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Everything posted by FilmMixer

  1. Dave.. I've always been here. You assume that the reason WOTH sells so well (and I'm not sure you have any kind of data to back that up) because of the ULF... It's a fantastic sound job all around, that's why... If you want to say that it's because of the ULF I'll have to call BS on that.... You again are ascribing things to me that simply are not true. I know Randy Thom, and have never been dismissive of him. And as I said, just because I don't agree with some of his reasonings for why he uses so much ULF in some of his designs, doesn't mean I don't have the greatest amount of respect for him and his work, and as I've said many times, he is truly someone who taught me so much about sound and helping to tell stories.. probably much more than any one individual.. You make such a big deal out of my comments, and it again can simply be boiled down to the fact that I'm of the strong opinion that I want to know what my work is going to sound like with a great deal of certainty... hence I'm not of the opinion that I should be mixing things in I can't hear.. it's my opinion. It's not a personal affront.. I just mixed a film with Anna, who mixed WOTW... I am currently mixing with the sound designer who did Insidious 2, The Conjuring and many others... Guess what? I've spoken to them at length and their opinions are similar to mine.... they don't remove what's given to them, and certainly don't go to any lengths to create such content. You make a lot of assumptions.. like you say "His system rolls off >20 Hz and he couldn't care less, in his own words, which is evident in his body of work." The tuning of our stages is close to the industry standard, so the reasons my work has no ULF has nothing to do with the company I work for (which, BTW, you don't even know who it is at this point, or how good the rooms are.) I mixed 6 films over the last two years on the same stage where "Black Hawk Down" was mixed.... what does it have to do with what comes out of there... You think you're so clever saying how my comment that I don't want to be a RT clone cements it for you.. Guess what, Dave... I'm not a sound designer... Also, I wasn't the FX designer on mixer on Riddick.... I never said it was a ULF film.... That kind of comment shows how little you understand about film sound production in general.. You can disparage me all you like.... You're the same as countless others I've come across over the years that can only say that it's only, solely, what matters to them that is important.. But please, again, stop dragging my name through the mud when you think I'm not around.. It speaks volumes about your character, and there's a reason you do what you do for a living, and I am able to do what I do. My awards and accolades from my peers mean a bit more to me than your myopic opinion, so in the end, yes, I will let my work speak for itself, graphs or not.
  2. Sound mixers aren't mail room clerks.. if you subscribe to the notion that 50% of the film experience is sound, you can understand that directors might not have the expertise to do the actual mixing, but are integral in helping develop the overall soundscape of a given track. A colleague of mine has a good analogy... our job, as mixers, is to get the ball to the 10 yard line.. the director helps us get it into the end zone... sometimes they fumble... While people like CN and others might not produce tracks you like, they are still the ones overly responsible for the overall aesthetic of the film.. to say, or think, that overseeing a mix is micromanagement shows a lack of understanding of how films are truly made, IMO. The mixing stage, with a good director, is handled just like a live set when doing principal photography.. it's not just some technicians spinning knobs.... Of course I think of it as an art form, and judging by the vast differences in styles between directors, sound editors and mixers, sometimes it's more apparent that some artists are more talented than others... but in the end it's all subjective. But to suggest that we should be left alone to our own devices as mixers would leave to homogeneous, sound alike mixes that... IMO that would be really boring. Just my .02.
  3. Some more info on your research. I worked with Harry for 8 years.... he was the sound designer on many films where I served as supervising sound editor. The connection with Tarantino and some of the other films comes from Wylie Stateman, who is the supervising sound editor (and the Nine you are referring to is the Rob Marshall film not "9" for clarification..) He and Harry, as you noted, have been part of an amazing team for a long while now. The Patriot was one of the first films Harry worked on after joining Soundelux. Anne Scibelli was the main designer on Trek (another person Harry and I worked with for many years...) She recently completed Iron Man 3 with supervisor Mark Stoeckinger (who also did Star Trek...)
  4. Tim... we've all had this conversation many times... the bolded part is the crux of the issue... we can debate over and over who we should cater for, but my first concern is theatrical distribution. Most enthusiast on here have way better ULF than us.. above 18Hz you'd hear the difference in our rooms that would justify their costs.... you're talking about 15 cycles, and I'm talking about the other 20,000. And when you say "we" I'm curious how many people, as a percentage of HT owners, have <18Hz capability in rooms designed to handle such frequencies properly you think are out there? Bosso and I got into a discussion about this on AVS.... the cost and effort (not to mention alleviating bleed between rooms (even those that are fully floated) for what we (read: most colleagues I've talked with) see as a minimal increase in benefit over what we have now isn't worth it... Again... let me be clear.. I'm not slighting the want/desire/passion for ULF... I'm just stating my personal opinion about what I need to focus on in helping to create a sound track, and knowing what a majority of theaters (as well as a great majority of HT's) are capable of, and what the business realities are vs. what returns we would see... The rooms where Randy Thom mixes those films with the great ULF aren't any more capable than most other dub stages... he is a fantastic designer and sculpts the ULF to get the subs he does have in his room/dub stage to act a certain way.. Could others do it? Of course, and some do similar based on what you guys see on your graphs.. It's not easy, as everybody would do it with the consistency he does (and even with my vocal comments about the subject, I'd do it more if I had access to an easy tool to create it, even knowing I couldn't hear it but understanding that it would have an impact on the track...) We do remaster for DVD/BR a lot more now a days (doing one tomorrow in fact...) I will be using Genelec 1031's and a Genelec 18" sub... that's better than 99% of what people have in their homes... are we supposed to go more specialized than that for a fraction of the audience that would benefit from it? (and again see my point above about SPLing subs...) But there is a simpler response to your position of "we know it can be done..." I agree.. I don't ever HP filter the LFE, and most people I work with don't either... if it isn't there from the get go, however, I don't seek it out. Just my personal .02...
  5. A couple of points.. I don't want to start a debate, because it always becomes contentious.. but this is food for thought. 1. Very few microphones are good below 20Hz.. and most of what the pick up under 30Hz doesn't really sound all that great in my experience, and won't create fantastic ULF on it's own. 2. Almost all ULF you hear in films, if not all, was created after the fact electronically... 3. The film industry has standards in place that don't account for ULF.. again, let's not start a debate on what we should, or could, do. The fact is that we can guarantee a high degree of reliability, and repeatability (i.e. translation) with our curve, which doesn't extend much below 20Hz... while I don't want to speculate what other mixers do, I do not use a HPF on music (or effects when I mix them...) Some do, and want to use all of the band limited headroom as they mix... and some sound designers also feel they don't benefit from <18-20Hz, and don't work to get down any lower... so many different designers, so many different mixers.. there is no easy answer (I'm getting ready to start a film with the SD that did Bosso's favorite "Hunger Games.." I'll be sure to have a long discussion about his ideas and thoughts, which are sure to be educational for all.) 4. I'd be willing to bet, as a conservative estimate, there are <1% of people who can get the benefit of <18Hz in their rooms, both in terms of response and usability... it's a choice about what and who we are catering too.. frankly, I never filter and never worry about it with music, and most people I mix with don't filter the fx either... but if it isn't there from the sound designers/effect editors, we aren't going to make it appear with most of the tools at our disposal, and we're not monitoring it regardless. Even if there is debatable merit to the argument that <18Hz is audible/feel-able/etc... the general consensus from those I've worked with over the years is that it's not something they focus on... there is a lot more to a sound track that will have a bigger impact on telling the story through sound than ULF IMO (how well the dialog is mixed, how we use the sound space, dynamics, etc...) This isn't meant as any kind of slight towards the passion with which those who are passionate about ULF, or this wonderful board.. but the simple fact is that our monitoring systems and theaters are setup to a standard that isn't concerned with reproducing ULF... the expense and effort needed for us to implement such systems (and counteract the issues associated with such systems) doesn't really provide the ROI knowing how few consumers (much less any commercial venues) would be able to accurately reproduce it.. I'm not debating how cool ULF is... but I'm plenty happy of what I can do in a room with 110db down to 18-20Hz... at this point in time, as is true for most of the sound for film industry, we are moving into object based audio and many more channels of playback, which are really exciting IMO... and as far as theaters are concerned, were finally seeing upgrades to better reproduction systems (Meyer, Atmos systems with bass management, etc..) that are really fantastic... that has nothing to do with why designers, editors and mixers don't leave ULF in (if it even exists) are spend time and resources to create it (and again that doesn't require that they be able to monitor it because none of our editing room come close..) It's just a comment on where our focus is at this point in time. I tend to ramble......... 5. When you have a system that reproduces ULF, and are using the full frequency response of the system to calibrate your SPL using pink noise, and knowing what the standard is for most dub stages (talking about films here,) the variance from what most film makers and mixers intended is going to be a wildly varying experience for a lot of people... depending on how you calibrate your room, films that don't have any <20Hz content might sound downright anemic in a room setup for <20Hz because you've calibrated differently that what we do on a stage (i.e. the SPL of the sub channel for 20-120Hz will be lower than what we heard because our measurements weren't "hearing" <20Hz.. which explains to me a lot of times why there are wildly varying degrees opinions on LFE.. Subs aren't my specialty, and I'm not an overly technical person.. we have others that are focused on that, and I'm lucky to work with some of the best in the business in regards to engineering..... the above is based on my practical experience, and opinion.... I always have an open invitation to those on here to come by and see (and hear) what our dub stages are like.
  6. Dave.. spell check stinks sometimes. If you ever have a question about who the FX mixers are on a show, please let me know before you spend time with your charts.. I'll be happy to ask around if I don't know the answer.
  7. Just for clarification.. When you guys post info on the sound designer, and or mixers, you are usually not correctly crediting the right people.. on most of these larger films, there is almost always a couple of people handling different things.. I understand trying to link different films with their crews.. but unless you know the specifics of each film and who handled what, the information is suspect at best in some of the credits you guys list on here and trying to determine individuals marks on any given film.. WOTH was mixed by Andy Nelson and Anna Behlmer.. Scott Stoltz is a production sound mixer (who records on set.) ALVH was mixed by Ron Barlett and Doug Hemphill.... Doug mixed FX... Harry Cohen and Dror Mohar were the principal sound designers (I mixed the first temp on the film with them) As a side note, a great resource for those interested in sound for film is Soundworks Collection.. some really cool pieces, going back a couple of years.. http://soundworkscollection.com
  8. Let me try and clarify this. First of... dialog norm does nothing to the dynamic range of the track... Secondly, both DTS and Dolby have a dialog normalization feature in their codec. The default value in the Dolby encoder is -27 (4 db attenuation) and it defaults to -31 in DTS encoders. It isn't a measurement of the absolute level the dialog is in reference to digital zero. In most cases, the average level of the dialog serves as the basis for how loud other things around it are, and is a good barometer of the average SPL level of the track over the period of it's running time. It's not about keeping the dialog level consistent, but the overall measured value of the program (the dialog is just the barometer of what the rest of the track should be.) It was initially conceived as a way to even out the volume swings in differing content, i.e. television shows, etc. You are correct that you are supposed to run a DN measurement on the master after finished a project.. in reality, most authoring houses don't bother to do so. Regardless, the DN value sets the attenuation value of the post decoded PCM. Again.. it only attenuates the volume of the POST DECODED PCM at a fixed value. It does nothing to the dynamic range of the track, and doesn't change the value of one track in relation to the other (i.e. lower the center channel...) THX receivers compensate for the 4db drop so that 0 is 0.. on all other receivers you need to manually adjust for the offset... so if you see a value of -27, raise the volume knob 4db.. The dialog norm value also sets the base for the metadata for dynamic range compression. This means that if you decide to engage DRC/Midnight Mode/Late Night mode the metadata for such compression takes into account the average overall level... for this reason alone it is, IMO, more meaningful to actually measure it. Most broadcasters have moved away from DN value requirements and are now requiring LEQ measurements to help them keep in line with the CALM act (you can google search if interested, but the FCC is now mandating that commercials and content be on more equal footing...) LEQ measuring takes a look at the overall content level of the track over time (some broadcasters want the length of the show measured, some episodic want each "act" (8-12 minutes)) and gives you a measurement... For example, a certain network I've done a bit of work for now requires the LEQ A measurement to be -24 +/- 1db, with no absolute peaks above -1dbFS... Other networks are more stringent, but thats fairly common.. To reach that target, you usually must lower your SPL reference well below theatrical.. when mixing for broadcast, I set the level at 78 or 79db SPL... that leaves me with 7-9 db less top end compared to film. Dialog norm gathering is run either in real time or using newer faster than real time tools (see Dolby Media Meter.) If a company is going to the trouble of spending the money for a near field/home theater mix, in my experience they will use it for all authoring.. not sure about Thor or other titles you are seeing difference on... the DD encoder does allow for filtering of the LFE, and has other parameters that are adjustable, but again, just to be clear, DN doesn't change the dynamic range of the track. Just like DN, we don't use SPL meters to measure loudness for trailers.. The reason trailers today are so bass heavy is indeed because LEQ A measurements are skewed based on frequency, and low end content doesn't affect the reading as much as mid range frequencies. After the industry moved to digital 5.1 in the early 90's, the trailer loudness wars erupted, and TASA was born. The MPAA adopted the TASA specs and trailers will not be approved by the MPAA (and given the ubiquitous green band) unless they have a measured LEQ A of 85 or less.. which is still loud (too loud IMO.. it should be 83, but that's another topic..)
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