using DD EX on non-EX soundtracks

Discussion in 'DVD' started by david*mt, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    Does anyone have a list of Dolby Digital soundtracks where it is beneficial to use EX encoding even though the track is not specifically labeled as EX? Some I can think of are Signs, Starship Troopers, Men in Black II, the Foreigner, and the Fifth Element. On another note, why do Superbit dvds only have 5.1 audio? I mean, why not give them the 5.1 EX and 6.1 ES treatment? I sure wish Columbia would release a Black Hawk Down Superbit with DTS ES 6.1 audio.
     
  2. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    HTF Member Troy La Mont started a thread a few years back that is still going. It list all the DD-EX, DTS ES Matrix, & DTS ES Discrete Encoded DVDS. It is also updated regularly. It can be found here. DD-EX Thread
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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  4. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    True stereo split surround titles are fine to run in EX, however any title that has mono surrounds will collapse to the back speakers only with nothing from the sides.

    Hint: any title not originally release to theaters in Dolby Digital will probably have mono surrounds. This includes just about everything released before the late 80's to the early 90's.

    Ted
     
  5. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine Stunt Coordinator

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    Same as playing a STEREO track (CD) in ProLogic mode. Sure it works - but not intended. If it pleases you to engage EX on 5.1 tracks - by all means, have fun.

    I don't think anyone can say it works better on some titles than others, it's a matter of what you are comfortable with.

    In a real EX track the film is mixed to specifically use the Rear Center channel (of course), so you are listening to what was intended.

    Just simple (obvious) thoughts,
    RICK
     
  6. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Be aware that if you engage the EX/ES matrix function (not applicable with with DTS-ES discrete), your pre-amp/receiver may reduce each surround channel by -3dB as it goes through the matrix decoder. You will have to manually raise the level for each surround speaker by 3dB just to get it back to normal again (providing you have all of your channels calibrated to equal level using a test disc and an SPL meter). Raising the surround levels by 3dB may not be such a bad thing anyways considering that most DVDs seem to have a 3dB attenuation in the surrounds compared to the fronts. Just be careful if you switch to multichannel music or else your surrounds will be 3dB higher if you compensate for film...

    ...geesh...why can't they just leave film soundtracks alone...? Why the need for all of this compensation...? Totally unnecessary...

    Mike
     
  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    DVDs with aggressive rear surround information usually benefit from EX/ES. Michael is correct, switching on the rear center channel does require a slight increase of the l/r rear surrounds. If you have an SPL meter, then you can set it based on the meter's response to noise and then write it down for all your applications. It's all subjective, if you think it sounds better with the rear center then go for it. Well placed surrounds will create a phantom center and sometimes the pans across the rear of the room is just as effective with a rear center channel. My favorite non EX movies are:
    Godzilla, w/Matthew Broderick
    Dragonheart DTS
    The Shadow DTS,
    Pokemon, The first Movie Mew Too is definetly in the rear center channel.
    Starship Troopers was impressive and I didn't get the Superbit yet.
    I have to admit, Wing Commander was very good in EX setup, but the movie was soooooo bad, the quality of the film outweighed me keeping this so I got rid of it.
    You can tell when a movie doesn't fit the bill when most sound collapse to the rear center channel.
     
  8. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    DareDevil (which I suspect was an uncredited mix) sounds very good in DDEX (or DTS-ES).
    Check out the scene in the beginning when he is at the top of the church and the helicopter is looking for him. An almost perfect pan across the back soundstage.

    Doug
     

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