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sub vol. not would you'd think it would be on certain discs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jason celaya, May 17, 2002.

  1. jason celaya

    jason celaya Stunt Coordinator

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    When I watch things like JP 1-3, titan AE, haunting my sub sounds like its cracking my cement foundation (in a good way), however when I watch ID4 (times up ch.) and Godzilla (98/fire at will ch.)it dosent sound too impressive.

    I have a M&K MX150 calibrated to match the other speakers @75 db w/Video Essiatials.

    Now I know I have some serious room nulls where the sub level can be as much as 13dbs lower in volume then the main seating position, However, is it possible that I am having some frequency nulls, thus certain material that should rock are being sucked up by poor room acoustics?

    Other than adding a parametric equalizer and moving my sub (not an option), what should I do? Should I turn up the the level to compensate, thus the peak level of certain frequency be off (too hot)?

    Finally, are the movies mentioned above (id4 & godz.)not carrying the frequencies that JP3 for instance has?

    Any ideas?, I hate having a boomy cheap bose sub show up my good mid fi gear (i'm exagerating)
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I think equipment is the least likely problem in this equation. These are simply different films, with different soundtracks... so they will sound different.

    As an audio engineer myself, my guess as to why these sound different is very simple:

    JP: sound designer, Gary Rydstrom

    JP2: sound designer, Gary Rydstrom & Christopher Boyes

    JP3: sound designer, Christopher Boyes

    haunting: sound designer, Gary Rydstrom

    titan AE: sound designer, Christopher Boyes

    ID4: John Fasal, Jon Johnson & Jon Miller

    Godzilla: Scott Gershin & Michael Reagan

    Do you see a pattern here?

    Gary and Chris are responsible for most of the great big sound in films of the last 10 years, specifically films with ref bass expression:

    Gary: Episode 1, Episode 2, Xmen, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, T2, Monsters Inc, Strange Days, etc, etc, etc.

    Chris: Lord of the Rings, Dinosaur, Pearl Harbor, Titanic, Con Air, The Rock, Broken Arrow, etc.

    Fasal, Johnson, Miller, Reagan-- none has much "designer" credit. Don't get me wrong, Gershin is no slouch (Heat, Gladiator)- but none of them mixes with that throbbing lowend that Gary Rydstrom is known for (and passed onto Boyes).

    -V
     
  3. Christian Dolan

    Christian Dolan Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason,

    Are you sure you're listening to the 5.1 soundtrack? If memory serves, earlier releases from both Fox and Columbia automatically defaulted to the 2.0, making the 5.1 track a menu selection. That might account for these two bass-heavy movies sounding thin.

    -Christian
     
  4. Sebastian

    Sebastian Second Unit

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    There is definetly some heavy bass in ID4 all through out that movie. It does not make sense that the other movies hit hard and ID4 does not. I am sure they all hit close to same frequency
    Haunting
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ID4
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Compliments of,
    Bass demos
     
  5. jason celaya

    jason celaya Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, everything is set correctly (proper soundtrack selected).

    It's not that I do not hear the low end on certain passages of ID4, it's just seems to have more high end and a less bombastic quality that the other soundtracks mentioned above have.

    I brought this topic up because I have seen those charts above and noticed that I'm not hearing it as something I'd use to show off my system.
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I remember ID4 having some serious bass at the point where they destroy the mother ship and the blast wave is catching up to their escaping ship.
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Beside moving the sub and/or EQing, you could move your seating position. I would not recommend boosting the sub level. Are you sure you can't move the sub (even a few feet down one wall)? If you have your in-room frequency response, could you please post it? I assume you do since you know the size of your nulls...
     
  8. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Jason, if it makes you feel any better you're not imagining things. ID4 never did much for my twin SVS setup. Neither did Godzilla or other movies that I thought should have had more low end material. Titan AE, Fight Club and The Haunting on the other hand sound/feel like the room is going to split apart. I think Vince is right on...different engineers with different mixing tastes.
     
  9. jason celaya

    jason celaya Stunt Coordinator

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    After some critical listening yesterday, I think Vince is on to something. There is a good bottom end in the mentioned films they just don't hit as hard as the other designers mixes.

    The escape from the mother ship was pretty heavy

    I did also have my sub calibrated slightly too low (-8 in main seating position, RS meter deficiencies accounted for)
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Again, good mix engineers and sound designers get the bucks because they are good at what they do. It is not coincidence that the best sounding, lowest and fullest bass mixes come from the same few guys. Graphs are interesting, but don't always tell the whole story as to how the material will be experienced.

    If it was as easy as plunking down 20hz sine waves into mix, we'd all be getting the big bucks. But it isn't- it is a very delicate process of layering and conscious design. ID4 is lacking in the ultra low stuff, which helps round out the rest of the signal. Guys like Gary know how to finess and massage bass- and give you the fullest impact.

    Take a look a the list of "DVD to show off the audio system" from the Newbie Primer:

    Out of 9 titles listed:

    - Four are from Gary (SPR, EP1, JP, Haunting).

    - Two are from Ren Klyce (Seven, Fight Club)

    - One from Robert Fitzgerald (Dances with Wolves)

    - One from Dane Davis (Matrix)

    - One from Stephen Flick (Apollo 13)

    -Vince
     
  11. Warren_Sc

    Warren_Sc Second Unit

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    ...so now I've got to read the Sound Engineering credits before I buy a DVD? I find that as I get older I become more and more interested in reading more sections of a movie's credits.

    I have the ID4 scene on a demo DVD. It was one of the first things I put on to test my new (and first) sub and I was dissapointed. Don't worry, a few clips later it plays Titan AE. Too bad ID4 lacks the punch it should have.
     
  12. Jon D

    Jon D Stunt Coordinator

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    It's funny. I started a thread a little while ago that brought to light an interesting trend. If you look closely at the release dates of the 'big boomer' soundtracks, aside from a few exceptions, all were released theatrically after the Phantom Menace in May of 1999:

    Toy Story 2: late '99.

    Fight Club: late '99.

    The Haunting: late '99.

    Titan A.E.: 2000.

    U-571: 2000.

    Pearl Harbor: 2001.

    JPIII: 2001.

    Both ID4 and Godzilla were out before then. They have good bass but little, if anything, really dips below the magical 20 Hz tone. Even SPR, JP1 and JP2, which have great bass, contain little info down in the real subharmonic nether regions, judging by the graphs. Before Ep 1, these bass levels were perfectly acceptable, but after May of '99, everybody seemed hell bent to top TPM. In the case of Titan and Fight Club, they may have succeded.
     
  13. jason celaya

    jason celaya Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you, I no longer feel like I need to run and double up my sub, add a eq and get a divorce for blowing money on this crap!!!
     
  14. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I just returned the DVD Platoon thinking it would be great for bass. My VHS copy sounds much better imo. I will not be buying any more older DVD's unless I know for sure. 5.1 DD does not insure the .1 will be dynamic in these older releases.[​IMG]
     

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