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maxmercy

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

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I think xtrmaniac was working on an Excel, but I told him to hold off until I caught up all the measurements on the old films.

 

I'll add Avatar to the queue.

 

JSS

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I don't understand - why hold off on the xls? Just add a new row when you have finished a movie. It should be a living document - continuously updated.

Thanks in advance for Avatar.

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Another well done mix for catching fire. Appropriate bass which helped tell the story. Not exceptionally deep but nice none the less

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maxmercy and I have been hard at work re-measuring all the old films, and so you'll see some jockeying for position in the ratings.  We're also trying to catch up requests.

 

Since we're posting polls for each new movie measurement, those seem like the natural places to discuss each movie.  Keep requesting new ones here, though, if you want. 

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Avatar Extended Collector's Edition (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (109dB composite)
Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.72dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

Notes:  This one has a lot of DC to 1.5Hz content recorded on the disc, the highest amplitude of which occurs at odd places.  Pretty much nothing between there and 20Hz, except for that one 10s effect @ 13Hz..  Really strange (to me) that the director spent so much time on cutting edge cinematography and CG, but then released this in a 5.1 mix. 

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-01992100-1394420538_thumb.png

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The Grandmaster (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

Level        - 4 Stars (110.26dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (29.85dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.5 Stars

 

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  This is for the 130min Chinese version.  Measurements don't lie, and The Grandmaster has a lot of bass, but it's used pretty subtly.  It's almost entirely contained in the slo-mo fight scenes, of which there aren't enough.  There's a minor amount of limiting/clipping in the center channel, but it's not too bad.  The LF effects are used appropriately, and there are some fun moments.  They can't redeem the movie, which is quite a long slog of alternating arthouse slo-mo in every fight scene, or bad Chinese melodrama.  The kung fu isn't especially well done, either - nothing like other notables, such as Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, etc.  Maybe the 108min US version will be better, but who knows about its mix.

 

PvA:

 

attachicon.gifTheGM-PvA-HighRes.PNG

 

The Grandmaster - USA 108min Cut (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 4 Stars (111.86dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 4 Stars (26.78dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

 

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes:  Very solid content from 15Hz on down.  Oddly, it's only 5.1 compared to the Chinese released 7.1 DTS-HD MA.  Even so, it has greater level and better extension, though lower dynamics.  I don't know what was added/removed, but it looks like a better mix for bass fiends.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-23019600-1394420858_thumb.png

 

Comparison of the two mixes:

 

118afacc_USAvsChi-PvAComparison.gif

post-17-0-43758400-1394420873_thumb.gif

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I bet Avatar had some noise in it, I have measured several films with a near-constant drone in the sub-3Hz range, most of them older films (analog v digital)?

 

JSS 

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Homefront (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 4 Stars (110.9dB composite)
Extension - 4 Stars (13Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.08dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-94529400-1394637617_thumb.png

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Out of the Furnace (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 2 Stars (106.6dB composite)
Extension - 3 Stars (18Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (32.49dB)

Execution - 3 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 3.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-79673500-1394637823_thumb.png

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Avatar Extended Collector's Edition (5.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (109dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.72dB)

Execution - Will poll

 

Overall     - TBD

 

Recommendation - Will poll

 

Notes:  This one has a lot of DC to 1.5Hz content recorded on the disc, the highest amplitude of which occurs at odd places.  Pretty much nothing between there and 20Hz, except for that one 10s effect @ 13Hz..  Really strange (to me) that the director spent so much time on cutting edge cinematography and CG, but then released this in a 5.1 mix. 

 

PvA:

 

attachicon.gifAvatarExtendedCE-PvA.PNG

 

thanks !!

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Frozen (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 3 Stars (108.2dB composite)
Extension - 2 Stars (24Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (29.11dB)

Execution - 2 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 3 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Notes: I had really high hopes for this one, but it didn't pan out at all.  It's filtered at 36Hz.  The best effects barely get below 30Hz with any authority.  And, contrary to the film's IMDb rating, the movie itself wasn't very compelling at all.  About the best thing in this movie was the singing, which was pretty good.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-03925600-1395155889_thumb.png

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Filtered at 36hz?

 

C'mon now. It has most of it's peak energy ~36hz but filtered? I think we are getting a bit quick on the draw with that term. Looks to me like there is plenty of content to ~10hz but at a slightly lowered shelf. Much, MUCH better than we get with most movies. Especially the big blockbuster types that we want with that kind of extension.

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I'd say it looks like it has useful content down to 25hz and a whif of content to 10hz. The odd peak centered near 37hz makes it look worse than it is. Still, doesn't look great...

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I say filtered when I see the red average line that has a steady slope down.  Perhaps that's not correct, but it sure looks to me like the recorded sounds and designed effects have a filter of some sort starting at 36Hz.  How else can we account for the constant slope of the average content in the mix, if not a filter at some point in its production?  Real recordings of a multitude of sounds don't exhibit such a slope, as evidenced by the recordings and SL graphs of sounds we each experience everyday.

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Natural rolloff of synthetic sound effects and a filter are two completely different things, Nube.

 

Let's just say this IS a filter. What slope would you say that is?

 

Sorry, I'm not trying to call you out. I just think several need to calm down on the "ermagerd this is filtered!!!" like it's so blatant.

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I don't mind the questions.  I will admit that I don't know that much about how this stuff is produced, but it doesn't really matter how it's produced.  Let deductive logic guide your reasoning.

 

Natural rolloff of synthetic sound effects is an oxymoron.  If there is no rolloff in natural sounds recorded in foley (or elsewhere), which I feel like is an established fact, there has to be a reason they exhibit a negative beta (slope), right?  If it doesn't exist naturally, what else shall we call negative slope implemented in the design and/or the recording?

 

The most common negative slopes are precisely 2nd or 3rd order. In this case, it's 3rd order across most of the measured trend line:

 

post-17-0-75203900-1395179359_thumb.png

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I know there has been discussion about signal rolloff in sound reproduction, is there some of that exhibited in recording? Could it be that the recording equipment is solid down to 20 Hzish?

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I don't mind the questions.  I will admit that I don't know that much about how this stuff is produced, but it doesn't really matter how it's produced.  Let deductive logic guide your reasoning.

 

Natural rolloff of synthetic sound effects is an oxymoron.  If there is no rolloff in natural sounds recorded in foley (or elsewhere), which I feel like is an established fact, there has to be a reason they exhibit a negative beta (slope), right?  If it doesn't exist naturally, what else shall we call negative slope implemented in the design and/or the recording?

 

The most common negative slopes are precisely 2nd or 3rd order. In this case, it's 3rd order across most of the measured trend line:

 

attachicon.gifFrozen-PvA.PNG

 

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.

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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.

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