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

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There is very little to no interest in "that world" for more bass extension beyond 20-30hz.

 

 

What someone needs to do is arrange a visit to any one of the ultra-low-end-monster systems on here for some industry bods in high places, the ones who spec the rooms and mix the mixes and sign off the audio - I can't believe anyone with a brain and a sense of wanting to get the best from their work would walk away from a Bosso system or our friend with eight HS24s and unhappy neighbours ;):D saying "nope, I felt no difference, there's no point".

 

How much does it cost to spec a mixing room these days?

 

And how much would the monster 8x24 system cost to recreate?  Say $8k - $12k for drivers, and how much would amps and enclosures and cabling be?

 

Given the likely price of the 'pro' stuff being used, one does wonder if a drag-and-drop, plug'n'play Ricci-special quad-19 setup could be offered up for trial.  Just imagine - how awesome would that be if Ricci and DB forum single-handedly changed the mixing rooms for the better ;):D

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That sounds great in theory but I'm pretty sure most professional mixers are quite well aware of the benefit of infrasound. It's simple economics at play: commercial theaters don't go much under 30hz. Why are audio post facilities going to spend thousands of dollars extra on infrasound monitoring when virtually no theater gets any benefit to it? You can argue all day how much those low frequencies add to the experience (a lot, admittedly) at home, but to the money guys there is no reason to pony up when your primary customer (movie theaters) doesnt use it.

 

From the sounds of it several mixing rooms used to have ULF ability but it was likely removed for similar reasons: theaters can't play the material, so why spend the maintenance and power costs for ULF playback? I'm pretty sure getting single Hz playback in a theater space is not easy or cheap.

 

For the record I do like soundtracks with no filters that extend into the low depths. But I also understand that I (and by extension other members of this forum) are distinctly in the minority so I don't expect any favors from re-recording mixers. Which is why it's a nice treat when it happens.

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I still don't understand why they can't make a soundtrack that is full range.  Then, in the theater have filter in the chain that rolls off the bass at 30hz.  Or bumps it at 30hz.  Or what ever the F they are doing at 30hz.  Then remove it for the home version.  I know I am not in the business but I mean come on.  This really can't be done?  Maybe it is a cost thing as someone mentioned before but that still does not explain why some movies, even recent ones vary so much.  I don't know.  Maybe I just don't understand how the whole thing works in which case I apologize for my ignorance.

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Anyone who has any sense will have HPFs in-line on a vented high output system.  It should not require a shelf or high-pass to the soundtrack, but we often see it, likely because Infrasonic events eat up a lot of headroom on a track.  By taking them out, you can make the 30+Hz stuff  louder, and we have definitely seen a lot of this happening (TF4 is the worst offender I can think of).  The loudness war is alive and well on bluray disc.

 

Also, by applying the shelf/high-pass to the soundtrack, you preserve the integrity of the subs that do not have protective highpasses in-line, which does exist; I have been in a handful of theaters running with blown subs.  I conclude that most exhibitors know next to nothing about quality audio reproduction.

 

Add to the pile the outdated X-Curve, varying mix levels (not everyone mixes at Reference Level, for various reasons, not the least of which is 'director's intent'), varying playback levels due to customer complaints, and you see that getting an unfiltered, unclipped track is nothing less than essentially miraculous.

 

The best tracks seem to come from lower budget films with terrific sound crews and non-dictatorial directors who do not micromanage the hell out of a production, and allow the artists/professionals to do their work and collaborate. Follow the career of a director, and you can see that as their films make more money, they also seem to have the typical rolloff and compression/clipping/limiting.  Look at JJ Abrams Star Trek 1 v 2, as well as Batman Begins and TDK vs TDKR and Interstellar, and you see my point.  Extension worsens, and so does the dynamics score.

 

JSS 

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Think you hit the nail on the head there.

 

I'd be curious to see if Zac Snyder's sound crew changed between Man of Steel and BvS.  Nolan swapped out Lora Hirschberg with Gregg Landaker after Inception and that's when his soundtracks started going south.....

 

Edit: And I don't think it would be out of the way to claim that Transformers 5 will probably be even louder and more filtered/clipped

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That was a great response.  I just wish that there was more of a standard. I would rather control the loudness level myself.  Just give me a nice, clean soundtrack that maybe goes up a little at the low end since that is the hardest to reproduce.  I mean how can we go from the first Star Trek movie which was awesome to all of sudden thinking we need to really blast the user in ST:ID.  I just don't get it.  At least some still seem good.  

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That was a great response.  I just wish that there was more of a standard. I would rather control the loudness level myself.  Just give me a nice, clean soundtrack that maybe goes up a little at the low end since that is the hardest to reproduce.  I mean how can we go from the first Star Trek movie which was awesome to all of sudden thinking we need to really blast the user in ST:ID.  I just don't get it.  At least some still seem good.  

 

Odds are some theater owners complained that ST didn't have enough of that 'slam' bass audiences love so much.  Plus it probably fried a couple of theater sub systems if what Max says is true (about them neglecting to use limiter circuits)

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Odds are some theater owners complained that ST didn't have enough of that 'slam' bass audiences love so much.  Plus it probably fried a couple of theater sub systems if what Max says is true (about them neglecting to use limiter circuits)

I got you. I guess you mean real movie theaters and not us HT people.  Personally, I would like to have bass that is nice an even.  Not too peaky (if that's a word) and goes very low.  Like I said before, let me control the level if I want more.  I would rather have nice smooth bass that goes low as opposed to really loud bass that does not.  Even if your home system can't reproduce the really low stuff, I would be willing to bet that people would like it.  I mean personally, on my system, I enjoy Thor, The Avengers as well as Star Trek and John Wick.  But that's just me.  

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It should not require a shelf or high-pass to the soundtrack, but we often see it, likely because Infrasonic events eat up a lot of headroom on a track.   

 

But does it??

 

Assuming I'm not going insane and mis-remembering, the graphs for the failure that was The Hobbit vs The Hobbit Extended Edition were interesting - IIRC they just added new scenes with new (30Hz filtered) audio and didn't touch the existing (40Hz filtered?) audio, so the bass (if you can call it that) came in with the new material and disappeared again when it finished.  When the original and extended versions were graphed onto the same graph, the additional extension was obvious but the upper end was literally virtually identical, even taking into account whole new scenes that would have changed the graphs somewhat.

 

I'm just not convinced it is a valid justification from the mixing people!  unless, of course, they are dealing with Nolan and any other similar directors who personally crank everything up to 11 and are touching/flat-topping to 0dB on the levels on the disc. 

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But does it??

 

Assuming I'm not going insane and mis-remembering, the graphs for the failure that was The Hobbit vs The Hobbit Extended Edition were interesting - IIRC they just added new scenes with new (30Hz filtered) audio and didn't touch the existing (40Hz filtered?) audio, so the bass (if you can call it that) came in with the new material and disappeared again when it finished.  When the original and extended versions were graphed onto the same graph, the additional extension was obvious but the upper end was literally virtually identical, even taking into account whole new scenes that would have changed the graphs somewhat.

 

I'm just not convinced it is a valid justification from the mixing people!  unless, of course, they are dealing with Nolan and any other similar directors who personally crank everything up to 11 and are touching/flat-topping to 0dB on the levels on the disc. 

 

Yes, high intensity low bass does eat up bandwidth.  That being said, you're right in stating that the Hobbit is a real oddball.  Until someone involved in the actual sound mixing pipes in we'll never know for sure why that movie was so weak bass-wise compared to LOTR (despite having most of the same sound crew working in the same facility).

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What someone needs to do is arrange a visit to any one of the ultra-low-end-monster systems on here for some industry bods in high places, the ones who spec the rooms and mix the mixes and sign off the audio - I can't believe anyone with a brain and a sense of wanting to get the best from their work would walk away from a Bosso system or our friend with eight HS24s and unhappy neighbours ;):D saying "nope, I felt no difference, there's no point".

 

How much does it cost to spec a mixing room these days?

 

And how much would the monster 8x24 system cost to recreate?  Say $8k - $12k for drivers, and how much would amps and enclosures and cabling be?

 

Given the likely price of the 'pro' stuff being used, one does wonder if a drag-and-drop, plug'n'play Ricci-special quad-19 setup could be offered up for trial.  Just imagine - how awesome would that be if Ricci and DB forum single-handedly changed the mixing rooms for the better ;):D

 

I've actually looked into the logistics of pulling this off and....

 

It's not worth it. It's one thing to convince one studio to revamp one mixing stage... It's another thing convert EVERY mixing stage and EVERY movie cinema room. And I'm being realistic by thinking country-wide, not world-wide.

 

The thing is... these content creators, they work in a world of routine. Why bother with something different when yester-year's design works just fine from theater to theater? Sure, there are times when people push the envelope but it's very rare. I'm amazed we get such awesome bass tracks from time to time.

 

 

But... one day...one day I'll stroll into [blank] studios and bring with me a dozen MAUL's and SP amps and set up a world class bass system for some bigwigs at [blank] studios and we'll have a ball playing cool clips and "wow, couldn't you feel that more?" blah blah blah.

 

Well then... I impressed one room full of people. But they couldn't care less either way. It's money to be spent that doesn't have to.

 

And now... the world!

 

Yeah. This ain't happening. :(

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The only way I see a change is if it is marketed as an elite experience, like RPX, IMAX, etc.  If people are willing to pay more for it, that would be the only way I see Infrasonics making their way into cinemas and mixing stages in the future.

 

No way the cineplex at the mall is putting in 10-20Hz capability.  

 

JSS

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Odds are some theater owners complained that ST didn't have enough of that 'slam' bass audiences love so much.  Plus it probably fried a couple of theater sub systems if what Max says is true (about them neglecting to use limiter circuits)

 

What?  As if going to warp speed doesn't have slam?  Even on systems without extension?  The slams in ST were better than in STID, IMO, after you normalize playback level of the two for loudness.

 

Yes, high intensity low bass does eat up bandwidth.  That being said, you're right in stating that the Hobbit is a real oddball.  Until someone involved in the actual sound mixing pipes in we'll never know for sure why that movie was so weak bass-wise compared to LOTR (despite having most of the same sound crew working in the same facility).

 

Indeed.  IIRC, each Hobbit movie was mixed different.  The first had weak, 40 Hz+ bass and was not as loud as typical movies.  The second had moderate bass in the 30-40 Hz range and had a more typical loudness level.  The third had moderate bass but with extension to 20 Hz and was less loud like the first one.  The third movie is the weirdest in many ways because *a lot* of the effects were noticeably extended to 20 Hz, but nothing hit especially hard.

 

I'll still take any of these three over STID, which was clipped severely and is perhaps one of the worst sounding movies in recent memory.

 

I've actually looked into the logistics of pulling this off and....

 

It's not worth it. It's one thing to convince one studio to revamp one mixing stage... It's another thing convert EVERY mixing stage and EVERY movie cinema room. And I'm being realistic by thinking country-wide, not world-wide.

 

One is better than none.  I think it's worth it, but maybe instead of arguing for more ULF on the basis of high end home sub systems with ULF capability, which are indeed relatively rare, we should instead argue for ULF monitoring for the people using tactile tranducers.  Tactile transducers are growing in popularity, and are a lot cheaper and more practical for most viewers.  Indeed, many movie theaters are installing them into seats now.  Maybe the best way to get the studios to do more ULF is by encouraging them install TTs in their listening chairs.

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One is better than none.  I think it's worth it, but maybe instead of arguing for more ULF on the basis of high end home sub systems with ULF capability, which are indeed relatively rare, we should instead argue for ULF monitoring for the people using tactile tranducers.  Tactile transducers are growing in popularity, and are a lot cheaper and more practical for most viewers.  Indeed, many movie theaters are installing them into seats now.  Maybe the best way to get the studios to do more ULF is by encouraging them install TTs in their listening chairs.

I am one of those people.  My Transducer goes down to 5hz.  Let me say, it makes a huge difference on films that we know are great.  But even on films that have low LFE but at a very low level, I still get a nice effect.  As I mentioned before, The Avengers and Thor being 2 of them,  Hell even Avatar was better with a transducer.  But it has made a very big improvement in my system.

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I have often wondered whether some of the post production and mixing stages are perhaps using transducers to help monitor the bass range, but I've never seen anything confirming it. It would make sense.

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The only way I see a change is if it is marketed as an elite experience, like RPX, IMAX, etc.  If people are willing to pay more for it, that would be the only way I see Infrasonics making their way into cinemas and mixing stages in the future.

 

No way the cineplex at the mall is putting in 10-20Hz capability.  

 

JSS

 

According to the statistics released from a recent CinemaCon, these new technologies are not helping to sell tickets. 4k double projection, laser projection, HDR, Atmos surround sound, tactile transducers, 4-D/interactive, D-box...nothing.

 

What people like are newer style, big comfortable reclining chairs and a really big screen. Better/improved bass is never even a thought.

 

I have often wondered whether some of the post production and mixing stages are perhaps using transducers to help monitor the bass range, but I've never seen anything confirming it. It would make sense.

 

Afaik, this is not ever done on a conventional mixing stage.

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According to the statistics released from a recent CinemaCon, these new technologies are not helping to sell tickets. 4k double projection, laser projection, HDR, Atmos surround sound, tactile transducers, 4-D/interactive, D-box...nothing.

 

What people like are newer style, big comfortable reclining chairs and a really big screen. Better/improved bass is never even a thought.

 

How do they account for the increase in ticket price associated with these "premium" technologies?

 

But anyway as far as audio is concerned, cinemas have offered little to no improvement in sound quality since the early 90s when digital audio came into being.  Atmos is the clear exception to this, but Atmos is still only as good as the system its played on.  I suspect a fundamental issue is that cinemas do a poor job of configuring and maintain their audio systems.  People don't expect much in return.  A system might sound "really good" one night and poor the next night, so most people just don't pay attention.

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According to the statistics released from a recent CinemaCon, these new technologies are not helping to sell tickets. 4k double projection, laser projection, HDR, Atmos surround sound, tactile transducers, 4-D/interactive, D-box...nothing.

 

What people like are newer style, big comfortable reclining chairs and a really big screen. Better/improved bass is never even a thought.

 

 

I think what you're basically trying to say is that the great unwashed are uninformed and uninterested ;) lol, but sadly the latter means the former will likely never change because people are too busy staring at their ****ing smartphones to see what pointless crap their 1000+ 'friends' have posted online in the three minutes since they last checked their phone...

 

I don't even look forward to going to the cinema now, I rarely come out thinking 'I really enjoyed that' because the sound is usually so gratingly goddam awful, sigh.  I am hopeful that a 'boutique' cinema I've found might be better, but I have a feeling it will just have sofas with no back support, scatter cushions, an 'artsy' interior and just the same crap quality sound, despite probably being double the price of an already expensive standard ticket at Cineworld or Odeon...

 

 

 

Man, I'm feeling positive today :lol: lol

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X-Men:Apocalypse - 7.1 DTSHDMA

 

Level - 4 Stars (112.2dB composite, only 0.3dB away from 5-Star)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (27.6dB, 0.1dB above threshold)

Execution - TBD

 

Overall  - TBD

 

Comments - Appears to have some soft limiting, clipped passages very few and far between, mainly in center channel.  Actually a 12Hz film, that 1Hz bump gives it 5 Star extension.

 

 

JSS

 

post-20-0-40568800-1476363909.jpg

post-20-0-40568800-1476363909_thumb.jpg

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Well you aren't wrong.  Good theater sound systems are expensive and most chains aren't going to spend the money unless there is some kind of benefit.

 

Premium theaters can be worth the money, I saw The Force Awakens in a SDX (or something, can't exactly remember) theater and the sound system was actually really good.  Did have to pay a premium but in that case it was money well spent.

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But anyway as far as audio is concerned, cinemas have offered little to no improvement in sound quality since the early 90s when digital audio came into being.  Atmos is the clear exception to this, but Atmos is still only as good as the system its played on.  I suspect a fundamental issue is that cinemas do a poor job of configuring and maintain their audio systems.  People don't expect much in return.  A system might sound "really good" one night and poor the next night, so most people just don't pay attention.

 

Most of the cinemas close to me are Cinemark and we go a couple times a year still. The sound is usually kinda bad. The bass is pathetic. I've heard blown sounds before and or it's M.I.A. altogether. If you're lucky you'll get a few gratifying 35-60Hz booms. The surrounds and main channels are often extremely loud and shouty/harsh (especially the center channel dialog). Not very pleasant. The general impression is of 300-6Khz being hotter than everything else and the system being not quite in its comfort zone anymore, or perhaps just old and worn out.

 

Here's the thing, a whole lot of people out there really have no reference point for what a good system can sound like. To them the same system I've described above sounds amazing compared to their TV speakers, their soundbar, their factory car stereo, their ear bud headphones, or their Z-logic computer speakers. They go in the same theater I do and are thrilled with the overall volume, dynamics and BIG presentation. Matters of perspective.

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How do they account for the increase in ticket price associated with these "premium" technologies?

 

But anyway as far as audio is concerned, cinemas have offered little to no improvement in sound quality since the early 90s when digital audio came into being.  Atmos is the clear exception to this, but Atmos is still only as good as the system its played on.  I suspect a fundamental issue is that cinemas do a poor job of configuring and maintain their audio systems.  People don't expect much in return.  A system might sound "really good" one night and poor the next night, so most people just don't pay attention.

 

Not all chains install each and every technology all at once. Trust me, they account for all ticket earnings and compare to the cost they put into their own rooms. ;)

 

I think what you're basically trying to say is that the great unwashed are uninformed and uninterested ;) lol, but sadly the latter means the former will likely never change because people are too busy staring at their ****ing smartphones to see what pointless crap their 1000+ 'friends' have posted online in the three minutes since they last checked their phone...

 

I don't even look forward to going to the cinema now, I rarely come out thinking 'I really enjoyed that' because the sound is usually so gratingly goddam awful, sigh.  I am hopeful that a 'boutique' cinema I've found might be better, but I have a feeling it will just have sofas with no back support, scatter cushions, an 'artsy' interior and just the same crap quality sound, despite probably being double the price of an already expensive standard ticket at Cineworld or Odeon...

 

 

 

Man, I'm feeling positive today  :lol: lol

 

Yeah, sorta. People in general are not interested in that stuff like we are. Sure, people want it to sound good but it's a given. Most people don't got from one chain to another for the sound alone. Only crazy nuts like me do that. :P People want convenience, comfort and a good value. That's why most people will drive to the closest cinema to their home than the one across town that is awesome.

 

 

So when you put all this into perspective... you start to see why nobody could give a fuck about wicked subs that reach 10hz.

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Most of the cinemas close to me are Cinemark and we go a couple times a year still. The sound is usually kinda bad. The bass is pathetic. I've heard blown sounds before and or it's M.I.A. altogether. If you're lucky you'll get a few gratifying 35-60Hz booms. The surrounds and main channels are often extremely loud and shouty/harsh (especially the center channel dialog). Not very pleasant. The general impression is of 300-6Khz being hotter than everything else and the system being not quite in its comfort zone anymore, or perhaps just old and worn out.

 

Here's the thing, a whole lot of people out there really have no reference point for what a good system can sound like. To them the same system I've described above sounds amazing compared to their TV speakers, their soundbar, their factory car stereo, their ear bud headphones, or their Z-logic computer speakers. They go in the same theater I do and are thrilled with the overall volume, dynamics and BIG presentation. Matters of perspective.

 

In the cinema, vocal intelligibility is usually the upmost important aspect the designers go for. Unfortunately, that is not always achieved for various reasons. But that could explain some of the odd EQ you're hearing.

 

It's really interesting to hear about the experiences people have with their local cinemas. I must be lucky to live in an area (and state) with a lot of very, very good cinemas. Where I live (usually the butt end of a joke) has all nice theaters now. Before the 2000's they were all ssssshhhhiiiiiiitttttttt. Slowly but surely started getting nice stuff. United Artists built our first stadium seat theater with a couple THX certified rooms. That was my favorite for a few years. Had to drive all the way across town but it was worth it. Then Edwards came to town and built a 21 theater megaplex with an overall 'premium' experience. Then they added an IMAX screen. Then another chain built another megaplex with each one of their rooms THX certified. Good times. Things slowed down after all that. Now things are starting to be kinda "meh" to be me but I keep going to LA every other month and visit all the best places so maybe my standards are changing. Heheh. We just got a place with Atmos (but it's terrible!) so I guess we're catching up.

 

But it's interesting cuz I read here or on AVS how awful their local chains are with an array of terrible experiences ranging from obnoxious people to bad sound or picture.

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X-Men:Apocalypse - 7.1 DTSHDMA

 

Level - 4 Stars (112.2dB composite, only 0.3dB away from 5-Star)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (27.6dB, 0.1dB above threshold)

Execution - TBD

 

Overall  - TBD

 

Comments - Appears to have some soft limiting, clipped passages very few and far between, mainly in center channel.  Actually a 12Hz film, that 1Hz bump gives it 5 Star extension.

 

Looks pretty good, but things do drop a lot below 30 Hz.  Is the infra especially audible?  On the bright side, this looks like it has huge slam potential.

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