I've only been able to watch a bit of this so far.  It looks to have a lot of content, although it's of dubious quality.  The first 30min remind me of the sound design for The Man With the Iron Fists, which was pretty ham fisted.  Or, should I say, iron fisted.  ;) Har Har Har. 

 

But, seriously, this has a ton of content that legitimately goes down to 5Hz, but it just seems overdone...with every movement on screen having an accompanying serious bass effect in the mix...it becomes more of an assault rather than a good experience.  If all you're looking for is bass, but not bass used artfully or well-designed, this one might be for you, much like Frankenstein's Army, Getaway, or The Man With the Iron Fists.  I wouldn't buy it, though.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-24271200-1386695676_thumb.png

 

SpecLab scenecaps - it starts out fast and hard and deep and doesn't let up for the whole movie.  (Timestamps in the file names.)

 

post-17-0-83479900-1386706738_thumb.png

 

post-17-0-70860000-1386706754_thumb.png

 

post-17-0-55048200-1386706766_thumb.png

 

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post-17-0-94747200-1386706892_thumb.png

 

post-17-0-72860300-1386706898_thumb.png

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Toe    8

Thanks for the DiT graph Nube! :) I have been VERY curious to see how this measured out.

 

While I agree this is a bass assault, I disagree that it was not well designed in light of the film. The movie is WAY over the top and out there, and so is the bass which feels totally appropriate in light of the film and I thought the low end supported things perfectly in light of all that. "Artful" bass in this film would not have drove the over the top plot/action home as well as what we were given, IMO of course (I certainly respect your opinion as well). Throw in one of the better surround tracks I have heard this year and I personally loved this audio experience as it did nothing but suck me into the screen. ;)

 

Thanks again!

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maxmercy    336

Is the Bluray the one on the left and DVD (Dolby Digital) on the right?    I still don't own the bluray but have the Dolby Digital DVD.

 

I have not compared the DVD to Blu for SPR.  The graph on the right was a 'could have been' hypothetical. 

 

JSS

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maxmercy    336

Despicable Me 2 (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

Level        - 2 Stars (106.5dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (8Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (31.4dB)

Execution - Will Poll

 

Recommendation - Will Poll

 

Notes:  Will update once I watch it.  Looks to have great design, just low levels.

 

PvA:

 

attachicon.gifDM2-PvA-HighRes.PNG

 

I'll take low levels any day of the week if it means no clipping and high dynamics.  It is a simple thing to turn the volume knob clockwise, a whole different thing to try to add dynamics that aren't there.  I have always debated having the 'Level' category (it is rare to find a 5-Star Level track without clipping), but it is essential since there is a reference level in theaters.  What I can't stand is when we get the "kid's table" mix "for the home" that is substantially different from the theatrical mix.  What crap....they squash the dynamics for the folks with the TV speakers and soundbars and make the track louder for folks who can actually come close to theatrical reference.....  I'm talking to you, PacRim.....

 

JSS

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nube    142

Lots of discs coming down the pipe this time of year, and I have no money to do fun stuff, plus it's cold and snowy out, so... :) 

 

The low levels don't bother me much either, but some people have said, essentially, "I set it and forget it and watch everything at reference."  I think there's something to that, so you get a comparison that only varies by the mix.  But, there's always also the ability to boost levels if they seem inadequate, and most everyone actually uses the volume on their remotes, right?  Hell, even movie theaters adjust the sound settings per movie. (This is how they get them horribly wrong sometimes.)

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nube    142

The Lone Ranger (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (108.5dB composite)
Extension - 1 Stars (26Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (29.1dB)
Execution - 3 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 3 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Will update if I ever watch it.  Doesn't look like a great bass track, however - steeply filtered.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-71385000-1387291762_thumb.png

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nube    142

The Family (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (106.4dB composite)
Extension - 3 Stars (20Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (30.68dB)
Execution - 3 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 3.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Following the trajectory DeNiro seems to have mapped for his sunset years, The Family is another snoozefest full of campy humor, telegraphed (and terrible) laughs, and a plot plucked from the toilet.  In terms of the bass, it's about what you might expect for such a film.  I guess we're just lucky it has any bass at all.  This one's a rental fo sho.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-45437700-1387292159_thumb.png

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nube    142

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (105.4dB composite)
Extension - 2 Stars (21Hz)
Dynamics - 4 Stars (26.49dB)
Execution - 3 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 2.75 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Compared to the first one, Sea of Monsters is a real disappointment.  The PvA graph tells the whole story - a huge and steep decline after the sharp peak at 30Hz.  It's also very low level, and has what I would consider very weak dynamics for such low level.  The sound team left a lot on the table with this release, and it's noticeably badly designed compared to the first one.  Many of the effects are repeated throughout.  You'd think with the success of the first, they wouldn't mess with the recipe for the second iteration.  Sadly, the lower quality ingredients make this one wholly unappetizing.  It shouldn't have been served.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-05845400-1387292235_thumb.png

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nube    142

Kick-Ass 2 (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 4 Stars (110.73dB composite)
Extension - 5 Stars (2Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (30.34dB)

Execution - 5 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.75 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Finally, something worth watching!  Kick-Ass 2 follows in the original's footsteps with solid, unfiltered sound design that's pretty fantastic, although the film is a letdown compared to the first.  I never thought I'd say this, but I missed Nick Cage in the 2nd one. 

 

This installment is really tired and forced in a lot of places, with the actors laboring to deliver anything meaningfully close to adequate performances.  The fight scenes are especially terrible, with excessively fast cuts that look like each fight move prolly needed 10+ takes, and they just cobbled them together - there's no fluidity.  Also, this is much more a teen movie, all the expletives, homophobic "humor," sexism and vagina references notwithstanding.  Wait...I guess that's what high school is like, right?

 

So, while I found the movie itself lacking, the sound design is exceptionally good.  I'd say it only misses 5 stars because of a little level left on the table.  Great use of the full bandwidth, pretty great sound design and artful use of effects used appropriately throughout.  It doesn't have any really demo-worthy scenes, but is just overall really good. This one, while not the best movie, has a superb bass mix, and might be worth a buy for a lot of folks.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-72357100-1387293062_thumb.png

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nube    142

Elysium (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (107.54dB composite)
Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.75dB)
Execution - 5 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.5 Stars

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

Notes:  Another great release for fans of bass in movies!  People who said Elysium was lacking for bass either have ported subs, terrible response that humps around 30-50Hz in their rooms, or they're deaf.  Or they lack a pulse.  Elysium is a monster, but it doesn't have any loud peaks above 22Hz, and the bass content levels are only average for an action film (about 5dB lower RMS than Oblivion, but with much better extension).  Elysium has an absolute truckload of content below 30Hz.  In fact, all the heaviest scenes are from 10-22Hz, but there's plenty from 5-10Hz, too.

 

The movie is only average at best, but the sound mix makes it exceptional.  Great use of surrounds with essentially no clipping outside of a couple of spaceship engine effects that seemed intentional.  This one's got the goods.   I'd say it needs a place in your library, and if its not loud enough or bassy enough, either turn it up or get better subs!

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-14612900-1387293499_thumb.png

 

Scenecap graphs (timestamps in the filenames): 

 

post-17-0-67879400-1387479859_thumb.png

 

post-17-0-31937800-1387479877_thumb.png

 

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post-17-0-78635000-1387293686_thumb.png

 

post-17-0-38817400-1387293710_thumb.png

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tuxedocivic    40

Thanks again nube. I saw Elysium in the theatres. I'm not surprised the bass is so awesome. I could just tell the theater subs were cutting off the low stuff :o I don't think I'll buy it though. Already saw it, and it was only ok. If I hadn't seen it, I'd want to at least rent it. I don't buy many movies though.

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FOH    4

Thanks for all that Nube, much appreciated, that's a lot of work. .

 

Looking forward to the opportunity to check out Elysium, exceptional sound, that's intriguing.

 

wrt De Niro, he can do comedy I guess, but I like him more in his classic, stereotypical roles myself. He had another surprise appearance on SNL this past week, it was pretty good ... for what it was. I like the new cast, fwiw.

 

On an unrelated note, performing some testing yesterday, damn the 50cal scene in Hurt Locker is a mammoth effect, one of my faves.      

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raynist    3

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (105.4dB composite)

Extension - 2 Stars (21Hz)

Dynamics - 4 Stars (26.49dB)

Execution - Will Poll

Recommendation - Will Poll

 

Notes:  Compared to the first one, Sea of Monsters is a real disappointment.  The PvA graph tells the whole story - a huge and steep decline after the sharp peak at 30Hz.  It's also very low level, and has what I would consider very weak dynamics for such low level.  The sound team left a lot on the table with this release, and it's noticeably badly designed compared to the first one.  Many of the effects are repeated throughout.  You'd think with the success of the first, they wouldn't mess with the recipe for the second iteration.  Sadly, the lower quality ingredients make this one wholly unappetizing.  It shouldn't have been served.

 

PvA:

 

attachicon.gifPJSOM-PvA-HighRes.PNG

Have to laugh at the review below from bluray.com after reading and seeing your graph:

 

"Making up somewhat for the film's minimally lackluster visual allure is an astoundingly effective lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that is awash in floorboard rattling LFE and near ubiquitous surround activity. From the very first sequence, when the huge thump of giants stomping through the forest outside of Half-Blood Camp sends reverberant shockwaves through the air, it's apparent this mix is going to be very aggressive. The film has a number of nice set pieces that allow full use of the surrounds, including the kids riding the Hippocampus and, later, using a canister containing the "four winds" to propel their life raft onward during their quest. The showdown with Chronos also provides another onslaught of well positioned foley effects zooming and zinging through the soundfield. Despite this sometimes noisy approach, dialogue is never sacrificed, and always is well prioritized and easy to hear. Andrew Lockington's score isn't especially memorable, but sounds fine in this lossless format."

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nube    142

I prolly was a little exuberant with my notes on Elysium, but I really liked it.  It is not chock full of constant surround effects or bass, and since I'm merely 5.1, I don't know how the rear channels impact the sound.  I only know that the bass was used quite well, and I overall liked the soundtrack quite a bit.  I don't think it has the subtlety of some recent movies, but it also has a lot more low end than most decent 2013 releases.  It's in my personal 2013 top 5 movies with bass.

 

I don't feel like JSS and I are reviewing these titles so much as measuring them and adding a few of our own personal notes.  As to actual reviews, they clearly prioritize the 30-50Hz region, likely because that's the most audible in their systems.  Compare the AVS reviews of Pacific Rim or Man of Steel to Elysium (or even Oblivion) and you know what I mean.  This isn't a pot shot at Ralph or others, it's just an acknowledgment that they're doing something wholly different.  There's room for lots of different approaches in this world.  :)

 

As a final note, I would recommend everyone rent first and buy later, in almost every case.  There are too many intangibles to definitively conclude whether or not you're going to like a movie before watching it.  My perspective is I usually don't even look at movies below a 6.0 IMDb rating unless they're recommended by others.  7.0 and above are usually the only ones that get permanent places in my stable, and 8.0 and above are about the only ones that ever get re-watched.  But, that's just me.

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nube    142

Oh, I also measured the Prisoners Blu-ray (5.1 DTS-HD MA), in case anyone was wondering about it.  Supposedly a good movie, but it scored low on bass so I didn't think it should be included here.  These are its measurements, for comparison's sake.

 

Level        - 1 Stars (102.4dB composite)
Extension - 1 Stars (26Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (34.26dB)

 

PvA wasn't even worth posting.

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MKtheater    48

Nube, there is a scene at 23:25 during Elysium that I wonder how low it goes.  After the accident they drag him to the medical room.  A nice sweep that goes very low.  Still hard to tell on concrete but I will rewatch it from the back row on the riser and see how different it is.  I watched it at reference and the bass 3 dBs hot. 

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djbluemax1    6

I agree that the bass in Elysium was actually pretty darn good. The overall level of this movie (even the dialogue) seemed a fair bit lower though. Watching this movie at Reference felt softer than some movies at -10db!

 

As for the movie itself, I wouldn't call it the greatest, but still good enough to earn a spot in my stable. I didn't really have much of a problem with the acting the way some reviews did. Jodie Foster's character is that of a cold, hard b###h and her performance was fine for it, as was Matt Damon and Alice Braga's. Their scripts just didn't have that much depth in them but they did well with the material they were dealt.

 

Hats off to Sharlto Copley for his performance as Kruger though. The difference between his characters in District 9 and A-Team vs this character were pretty stark and he pulls off the 'crazed attack dog' brilliantly.

 

 

Max

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