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post #1 of 36 Old 07-15-2009, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Why do songs sound better in movies compared to the CD versions? I've noticed that some songs on CD sound bright/harsh but when a movie uses the same song it sounds smooth and mellow? What is the reason behind this?
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post #2 of 36 Old 07-15-2009, 09:48 AM
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Do you have some examples?
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post #3 of 36 Old 07-15-2009, 09:55 AM
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Don't know if I've ever noticed them sounding better.

Have noticed them having a bigger impact based off of what's going on in the film though (visual + audio stimulus).

Maybe some examples? Maybe just a difference in calibration (or stereo vs. surround) between your CD playback device and the movie playback system.
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post #4 of 36 Old 07-15-2009, 10:00 AM
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Some songs also sound better for not only the visuals in the movie with them, but also because it is a different version or singer than the original too. The show Californication on Sho does this alot. It takes a classic older song and puts it in the show with a different beat or totally different singer and it is really cool to listen to where the original song and singer may not be something you would care for.

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post #5 of 36 Old 07-15-2009, 11:34 AM
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Back in the 60's there was a song by Miriam Makeba called "Pata Pata". I bought the 45 then and remember the song well but in the movie called "The Deal" it must have been remastered as it was more dynamic and energetic. Only a small clip was used but it was enough for me to find and add it back in my collection.
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post #6 of 36 Old 07-16-2009, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

Why do songs sound better in movies compared to the CD versions? I've noticed that some songs on CD sound bright/harsh but when a movie uses the same song it sounds smooth and mellow? What is the reason behind this?

LMAO!!! I thought I was the only one who felt this way.... thanks for confirming that I am not crazy!
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post #7 of 36 Old 07-16-2009, 09:45 AM
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I've often found it to be the case too. Two examples off the top of my head are "This Is The End" by The Doors as used at the end of Apocalypse Now. It sounded incredible - huge, rich full, like I've never heard it before.

Hearkening back to the eighties I'll never forget how powerful and rich "Eye Of The Tiger" sounded in my local theaters in the Rocky 3 movie. Never heard it sound anything like that since.

Of course the sound systems in a theater - the size of the sound and how dynamic those systems can be - are part of the answer. As for not sounding "harsh" like on CD, sometimes surround processing and fx (like more reverb to "sit" into the rest of the sound better) added to the music track will take the edge off and make it sound a bit "rounder." Just like what happens in a hall as you move away from a sound it gets less upper frequency presence, lots of reverb algorithms mimic this effect so the sound will get less sharp and in-your-face than it would have been untreated.
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post #8 of 36 Old 07-17-2009, 06:45 AM
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A lot of it probably has to do with the listening conditions. A movie theater will be much quieter than your house or car. Not to mention playback hardware. A chaep CD player or car stero and speakers are not likely to sound as good as the equipment in a theater ot higher end home theater. And I would guess that if they're not actually remastered (meaning going back to actual original studio tapes and remastering) for DTS or Dolby, they at least have to be cleaned up.

MY 18 piece big band was *THIS* close to being the wedding band in The Wedding Crashers. We had a pretty good CD we used to "audition" and the VP at New Line said we could probably just lift a couple of tracks off the CD for the sound track and then record a couple of things they specifically wanted. It would have been very interesting to hear if there was any difference in the cuts on CD and the soundtrack.

And why does it still cost 16.99 for a soundtrack CD when I can buy the whole movie for 19.99 with a DTS track?

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post #9 of 36 Old 07-17-2009, 08:10 AM
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Yea Jewel recorded a less "nasal" version of Foolish Games for "Batman and Robin", and thats the version that became a radio hit.

I remember being a tad disappointed, when i bought her first CD "Pieces of You", and it had a different version of "Foolish Games" on it!
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post #10 of 36 Old 07-17-2009, 08:16 AM
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It has to do with playback conditions. CD is more compressed than a good dolby 5.1 or DTS movie. Forget about lossless audio on Bluray. It would demolish CD.
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post #11 of 36 Old 07-17-2009, 10:08 AM
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I've noticed this as well. Even when watching movies at home and then later listening to CD on the same setup. For example in Garden State Nick Drake's One of These Things First sounds much better than on CD.
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post #12 of 36 Old 07-19-2009, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

It has to do with playback conditions. CD is more compressed than a good dolby 5.1 or DTS movie. Forget about lossless audio on Bluray. It would demolish CD.

Exactly what do you mean by "compressed"? The fact is that CD audio is lossless audio. It's DD and DTS that compress the audio (ie reduce the bitrate by throwing away portions of the original audio), not CD. If you're talking about dynamic range, again, there is no technical reason why DTS or DD can have more dynamic range than CD. In short, you're wrong.
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post #13 of 36 Old 07-19-2009, 09:01 PM
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He means dynamic compression [loudness war], it's not about the technical reasons, but artistic. But I agree he's wrong, since it would make more sense for dynamic compression for the movie version, as these songs are often mixed with other follies, and dialog, that is not on the original recording. The afore mentioned Doors song would be a good candidate for this, and yes, it does sound more compressed[louder] on the movie version.

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post #14 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

Exactly what do you mean by "compressed"? The fact is that CD audio is lossless audio. It's DD and DTS that compress the audio (ie reduce the bitrate by throwing away portions of the original audio), not CD. If you're talking about dynamic range, again, there is no technical reason why DTS or DD can have more dynamic range than CD. In short, you're wrong.

Sorry, Robert but if I'm wrong, why was there a need for DVD-A, SACD and now Blu-Ray DTS-MA music discs. Answer: I'm not.
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post #15 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

Sorry, Robert but if I'm wrong, why was there a need for DVD-A, SACD and now Blu-Ray DTS-MA music discs. Answer: I'm not.

Could it be due to achieve 5.1 music? Don't CDs only support 2-channel music?
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post #16 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

...if I'm wrong, why was there a need for DVD-A, SACD and now Blu-Ray DTS-MA music discs.

Certainly not for the reason you apparently believe. DD & DTS can do multi-channel but are heavily compressed. CDs are uncompressed but only do 2 channels.

DVD-A, SACD and Blu-ray music discs can do both: multi-channel AND uncompressed audio. That's why there was a need for those delivery media, to overcome channel limitations of CD and lossy compression of DD & DTS.

I don't know where you got the idea that CD is "more compressed" than DD or DTS, but it's not true. RobertR and thehun are correct.

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post #17 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 03:50 PM
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I've yet to hear a song in a movie that imo has better sound quality than what I get from most of my cd's even when expanded from 2-channel to 7.1. The very few dedicated multi-channel songs I have on hand sound very good but with BD movies I'm generally left wondering how someone can make a song sound so poor.
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post #18 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Certainly not for the reason you apparently believe. DD & DTS can do multi-channel but are heavily compressed. CDs are uncompressed but only do 2 channels.

DVD-A, SACD and Blu-ray music discs can do both: multi-channel AND uncompressed audio. That's why there was a need for those delivery media, to overcome channel limitations of CD and lossy compression of DD & DTS.

I don't know where you got the idea that CD is "more compressed" than DD or DTS, but it's not true. RobertR and thehun are correct.

Maybe he defines "compressed" as only doing 2 channels, but that doesn't fit the well understood meaning of the word.
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post #19 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 09:37 PM
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The movie track is usually mixed to be hotter, and alot of the time with more bass. Listen to the soundtrack of 54, and then watch the movie and you will notice that the movie is much richer and boomier sounding. Not necessarily better, but a better fit when watching a movie. I find most movies are recorded similar to what you hear over FM radio, the music has more bass, but it doesnt mean it sounds better, just that they have mixed it in a way that sounds fuller with less bandwidth to work with.
What I hate is when the soundtrack is released and the soundtrack copy sounds totally different than the song in the movie. A good example is Pump up the Volume, the movie had some great stuff that either sounds totally different on the soundtrack, or they just omit good songs altogether.
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post #20 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

It has to do with playback conditions. CD is more compressed than a good dolby 5.1 or DTS movie. Forget about lossless audio on Bluray. It would demolish CD.


CD is NOT compressed!

The reason why some songs sound better on movies than on the CD is probably the mastering. Many times the moviepeople get the studiomaster without the crappy mastering that happen after the mixing is done, just like the latest Metallica CD vs guitar hero game.

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post #21 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 11:34 PM
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higher bitrate, different encode maybe? would the music from the TrueHD track on Sweeney be compressed to fit a CD. I'd guess that it would. I dono but when I put on the Seweeney Todd bluray and compare the music to my CD it is night and day.

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post #22 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren_G View Post

What I hate is when the soundtrack is released and the soundtrack copy sounds totally different than the song in the movie. A good example is Pump up the Volume, the movie had some great stuff that either sounds totally different on the soundtrack, or they just omit good songs altogether.

The closing theme on the movie "Heat" is the same as you describe. It's almost like two different songs compared to the soundtrack album.

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post #23 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

higher bitrate, different encode maybe? would the music from the TrueHD track on Sweeney be compressed to fit a CD. I'd guess that it would. I dono but when I put on the Seweeney Todd bluray and compare the music to my CD it is night and day.

I can't comment on Sweeney Todd, but the MCH SACD version of Titanic was the same as my previous DTS CD both the mix and it's relative SQ. The stereo CD was louder quiet a bit compared to the MCH versions, but the mix wasn't all that different, meaning the MCH mix was rather front heavy much like it was just in stereo.

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post #24 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 04:27 PM
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In the case of Apocalypse Now and The End, it's a totally different mix that was done just for the movie.
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post #25 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 09:16 PM
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Or does it depends on the type of speakers that you use? I just brought a new speaker set (kind of pricey) but... I heard more things than before!
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post #26 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hicks View Post

In the case of Apocalypse Now and The End, it's a totally different mix that was done just for the movie.

This is really the best answer for the general question. The mix in the movie will be different and will frequently be mixed into the surround channels instead of just the front two.
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post #27 of 36 Old 07-21-2009, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hicks View Post

In the case of Apocalypse Now and The End, it's a totally different mix that was done just for the movie.

Yeah I alluded to that fact a few posts back.

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post #28 of 36 Old 07-22-2009, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

higher bitrate, different encode maybe? would the music from the TrueHD track on Sweeney be compressed to fit a CD. I'd guess that it would. I dono but when I put on the Seweeney Todd bluray and compare the music to my CD it is night and day.

Compressed to fit a CD?... audio CDs were 74:33 mn max in the "Born in the USA" era, then they went to 80 mn and that's it. There's no "compression" involved, it's lossless audio, as mentioned before. Are you talking about dynamic range?
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post #29 of 36 Old 07-22-2009, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

would the music from the TrueHD track on Sweeney be compressed to fit a CD

Not compressed, but reduced in data rate from 48kHz/24bit on Blu-ray to 44.1kHz/16bit on CD, though I doubt that would make for a "night and day" difference.

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post #30 of 36 Old 02-04-2013, 07:58 AM
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Ive found exactly why they sound better in films its not the equipment or anything there's nothing wrong with your cd player between NTSC and Pal well Pal as you might know plays 4or 5% faster so in theory if you took your favourite music and made it faster by about 5% ( i use final cut pro quickly and export as WAV) then you should find the favourite tracks you've heard in your favourite movies sound just as good on you iPod/iTunes or what ever player you like trust me 5% or maybe 10% not too much unless you want your tracks to be all chipmunk singles trust me 5% will soup up tracks swimmingly. I've done it just now with Doubleback ZZtop which is played at the end of Back to the Future Part 3 i was like that sounds better so i 5% it today job done
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