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maxmercy

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

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7 hours ago, dgage said:

Maybe your film composer buddy could ask some of the audio engineers that finalize the soundtrack to speak to some of the things we find when reviewing movie soundtracks, especially some of the filtering that appears to get applied.  I’d be interested if they could speak to what is being done (software, plugin?) and why.  And then a way to reach out to that community so we can nicely ask them to stop putting out neutered soundtracks.  One could wish. :)

I'll see how much information I can sweep up, but I can tell you that a fixed HPF is present on almost every mic-pre nowadays and it is very often being used. When it comes to plugins, you almost always see Waves plugins being used. I could also imagine that removing ULF could be a part of de-noising. That is typically done in iZotope RX, which I own but have not used yet, so I can't tell if that is happening there.

What I think is most likely is that the HPFs are baked into the SFX files directly, which also explains why you sometimes see a graph that looks like several different low shelves were cascaded (the result of stacking effects with different HPF points). I should go through some of my sample packs and see if these come with a HPF in place right from the store.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (Dolby ATMOS 7.1 channel bed)

Level: 4 Stars (111.9dB composite)

Extension: 2 Stars (21Hz)

Dynamics: 5 Stars (29.93dB)

Execution: TBD (3-4 IMO)

Overall: TBD

Notes: 4k disc definitely provided the better track, with 24 bit depth (16 bit for DTS on BD), and slightly higher dynamics.  More low level noise noted on the DTS track.  Some flat tops, but not as bad as other Marvel films.

565745216_SpiderManFarFromHome4k.thumb.jpg.cedbc6197479b506b5daa03c3058bc8e.jpg

This track appears to be VERY amenable to BEQ, with a single correction for all channels.  Will post up BEQ later.

JSS

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^°^°^°^I

Interesting. So all the multiple reports the Atmos track was botched and the DTS-MA was the better track are perhaps a bit overblown? The Atmos mix is getting very dividing opinions, but most agree the DTS is the clear winner.

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The tracks graph nearly identically, with a slight edge to the DTS track in overall level with an increase in midbass level (>40Hz), only a slight difference in dynamics, but a definite increase in noise, especially ULF noise in the DTS track, all of which may be below the threshold of hearing.   If I were to BEQ one of the tracks, it would likely be the ATMOS with it's lower noise floor.

I can do a more detailed audio comparo looking at more things + clipping and such when I have time.  I thought the film overall was pretty good, with the lately-typical Marvel great visuals, with sound that is decent, but not outstanding.

I do not have overhead channels, so I cannot comment on the ATMOS experience, only the 7.1 lossless channel beds.

JSS

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49 minutes ago, maxmercy said:

The tracks graph nearly identically, with a slight edge to the DTS track in overall level with an increase in midbass level (>40Hz), only a slight difference in dynamics, but a definite increase in noise, especially ULF noise in the DTS track, all of which may be below the threshold of hearing.   If I were to BEQ one of the tracks, it would likely be the ATMOS with it's lower noise floor.

I can do a more detailed audio comparo looking at more things + clipping and such when I have time.  I thought the film overall was pretty good, with the lately-typical Marvel great visuals, with sound that is decent, but not outstanding.

I do not have overhead channels, so I cannot comment on the ATMOS experience, only the 7.1 lossless channel beds.

I'll just point out that just because they graph nearly the same doesn't mean they'll sound the same.  Even changes that appear negligible in the graphs could be audibly quite significant.  People may disagree on which sounds better, not just for purely subjective reasons, but also depending on the characteristics of their system.

As a question though.  Do the two look nearly identical below the filter cut-off too?  The reason I ask is because it's interesting that the DTS track has more ULF noise.  Think about it.  A filter doesn't *remove* noise like this, right?  It just suppresses content at those frequencies, unless the attenuation is extreme.  That suggests that the ULF noise got added to the DTS track somehow, at a point "downstream" from whatever the starting point for the Atmos track was.  Could it be that the ULF noise is from a subharmonic synth in the mastering chain that was configured differently for the DTS vs. Atmos?  I'm sure there are other possibilities, but most seem to suggest that the tracks are more different than the graphs suggest.

Any comments on how the dynamics sound?  I hope they've dialed back the aggressiveness of the loudness normalization (or whatever it is).  That together with the (IMHO) lackluster sound design really detracted from a lot of the recent Marvel movies for me.

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4 hours ago, SME said:

I'll just point out that just because they graph nearly the same doesn't mean they'll sound the same.  Even changes that appear negligible in the graphs could be audibly quite significant.  People may disagree on which sounds better, not just for purely subjective reasons, but also depending on the characteristics of their system.

As a question though.  Do the two look nearly identical below the filter cut-off too?  The reason I ask is because it's interesting that the DTS track has more ULF noise.  Think about it.  A filter doesn't *remove* noise like this, right?  It just suppresses content at those frequencies, unless the attenuation is extreme.  That suggests that the ULF noise got added to the DTS track somehow, at a point "downstream" from whatever the starting point for the Atmos track was.  Could it be that the ULF noise is from a subharmonic synth in the mastering chain that was configured differently for the DTS vs. Atmos?  I'm sure there are other possibilities, but most seem to suggest that the tracks are more different than the graphs suggest.

Any comments on how the dynamics sound?  I hope they've dialed back the aggressiveness of the loudness normalization (or whatever it is).  That together with the (IMHO) lackluster sound design really detracted from a lot of the recent Marvel movies for me.

Why do you think that they would add noise to the DTS track? That's a little out there imo. It would make sense saying that they noticed the noise in the DTS tracks, which is why they removed it for the newer(?) Atmos mix

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6 hours ago, peniku8 said:

Why do you think that they would add noise to the DTS track? That's a little out there imo. It would make sense saying that they noticed the noise in the DTS tracks, which is why they removed it for the newer(?) Atmos mix

At this point, and after reading many discussions about it, I've given up trying to understand why there are so many differences between mixes. The Atmos thread at AVS got into a very heated discussion about it, that lead nowhere. In the BEQ thread at AVS we found out that there are differences between the Flatliners (2017) 5.1 DTS-MA and the Australian Auro3D 5.1 DTS-MA core, but there are multiple examples, some of which can be found in this very thread. Same movie, same effects, different levels. Sony can't be bothered to include a 24bit track in the BD. Different bass frequencies are boosted in some releases, in others they are not. Basically, we have no option than to roll with it.

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Looks like proof positive that all these mixes are created by different teams, each with a slightly different idea of what they should sound like.  And it's unlikely the director or lead sound engineer is involved (unless you're someone like Christopher Nolan).

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11 hours ago, SME said:

I'll just point out that just because they graph nearly the same doesn't mean they'll sound the same.  Even changes that appear negligible in the graphs could be audibly quite significant.  People may disagree on which sounds better, not just for purely subjective reasons, but also depending on the characteristics of their system.

I'm very inclined to agree with this. I'm not sure if two mixes graphing nearly the same, mean they sound the same. I don't think those graphs are any indication of "quality". In the BEQ thread at AVS a comparison was made of some audio mix transcoded at different bitrates, the lowest being 128kbps. All graphs look nearly the same. I wouldn't conclude the "quality" is the same. The experiment was done to see if we should expect a difference in bass levels and/or extension in streaming services due purely to audio bitrate.

I wonder if there can be some visual representation of quality in an audio mix. How do you represent visually audio quality? Cross-referencing multiple audio graphs, perhaps, and seeing where one "falters"?

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11 minutes ago, minnjd said:

Looks like proof positive that all these mixes are created by different teams, each with a slightly different idea of what they should sound like.  And it's unlikely the director or lead sound engineer is involved (unless you're someone like Christopher Nolan).

I think this is...pretty much it. It really is the most plausible explanation without splitting hairs. Each mixing/authoring team does with the mix what they're allowed to.

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