Does LOTR-EE use a rumble filter?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Volkman, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. Ronald Volkman

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    I knew there was a difference in the LFE tracks on the LOTR-EE disk. As listeners have pointed out, the DTS track is at a slightly lower level than the DD track, about 2-3db. But in at least one spot in the caves where there is really deep bass (~18hz), it seemed that the chair-shaking echos were even lower yet. I set up a PC running SpectraPlus and took some readings to see if I could actually measure it. The scene is in chapter 29, about 1hr55min into the film. The bucket has fallen down the well, and shortly after that they hear the distant footsteps of the cave troll along with a series of big bass drum hits. The original DVD looked like this:
    Original DVD - Cave Troll Steps
    For all these tests, my receiver was set at 12db below reference. The levels on the chart are only relative levels. You can see by the cursor that the footsteps are about 29hz at -7.5db.
    In this next picture I've highlighted the reverberation that echos through the caves:
    Original DVD - Cave Reverb
    You can see that the echo is deep at 18.9hz, and at a level of -9.9db, only a little less than the steps that caused the echo. I can usually feel it in the back of my chair.
    Now, here's the same scene from the DD track of the LOTR-EE DVD:
    Extended DVD - Cave Troll Steps - EE-DD
    You can see that the level of the steps is -7.2 db, just about the same as the original DVD. But the echos are not the same:
    Extended DVD - Cave Reverb - EE-DD
    Now the 18hz echos are -13.8db, or almost 4 db lower. The rumble of the echos is noticably less in my listening seat. I noticed this because the original LOTR DVD has always had some remarkably deep bass sounds. I also ran this chart several times just to make sure of what I was seeing.
    For comparison, here are the DTS pictures:
    Extended DVD - Cave Troll Steps - EE-DTS
    As most people have noticed, the DTS LFE track is -10.2db, or about 3db lower than the DD. But we can also see the same pattern on the echos:
    Extended DVD - Cave Reverb - EE-DTS
    The echos are at -17.7db, or about 4db lower than the EE-DD track, and almost 8db(!) lower than the original DVD DD track.
    It almost seems like they put the tracks through an additional rumble filter. Too many complaints about overdriven subs, perhaps? Anyway, it's a minor thing, and at the end of it all, just enjoy the film, right?
    Ron
     
  2. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I personally think the dts soundtrack is just a more dynamic sound mix so there's no need to juice up the LFE. DTS, on the whole, doesn't mean more bass.
     
  3. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Clinton.
     
  4. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    I seem to recall that many felt the first dvd release had overcooked bass. This may just be a case of the newer disc actually being truer to the source.
     
  5. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    As long as the bass is still there. A 3db drop over overall volume isnt saying much when you play LOTR. Just gives me a reason to turn it up!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I don't think I could have taken even more bass than the DTS-ES remixed version. As is it was enough to shake a picture off the wall!

    Dan
     

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