The Fifth Element & crackling centre channel

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Neil Joseph, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    There were a few posts way back about the crackling eminating from the centre channel in certain parts of the Fifth Element as a result of compression and problems with the Dolby Digital soundtrack on that DVD. What I want to know is does the same problem exist on the superbit version?
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Yes it's on the Superbit as well. I noticed it on a couple scenes but haven't played the whole movie yet so there could be more. The cymbal crescendo when Leloo jumps off the building still has a slight crackling. I heard some distortion in another scene that was in the original, as well.

    Jeff
     
  3. Colin Chisholm

    Colin Chisholm Auditioning

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    If the center channel "distortion" in question is present on both DVD versions of "The Fifth Element" it's not likely to be a compression or Dolby Digital issue. It's most likely distortion on production dialogue tracks that was never fixed. Sound effects should not be heard through the center channel. It's supposed to be used for dialogue only.

    I'd be more than happy to eat my words if somebody could give the specific times of the distortion in question on the DVD.
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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  5. Colin Chisholm

    Colin Chisholm Auditioning

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  6. DarrenA

    DarrenA Second Unit

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    I have both versions of The Fifth Element, and the scene that always sticks out to me that has distortion in the center channel is when Leeloo jumps off the building. The police officer inside the flying cop car says, "she dove off". On both Fifth Element versions, when he says, "she dove off", you can hear the crackling distortion coming from the center channel.
     
  7. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    70% or more of the audio content on most soundtracks I've heard comes from the centre channel. This includes dialogue, foley, music and effects, often extending down to 20Hz or below.

    The centre channel is full range, and this is usually fully exploited. Listen to films such as Star Wars: Episode One and Saving Private Ryan (or any other major soundtrack) for obvious full-range centre channel content.

    Adam
     
  8. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I have to agree with Adam. I don't recall ever reading that the center channel was for dialogue only.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I've been seeing these reports about crackling in The Fifth Element for a long time, so I know it's not an isolated experience. But I'll be damned if I can hear it. When I watched the superbits version just recently, I had this thread in mind and listened carefully. No crackling. Makes me wonder whether there's something in this particular track that isn't evident on all equipment.

    M.
     
  10. PeteD

    PeteD Stunt Coordinator

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    If I remember reading correctly, the Dolby Digital 5.1 spec calls for all 5 speakers to be identical, surrounds and centre included.
    3 speakers are necessary to anchor the sound stage evenly across the front of the room, regardless of your proximity to a specific speaker. Dialog is usually routed to the centre channel as that's where the person who's speaking usually is, in frame, on screen. But I don't think it says anywhere that only dialog should be routed there. That's not saying anything about Dolby Pro Logic though. Due to bandwidth limitations I read that only dialog and the smallest of effects should/could be decoded there in DPL land.
    I personally can't fathom where i'd put a identical speaker.. I think my TV would fall over if I stuck a PSB 800
    on it [​IMG]
     
  11. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    Mine also has the crackling, but I first noticed it when Leloo jumps through the gold wall and the tech says "Perfect" his word is scorched or something, listened to it in both sound tracks, does the Superbit version have this also?

    G2
     
  12. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    I noticed just a tiny bit of crackling in the DTS version, the "she dove off" part and also a part when they were escaping from the floating hotel...
     
  13. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    If I not totally wrong but I believe the "She dove off" line is coming from off the Police radio system so I think the bad audio was meant to be there.

    Wes
     
  14. Dustin Harrison

    Dustin Harrison Stunt Coordinator

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    I just watched my super-bit version and when the guys says "perfic" it does sound slightly distorted but nothing I would have noticed before.

    When the officer says "She dove off", it sounds totally normal, so I'm thinking the audio defect is only on some copies.
     
  15. Brian F

    Brian F Agent

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    I have heard this dialogue problem in The Fifth Element as well. The worst example is the "She dove off" line. I have heard it on a multitude of formats, pretty much every one. I remember hearing it on the widescreen VHS tape, the ws laserdisc, the original DVD, and the Superbit DVD - Dolby and DTS. I always thought it was my speakers / surround equipment, but maybe it wasn't. I also heard the problem using two different stereos. Very strange, but great soundtrack otherwise!
     

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