SDDS? Boring!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Garman, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    Hello All. As some of you may or may not know, I work at a local movie theater. This week, I took the time to check out Lord of the Rings in each digital sound format: Dolby Digital, DTS, and SDDS. Low and behold, the SDDS was the weakest. I mean it was clear, dialouge was solid but it there was no oomph. The DTS track was loud as usual, with Dolby being slighty more balanced (however our print has a funky Dolby track with some errors). Overall, the DTS presentation was the best, most aggressive, and the most fun. YEAH DTS!

    AJ Garman
     
  2. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I heard SDDS at one movie, and it was pretty good. But it never had a chance in the home theater arena, mainly because of it's speaker layout.
     
  3. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Aaron: SDDS quality is a YMMV kinda thing.
     
  4. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    There is no way of telling what you'll get when it comes to SDDS. Back when I was a projectionist very few of the films released in that format took full advantage of it. It was like buying a Dolby 5.1 DVD only to find out that the center channel has no sound coming out of it and the rears are both playing the same mono track. Most had some tracks that were either duplicated or blank.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Unless I knew that all the cinemas were properly calibrated I would still not trust those results.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Because of the predominance of Loews Cineplex, New York City has a high concentration of SDDS-equipped theaters. I've heard a lot of SDDS presentations running the gamut from blah to knock-your-socks-off. There are so many variables: the auditorium itself, the state of calibration, the film mix. Some of the best sound I've ever heard has been in SDDS; memorable examples include The Quick and the Dead, Desperado and The Patriot.

     
  7. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I absolutely adore SDDS. Back in '99 I saw TPM in each sound format including DD EX. In my estimation SDDS was the most fully robust with tremendous oomph. DTS was second, and as has always been my experience, Dolby was lacking and entirely unimpressive.
     
  8. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    The best soundtrack I've ever heard in a theater was the SDDS soundtrack for Das Boot.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    My only SDDS experience was watching The Fifth Element at The CineramaDome in Los Angeles a few years back. I was very impressed. Not overly loud and In Your Face like some overpumped DTS theaters. Just great quality of sound that never got fatiguing.

    YMMV
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    My best SDDS experience has to be Gladiator. I don't think anything came close since.

    [EDIT] Actually, the FOTR was also deadly...

    --

    Holadem
     
  11. John O

    John O Stunt Coordinator

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    Some of the best presentations I have heard were in 8 channel SDDS.
     
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I had the opposite experience, The SDDS theater in my multiplex had much better sound (and a better print) than the DTS theater. Not only was the average volume intensity a few decibels higher, but the bass had much more range and depth to it. Both theaters are thx certified, and though I generally see films in the dts theater, I thought i'd make and exception for lotr, and was plesantly surprised. the only other film i've seen in teh sdds theater is ocean's eleven, which was running from a really bad soundtrack that popped and went completely silent about four or five times in the movie, if the movie had been any good I'd have bothered to ask for my money back, but I had a bad enough taste in my mouth that i just wanted to leave the theater.

    Adam
     
  13. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I used to work at Sony Lincoln Square in NYC and most of the auditoriums there have SDDS sound systems. Every movie I've experience while working there was incredible (soundwise). Since I've moved west I haven't found an auditorium with it. There are a few great DTS screens though and some THX certified ones as well. The SDDS trailer has always sucked though. [​IMG] Kinda like the old DTS trailer. Sure the sound is there but the visuals are so lame and tacky.
     
  14. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    how does one tell that a movie is presented in sdds? Is it characterized by being front-stage only..not a ton of surround action?
     
  15. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    You all are right: there are many variables. I remember now seeing the Fast and Furious and Episode I in our SDDS house and they both ROCKED the house. For some reason, FOTR just isn't kicking in there like those other two films. I guess I am just too big a fan of DTS. To me, DTS was the first digital format I heard theatrically, and it is what is in the majority of our 14 auditoriums at work. I just enjoy it. Now that I have it at home, it's bliss. I don't want to start a huge debate, just stating my feelings. And yes, the old school dts digital experience trailer is the best out of any of the Dolby or Sony (i don't recall the sony trailer so it must have stunk) trailers. Nothing gets me more hyped up for the latest action flick than the digital experience trailer. Too bad my theater does not run them anymore. Booooooooo!

    AJ Garman
     
  16. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    DTS at home an DTS at the theater are two different beasts altogether.
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  18. kevin_asai

    kevin_asai Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched Behind Enemy Lines in SDDS. The projectionist at first choosed Dolby Digital track (I knew this because the projectionist played DD trailer after THX trailer)but half-way, he changed to another audio track which was SDDS. I knew he changed to SDDS because before I bought the ticket, the ticket counter told us (the viewer) the digital sound track (which was SDDS) they are going to use before the movie being played.
    I must say, the SDDS track stinks. The DD has more "ompphhh"
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  20. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    The entire debate may soon be moot. From recent reports, Sony Cinema Products Corporation will no longer be selling SDDS processing equipment or promoting its use.

    With Sony no longer providing hardware support for the format, it seems the writing is on the wall for SDDS.

    Adam
     

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