Why does the LFE channel sound deeper at home vs. the theater? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-25-2007, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Title sums it up. Every time I go to the theater I don't heat the same punch from the lows as I do when I'm at home. I follow all the correct calibration levels at home so, I'm confident that my setup is calibrated correctly. At home the lows are deeper and pack more of a punch. Is it because of the smaller rooms at home vs. large theaters or do most theaters not even calibrate there equipment? Basically, which is closer to the vision of the filmmaker; the deeper make your room shake bass at home or the more thin subtle bass at the theater? Thoughts?

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-25-2007, 07:33 PM
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It is simply size of the enclosed space. To get the same level of low bass in a theater you would need thousands of watts and a wall of 18" subs.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-25-2007, 11:30 PM
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Go to a cinema with a good sound system and sit in the front!
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-26-2007, 12:13 AM
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Some of it has to do with the room size and budgetary constraints of most cinemas. So, to get the output, many commercial subs sacrifice extension for output. Most commercial subs roll off pretty strongly below 35 hz. There are very few commercial cinemas with solid 20 hz extension.

"Did you make 'em fine-ass-soundin' speakers over there what would sound gooder than hell comin' out of the back of my truck-boat-truck?"

-Early Cuyler. Poet Liquoreate
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-26-2007, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phtnhappy View Post

Go to a cinema with a good sound system and sit in the front!

Or more to the point - find a better cinema...

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post #6 of 17 Old 05-26-2007, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolltide1017 View Post

Title sums it up. Every time I go to the theater I don't heat the same punch from the lows as I do when I'm at home. I follow all the correct calibration levels at home so, I'm confident that my setup is calibrated correctly. At home the lows are deeper and pack more of a punch. Is it because of the smaller rooms at home vs. large theaters or do most theaters not even calibrate there equipment? Basically, which is closer to the vision of the filmmaker; the deeper make your room shake bass at home or the more thin subtle bass at the theater? Thoughts?

Output requirements to reach a given SPL at your listening position go up with room size so you start off requiring a lot more sub-woofer.

It takes 4X the displacement to hit the same output levels at 20Hz as you do at 40Hz and all else equal the product of box size and amplifier power increase must be 8X.

Since the theater's already running big woofers, that means 4X the sub-woofers and 4X the cost disregarding increased box construction costs from the larger size.

Since the theater's already running into the woofers' power handling limits they'd need to bump the box size 8X, so the total space dedicated to sub-woofers would increase 32X.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-26-2007, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolltide1017 View Post

Title sums it up. Every time I go to the theater I don't heat the same punch from the lows as I do when I'm at home. I follow all the correct calibration levels at home so, I'm confident that my setup is calibrated correctly. At home the lows are deeper and pack more of a punch. Is it because of the smaller rooms at home vs. large theaters or do most theaters not even calibrate there equipment? Basically, which is closer to the vision of the filmmaker; the deeper make your room shake bass at home or the more thin subtle bass at the theater? Thoughts?

Perhaps your sub's set too high?
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-26-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Very Very few commercial cinemas can really hit reference down low, you can do it more easily at home because the space is much smaller, and you don't need so much wooferage to plumb the depths. Even the best commercial cinemas aren't going to be doing very well down to 20hz.
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-27-2007, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Even the best commercial cinemas aren't going to be doing very well down to 20hz.

Not too sure what frequencies I would be experiencing, but there is a cinema not too far away from where I live with a cafe behind the main cinema's screen wall. Sound isolation of the auditorium is pretty good, but the lows still get through and it is kind of cool to watch a cup of coffee rattle it's way across the table...

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post #10 of 17 Old 05-27-2007, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Very Very few commercial cinemas can really hit reference down low, you can do it more easily at home because the space is much smaller, and you don't need so much wooferage to plumb the depths. Even the best commercial cinemas aren't going to be doing very well down to 20hz.



Makes you wonder how many sound mixing stages plumb the depths in the first place. Who knows what the intent was in most of these film mixes as far as bass extension is concerned.
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-27-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Not too sure what frequencies I would be experiencing, but there is a cinema not too far away from where I live with a cafe behind the main cinema's screen wall. Sound isolation of the auditorium is pretty good, but the lows still get through and it is kind of cool to watch a cup of coffee rattle it's way across the table...

Mark

Yeah, they are rare, but when a theater really does have a top notch sound system it's actually pretty impressive to consider. The local Cinerama here is a very large auditorium, it has the second level balcony and all, it's quite huge as far as most commercial theaters go, and good lord can it belt out the bass, and very deep too. Spider Man 2 and the newer Star Wars were fantastic there.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-29-2007, 03:12 PM
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Fortunately for me there's a theater nearby that can match my home theater in terms of bass output.

I've got a SVS CS-Ultra in a 13X15 room.

It's an older theater, only one screen. Average size room, not huge but not tiny either. It seats about 300. Anyway, the sound system is Dolby Digital EX and was installed by Clair Brothers, along with the help of some Lucasfilm guys. It sounds great. Even sitting in the back half of the theater the bass hits you in the chest pretty hard. I watched the second Matrix movie there. They left it turned up to reference level for the credits which had some kind of techno song. What really impressed me was how tight the bass was, very low distortion even at volumes that normally would be bordering on painful. And it was reaching well down into the low 20's.

If you're in SE PA check it out, it's worth it. www.allentheater.com
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-29-2007, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WallyWest View Post

Fortunately for me there's a theater nearby that can match my home theater in terms of bass output.

I've got a SVS CS-Ultra in a 13X15 room.

It's an older theater, only one screen. Average size room, not huge but not tiny either. It seats about 300. Anyway, the sound system is Dolby Digital EX and was installed by Clair Brothers, along with the help of some Lucasfilm guys. It sounds great. Even sitting in the back half of the theater the bass hits you in the chest pretty hard. I watched the second Matrix movie there. They left it turned up to reference level for the credits which had some kind of techno song. What really impressed me was how tight the bass was, very low distortion even at volumes that normally would be bordering on painful. And it was reaching well down into the low 20's.

If you're in SE PA check it out, it's worth it. www.allentheater.com


wow i'm very impressed... tickets are even VERY reasonable too.

There's a movie theater by me which charges 13 bucks for a ticket and 11 for a damn hot dog meal... AND THIS IS IN THE MIDWEST.... damn regal cinemas... for those prices, they should give me 18hz@90db at my seat
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-30-2007, 06:08 PM
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Makes you wonder how many sound mixing stages plumb the depths in the first place.

All the decent-to-good ones do. True indie films may have been mastered in someone's bedroom, though, or more likely a basement/garage studio. A studio mixing and mastering room isn't at all as big as a movie theater seating hall, so it's easier to pressurize. And most mixing engineers are a little pickier about the environment they work in than your average popcorn-spilling cellphone-gabbing teen.
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-01-2007, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Not too sure what frequencies I would be experiencing, but there is a cinema not too far away from where I live with a cafe behind the main cinema's screen wall. Sound isolation of the auditorium is pretty good, but the lows still get through and it is kind of cool to watch a cup of coffee rattle it's way across the table...

Mark


I am going back to these cinemas today, so will be interesting to hear (feel) the bass again...

Mark

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post #16 of 17 Old 06-02-2007, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

Makes you wonder how many sound mixing stages plumb the depths in the first place. Who knows what the intent was in most of these film mixes as far as bass extension is concerned.

You can't be certified by Dolby to do printmasters on your stage unless you hit certain specs, and low end and sub measurement fit into this.

My stage goes to 18Hz on the main screen channels with individual subs on each channel, and our sub chain goes down to around 16-18Hz, and all of our other stages in our company (we have 10 film mixing stages in all) go down the same or further....

Our sub chain consist of 2 cabinests with dual 18" woofers in each.. that is nowhere at 32x the space required as Drew suggests (unless I am confused to your reference)... each of our main cabinets include 4x15" drivers just for their low end and mid range... this is for our 2600 sq ft stage, which is mid sized for a film stage.
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-03-2007, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

I am going back to these cinemas today, so will be interesting to hear (feel) the bass again...

Update. I watched Pirates Of The Caribbean - At Worlds End yestersay in these cinemas and wow they thump. Those cannons rocked and there is no way you could be disappointed here...

Film Mixer, are any of your stages THX certified?

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