The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version) - Page 1538 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #46111 of 46468 Old 08-20-2017, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
To create a mix for one person who has speakers outside the LR and those who doesn't would be foolish.
In the MDA / DTS:X technology this problem can be addressed with a combination of a) panned dialog objects, and b) a playback system that knows the L/R speaker locations and the viewing angle of the video screen (which may be the same or different). This means the dialog panning would always coordinate with whatever screen and speaker arrangement is present. One set of mixing decisions covers all "immersive" playback cases.

When such a mix is played on a standard system, the panning can be same as today, be it center dominant or with similar panning as may be deemed appropriate. It is a separate set of mix decisions to derive anything other than "all dialog comes from center" which could be automatic for the standard 5.1 mix.

Unfortunately, a combination of factors prevents this solution from being implemented, including: a) consumer renderers do not accept positional coordinates of speakers (as can be done in the cinema renderers) nor info about screen extents; b) consumer codecs are not quite free to devote sufficient bitrate resources to carrying dialog stems separately; and c) studios do not seem to like the idea of "dialog in the clear" being accessible to the public at large.

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post #46112 of 46468 Old 08-20-2017, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
No..... we don't all don't agree.....

I certainly don't share your opinion.
The two examples i used are projects you mixed, and i said i liked the way they were done, so i figured "we agree". Maybe a oversimplification, in that case, my bad


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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
What does "corporate" getting in the way have to do with this discussion? I don't understand that comment.
Well, maybe bad choise of words, but when you get hired for a project, you are not calling ALL the shots, are you? Maybe the director, producer or others (corporate)have a say in how it ends up?

In others words, it may not end up 100% as you wanted it?

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post #46113 of 46468 Old 08-20-2017, 11:20 PM
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The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version)

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
In the MDA / DTS:X technology this problem can be addressed with a combination of a) panned dialog objects, and b) a playback system that knows the L/R speaker locations and the viewing angle of the video screen (which may be the same or different). This means the dialog panning would always coordinate with whatever screen and speaker arrangement is present. One set of mixing decisions covers all "immersive" playback cases.



When such a mix is played on a standard system, the panning can be same as today, be it center dominant or with similar panning as may be deemed appropriate. It is a separate set of mix decisions to derive anything other than "all dialog comes from center" which could be automatic for the standard 5.1 mix.



Unfortunately, a combination of factors prevents this solution from being implemented, including: a) consumer renderers do not accept positional coordinates of speakers (as can be done in the cinema renderers) nor info about screen extents; b) consumer codecs are not quite free to devote sufficient bitrate resources to carrying dialog stems separately; and c) studios do not seem to like the idea of "dialog in the clear" being accessible to the public at large.

In the end, though, it still doesn't change the reasons why dialog might come out of an anchored speaker even when it doesn't match the visuals in a motion picture. (not even getting into the discussion of phantom imaging, comb filtering concerns, etc...)

To your point B, and as we've discussed in the past, separating the dialog isn't a very practical idea in terms of preserving the integrity of the mix... Foley, SFX BGs and other sounds are all crafted moved around in conjunction with dialog when it's panned out of the center....

Which then leads (partially) to your point C .
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post #46114 of 46468 Old 08-20-2017, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nalleh View Post
The two examples i used are projects you mixed, and i said i liked the way they were done, so i figured "we agree". Maybe a oversimplification, in that case, my bad



Well, maybe bad choise of words, but when you get hired for a project, you are not calling ALL the shots, are you? Maybe the director, producer or others (corporate)have a say in how it ends up?



In others words, it may not end up 100% as you wanted it?

IMO it just isn't always warranted.
regardless of if it matches what's on screen.

It's not technology or history or laziness or...... that has lead us to those decisions, or stopped us from grabbing the pan knob.

My job is to get the directors vision up on the screen using sound the best way I know how.

Director always (99%) have the final word.... my job is to interpret the story and present ideas. I'd say 90% of what we present stays as we present it for the first time... sometimes we're way off then and we all have to find what works, or more importantly what isn't working (we probably spend more time finding out what isn't needed than searching for what is missing.)

For example, in Power Rangers (spoiler alert......). When the kids are in the pit and Zordon is taking to them... I initially presented that as him coming out of the overheads (where he is logically located based on where the kids look...).

So we completely matched the picture. It just sounded weird, disjointed and disconnected.... we all agreed and I presented him in the surrounds and used some verb in the OHs... it kept him closer to the main characters yet still had the impact of him being off screen...

I think our other poster missed the entire framing of my reply to him.

Simply put just because you can doesn't mean you should. That's not because technology has changed, etc... Atmos and MDA allows us to go nuts with panning. Or laziness.. or the status quo... (I might add I was involved with the first film to ever have an overhead channel/speaker...)

For a 2D image presented on a flat screen, making audio move around to match it at all times isn't always the best way to tell a story.

If your paying attention to the panning (or lack of it) the director has failed to properly tell their story.

And by the same token, when we use the tech available to us just to use it, we haven't done our job either.
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post #46115 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
IMO it just isn't always warranted.
regardless of if it matches what's on screen.

It's not technology or history or laziness or...... that has lead us to those decisions, or stopped us from grabbing the pan knob.

My job is to get the directors vision up on the screen using sound the best way I know how.

Director always (99%) have the final word.... my job is to interpret the story and present ideas. I'd say 90% of what we present stays as we present it for the first time... sometimes we're way off then and we all have to find what works, or more importantly what isn't working (we probably spend more time finding out what isn't needed than searching for what is missing.)

For example, in Power Rangers (spoiler alert......). When the kids are in the pit and Zordon is taking to them... I initially presented that as him coming out of the overheads (where he is logically located based on where the kids look...).

So we completely matched the picture. It just sounded weird, disjointed and disconnected.... we all agreed and I presented him in the surrounds and used some verb in the OHs... it kept him closer to the main characters yet still had the impact of him being off screen...

I think our other poster missed the entire framing of my reply to him.

Simply put just because you can doesn't mean you should. That's not because technology has changed, etc... Atmos and MDA allows us to go nuts with panning. Or laziness.. or the status quo... (I might add I was involved with the first film to ever have an overhead channel/speaker...)

For a 2D image presented on a flat screen, making audio move around to match it at all times isn't always the best way to tell a story.

If your paying attention to the panning (or lack of it) the director has failed to properly tell their story.

And by the same token, when we use the tech available to us just to use it, we haven't done our job either.


Well I rented Power Rangers just to hear your professional efforts, I wasn't going to buy it!

My overriding thought was, this will please the guys complaining that their overheads don't get enough exercise. The car crash scene was a stand out moment for me.

I guess I really need to hear it all again with only 7.1 to really pinpoint specific Atmos moments but I think that's a sign of good work, it sounds right and you only notice the details when they are gone.

My partners father is intrigued by atmos and wants to hear something that really shows the benefits. I invited him over but his response was, do you have any atmos for grownups?

I do have Gravity atmos edition but suggestions of other stand out work would be welcome.
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post #46116 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:04 AM
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My partners father is intrigued by atmos and wants to hear something that really shows the benefits. I invited him over but his response was, do you have any atmos for grownups?

I do have Gravity atmos edition but suggestions of other stand out work would be welcome.
Hacksaw Ridge
Mad Max Fury Road
Deadpool UHD
Deepwater Horizon
Dredd UHD
Underworld UHD, very nice mix especially if you have front wides.
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post #46117 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
In the MDA / DTS:X technology this problem can be addressed with a combination of a) panned dialog objects, and b) a playback system that knows the L/R speaker locations and the viewing angle of the video screen (which may be the same or different). This means the dialog panning would always coordinate with whatever screen and speaker arrangement is present. One set of mixing decisions covers all "immersive" playback cases
The AC-4 standard includes so-called screen speakers (Lsc/Rsc) which are positioned in-between L/R and C channels. Remarkably, when stepping up from a 7.x.4 to a 9.x.2 or 9.x.4 lay-out, it are those speakers that are added AND NOT the width speakers. I wonder if this may have anything to do with establishing a 'known' location of 'L/R' speakers, being flanking the screen, irrespective of the viewing angle. And there might be a relation to Atmos which also has Lscreen/Rscreen speakers, and which are here displayed just inside the borders of the screen:




Source: ETSI TS 103 190-2 V1.1.1 (2015-09) Digital Audio Compression (AC-4) Standard Part 2: Immersive and personalized audio (link)
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post #46118 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:30 AM
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RE: If your paying attention to the panning (or lack of it) the director has failed to properly tell their story.

Sounds like a boxing analogy where if you don't notice the referee, then he or she has usually done a great job. The same with Dolby Atmos or any other sound mix for that matter? In other words - - if you're not overly paying attention to the sound theatrics then it's fully integrated with the story you are trying to tell and that is the primary focus.
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post #46119 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
1. Sometimes for technical reasons you aren't able to do that.
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post
That would be understandable.
I believe this discussion, together with the examples given, may be better understood if a distinction is made between:
1. The RE-recording process (what @FilmMixer does), versus the Recording process which takes place before that (e.g. on the set), and
2. On-screen sound steering (sound following on-screen objects), versus Off-screen sound steering (sounds from objects that are not on, or move away from the screen)

A good idea and understanding lies at the basis of every successful project.

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post #46120 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 06:35 AM
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RE: If your paying attention to the panning (or lack of it) the director has failed to properly tell their story.

Sounds like a boxing analogy where if you don't notice the referee, then he or she has usually done a great job. The same with Dolby Atmos or any other sound mix for that matter? In other words - - if you're not overly paying attention to the sound theatrics then it's fully integrated with the story you are trying to tell and that is the primary focus.
My view is that it is a bit more nuanced than your boxing analogy would have it.

If you are watching a film and your attention is distracted from the story by the sound design--whether on the one hand because it is disjointed from the action or on the other hand due to its prominence--that is less than ideal.

But if, as in the example I cited in my post above (City of Ghosts), you are drawn into the storytelling by the mix and only realize how well it was done after reflecting on the viewing experience--that is subtle craftsmanship at its finest.

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post #46121 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by srinivas1015 View Post
I managed to find the file uploaded elsewhere. Downloaded it along with a few other Atmos demos .


The thing is, even though I can hear the sounds coming from the height speakers, it's often times hard to make out that it's coming from above.

This is how my speakers are oriented:




I know that it's not the ideal setup, but I'm wondering whether to assign them as 'Rear Heights' or 'Top Middle Left/Right'. With the Top Middle position, they would be assigned to the current position, but the receiver would think they're oriented downwards. Whereas with the Rear Height orientation, the position would be incorrect (they're actually above the side speakers) but their orientation would be incorrect-- they're facing each other, not downwards.
Why not just install the speakers where they really ought to be, i.e. on the ceiling?
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post #46122 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
My view is that it is a bit more nuanced than your boxing analogy would have it.

If you are watching a film and your attention is distracted from the story by the sound design--whether on the one hand because it is disjointed from the action or on the other hand due to its prominence--that is less than ideal.

But if, as in the example I cited in my post above (City of Ghosts), you are drawn into the storytelling by the mix and only realize how well it was done after reflecting on the viewing experience--that is subtle craftsmanship at its finest.
I don't do "nuance." Just kidding - good post.
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post #46123 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
My job is to get the directors vision up on the screen using sound the best way I know how.

Director always (99%) have the final word.... my job is to interpret the story and present ideas. I'd say 90% of what we present stays as we present it for the first time... sometimes we're way off then and we all have to find what works, or more importantly what isn't working (we probably spend more time finding out what isn't needed than searching for what is missing.)

For example, in Power Rangers (spoiler alert......). When the kids are in the pit and Zordon is taking to them... I initially presented that as him coming out of the overheads (where he is logically located based on where the kids look...).

Man I wished I lived down your way. I'd love to have the opportunity to sit in on a mixing session. I know nothing about it, but it seems like a fascinating job. I've done a fair amount of consumer video editing, but nothing in the way of audio editing. It would be interesting to see the tools and process flow that you work with.

Keep doing what you do Marc. I've enjoyed every mix of yours as-is that I've come across.

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post #46124 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 08:11 AM
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On the subject of panned dialogue - exception that proves the rule - old 70mm mixes that used 5 screen channels behind the screen to have dialogue follow the actors, at least to some extent. West Side Story comes to mind.

Of course, those mixes were done knowing they would be played back in unconventional cinemas with very large screens, 5 speakers behind the screen, and nary a thought to how things would translate to home video.
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post #46125 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
IMO it just isn't always warranted.
regardless of if it matches what's on screen.
And that's where it's just your opinion. Your job doesn't apply except in that you tend to avoid dialog panning when you're working. Once you start "noticing" that people on the left of the screen are coming from the middle of the screen, it's hard to "un-notice" it and that's is the opposite of the effect of people being so used to dialog coming from the middle that it seems "weird" when it comes from the left of the screen or whatever.

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It's not technology or history or laziness or...... that has lead us to those decisions, or stopped us from grabbing the pan knob.
So it's 'je ne sais quoi' ? Of course it's history. It's the "way it's always been done" or the "way you were taught" or "what people are used to hearing". It's also, "It sounded WEIRD when I put the voice above the screen." All of those are psychological responses of not being used to hearing a movie that way. But real life sounds come from wherever the source is and it doesn't matter if it sounds "weird" or not. Mother nature says, "TOUGH."

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My job is to get the directors vision up on the screen using sound the best way I know how.
And that is the problem. And it's a problem with rock albums too. The sound guys are TOLD to make it louder. They're told to compress the crap out of it. And if they don't, the lose their jobs. Sadly, that makes for crappy sounding rock albums. Fortunately, no one told Pink Floyd what to do with their albums or DSOTM and WYWH wouldn't be what they are.

Quote:
For example, in Power Rangers (spoiler alert......). When the kids are in the pit and Zordon is taking to them... I initially presented that as him coming out of the overheads (where he is logically located based on where the kids look...).

So we completely matched the picture. It just sounded weird, disjointed and disconnected.... we all agreed and I presented him in the surrounds and used some verb in the OHs... it kept him closer to the main characters yet still had the impact of him being off screen...
I think the problem there is partly psychological ("weird" even though it's correct) and partly the fact that even Atmos doesn't cover every possible point of sound. If you look at the diagram on the most recent page, there are 24 speakers in the home version shown, but a HUGE GAP at the screen. You can just see all the dotted angles have this open spot there because there is just one center speaker. The theater version only has 3 with 2 more being optional. 70mm back in the 1960s had 5 speakers behind the screen and that's when they started playing with dialog panning. But it wasn't panning that killed 70mm films. It was the format itself. It's unwieldly and hard to work with. Another movie wasn't made until TRON in 1982 and that was for practical purposes with minimizing grain and the like with so many layers added to create the glow effects, etc. 70mm prints are still normally made from 35mm masters. It's not remotely
the same as filming in 70mm.

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I think our other poster missed the entire framing of my reply to him.
I'm not sure you're thinking about it the same way some of us are. You seem to be stuck on the exceptions rather than the rules. I'm saying MOST FILMS have NO (as in NONE what-so-ever) dialog panning and you're talking about situations where it makes sense to not use it, but what about the rest of the film??? It's all from the center. That's not judicious. It's lazy.

I just put on Star Wars and no matter where they are on the screen, the voice comes from my center channel speaker below the center of the screen. If I concentrate on it, I'll notice it's not coming from anywhere on the screen since I had to put the speaker below it, but the brain is good at tuning out height differences when there's visual cues. It's harder to tune out left/right differences. A wider dispersion speaker or maybe even a dipole speaker might help at least stretch the image across the screen width, making it hard to localize. That would still be an improvement over having a point in the center talk where there's no one standing.

Quote:
Simply put just because you can doesn't mean you should. That's not because technology has changed, etc... Atmos and MDA allows us to go nuts with panning. Or laziness.. or the status quo... (I might add I was involved with the first film to ever have an overhead channel/speaker...)
You seem to use your job as a crutch to justify your opinion, but at some point it really is just viewer preference at work. Either you want sound to come from their mouths or wherever they are on the screen or you don't. I don't know how many spaceships flew into the back of the room on Revenge of the Sith, but I'm pretty darn sure despite DTS-ES 6.1 sound with a rear center and an in-phase side image, NONE flew past my head even when they SHOULD HAVE. Why? I'm sure Lucas thought it would be distracting if they did that. I think it would have been AWESOME. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had the flag over Disney's Castle at the start be a pirate flag and it flapped as it went right past my head (exactly what Star Wars was avoiding) and it was short, but excellent!

IMO, Reality should always be the goal. Avoiding "distractions" is subjective. Include a mono track if you think people have such short attention spans.

And what about those sound mixing folk that do use dialog panning when they're allowed to? Do they think they shouldn't have used it? I'm saying clearly we fundamentally disagree on what's REAL and what's FAKE. You appear to think fake is better because you can tell the story without being distracted. I'm saying it would be less distracting still if you made the film in MONO and then all those stereo ping-pong effects wouldn't keep me from noticing that Transformers is a terrible movie.

Quote:
For a 2D image presented on a flat screen, making audio move around to match it at all times isn't always the best way to tell a story.
You see that's George Lucas talking or whomever that decided reality is too "distracting" to use it. It's the same excuse used to justify NOT putting lots of stereo surround effects in the soundtrack when 5.1 first came out. We want the audience to pay attention to the story not the planes flying past their heads and into the back of the room. Even today, it's RARE to hear in-phase surround rear effects (that would go past your head when the side surrounds are in-phase) because people might jump if it sounds too real. They might miss something on screen while they're gawking or whatever.

I think people willing to put 24 speakers in their home WANT to hear impressive sound effects in their movies. They watch movies for the sound not the story at this point. Is that bad? It's the difference between many audiophiles and music-philes. The former has maybe 100 albums in his collection and his speaker system cost $30,000. The latter has probably 10,000 albums in his collection and his system cost $500. The former listens to sound. The latter listens to music. The rest of us are probably somewhere in-between.

Quote:
If your paying attention to the panning (or lack of it) the director has failed to properly tell their story.
There is no story in Michael Bay movies so you might as well have impressive surround sound. How many on here bought T4 just to hear Atmos and couldn't have cared less about its (dismal) story telling?

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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post
On the subject of panned dialogue - exception that proves the rule - old 70mm mixes that used 5 screen channels behind the screen to have dialogue follow the actors, at least to some extent. West Side Story comes to mind.
Atmos has 5 (2 are optional) behind the screen so it could work well for panned dialog. It wasn't that it didn't work with those 70mm films. It was great. It's that directors hated filming in 70mm and 70mm theaters were/are more expensive, especially in an age when mono and stereo only sound was still common (1980s). THX was what it was because it meant someone took the time to certify the sound wouldn't SUCK at a given theater. These days, sound is monumentally better than it was even in the 1990s and such certification is largely unimportant these days and the home version of THX completely sold out to certify JUNK (THX cables that cost a fortune and do nothing or tiny computer speakers that are "THX" certified?) and thus the THX brand slowly became a joke at home, more of a money grab than a certification.

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Of course, those mixes were done knowing they would be played back in unconventional cinemas with very large screens, 5 speakers behind the screen, and nary a thought to how things would translate to home video.
If you have your speakers lined up properly with the screen edges (like with a projection drop-down screen), it sounds awesome at home. I had to put my front speakers under the screen, but they are in the proper places so when I watch Gravity or Cars or West Side Story it sounds like it should.
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post #46126 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 11:21 AM
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Can you guys start a new thread and talk about panned dialog, it's not specific to atmos and is clogging up this thread.
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post #46127 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 11:24 AM
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There is no story in Michael Bay movies so you might as well have impressive surround sound.
Hooray, I've found something I agree with 100%!

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post #46128 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by grendelrt View Post
Can you guys start a new thread and talk about panned dialog, it's not specific to atmos and is clogging up this thread.


It seems very relevant to me, atmos has given studios and sound mixers an excuse to revisit many movies with mostly good results. I consider these details are all part of that process and I at least find it interesting and relevant.
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post #46129 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by grendelrt View Post
Can you guys start a new thread and talk about panned dialog, it's not specific to atmos and is clogging up this thread.
Ahh...

The "I can't be bothered to scroll past a few posts so please stop talking about what you're talking about so I can get back to not contributing a thing" post.

The conversation does have to do with Atmos and mixing and there was some interesting discussion going.


Would rather the discussion dissipate organically as it would but... thanks for saving the day, Thread Police. What would you like to talk about now?

I watched some movies in Atmos the other day. Sounded pretty good!

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post #46130 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post
Ahh...

The "I can't be bothered to scroll past a few posts so please stop talking about what you're talking about so I can get back to not contributing a thing" post.

The conversation does have to do with Atmos and mixing and there was some interesting discussion going.


But... thanks for saving the day, Thread Police. What would you like to talk about now?

I watched some movies in Atmos the other day. Sounded pretty good!
No need to get all passive aggressive, that was just my opinion , if you don't agree you could have just scrolled past my post as well. If people feel its pertinent ( I obviously wasnt the only one who didnt), don't let me me get in the way, carry on.
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post #46131 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by grendelrt View Post
No need to get all passive aggressive, that was just my opinion , if you don't agree you could have just scrolled past my post as well. If people feel its pertinent ( I obviously wasnt the only one who didnt), don't let me me get in the way, carry on.
Just bustin' yer balls, man.

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post #46132 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:15 PM
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Just bustin' yer balls, man.

Don't dish it if you can't take it.
I am not sure what I dished lol. I didn't name anyone or say anything negative about anyone, just wanted the discussion to go away from long rants that were going in a circle Anyways, my feeling are fine
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post #46133 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by grendelrt View Post
I am not sure what I dished lol. I didn't name anyone or say anything negative about anyone, just wanted the discussion to go away from long rants that were going in a circle Anyways, my feeling are fine
You can count yourself fortunate that you weren't busted by the redundancy police for panning the panning discussion!

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post #46134 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post
I think the problem there is partly psychological ("weird" even though it's correct) and partly the fact that even Atmos doesn't cover every possible point of sound. If you look at the diagram on the most recent page, there are 24 speakers in the home version shown, but a HUGE GAP at the screen.
Just my own $0.02 - some of the more serious experts on the thread like sdurani or maikeldepotter can discuss the details in depth - but my feeling is that the "huge gap" has to do with not wanting to compromise the integrity of the soundstage between L/C/R where the vast majority of the sound you'll hear is dedicated, even in a high channel count setup with a Trinnov processor. Our human hearing is far more sensitive to those locations than, say, object passthrough for left screen or right screen speakers in all but the largest home theaters.

FWIW with my own 11.4.6 Trinnov, I did an experiment in my 20x15x9 room where I took the opening scene of Unbroken and configured my L/R mains (+/- 25 degrees) as L/R screen speakers and my L/R wides (45 degrees) as mains, and I found that there was little activity taking place on those screens compared to, say, wides. The same with Lucy BTW. The gap IMO is more important for front to wide transition, where our hearing is sensitive, than between the mains.


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I think people willing to put 24 speakers in their home WANT to hear impressive sound effects in their movies. They watch movies for the sound not the story at this point. Is that bad? It's the difference between many audiophiles and music-philes. The former has maybe 100 albums in his collection and his speaker system cost $30,000. The latter has probably 10,000 albums in his collection and his system cost $500. The former listens to sound. The latter listens to music. The rest of us are probably somewhere in-between.
I can think of a few people that would watch a movie for the sound rather than the plot, especially in the early days of Atmos, but while they offer diminishing returns, depending on your individual room configuration (single vs. multirow, longer vs. wider) and speakers (narrower vs. wider dispersion), I'd argue that even in a reasonable sized room with a single row like mine, those extra speakers beyond 7.x.4 make a difference even on non-action films with an Atmos soundtrack, but how much of a difference really depends on how the mixer decides to deploy 3D objects in space. I noticed the biggest impact compared to 7.x.4 for wides, followed by a second set of side surrounds at about 75 degrees. The extra set of height speakers (top middles at about 85 degrees) are more of a nice to have to stabilize the overhead effects than essential. But in my room I couldn't see doing more than 11.4.6 unless a standard emerged with a speaker location not supported by Atmos that I was interested in (no, Auro doesn't count LOL).

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There is no story in Michael Bay movies so you might as well have impressive surround sound. How many on here bought T4 just to hear Atmos and couldn't have cared less about its (dismal) story telling?
I don't think that T4 is as dismal as many make it out to be, but it's really more of a fanfic type re-imaging than a real connection to the classic first two films. They really should have stopped after Judgment Day.

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post #46135 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Studios don't mix films.. mixers do. The real, only practice effect the studios directly have on how a film sounds has to do with the amount of money they have budgeted to post sound... they also have a strong voice in who the mixers will be, but that usually has more to do with the relationship the mixer has with the director and/or producers.
Is HTTYD2 an exception to that rule?
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post #46136 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
Just my own $0.02 - some of the more serious experts on the thread like sdurani or maikeldepotter can discuss the details in depth - but my feeling is that the "huge gap" has to do with not wanting to compromise the integrity of the soundstage between L/C/R where the vast majority of the sound you'll hear is dedicated, even in a high channel count setup with a Trinnov processor. Our human hearing is far more sensitive to those locations than, say, object passthrough for left screen or right screen speakers in all but the largest home theaters.
Those speakers don't really address what I'm talking about. So-called "Wide" speakers (more like front side surrounds really) appear to be an invention to fill gaps between the front speakers and the side speakers. Of course, to really make it complete, you'd want wall rear side walls and rear back walls with a rear center (I think DTS: X offers all these as potential locations for speakers whereas Atmos doesn't seem to like a rear center at all even though it's probably necessary to lock the location for off-axis listeners, assuming films would actually use that location as most do very little with it in 6.1 soundtracks).

I'm talking about more along the lines of 70mm soundtracks that had 5 speakers behind the screen (far left, mid left, center, mid right, far right) all in a straight line. Most of the diagrams I'm seeing for front wide put it halfway between the side surrounds and the front of the room on the side walls or in a straight line back from the left front. In any case, any speakers not in a straight line from the center speaker aren't going to be useful for panned dialog.

Here's a good picture of what I'm referring to in a theater Atmos type environment that uses a full 5 speakers across the front screen ((http://i.imgur.com/X4vco9k.jpg).

That type of setup can easily pan between positions along the screen with hard points at 5 distinct locations (making it lock in for more audience positions on a large screen than just 3 speakers where people sitting off the center axis are going to have position errors due to stereo phantom imaging being offset by them not sitting in the center). Obviously, the more speakers that can hard transition a pan, the less the seating location matters (this applies to any speaker panning). And that's what's great about Atmos and DTS:X. They can discretely pan to individual speakers between a lot of locations instead of having to rely on phantom imaging which only works best in the center. It also means something like a rocket flying into the back of the room doesn't just jump from the front to side to back, but moves along the wall at every point there's a speaker with phantom bits in-between. This sounds more smooth than relying on phantom stereo pans between simple arrays. The point is that having 5 speakers behind (or likely over or under in a home environment) means you could have panned dialog that sounds accurate for more listening locations than near the center. But this is only going to matter for very large screens at home. I have a 93" screen at 9 feet and 5 speakers would probably be way too much. A 200" screen? Maybe.

It's probably only really important for large theaters which is why you're only seeing that typically deployed in that environment, although I can imagine a well designed "sound bar" that's only used for a center would probably work some serious magic for Atmos at home if a receiver offered that option. But without panned dialog, it's probably moot for most applications since most mixes (as you have already noticed with Audessey receivers that support "wide" and move more sound effects there) do very little with points along the actual screen for sound in general, let alone dialog. But try watching something like Cars or Gravity and you should find them used a LOT more (it might be helpful to have a definitive list of movies that support a lot of panned dialog; I know I've seen more, but with 700+ movies, my memory is pretty foggy which ones had it and which ones didn't offhand).

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I don't think that T4 is as dismal as many make it out to be, but it's really more of a fanfic type re-imaging than a real connection to the classic first two films. They really should have stopped after Judgment Day.
By T4 I meant Transformers 4 (and it being the first blu-ray with an Atmos soundtrack), not Terminator 4.

As for the Terminator series, I actually liked the basic time travel plot to Gensys (that would be T5 I suppose if you wanted to call it that), but I think the actors playing John and Sarah Connor sucked as did that bad guy (magnetic dude terminator). That's what made it hokey. If they had a more believable terminator and better actors, the time travel aspects (not to mention watching Arnold kick his own younger butt were pretty novel). It'd be interesting to see what James Cameron does (if anything) once he gets the rights back to the Terminator series.

But Transformers? I'd be in favor of a reboot or a TV Spin-off that isn't so darn focused on tiny gears and blowing crap up constantly. As a kid, I actually liked the original cartoon series and still have (mint) all my old Transformer toys from the early '80s. But the movies really didn't work for me. It was hard to even recognize Soundwave or Megatron, particularly in robot form they looked little or nothing like the cartoon versions and don't get me started on Mr. Labouf as an actor (I could forgive the acting of Megan Fox because she was so hot then, but I digress....
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post #46137 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:01 PM
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The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version)

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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
Is HTTYD2 an exception to that rule?

Why would that title be an exception in particular.

It's not a 100% rule.

But the director is the one who has the most say on the dub stage... until they don't.


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post #46138 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
My view is that it is a bit more nuanced than your boxing analogy would have it.

If you are watching a film and your attention is distracted from the story by the sound design--whether on the one hand because it is disjointed from the action or on the other hand due to its prominence--that is less than ideal.


But if, as in the example I cited in my post above (City of Ghosts), you are drawn into the storytelling by the mix and only realize how well it was done after reflecting on the viewing experience--that is subtle craftsmanship at its finest.
Pretty sure George Lucas would strongly disagree with you.

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post #46139 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Why would that title be an exception?


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In terms of dynamics, bass, volume levels of the music the sequel is incredibly tame compared to the first. I believe they both had the same director and Randy Thom did both, right? There was a video floating around of the director where he said they got some criticism for the music and sound effects overpowering the story (I'm going off of memory here so that's not verbatim.) Now, I don't know if that means "criticism from the studio" but that seems like a reasonable assumption.
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post #46140 of 46468 Old 08-21-2017, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post
In terms of dynamics, bass, volume levels of the music the sequel is incredibly tame compared to the first. I believe they both had the same director and Randy Thom did both, right? There was a video floating around of the director where he said they got some criticism for the music and sound effects overpowering the story (I'm going off of memory here so that's not verbatim.) Now, I don't know if that means "criticism from the studio" but that seems like a reasonable assumption.
Where did I ever say the studio didn't have any say over the mix? I was making a generalized statement... which accounts for over 95% of situations I've seen in my 27+ years in the business..

They set the post sound budget, hire the sound crew (or approve it if the film maker has a previous relationship...)

With few exceptions do we see a producer/studio during the final mix... we almost always have a final playback for them (so they can see the final mix against the final cut of the picture... sometimes they give notes, sometimes you get none...

If they felt the first film was too loud, they certainly have an opinion they can share with the director...

I said they aren't the ones making the day to day decisions... companies like Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar... they make films much more by committee than most other studios in town...

I know Dean Dubois.. if he got a criticism that the first film was too loud/dynamic, he is the kind of director to heed that kind of critique.... (which i find personally valid for a film made for kids..) if he didn't he wouldn't be back for the third film..

Again... my original point was that there is a sound crew (mixers, supervising sound editors, sound designers, editors, etc..) who is responsible for creating the sound track... not the studios who finance and release them.
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