Star Wars: The Last Jedi
ATMOS vs DTSMA
I have not done an auditory comparison just yet but looking at the waveforms and the dynamic range stats there are clearly some differences which overall seem relatively subtle.
Some things appear a little louder in one track versus another and visa-versa. The differences may be all due to how the Atmos material may have been mixed down for the DTSMA track. The Surrounds Left & Right seem to be overall a bit louder on the DTSMA track but the Rears are about the same levels between them. It also appears to be that certain content has been placed and mixed a bit differently between the two tracks.
The waveforms affirm what I was expecting after watching the Blu-ray twice now, that the mix is quite dynamic and has a pleasant attack and release ratio. Resulting in no aggressive peak limiting nor a bunch square or near square waveforms, so the mix actually gets to breathe.
Now I understand many are accustomed to or prefer the audio to have a more aggressive attack with slower release ratios for compression. It makes things louder but it also makes things more "chunkier", flatter, and less separation in the various audio elements.
Tangentially related is the differences between the Atmos and DTSMA tracks for Oblivion, which are dramatically differently. Much of the differences lies with the amount of compression applied between the two tracks. I plan to provide a little more detail later but after listening to the LRCS channels in various isolated configurations the DTSMA sounds really chunky and flat. When subtracting various elements the degree of compression becomes more evident.
Back to TLJ, my initial reaction to the volume level was partly due to my ears having been cooked a bit earlier in the day with some loud sounds. With my second viewing I had it several dbs lower than the first time round and found it still pleasing but yes the average volume is a bit lower than what is conventionally mixed or released.
The DTSMA track is actually very dynamic and the bass is very good, just different from what appears to be the conventional approach.
It seems to me that the bass is intentionally stylized in this manner to be more impactful by not being as throbbing or "chunky". ymmv.
PS: When processing the respective audio tracks through eac3to the Atmos track and subsequent Dolby tracks had a dialnorm: -29dB, whereas the DTSMA dialnorm: -2dB. Perhaps that is helpful or completely wrong.
Dynamic Range Stats from Adobe Audition ::Which took several hours to actually scan the darn files. ugh.
Alternative DR Stats by the DR Meter from http://dr.loudness-war.info