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LOTR Dolby Digital Special Edition Disk

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kirk Mango, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    Had asked this before but never got a response so I'll try it again. Is the Dolby Digital version of Lord of the Rings mixed at a lower level on the special edition 4 disk set then the Dolby Digital verison that came out originally. I know the DTS version is about 3-5 dB lower and was wondering if the DD track on this set is also mixed at a lower level. That first version of LOTR in DD was mixed very HOt.

    KM
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I believe the DD and the DTS on the 4 disk extended edition are both toned down from the mix on the original 2 disc lord of the rings. I still can't decide which mix I like the best though.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    This has been covered to death in the software forum, where this thread belongs.

    The EX tracks sounded basically identical to me, but I didn't take any readings. I prefer the ES mix anyway.
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Here ya go Kirk:

    Set the receiver volume at a moderate level, set the B&K SPL meter on C-Weighted Fast on a tripod at the couch, and played the infamous "Ring Drop" in Chapter 1 on both discs with all three sound technologies through my SVS 20-39PC+:

    Ring Drop Theatrical Version DD: 102 dB
    Ring Drop EE Version DD: 100 dB
    Ring Drop EE Version DTS: 98 dB

    So - the theatrical version bass is mastered the hottest, the DD EE version is the second hottest, and the DTS EE version is the least hottest.

    This is only one scene, but my sense is that this order holds throughout. The EE DTS scene where the Ring Wraiths leave the castle on horseback is really hot, though.

    Ed
     
  5. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,

    Thanks for the response. What was the reciever volume set at above reference. I played the original version at around -17 - -18dB, however, when I got the DTS version I viewed the film at -15dB. When I had to switch disks I assumed my preamp would stay in DTS ES mode but it did not. I guess the default on both discs is the DD EX version. We finished up the film in DD EX and it did seem kind of loud in the midrange, highs, and Low hz ranges. That seen when they enter the caves of Mordore and the entrance caves in on the Octupus thing. Man that really shook my room. The Hz is not as low as some of the other low bass scenes but it was loud at -15 on my preamp.

    KM
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    My volume was set at -34 - hardly what I would call loud playback. The absolute volume setting isn't the critical thing - what's important is keeping the volume the same for testing all three discs.

    I played the Theatrical version first, then the EE in DD, and then I switched to DTS on the EE version and replayed the scene again. All at the same master volume setting.

    If I get up around -22 on the master volume setting with the Theatrical version, I get 113 dB hits on the ring drop - at the couch - scary; makes my pant legs waffle. That's as hard as a push the Theatrical version - it's mastered very loud. I can push the EE DTS version up to around -18 and get similar playback levels.

    Ed
     
  7. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed, Is Reference Level at 0 on your Preamp? What Preamp/Reciever are you using? 34 Clicks from reference is pretty low. If I played the movie at 34 clicks from reference it would be lower in volume then my television. The voices alone would be lower then my Meter would read. Below 60dB.

    KM
     
  8. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    No, these are relative master volume settings, I wasn't referring to "reference" level, as would be calibrated with an Avia or VE disc.

    But, since you ask, "reference level" (i.e., that master volume setting which would provide approximately 121 dB LFE peaks at the listening position with the speaks set to “small”) on my receiver is approximately -7 on the master volume. My system isn't capable of safely playing that loud. The highest I can safely push it is about 113-114 dB LFE peaks at the listening position. This is about 7 dB BELOW reference level. This equates to about -15 to -14 on the master volume on my receiver, depending on the particular DVD. As we know, LOTR-FOTR Theatrical version is mastered very hot, so I can only push that up to about -22 to -21 on the master volume before I'm hitting 113-114 dB on bass hits.

    Ed
     
  9. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,

    I thought Reference was 105dB for mains and 115dB for LFE. Reference level on my Preamp is 0. That is the level set used with Avia and/or my internal test tones. That same ring drop you used to test DTS and DD, I get 90dB at -17 below ref with the first version of LOTR / 89dB with the DD version on the 4 disk set / and 84.5 using the DTS version on this disk set. If I dropped the volume to Ref I am not sure what I would get however but it would be way to loud to listen to. -15 seems loud to me any louder and this would be uncomfortable

    For comparison. The new Star Wars DVD gives me an LFE reading of 100dB on that fly by scene of the big ship in the begining of this movie. The Loudest DB reading on this flyby scene occurs when the Big ship is coming through the clouds. The first flyby is about 95 or 96dB the second right after is about 98dB and the third out of the clouds is just under 100dB and that is with a preamp setting of -15 dB. I would guess that if I had the system set to reference on my preamp I would get close to 115dB on this scene. Did you find this section of the Star Wars DVD more powerful then anything on LOTR?

    KM
     
  10. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Its OK honey. . . The children are just playing. . . .
     

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