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maxmercy

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

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maxmercy    336

Baraka:

 

Level - 4 Stars (110.5dB composite)

Extension - 1 Star (29Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.94dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall - 3.5 Stars

 

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

JSS

 

post-20-0-52619100-1395281115_thumb.jpg

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nube    142

The Fifth Element (5.1 TrueHD)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (106.3dB composite)
Extension - 1 Star (28Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.79dB)

Execution - 2 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 2.5 Stars

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

Notes:  I really like the movie, but the bass is almost nonexistent.  One of the loudest effects comes as an interesting midbass sweep right near the beginning.  Other than that, not much to say.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-57844300-1395329738_thumb.png

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djbluemax1    6

Oh wow! Hey, thanks for doing FE. Bout time I saw what this guy was all about (in the bass) after all these years.

Yeah, I always LOVED the editing and comedic timing in this movie, but it definitely isn't a bassfest. Luc Besson's style tends to be hit or miss for me. When I like his movies, I really like them, but some of them are just "meh".

 

 

Max

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Infrasonic    157

Yeah. His stuff is pretty hit and miss. FE will live on as a Sci-fi classic and it deserves it.

 

But... yeah by todays standards it's pretty weak on bass. It did come out in like 96-97' though so that's just how it was. :P

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MemX    97

Yeah. His stuff is pretty hit and miss. FE will live on as a Sci-fi classic and it deserves it.

 

But... yeah by todays standards it's pretty weak on bass. It did come out in like 96-97' though so that's just how it was. :P

I know we complain about how some movies are filtered but overall I think we are doing a lot better for bass than even 10 years ago! :)

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maxmercy    336

Dredd, Total Recall, Wrath of the Titans, The Amazing Spider Man, Rush, Oblivion, Elysium have been very good in the last year or two. I am still hoping for some films to match both the extension these deliver, with the levels that films like Star Trek (2009), TIH, 9, and WotW brought. If Star Trek hasn't been in your BD player lately, it should. Tremendous soundtrack. Those warp booms are so well done.

 

JSS

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Bossobass Dave    241

Just some notes regarding the filter discussion:

 

It doesn't matter that there may be peaks above and below the HPF "line" and it doesn't matter where you might place the virtual filter on the graph or whether on the peak trace or the average trace (although it's easier to see in the average trace for obvious reasons):

 

d95ed596e02eb210ee1784b9753ba883.jpg

 

Just remember that SL is a linear scale. ;)

 

As far as the assertion that LFE are "not natural sounds", please watch the soundworks "The Sound Of Man Of Steel" for one example of the sound being very real and mic'd by several guys each holding a mic on a stand while following the tonnage of concrete being mic'd.

 

http://soundworkscollection.com/videos/the-sound-of-man-of-steel

 

We know for a certainty that the event has content to DC. If, as was the case with this film, that content has not transfered from the event to the soundtrack... it... was... filtered. All that's left is to determine what order and at what frequency the filter (or, as Max suggests, series of additive filters) is, which will be obvious to those exercised in that art.

 

I personally doubt that the quality of mic/pre/PS/cabling/recorder are so low as to affect a roll off that high up. I believe the filtering is done later by the designer or mixer or mastering process. That's just what the evidence and common sense tell me but it certainly is possible that the sound team of a 9 figure budget blockbuster movie, after renting the heavy equipment and operators, stopped on the way at Radio Shack to pic up a headset mic to slip into those expensive wind screens. :P

 

BTW, that's a 2nd order HPF in dashed lines set at various places on Nube's graph. I believe the filter point is a few Hz lower than Nube's guess, but very close in any case.

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tuxedocivic    40

One of my Behringer ecm8000s has a 30hz roll off. And the industry doesn't necessary use more accurate mics than that. A lot of mics used to capture voices and such have a very high roll off. So I say their equipment would likely be of such low 'quality'.

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nube    142

I've been doing a lot of thinking and talking about this, 'cause I think it's important.

 

Nice graph. That would certainly make it look that way...

 

But! Think of it this way...

 

What kind of system's do you think that the creators of this content are using? System's that are flat to 3hz or most likely a high sensitivity 18" driver in a ported cab with an Fb ~30hz?

 

Take a wild guess. ;)

 

Then think about that these are NOT natural sounds. Yes, in real life things don't have a filter. Is foley or other methods of sound effects creation coming from real things? Of course! But not always. Often these are effects that are pitched down to be ...bass. If you're a sfx creator and you're at your console making these sounds and monitoring them with a system that is flat to 30hz with no appreciable output below, what are the chances that there will be any effort put into making an effect wide bandwidth enough to be below 30hz? I'm not saying they don't care or even that they don't know. It's not just that cut and dry that we can label it as negligence.

 

We've all read about the frequency response of the mixing studios and dubbing/design stages.  I don't see how the subs in these studios could or should have any impact on what is recorded by inanimate objects (the mics).  That seems to be another way of arguing that the recordists and/or sound designers are specifically applying filters to match the output capabilities of their target audience.  I completely agree that they do this last bit, and with good reason, but I still think it's artificial to apply filters to adjust the full-range recorded sounds to any frequency response.  I agree with Bosso that it's pretty unlikely that such a high-dollar industry, which prides itself on meeting all the important specs, would choose inferior equipment with which to record, design and mix audio.  Their equipment is the best of the best, and to think it has rolloff starting at 30-35Hz, when the easy-to-meet retail junk standard has been 20Hz for a very long time, is silliness.

 

To put it another way...

 

Look at the PvA for Avengers. Then look again at Frozen.

 

Which one would you say has a filter applied?

 

I wager that both do, at some point within the sound design and/or mixing.  I don't see any other logical way for the significant, consistent, yet not always apparent negative slopes (filters) to exist.

 

Define 'filter'.

The entire sound generation/capture/editing/mixing/playback has varying amounts of roll off in mics, processors, monitors, amps, etc. I think the important thing is whether or not a roll off was purposely applied for whatever reason. You can argue every single piece of a sound capture, editing and reproduction chain filters the information to a certain extent.

I have noticed that the some best sounding films will have very little roll off to LCRS and none to some roll off in the LFE. Oblivion, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Finding Nemo all fit this description. Some of the biggest letdowns have roll offs in all the channels.

Looking at Frozen, it could be that the content down to 10Hz may be in the LCRS, and since they playback at 10dB lower than the LFE, the 'shelf' is present. I would bet that an LFE only graph would show a significant roll off.

JSS

Edit - While I understand why roll offs are applied, especially with vented alignment monitoring systems (I would definitely highpass them at the amp level for excursion control, but leave the track alone), I do not like when roll offs are applied to make a soundtrack seem louder, taking advantage of ELC curves.

 

I do not look in depth at each individual channel because my HDDs are slow, and such actions bog down my primary computer when I do stuff like that.  However, I would imagine it's worthwhile to do so...sometimes. 

 

Broadly to everyone, I think that there may be multiple schools of thought in the mixing/design community.  It seems that there are consistently some sound folks who purposely do not filter at any stage of design or mixing.  Are these guys using different equipment, stuff without rolloff, than all the others?  My assumption is that they're not, and I'm also pretty sure they're not ALWAYS enhancing natural sounds by synthetically giving them 3 octaves lower output.  That seems silly once it gets down past 10Hz, where they're never likely to be able to monitor that stuff.  I think it's more likely that they just aren't purposely filtering out the really deep content that is there in natural sounds, and not artificially creating it.

 

There are many others who seem to always filter, to whatever degree - be it 2nd/3rd order, low shelf, or the brick wall.  Is it reasonable to assume that they're using inferior equipment?  I find that unlikely, given all of their huge budgets.  Thus, I think they're artificially filtering at some point.  Their reasoning could be based on a variety of concerns, such as faulty assumptions of hearing based on the conventional wisdom derived from the 80yr old ELC curve testing done by Fletcher and Munson, or it may be out of caution for the theater equipment, or it may be that they want to have the highest amplitude effects at the room-exciting frequencies of 27, 32, etc. that they've found create the most "impact" in typical theater seating.

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maxmercy    336

 

 

Broadly to everyone, I think that there may be multiple schools of thought in the mixing/design community.  It seems that there are consistently some sound folks who purposely do not filter at any stage of design or mixing.  Are these guys using different equipment, stuff without rolloff, than all the others?  My assumption is that they're not, and I'm also pretty sure they're not ALWAYS enhancing natural sounds by synthetically giving them 3 octaves lower output.  That seems silly once it gets down past 10Hz, where they're never likely to be able to monitor that stuff.  I think it's more likely that they just aren't purposely filtering out the really deep content that is there in natural sounds, and not artificially creating it.

 

There are many others who seem to always filter, to whatever degree - be it 2nd/3rd order, low shelf, or the brick wall.  Is it reasonable to assume that they're using inferior equipment?  I find that unlikely, given all of their huge budgets.  Thus, I think they're artificially filtering at some point.  Their reasoning could be based on a variety of concerns, such as faulty assumptions of hearing based on the conventional wisdom derived from the 80yr old ELC curve testing done by Fletcher and Munson, or it may be out of caution for the theater equipment, or it may be that they want to have the highest amplitude effects at the room-exciting frequencies of 27, 32, etc. that they've found create the most "impact" in typical theater seating.

 

Most of what get rated as 5-Star Execution mixes have flat PvAs, esp in the LCRs.  I think that filtering can happen at least at these 2 points:

 

1. Sound design/editing

2. Sound mixing

 

I have very little doubt that the story of the blown subwoofers on the Avengers mix stage had something to do with the fact that every channel ended up with a steep filter with a corner above 25Hz.  Probably a mixing stage call to keep show on the road and not shut the stage down to replace blown drivers.  As FOH pointed out, if you are blowing drivers, you do not have a robust enough system to monitor the track with.

 

Looking at the live tracking waterfall when watching a film, it is very easy to see when a filter was applied to a 'flat' initial track/recording.  Battleship is one of the worst offenders.  You can literally see the 30dB low shelf filter as the broadband 16" gun blasts take a dive from 40Hz and flatten back out at 20Hz, with content all the way to 5Hz.

 

The Hobbit AUJ is one where it was probably #1.  The stone giant scene simply has nothing of value below 30Hz, with no obvious shelf.  Just nothing.  Either a non-shelving highpass was applied, or filtering was applied to the mics/processing software for of all the sounds.  Who knows.  Either way, Peter Jackson should be ashamed, esp considering the greatness of the sound in the LOTR films, which are now 11-13 years old, around the time that serious ULF was beginning to be included in films...  

 

While I understand why tracks get filtered, I do not condone it, unless it is to get rid of artifact (HVAC, road noise, etc).

 

 

JSS

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nube    142

After remeasuring it, I spent last night rewatching Brave.  It's a pretty decent flick, and I agree with the 4 star execution rating.  It doesn't have much under 20Hz, but it does have some good sound design and surround work.  There's one spot where the mix really thumped me in the chest, maybe moreso than any single effect in a movie I've seen in awhile.

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AmarD1981    0

Looking forward to seeing the graphs for the Hobbit: The desolation of smaug, hope they've done a better job than on the last BD.

And thanks guys for all the knowledge & hard work :)

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maxmercy    336

Glad you find it informative! Still trying to catch up all the films measured the old way....nube is mainly doing the newer releases, but he is also helping a lot with the backlog. Remember to vote and comment on the film in the poll threads.

 

JSS

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maxmercy    336

One that was requested a while back:

 

The Conjuring:

 

Level - 3 Stars (109.82dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (32.78dB!!!!)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall - 4.25 Stars

 

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

The 1Hz peak is actually more of a negative DC offset for about 5 seconds.  If your system is capable enough, it would give you a 'pop your ears' sensation like climbing a mountain in a car or like in a climbing aircraft and then ease up.  Looking at your subs, the cones would all travel in and stay there for a while.  Other than that, a 30Hz-ish very dynamic film.

 

JSS

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bao    3

Can you have a link to an Excel spreadsheet with the movies down column A and the attributes across top of page (columns B, C. D, E, F)

That way I can download xls and then sort the movies according to my preference.

e.g. sort by dynamics, then extension.

 

just a thought

thanks

 

Awesome - thank you !!!

My wish list:

Add a column for the year it was released?

Add a column for DTS-MA or Dolby True HD

Add a column for 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1

 

thanks again - much appreciated

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nube    142

All good suggestions, bao.  Thanks!  I'll start working on getting those added, but it'll probably take a little while.  ;)

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nube    142

47 Ronin (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (106.52dB composite)

Extension - 1 Stars (38Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (29.18dB)

Execution - 1 Star (by poll)

 

Overall     - 2.25 Stars

 

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  This is not an April Fool's Day joke.  It really has a -10dB point of 38Hz.  Hah!

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-44728700-1396363018_thumb.png

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FOH    4

$175,000,000 budget for this thing!

 

While they're throwing that type of money around, just throw out everything below 40hz too ... 

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TeamEmperor    0

Looking forward to seeing the graphs for the Hobbit: The desolation of smaug, hope they've done a better job than on the last BD.

And thanks guys for all the knowledge & hard work :)

 

Its awful Im afraid to say :( 

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