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maxmercy

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Dune Pt 2: Dolby ATMOS

Level: 5 Stars (113.4dB Composite!)

Extension: 5 Stars (4 Hz)

Dynamics: 3 Stars (23.36dB!)

Execution: 4 Stars

Overall: 4.25 Stars

Notes: Upon cursory review, there appears to be NO clipping on this track, but very good mixing and possible use of compression and no brick-wall limiters.  Appears to be very well produced.  Will comment more when I view in the HT.  UPDATE - Finally got to see Dune 2 at a decent level.  Very much like the first one, and similar sound design to Blade Runner 2049.  A few good moments, but no Oh, wow! bass moments.  Good production, but the sound design in this film is just not my thing, although I understand why it was done this way.  

DunePt2.thumb.jpg.bb5ce3dde877c4b1aec13a21801c6357.jpg

JSS

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5 hours ago, AmerCa said:

^^^^^^^

Makes sense. Dune was indeed very loud. I listened to it on average between -20 and -18, and it was loud enough for me and my room. Can't imagine listening to it at reference levels.

I was going back a few pages, and I found your comment regarding BEQ, (page 171) that it was a preference, not a reference.  I'm curious as what's your position these days in regards to it, and did you ever try the BEQs over at AVS? It was my impression you stopped doing BEQs for lack of time, but now they're easily available. If possible, would you watch every movie with BEQ, or is there any criteria for it? I assume you watched Dune without it, so it's clear you don't think it's necessary all the time. It's interesting to me, because you have a very capable system, and you actually have done BEQ. From what I've seen, people who have tried it, don't want to come back. It's almost like an addiction.

Also, looking forward to your take on Dune 2. Watched it at the theater, and was quite a visceral experience. Very powerful sound, although looking at the graphs, it doesn't go particularly low, at least not most of the time. I'm thinking it won't measure that much different than Part 1.

BEQ is a preference, and it is something I like to do for films I will watch several times over again, not just see once and done.  I do like to see the film as produced, to see how the director's intent experience is.  If I like the film, I go through every channel and see what corrections improve things.  Then I screen the end result and adjust as needed.  

I have never tried any of the BEQ at AVS, as I do not just EQ the SW-out like the folks used to (maybe still do?) at AVS.  The folks at AVS tend to try to correct for the same overall slope/type of end-graph that I initially shoot for.  Sometimes that has to be modified (like in Rogue One BEQ).  It is a far simpler system, and I bet they get much of the benefit.  I am glad there are folks out there doing it, and glad I gave someone some inspiration to not always be satisfied with a 30-40Hz filter if there is clearly content below it that was highpassed/shelved away

Yes, BEQ can be addictive.  But I do like to experience the original first.  It can make a so-so film seem much better in a properly equipped HT.

Unfortunately I do not have the old system+room I used to have with its 6-7Hz acoustic response.  Now I use Crowsons to get the ULF until the new HT can be completed with the full complement of subs (hopefully by years-end), but due to space limitations (shallow/wide room), I am limited to 5.1 instead of 7.1.  But to tell the truth, I never experienced the same WOW effect from going to 7.1 from 5.1 as from stereo to 5.1.  Some of the best films I like to playback are 5.1 mixes.   Nolan's Oppenheimer was 5.1...    

Will watch Dune2 likely this weekend.  Given what is next in the story, I expect it to be pretty action-packed.  I unfortunately did not catch it in theater.  I measured it as going quite low, but only measured the BD.  Will measure the 4k version at some point too.

But if you think Dune2 was loud, compare it to Immortals: 

ImmortalsvDune2.thumb.png.26c0d1fdbb36678ecd73d990889b8341.png

JSS

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4 hours ago, maxmercy said:

BEQ is a preference, and it is something I like to do for films I will watch several times over again, not just see once and done.  I do like to see the film as produced, to see how the director's intent experience is.  If I like the film, I go through every channel and see what corrections improve things.  Then I screen the end result and adjust as needed.  

It's a sensible approach. Making a "proper" BEQ takes time, and it's a good idea to watch the movie first as it is. I see some people over at AVS that refuse to watch a movie until a BEQ is available, even in cases where the movie doesn't seem to need it. Looking again at their graph for Dune 2, it's basically the same as yours, and it extends very well down low. It's probably ok as it is, but I guess a little "extra" wouldn't hurt, right? Shame about the dynamics, but yeah, it's more action-packed.

4 hours ago, maxmercy said:

and glad I gave someone some inspiration to not always be satisfied with a 30-40Hz filter if there is clearly content below it that was highpassed/shelved away

How do you know that content was "clearly" removed? Looking at something like Pacific Rim: Uprising, which IIRC starts to drop at 40z, maybe you could think that some effects were filtered (what's in there sounds reasonably good to me, tho) , but with stuff like Atomic Blonde, which is mostly a spy thriller, it sounds right to me for the on-screen action, it could have been designed that way. I don't think it was heavily filtered, as many think, but could be wrong.

Myself I'm still at 5.1 too. My receiver can do 7.1, but in just don't have the space, my room is small, and I already have enough trouble accommodating 6 speakers. But I agree, 5.1 still can sound pretty damn good, when properly mixed. I don't have ULF response, but going with transducers and the like seems the best way to go, if neighbors/family are a concern.  That 7hz in-room response must've been sweet, tho.

I do have Immortals. Got it a couple years ago, but I don't remember it being particularly loud or annoying, but it's been a while. I do remember that I got a different version, one that doesn't have the extras (seems to be a Wal-Mart version), but the audio mix should be the same. Need to re-watch, I had forgotten it was a full bandwidth mix at very high levels! But where do you see its loudness? In those small rectangles at the bottom? That's the only part of your graphs that I never knew how to read.

Please report back your thoughts on Dune 2 when you watch it. It'll be a while before I get the disc, especially now that Warner doesn't do combo packs anymore. I don't have 4k yet, so I'm only buying the BD for cheap.

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ImmortalsvDune2.thumb.png.26c0d1fdbb36678ecd73d990889b8341.png

The upper graphs are the peaks, violet is Immortals, Green is Dune 2.

The lower graphs are the avg traces, green is Immortals, Red is Dune 2.  You can see that Immortals carries much more weight than Dune 2 from 20Hz and below. It is also louder overall, with a 115dB composite level rating.

The stuff at the bottom of the graph is the scrolling waterfall and does not contain useful information, only what was playing at the end of the film after the credits.  The reason the squares don't line up perfectly is that I now display peak/avg graphs in slightly different settings, but the trend is easily seen.  Both are loud, Immortals digs deeper.  But it is HIGHLY clipped.  Very easy to hear on the loud scenes.

My old system was very good.  It pressurized the room so much with anything under 18Hz or so content.  It made any resonance in the furniture you were sitting on very apparent.

Content clearly removed is judged by looking at the individual channel PvAs.  If the signature of a shelf or highpass is visible, I try to correct it.  You are right, on some movies it makes the presentation worse.  No Country for Old Men is one of my greatest BEQ failures.  It just sounded 'wrong' with BEQ.

JSS 

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11 minutes ago, maxmercy said:

The upper graphs are the peaks, violet is Immortals, Green is Dune 2.

The lower graphs are the avg traces, green is Immortals, Red is Dune 2.  You can see that Immortals carries much more weight than Dune 2 from 20Hz and below. It is also louder overall, with a 115dB composite level rating.

Thanks for the explanation, I know how to read the graphs, I just got confused by the loudness part. I was talking about the overall loudness of the track, not just the bass, but I got you. I just thought those rectangles provided additiona info on the track.

Actually, I just finished rewatching it, and you're right is loud. However, I might just be desensitized to the loudness, because compared to some recent mixes, Immortals was actually quite listenable. Music isn't very loud or strident, and there were quite a few long stretches where nothing was happening, so it didn't get tiring. Compared to something like the aforementioned Hobbs & Shaw, I'd gladly take this mix instead. However, when things got loud, it went to 0 to 100mph really quick, and sometimes it didn't sound very good. You mentioned clipping, and that might be it. Unfortunately, I'm not getting the really low stuff, but there were many great moments in there, although it sounded mostly like brute force, which was very fitting for the movie. Overall, very nice, but it didn't sound as great as I expected, but I'm not disappointed. I really enjoyed the movie and audio mix.

23 minutes ago, maxmercy said:

Content clearly removed is judged by looking at the individual channel PvAs.  If the signature of a shelf or highpass is visible, I try to correct it. 

I see. I didn't know that. It's very  interesting that you found out not every mix benefits from BEQ.  Food for thought.

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The worst result BEQ was the first film in The Hobbit series, An Unexpected Journey.  Total Failure.  No shelf filters, but significant highpasses in place, and some effects didn't even have hardly any content below 40Hz (The stone giant scene).  Such a disappointment sonically compared to the visuals.  Hope to screen Dune 2 soon and report.

JSS 

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12 hours ago, maxmercy said:

The worst result BEQ was the first film in The Hobbit series, An Unexpected Journey.  Total Failure.  No shelf filters, but significant highpasses in place, and some effects didn't even have hardly any content below 40Hz (The stone giant scene).  Such a disappointment sonically compared to the visuals.  Hope to screen Dune 2 soon and report.

JSS 

One of the greatest LFE soundtracks of all time. A true test of a sound bars bass capabilities.

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18 hours ago, maxmercy said:

The worst result BEQ was the first film in The Hobbit series, An Unexpected Journey.  Total Failure.  No shelf filters, but significant highpasses in place, and some effects didn't even have hardly any content below 40Hz (The stone giant scene).

In looking for the graph/BEQ for The Hobbit, I stumbled upon the BEQ thread. For some reason, I didn't notice it before, or I don't remember. Read the first few pages, and there's a lot of useful information there. I liked this approach of screening the BEQ, and posting the final overall impressions of it. By itself is a very interesting read, because you're really getting an idea on how exactly the film was improved. Heat maps/graphs don't tell the whole story, other than bass levels were boosted. And yes, it was mentioned that not every films benefits from BEQ, and the explanations were quite reasonable and easy to follow. Which males me wonder what's happening with the BEQs over at AVS, where they seem to be able to process every movie that crosses their path. And even without read the BEQ thread here, I had my doubts about every movie being could be candidate for it.

Unfortunately, I see most of your best BEQ solutions requires specific equipment/software, and it's less accessible to the "regular" folk. Myself, I'm not in position to try it yet, but I've always found the topic interesting. Also forgot to thank you for fixing the links in the first page. There was a time where it was very cumbersome to look for individual graphs. Appreciate it.

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Finally got to see Dune 2 at a decent level.  Very much like the first one, and similar sound design to Blade Runner 2049.  A few good moments, but no Oh, wow! bass moments.  Good production, but the sound design in this film is just not my thing, although I understand why it was done this way.

I'll put it up for voting on its Execution score.

JSS

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7 hours ago, maxmercy said:

Finally got to see Dune 2 at a decent level.  Very much like the first one, and similar sound design to Blade Runner 2049.  A few good moments, but no Oh, wow! bass moments.  Good production, but the sound design in this film is just not my thing, although I understand why it was done this way.

I'll put it up for voting on its Execution score.

JSS

Hahaha. Hard to please much? I'll say that while I did enjoy(ed) both soundtracks, neither of them are among my favorite audio mixes (I do LOVE BR2049, tho). On the other hand, I wasn't a big fan of something like Top Gun: Maverick. That's just personal preference. But I'm genuinely surprised you weren't particular impressed by this mix, especially having very good extension, something that I didn't get at the theaters. But my perception of it is probably colored because it was very loud, and sometimes that can make you think sound mixes are better than they are.

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I think Dune 2 was done well, but I wasn't blown away.  When everything is loud, nothing is loud.  But there was a lot of action to cover. 

Make sure to vote in the poll, Godzilla/Kong:New Empire Hopefully next week.

If anyone has any requests for films to measure or spot any errors in the links from the first page, let me know.

JSS

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Dolby ATMOS)

Level - 2 Stars (106.01dB composite)

Extension - 3 Stars (16Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (32.21dB!)

Execution - 4 Stars

Overall - 3.5 Stars

Notes - Filtered at 20Hz.  Good sound design, nothing real astounding, 20Hz hit with big explosions in one scene, could have had more impact if not sharply shelved.  Looking at the waveforms, ZERO clipping, this is indicative of terrific production practices.  Great dynamics, but not as good as some of the best (Drive).  Good movie, not the cookie cutter I was expecting.

THGBalladofSongbirdsandSnakes.thumb.jpg.3d13826b997ab1fbb5e1e652c2b06e2d.jpg

JSS

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Bullet Train - 5.1 DTSHDMA

Level - 2 Stars (105.09dB composite)

Extension - 1 Star (25Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (28.97dB)

Execution - 3 Stars

Overall - 2.75 Stars

Notes - The film is a fun ride (pun intended), reminding me of the early Guy Ritchie movies.  Bass is nothing to write home about, but it could have had some amazing bass moments given some of the action in the film.  There are some flat tops on the waveforms, it looks like a brick wall limiter at around -0.5dB was employed at some point.  Not obvious while I watched the movie.

BulletTrain.thumb.jpg.e801fea72e396f8e7b7a63e2e4660231.jpg

JSS

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Blade Runner: 2049 (Both DTS-HDMA 5.1 and ATMOS 7.1 bed measured, ATMOS is rated)

Level - 5 Stars (111.17dB Composite DTS, 113.3dB composite ATMOS)

Extension - 4 Stars (14Hz on both DTS and ATMOS tracks)

Dynamics - 4 Stars (27.8dB DTS, 25.76dB ATMOS)

Execution - TBD

Overall - TBD

Notes - Since similar sonic presentations were found on this as well as the Dune films, so I went ahead and measured it since I have it.  Powerful soundtrack.  Both DTS and ATMOS presentations clip.  DTS clips worse.  ATMOS is louder.  Looking at the ATMOS average trace, the score takes center stage with peaks at harmonic intervals.  The DTS peak graph has the signature of a powerful sweep. Take your pick.

DTS:BR2049DTS.thumb.jpg.bfa4ccd9faa34dc76f471bfe934333a2.jpg

ATMOS:BR2049ATMOS.thumb.jpg.fef2943ee4cb2d09f6fed20b0f85e49e.jpg

JSS

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Thanks for the BR2049 comparisons. AVS only graphed the ATMOS track, and I recently had the opportunity to watch this movie, but it was the DTS track. Interesting they're not exactly the same track. The DTS was already loud, although I didn't find it as obnoxious as some comments I read, probably because the ATMOS is even louder. Overall it was a terrific audiovisual experience, I'm hunting the 4k Warner release (here in Mexico it was distributed by Sony), which I believe has both options.

I agree on Bullet Train. Overall it was fun (didn't love it), but the bass was just fine to me. At the high prices the discs are sold these days, I'll probably not buy it. When we used to get local releases, you could get some discs for really cheap at some point. Such deals are not that common now.

Unrelated, I was reading some old discussions related to Looper (2012), and read there were apparently some variances in the disc audio. I rewatched it the other day, and I always found the "house" scene and the climax in the field very underwhelming. In my system I don't get much below 24hz, but still, but still I should get...something. I decided to get some cheap online "copy" to compare, and lo and behold, those scenes sounded more "proper". There was a lot more energy, and felt like impactful moments. This is the first time I've seen such variance in the same regional distribution of a movie, since I got the US Sony release. Without reading about it, I would've never known I was missing something. Even looking at the heat maps it's clear there's considerable activity in the 20-30hz range. I hope that's the only instance of such case. There's another Sony release, Elysium, which most people say is an amazing bass film, but it has always sounded horrible to me. I wonder if something similar could be happening...it would be ridiculous.

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Looper was very good.  Unfortunately there is variance in discs, which seems like it would only be more expensive to have to release many different versions, but I do not know much about the BluRay Disc business, I just hope it continues, as it is still the best way to enjoy a movie with lossless audio and no streaming compression artifacts.  I saw several of the Disney+ Star Wars spinoff series are being released on BD and BD4k, which is promising.

If anyone has any requests for films to measure that have not been in the past, let me know.

JSS

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Re: Elysium (2013). I mentioned before I've never liked this sound mix. Watched it several times, and after the last time I decided I wouldn't revisit it again. Well, I did it yesterday, and my opinion was still the same: lifeless, anemic, non-dynamic mix. Even bumping it to -13, the car chase scene seemed just a tad louder than the quieter scenes. It just occurred to me to switch to the DD 5.1 track. Very different experience. The most immediate difference was the music score, that now sounded livelier and punchier. The car scene sounded a lot more exciting and dynamic. It sounded like an action scene. When later the bad guys break into the girl's house, I actually jumped out of my seat. I turned it down to -15, and still sounded comfortably loud enough. When listening to the lossless DTS I was ready to switch discs and watch something else, but with the DD I actually finished the movie.

I'm still not a fan of the overall sound design, which seems a bit restrained for this type of film, but the DD mix just sounded much more natural. Explosions have a bit more of a punch, and when Sharlto Copley's character fires a bazooka-like weapon, I could actually hear (and feel) a little something. It's my impression that it's a lot more than a difference in level, but even if the DD was just louder, the fact that I don't need to keep bumping the MV to get to some decent level, makes it the better option. I actually like the movie, but the lossless track was so frustrating that put me off from watching it. It just doesn't sound right. This is of course just my experience. I read many believe this to be a terrific track as-is.

And since you asked, I don't think you ever measured Top Gun: Maverick, did you? I'd be interested on how it measures on your system.

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Back then we really only measured lossless tracks, so for Elysium we measured the DTS-HDMA.  I do not think we ever measured the DD track.  I can measure Maverick.  Also probably the new Godzilla x Kong next week.

I do remember Elysium packing a punch, but not enough for me to want to watch it many times.

JSS 

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Godzilla v Kong: Dolby ATMOS

Level - 5 Stars (115.37dB composite!!!)

Extension - 3 Stars (17Hz)

Dynamics - 3 Stars (23.09dB)

Execution - TBD

Overall - TBD

Notes - Shelved/Filtered, and one of the loudest films I have ever measured.  It's RMS level if played back at reference is 102.51dB, but with Dialnorm, it will be 98.51dB, which is still significant.  ZERO clipping.  It looks like very careful limiting/compressing was put into place.  No flat tops.  Good sound, but given the onscreen action, could have used some more Infrasonics.    

GodzillavKong.thumb.jpg.f2c63232b0837d7e0490d2611201c429.jpg

JSS

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Godzilla x Kong : The New Empire (Dolby ATMOS)

Level - 4 Stars (110.65dB composite)

Extension - 2 Stars (21Hz)

Dynamics - 4 Stars (25.1dB)

Execution - TBD

Overall - TBD

Notes - Unfortunately, Shelved steeply at 30Hz.  Good news though.  NO clipping.  NONE, not on any channel, and dynamically there are peaks that go above the average 'loud' level on each channel, with 2-3 effects on each channel having peaks 3dB higher than anything else, just touching 0dBFS but no flat tops.  This is good news.  It appears Hollywood is actually looking at how much they have distorted audio in the past looking for increased  'volume'.  I will audition this film in the HT soon.  UPDATE - Movie was 'meh', sound was clean and good, not great.  This presentation could have really used an octave or more extension given the action onscreen.  The film seemed to meander around, aimlessly at times.  Mothra had died previously, I guess there are more when needed.  Where are the rest of the titans from the end of King of the Monsters?  How many more 'hidden places' are these ppl going to find?  

GodzillaxKongTheNewEmpire4k.thumb.jpg.0e74d3e40f270a50d176572e94e21cff.jpg

JSS

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I greatly enjoyed the audio mix on Godzilla v Kong , but it's true, I was getting ear fatigue towards the end (long before that, actually), it was very loud. But I do think it's a fun mix, with lots of great stuff in it. The newer one has better dynamics, but worse extension and overall level, but overall look very similar. Thar is another one that will take a while to screen on my system, unfortunately.  Looking forward to read your thoughts on the mix.

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I will let you know what the GxK:TnE experience is like, and I will also measure Top Gun:Maverick soon.  While I think the original Top Gun is better, I think Maverick was a good sequel and great way to close out the story, especially with the P-51 Mustang, one of my favorite aircraft of all time.

JSS

 

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