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SVS and the TPM pod race... :(

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kieran Coghlan, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    Am I doing something wrong? The spot during the pod race in Star Wars 1: TPM called, "exiting the tunnel" or whatever, doesn't seem to impress me nearly as much as everyone else. In fact I don't hear much bass at all there. Other "big bass" spots blow me away, like "landing in the fight" in Matrix, and the THX demo on TPM, and a few other spots. But the tunnel exit in the pod race seems completely lacking in any bass impact. ???

    My system:
    Yamaha RX-V995
    Energy Take5 Satellites
    SVS 2039PCi
    Sony DVP-S7700 dvd player
    Toshiba TW40H80 TV

    All speakers set to small -> 90 Hz crossover via the Yamaha.
     
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    I wonder if it could be a room-induced null centered around the frequency of the bass used in that particular segment? Have you done any SPL measurements of various frequencies < 90 Hz from your listening position?
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Strange because you get the "bass" from other DVD's. My first reaction is perhaps the scene does not have the bass everyone mentioned or they mentioned some other scenes.
     
  4. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I was never impressed with that either. No fault of my 20-39, to be sure.

    I always liked the "Captain, Look!" "Sheilds UP!!" - BOOOM at the beginning of the movie. Nice sharp explosion, not necessarily deep, but loud.
     
  5. Eduardo Martinez

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    John:

    You asked: "Have you done any SPL measurements of various frequencies 90 Hz from your listening position?"

    How is this achieved? Besides the RS meter, what else do I need?

    Thanks,
    Eduardo
     
  6. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    The tunnel exit scene is pretty tame and I wouldn't mention it as a bass demo at all.

    The THX logo sphere explosion and the pods revving up in the beginning is impressive.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Are you guys talking about the scene where the fire explosion chases behind in the tunnel? If so then same here, no impact at all. One of the biggest bass hits in the race is near the end when it's down to just anakin and sebulba. The pods drop a few feet as they come over a small ledge and there is a really strong peak in the 20-25hz range. On my old SVS driver you could hear it slightly clack, on the new one it even begins to distort although at a much higher volume.
     
  8. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I here you. I have noticed the lack of LFE exiting the tunnel. I have dual Velo 15"s stacked and if it was there it would reveal itself. The pod race as a whole is just loaded though.
     
  10. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    Well, this is a relief. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's "underwhelmed" with this scene. It is noted on the SVS site as being a great bass moment, but I just don't hear it... maybe one needs the 16-46??? [​IMG]
    I do have a room-induced null. It drops off very STEEPLY... I mean off a friggin' cliff... at about 47/46Hz. Then it comes back just as quickly at about 41/40Hz. Not too happy about that, but I can't afford EQ (could barely afford the 2039PCi) and can't really place the sub anywhere else in the room right now, so it'll just have to do. [​IMG]
     
  11. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    If you have a null it can't be fixed with an EQ anyhow.Moving the sub or changeing the phase, can only help,but it's real pain in the butt to find the right spot,but it would worth it once you find it.
     
  12. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    I measure all the bass scenes with all speakers set to SMALL. So it is possible that the bass is non-LFE and would only be *impactful* if you also had all speakers set to small. There is also an issue of lengthy bass scenes too. I forget the clinical references but in a nutshell...if the ONLY bass in a quiet scene is *X* loud/deep...you might be scared to death and subjectively feel it is extremely deep and loud.But, if the scene has continuous loud/deep bass...humans quickly acclimate to that and need louder/deeper to feel "re-threatened* all over again...[​IMG]
    TV
     
  13. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Tom beat me to it, but I tend to agree that one comes off a bit underwhelming for whatever reason.

    The entire pod race is pretty chock full of good bass blasts though.

    One of the spine tingling little passages that might go past you is just BEFORE the pod race begins.

    Try this: Crank up to reference level (TPM is one that isn't hard to edge up that loud) and just pay attention when Anakin's mother and the rest go up in the elevator to view the race. If you have calibrated your PCi (or any SVS really) a bit hot, you'll be shocked at how low and loud Lucas goosed that little sound effect. Only lasts 2 seconds or so but it's still very cool stuff and a real sub challenge.

    TPM is OK for subs, but by far my best "calibration sanity check" in movies is still the first 5 minutes of Toy Story 2. Probably the most challenging LFE (from the title to Buzz getting blasted) as exists in a DVD. If your sub doesn't just rock your world during that scene you still have some adjustment to do, (or you need a new sub ;^).

    Ron
     
  14. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    Tom, my speakers are all set to SMALL, so that's not the issue. Maybe it's psychological as you suggested... but I skipped straight to that point on the scene, and let 'er rip.... blah.
    Ron, is TS2 better even than Fellowship of the Ring? I have yet to try either DVD out with my new SVS 2039PCi... [​IMG] But I'm going to go try out that elevator part you just suggested. [​IMG]
     
  15. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    On a barely related note,

    Tom,

    Are you going to post some graphs of Fellowship? I'd be really interested to see where some of the scenes come up as.
     
  16. KeithBR

    KeithBR Agent

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    Kieran,
    I use this scene as one of my testing points for subs and showing off my system to friends and relatives. My whole room vibrates during the pod race scene in Phantom Menace. It gives me a sense of actually being in the pod myself.
    Usually I play -10dB below reference during that scene with my SVS 20-39CS+ set -3dB under my mains and center. I once played this scene at reference with a 20-39 and a 16-46CS+ side by side and it vibrated a lamp off of my end table.
    IMO, this is definitely a chock full of bass scene. [​IMG]
     
  17. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll agree with Ron on TS2. It's definitely right up there with LOTR. Made me giggle like a school girl before the movie even started. If you get it, watch the monsters inc. preview before the movie and crank it to at least -10 dbfr. When the big monster (John Goodman) knocks on the door, you will be glad you have an SVS. My wife just looked at me and said "Oh, I felt that." [​IMG]
     
  18. Warren_Sc

    Warren_Sc Second Unit

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    After I calibrated my SVS 25-31PCi (with RS meter) the tunnel scene was not as rumbly as it originally felt. I think in part it's because that overal scene is loud on all frequencies.

    On the other hand, my FAVORITE bass demo is the Toy Story 2 Intro. Also on that disk is the Monsters Inc. teaser. The first time I played that I jumped, almost fearing that the blinds were going to fall on me. That was immediately followed up by a S**t eating grin...
     
  19. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Kieran,

    What's so cool about Toy Story 2 is that you literally only have to cue up the movie (fast forward through about 100 previews... though Johnny's comment about the Monster Inc. trailer is a great one, I usually stop there for that!) and then let the movie start. No need to search thru any chapters etc, and the next 5 min. or so is just about the most insane 5 minutes of LFE on DVD still today.

    I recently watched FOTR, certainly the bass was good, but I found the overall levels of the sound track SO high that I couldn't push it (was too lazy and didn't know the movie well enough to goose the LFE any) in playback. If it's not the loudest recorded movie so far it's gotta be in the top 5 of all time.

    Nope, calibrate your system (dare I mention this is covered in the SVS User's Manual? ;^) and then put in TS2. Turn it up as loud as you would ever do watching a movie or doing a demo and then (knowing your calibrated reference baseline for the sub) repeat the first 5 min. with a bit more gain on the amp (I'd leave the subwoofer output alone keeping it around 25-30% of the max gain in your sub level control. That'd be say -6dB if your lowest setting is -12dB and the max was +12dB of course) until you are thrilled with the level of bass.

    Listen for any signs of strain, or overextension (a slight "tick" or maybe NOT so slight "CLACK") to make sure you are not overdoing what one SVS can handle and back off accordingly. After settling on a level, you should go back and rerun your Avia or Video Essentials calibration and see what level you are really at now. Don't be surprised if you are +6 or +10dB over your mains even. Because your SVS is so low/flat/clean this can still sound great. Still you should try some more subtle movies and listen for any overemphasis of bass in quiet scenes. Again, turn the PCi amp down some if you overcooked the bass too much.

    I find I run MUCH lower bass levels for music. Most (but certainly not all) receiver/processors allow for different calibration levels for different sources/modes. CD/Stereo for instance can have a subwoofer level so low as to practically be off and this will be separate from your DVD/Dolby Surround mode. Use music you know well and try to come up with a pleasing sound by ear. I do NOT trust such means in 5.1 settings. You simply must know where your reference settings are before you go off and depart from them.

    Hope this adds to the discussion some. Calibrating a sub can take a bit of time, but try and watch a movie without it in a few weeks and you'll run screaming for the remote to switch it back on.

    Ron
     
  20. Kieran Coghlan

    Kieran Coghlan Second Unit

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    KeithBR,

    Are you refering to the tunnel exit specifically, or just the pod-race in general? *I* am talking specifically about the tunnel exit, as it is listed on the SVS site as being a great LFE demo moment. The pod-race IN GENERAL sounds great. Just this one moment doesn't do much for me.
     

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