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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion and Poll

Poll  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Execution

    • 5 Stars
    • 4 Stars
    • 3 Stars
      0
    • 2 Stars
      0
    • 1 Star
      0
  2. 2. Recommendation



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Star Wars: The Force Awakens-Disney/Lucasfilm


 


DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1


 


Level - 4 Stars (110.94dB composite)


Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)


Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.39dB)


Execution - TBD


Overall - TBD


 


Supervising Sound Editors: Matthew Wood, David Acord


Sound Designers: Ben Burtt, Gary Rydstrom, Robert Stambler, Will Files


Re-Recording Mixers: Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Juan Peralta, Nathan Nance


 


the-force-awakens-3-360425.jpg


 


Not much to say about this one that hasn't been said already, and it's true that it is an absolute bass monster.  The dreaded 30Hz peak is still present, but the falloff below it is gentle enough to still leave some significant content down low.  While most of the bass falls into the typical sci fi bang and slam category, there is plenty of variety in the effects so they never get boring to listen to.  


 


Then we get to the 'Force Rumbles' that are unleashed almost every time Kylo Ren appears on screen.  They are loud and have significant energy below 20Hz (so bolt down your wall hangings), but thanks to some creative sound design they are not one dimensional and will ebb and flow both in frequency and intensity (no annoying "Interstellar" drones here).  Unfortunately they are annoying in one regard: they will reveal every single source of noise in your listening area.


 


The overall quality of the soundtrack is fairly high, but it is also marred by clipping, courtesy of what appears to be a brick wall limiter set to -3dB.  Why the limiter was set this low is a mystery, as it leaves the soundtrack noticeably quieter than many others, yet full of flat topped waveforms any time the volume ramps up.  Thankfully the distortion is mostly unnoticed aside from a few effects that are pushed too hard, becoming boomy and muddy in the process (the Starkiller base weapon firing is the big one).


 


Overall this is a good, but not great soundtrack.  It's a definite step up for JJ over ST:ID but not anywhere near his first Trek movie.  Unfortunately, mixing like that seems to have gone out of style, so it was probably a pipe dream to expect TFA to be in the same league.  Still, the soundtrack does a good job supporting the movie, and thankfully goes against the grain by featuring some decent dynamic range and an overall tone that is much smoother than the harsh soundtracks that usually grace 'event' movies like this one.


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Again, I can't wait to try this on my own system.  So, if you took away that 1hz "tone", this would, in reality have a lower limit of what 16hz, 15hz, lower?  It is too bad that louder seems to be the way things are going and we couldn't get a Star Trek style sound track.  It does seem to be better then some of the other really bad ones so I will take what I can get.  And to be honest, only on a few films could I tell there was clipping or distortion.  TRON and The Immortals being two of them.  

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If that 1Hz bump wasn't there I'd say it's about a 13Hz extension.  Still decent, but that would knock it down to 4 stars.  i originally had it at 13Hz until I was reminded that I had to be objective and even though the 1Hz signal is likely an abberation, I still had to account for it.

 

Yeah Tron Legacy had ugly distortion.  But I think that was hard clipping being caused by the signal exceeding 0dB.  That's the harshest stuff you can get.

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I can live with 13hz.  I still think this will sound really good and that I probably won't notice the issues that others may notice.  It's just good to see a Star Wars film again on my system.  Regardless of what some may think of it.  I have not watched anything Star Wars related in a very long time so this will be a treat.  The trailer for Rouge One is up and even though I have not watched it, someone I know who has seen it said it looked really good.  I am still holding out hope for 4k versions of the unaltered 4,5,6 some day.  

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I had to give it a 4 for the clipping.  Given how low the overall volume is there is no real excuse for it, and if they had opened up that limiter even by 2dB they would've gained more dynamic range and eliminated much of the clipping.

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Same. It was almost close to perfect but the clipping and heavy limiter use keeps it from being a 5.

 

Still fun and enjoyable bass track. I've heard many, many, many worse bass tracks with the big blockbusters recently. This was pretty good all things considered.

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Loved the film as a new comer to the star wars universe at the age of 25 I will go back and purchase the first 3 films. The making of on the second disc is great, all in HD and 5.1 audio so it's not a let down.

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BEQ may make this even more worthwhile:

 

I know, lots of changes to this one, it was a try at something I thought was missing on first viewing, to get it more into line with what I experienced in cinema mid-bass wise, but also add the house-shaking ULF that was shelved away.  No house curve needed.  This one packs a punch.

 

JSS

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Not really, as you need to digitally modify the signal before it gets to the AVR for bass management.

 

JSS

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Same. It was almost close to perfect but the clipping and heavy limiter use keeps it from being a 5.

 

Still fun and enjoyable bass track. I've heard many, many, many worse bass tracks with the big blockbusters recently. This was pretty good all things considered.

 

Without a doubt. I had my first shot at spinning this bad boy last night and not only did I enjoy the variety of bass effects as minnjd had already mentioned, but the surround presentation IMO was absolutely top notch. Video certainly didn't disappoint and there were several good dark scenes that I felt were well done. 

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BEQ Correction (implement prior to AVR, with HTPC software or nanoAVR):

 

LCRS:

 

1. Low shelf - 15Hz, Slope 1 (Q of 0.707), Gain +6dB

2. Low Shelf - 15Hz, Slope 1 (Q of 0.707), Gain +3dB

3. Parametric EQ - 85Hz, Q 1.12 (Bandwidth 1.25 Octaves), Gain +4dB

4. Overall Gain -7dB

 

LFE:

1. Low Shelf - 15Hz, Slope 1, (Q of 0.707), Gain +6dB

2. Low Shelf - 15Hz, Slope 1, (Q of 0.707), Gain +6dB

3. Low Shelf - 15Hz, Slope 1, (Q of 0.707), Gain +3dB

4. Parametric EQ - 70Hz, Q 1.12 (Bandwidth 1.25 Octaves), Gain +4dB

5. Overall Gain -7dB.

 

These changes will mean that Reference Level playback will occur at +7dBMV.  The track does not reach over 126.5dB peak level at this level of playback, and max RMS level is 119dB (over 1/8th sec), so if your system can handle Reference Level with very demanding material, it can handle this track at +7dBMV, provided your AVR does not clip the signal.

 

The track gains over a dB in Dynamics, Extension and Level become 5-Star Level if played back at +7dB from your typical listening level.  DO NOT add a house curve to this unless you know your system can handle it.  Adding a steep house curve will bloat the midbass and the score will sound unnatural.  This BEQ assumes a gentle (if any) house curve, maximum of -6 to -10dB downslope from 20Hz to 20kHz, with no aggressive slope-up in the midbass region.

 

JSS

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That <5Hz stuff is not noise. Deliberate effects at specific times.

 

JSS

 

Well, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the whole movie. Played it back at -3dB with Dolby Surround upmixer.

 

Excellent 7.1 surround mix. But this place is about bass. ;)

 

 

Some DEEP bass notes. People are making comments about the use of the Force by Kylo and the resulting room shaking bass. There was a quite a bit of this of course (it's Star Wars!). The bass during which sure would bring out the rattles and buzzes in the room. Seen several mentions of the Poe interrogation scene. While this does sound impressive... by far the deepest bass of these parts is the one with Rey in the forest when Rey and Kylo first encounter one another. This bass was much deeper than the Poe interrogation scene and to me was deeper than the Rey interrogation scene after the forest one.

 

Speaking of forest... when Rey storms out of the Cantina and runs into the woods, there is a part where a nice deep bass rolls in (felt like 15hz or lower). Then she stops and looks back before she continues further into the woods. Real good deep bass there that might go unnoticed by those that really aren't reproducing the deep stuff. Another dose of this bass is felt soon after when Han, Chewy and Maz are under the Cantina to go fetch Luke's lightsaber.

 

Plenty of fun bass throughout but those were some notes I have about DEEP bass. I'd be curious if anyone charts those parts and confirm my experience.

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Well, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the whole movie. Played it back at -3dB with Dolby Surround upmixer.

 

Excellent 7.1 surround mix. But this place is about bass. ;)

 

 

Some DEEP bass notes. People are making comments about the use of the Force by Kylo and the resulting room shaking bass. There was a quite a bit of this of course (it's Star Wars!). The bass during which sure would bring out the rattles and buzzes in the room. Seen several mentions of the Poe interrogation scene. While this does sound impressive... by far the deepest bass of these parts is the one with Rey in the forest when Rey and Kylo first encounter one another. This bass was much deeper than the Poe interrogation scene and to me was deeper than the Rey interrogation scene after the forest one.

 

Speaking of forest... when Rey storms out of the Cantina and runs into the woods, there is a part where a nice deep bass rolls in (felt like 15hz or lower). Then she stops and looks back before she continues further into the woods. Real good deep bass there that might go unnoticed by those that really aren't reproducing the deep stuff. Another dose of this bass is felt soon after when Han, Chewy and Maz are under the Cantina to go fetch Luke's lightsaber.

 

Plenty of fun bass throughout but those were some notes I have about DEEP bass. I'd be curious if anyone charts those parts and confirm my experience.

 

I noticed that part where Rey goes into the woods.  Whatever was going on was at the lower limits of my sub's response so I could tell something was up, but not exactly what it was.  Damn unnerving in any case.

 

I think one of the things that is making this movie such a big hit is the fact that most of the soundtrack is at a lower level than normal, but the bass isn't (the PvA shows 'normal' bass levels).  Once you turn up the volume to compensate for the rest of the soundtrack the bass is even louder.

 

I was going to do some scenecaps but I'm stalling hoping Shredhead was planning something.  His caps are always excellent.

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Well, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the whole movie. Played it back at -3dB with Dolby Surround upmixer.

 

Excellent 7.1 surround mix. But this place is about bass. ;)

 

 

Some DEEP bass notes. People are making comments about the use of the Force by Kylo and the resulting room shaking bass. There was a quite a bit of this of course (it's Star Wars!). The bass during which sure would bring out the rattles and buzzes in the room. Seen several mentions of the Poe interrogation scene. While this does sound impressive... by far the deepest bass of these parts is the one with Rey in the forest when Rey and Kylo first encounter one another. This bass was much deeper than the Poe interrogation scene and to me was deeper than the Rey interrogation scene after the forest one.

 

Speaking of forest... when Rey storms out of the Cantina and runs into the woods, there is a part where a nice deep bass rolls in (felt like 15hz or lower). Then she stops and looks back before she continues further into the woods. Real good deep bass there that might go unnoticed by those that really aren't reproducing the deep stuff. Another dose of this bass is felt soon after when Han, Chewy and Maz are under the Cantina to go fetch Luke's lightsaber.

 

Plenty of fun bass throughout but those were some notes I have about DEEP bass. I'd be curious if anyone charts those parts and confirm my experience.

 

Definitely enjoyed that part in the woods. There were a few other areas where I felt it dug pretty deep for very quick effect. Final fight scene with the ground cracking had some decent transients, with some ULF seemingly folded in there as well. 

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So, now that I have enough of a house to set up enough of a system to enjoy a movie, I can participate. YAY!

 

Loved the film, absolutely loved it. Was a frantic thrash to pull everything together and watch it on Tuesday night, but I did it. When I got home from work, I cleaned up, sanded, wired, stuffed, and loaded my sub cabinets, set them in place, installed and wired the rear surrounds, plugged in the rest of the parts, ran some tones to make sure each speaker and sub made noise, fixed the parts that didn't, then put in the disc and pressed play, at about 9:15 PM.

 

Levels? Delays? EQ?

 

Ain't nobody got time for that, make some popcorn and turn out the lights, it is time to watch some Star Wars.

 

Ideally, I will be able to get the rest of the system set up and a bit more squared away this weekend. Using four or five remotes really, really sucks. This setup is totally a mix of old stuff and new stuff, and all still very temporary, but it is WAY better than nothing.

 

So, I have to say that though it measured "poorly", with a both a brickwall limiter and a roll-off evident, it didn't sound bad to me at all. Still, I see zero reason for a competent sound designer to use either with the capabilities of 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Since both limiting and roll-offs suck, -1 for you on execution, had they killed the dynamics or made it sound bad in the process, it would have been -2.

 

Still a 100% buy for me, and I am glad I own it. It will be re-watched more than once.

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So, now that I have enough of a house to set up enough of a system to enjoy a movie, I can participate. YAY!

 

Loved the film, absolutely loved it. Was a frantic thrash to pull everything together and watch it on Tuesday night, but I did it. When I got home from work, I cleaned up, sanded, wired, stuffed, and loaded my sub cabinets, set them in place, installed and wired the rear surrounds, plugged in the rest of the parts, ran some tones to make sure each speaker and sub made noise, fixed the parts that didn't, then put in the disc and pressed play, at about 9:15 PM.

 

Levels? Delays? EQ?

 

Ain't nobody got time for that, make some popcorn and turn out the lights, it is time to watch some Star Wars.

 

Ideally, I will be able to get the rest of the system set up and a bit more squared away this weekend. Using four or five remotes really, really sucks. This setup is totally a mix of old stuff and new stuff, and all still very temporary, but it is WAY better than nothing.

 

So, I have to say that though it measured "poorly", with a both a brickwall limiter and a roll-off evident, it didn't sound bad to me at all. Still, I see zero reason for a competent sound designer to use either with the capabilities of 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Since both limiting and roll-offs suck, -1 for you on execution, had they killed the dynamics or made it sound bad in the process, it would have been -2.

 

Still a 100% buy for me, and I am glad I own it. It will be re-watched more than once.

 

 

Nice Mike! Glad you are back up and running. I kinda did the same as I have been reworking my rack to be able to fit a few more things in there...I was totally out of space the way it was and I did not have a very efficient install. Now I do, but, I have no manual EQ going at this point for the subs and that just needs to be addressed. After that, and getting my xbox360 hard drives transferred to a new 360, Im rockin and rollin again

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Wouldn't say "running" just yet, but certainly a brisk walk.

 

Like I said though, WAY better than nothing. I missed my bass.

 

The theater? It is coming together, but finishing is still a ways out yet. I just cut a theater wall open to deal with the aftermath of a leaky washing machine. Thankfully no real damage other than moldy drywall, still sucks to have to cut a brand new wall open.

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So here's some screencaps.  Probably not the best......But it shows strong content down to almost 10Hz with occasional full band transients.

 

Ren interrogates Poe Dameron

 

ren-poe-463102.jpg

 

Starkiller base fires it's weapon:

 

starkiller-fires-573684.jpg

 

Hosnian System destroyed:

 

hosnian-destroyed-830467.jpg

 

Ren catches Rey in the woods:

 

ren-cathces-rey-396542.jpg

 

And finally, Ren's interrogation of Rey.  It's the second part where Rey starts to push back:

 

ren-interrogates-rey-914027.jpg

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Looks great, nothing like the worst-case scenario predictions.

 

And thanks for the review that actually has value compared to the other "official" ones out there on other sites.

 

Now I wonder if it is possible to buy it..

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No, it is not available.

 

Which means NO BUY - opportunity lost.

 

Because I don't need this movie.

I would buy it, if it was easy and convenient to buy NOW, perhaps there are some nice demo scenes in it as well.

Instead, I downloaded some new demo clips from demo-world yesterday, found a new Atmos-demo, and the Auro-3D - and some more.

The money saved will go into some new hiking shoes.

 

The disaster here is that a lot of other people will think like this, and that is really bad for business, because they will not buy expensive and great sound systems if they go out hiking instead of watching movies.

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