Originally Posted by Mr.Poindexter
I have felt for a while that most of the mixing engineers do not have equipment that can reproduce sub 20Hz material without substantial roll-off. As such, if it was meant to be heard it is likely much higher on the soundtrack than it should be in order to compensate for this.
Some diamonds are flourescent and will glow under a black light. That doesn't mean that is the way they are meant to be viewed.
Personally I think there are multiple reasons and justifications to extend a system's response to these low frequencies. Gratifying Dyno-Stomps are but one benefit, not the soul purpose. Any more resolving system should be expected to show faults that might have been missed in the recording process. There in fact are some studios who have gone to great lengths to add low frequency capabilities. In their case it is often as important to KNOW what's going on down there as is the value of reproducing it. In other words, they want to know that they intended or made the decision to keep whatever is going on down there.
There are times when less careful editing can result in low frequency pops from what they might call "punch-ins". In quiet scenes and with a lot of subwoofage, you can sometimes catch these. More often though, the VLF energy we see is closely tied to big sonic and visual events. At minimum there was VLF energy present when the sound event was recorded. In the studio this may have been boosted in various ways. If they are employing low shelving filters, this will raise everything down low, and very possibly stuff below the effective extension of their system. At the same time, note that they aren't watching spectrograms to decide on the sound they are after, they are listening. Those VLF effects creep in, and with some of the products out there, I wouldn't be surprised if using a small pile of subs in a small studio might give some noticable effect at VLF. Most employ lots of limiting to still allow useful output at higher frequencies, there are more than a few that target extension down to 8-14Hz.
Personally, I have always found that with enough comparison, I can hear a character to the ultimate low end roll off of a system. In those cases where confined rooms have allowed me to couple into the room's transfer function and we achieve either very shallow or almost zero roll off to say 10Hz or lower (this is very easy to do in car audio), that "sound" largely goes away. The subjective sonic benefits of such a system are what interest me more. So far as the studios, I still say we have to provide them a means to monitor and reproduce it before we can expect them to figure out what to do with it.
As a point of reference from years back, note that in the first two reviews of the ContraBass (a 15+ yr old design), both reviewers described it to the effect of, "more bass than you could ever want or need in a home." By current standards, I consider a ContraBass just enough for optimal performance in a moderate size room, with multiples needed for larger rooms. I expect that as reproduction of sub 20Hz energy becomes more readily available, we will see people find more creative uses for it. Imagine if down the road they can create a "goosebump" pedal/key for use at just the right time in a movie. The best likeness to this that comes to mind is in the moments leading up to the train crash at the beginning of "Unbreakable."
Just my rambling on the matter...