What is this bass addiction anyway?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter JC, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. Peter JC

    Peter JC Auditioning

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    Hello All,

    I've probably read thousands of posts here but just recently registered to pose a question that's always puzzled me.

    I've observed (in this forum and any other one I've been exposed to)a huge thirst for extreme bass energy, almost always to the point of being completely unrealistically representing

    For example, don't you think a door slamming in a movie should sound exactly like a door slamming, not like a nuclear explosion...and don't you think a Honda Civic driving by should sound like a Honda, not an F14 fighter doing a low fly-by.

    What do you folks all think of this notion? Are we getting addicted to the visceral impact of the bass and missing the experience that was intended when the movie was made?

    Peter C
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I can only speak for myself, but what I’m trying to achieve is to reproduce what the filmmakers intended. When their intent is to have a door slam sound exactly like a door slam, I don’t want to have my system reproduce a nuclear explosion. On the other hand, when the filmmaker (for whatever reason, misguided or not) decides to make a door slam sound like Hiroshima all over again, then that’s what I want also.

    I’ll post my ascetic view of the slammed door/bomb blast in another area of the forum.

    But that’s what I want—don’t know about everyone else.

    And BTW, one of my favorite movies, Das Boot has depth charge explosions that shake the windows and rattle the walls. I am sure that this is Peterson’s intent: that the audience be shaken.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    If your system is setup and calibrated a door slamming will sound like a door slamming. There should be little if any LFE info tagged to the door slamming! The sub is not going to produce info that is not fed to it. I watched Monsters Inc. and there are plenty of subtle effects that my VTF-3 handled with grace. There were other parts that lifted you off your seat! I don't think anyone here is advocating heavy, unrealistic bass. On the contrary,we are after accurate bass with explosive potential! Once you get a taste...you too will become addicted..you will be assimilated![​IMG]
     
  4. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    "Are we getting addicted to the visceral impact of the bass and missing the experience that was intended when the movie was made?"

    I don't doubt for a mintue that happens Peter, however, only a tiny fraction of the subwoofers in HT-land can provide "the experience that was intended...." I think typically you are reading or hearing about folks that have achieved just that, or nearly.

    There are entire layers of audio most folks never experience from their music and movies, you might question the vast majority of HT enthusiasts who fall into that camp.

    I happen to agree with you (certainly SVS has long stated it), a car door SHOULD sound like a car door. Even if it does, can you be sure your subwoofer will replicate the atomic bomb blast that comes next? It's easy to mistake calibration issues for capacity issues IMO.

    Ron
     
  5. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I agree with the above. I want to replicate what the filmmaker intended. My system is calibrated to reference to achieve this. If the filmmaker is realistic in the audio depiction of a Honda Civic, my system will come as close to that as possible. Ditto for the atomic bomb blast. I do not feel the general concensus of the HTF is contrary to this, unlike the original poster. Our "thirst for bass" is simply a logical extension of the HTF mission statement - to replicate the theater experience as closely as possible. If it's soft and subtle in the theater, I want it soft and subtle at home. If it rattles my teeth at the theater, I want enough horsepower in my sub to rattle my teeth at home.

    The HTF Mission Statement - so simple, yet says so much!
     
  7. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    I can say for myself I have a thirst for bass. But, to improve on this statement, I must say that it is definitely not all about the big explosions. The little subtleties that come with a great sub that reproduces the 'miniscule' detail of sound pressure in instances such as a car door slamming or door slams or anything of that sort is definitely something that all of us add onto our "thirst for bass." From producing those un-noticable instances of bass to the 'hiroshima's' of explosions, these are the things that all of us hear rave about. Of course what you may hear more often is the rave reviews of the lowest of lows, but then again, I, personally have found many instances where people are just absolutely amazed by the not-so-noticable parts of the LFE channel.
     
  8. john_focal

    john_focal Agent

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    I agree with pretty much everything here.....

    When I first got my HT system, I distinctly remember being doubtful that a 100 x 5 reciever, and 12" sub with 100 watts feeding it would be overkill. When it comes down to it, having a ton of wattage and sub capability is a great thing, as long as its calibrated correctly. As long as that happens, its going to sound marvelous and have lots of dynamic overhead, not be overkill at all. That overhead is what people seek, I think.

    Also when I first got my system, the bass was absurdly high, and nothing was balanced at all. After tweaking, and most recently, calibrating the whole system, I can say that during music listening, the sub sometimes is doing so little that its not even apparent that its on. But when the track calls for it, its very much there, and yet doesnt drown out the mids/highs.
     
  9. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I do agree that to some degree that the bass distracts from the story. But what exactly is the purpose of the bass?

    To me, the primary function of bass is to reinforce the movie. Like a loud gun shot or explosion makes me believe that it really happened. Another function is to show significance or importance to something like when in LOTR, whenever they show the ring there's deep bass. Imagine the effect the ring would have if they played trumpets or classical music whenever they showed it.
     
  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    All I can chime in with is, if the information is there I want to hear it. There is a lot of bass information present that most subs will not even play. This is not to say that the sub should be calibrated unnecessarily hot, but if the soundtrack has bass energy present that can be felt and my sub does not reproduce that effect, then I would have a slight concern with my sub.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I too want faithfull reproduction, but I also want the low throbbing room and head filling low bass for whatever reason it is there for. I love the sound of bass. I like low bass, but it doesn't always have to be crazy loud.
     
  12. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    I tend to agree with the others. When subtlety is there the bass should be subtle. However, when you need to feel the air flow (The Haunting), ice crush (Titan A.E.), tanks roar (Saving Private Ryan), engines roaring (Phantom Menace), or Sauran being vaporized (do I really need to say which movie [​IMG]), you want a sub capable of doing all those things and playing pipe organ music and other bass (bass guitar, kick drums) well. We want the movie experience the director intended rather than what most television stations offer through your tv speakers. The difference can be dramatic and it is that difference that I and others want.
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Actually I want every single effect in a movie to sound like a nuclear explosion. Dropping a wallet, putting down a glass, etc.
    [​IMG]
    PS. How come no one's post count shows lately?
     
  14. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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    I wont my bass to be realistic. I think some movies go to far for some movies & not far enough with others. I mean when something explodes right in front of someone I wont to feel that wave fly through my room too. I cant help to love bassie movies with explosions that just hit you in the gut it puts a stupid grin on my face every time[​IMG]
    I was wondering what was up with the counter too?
     
  15. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  16. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Ned the HTF is trying to save Bandwidth anyway they can.[​IMG]
     
  17. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Don't worry, my crappy ISP hosts the image. Besides, we're all on broadband aren't we? [​IMG]
     
  18. Mark R. Ososkie

    Mark R. Ososkie Stunt Coordinator

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