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post #45961 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
What if the guy and the left and right talk at the same time? Then you can't separate them.
You're making up hypothetical scenarios without a lot of variables provided. How were these people miked on separate sides of the viewing screen and yet have no separation in their vocals? Are you implying they didn't record in stereo, which provides separation automatically and can be widened artificially? Why didn't they? If a movie is filmed with panned vocals in mind, you wouldn't use a mono mike to film dialog with two people talking at the same time on opposite sides of the screen. What do they do if there's too much noise or other issues? Do they not re-record the dialog in a studio room while watching the film bit to line it up? Or did you think I want all old movies redone as opposed to the idea of using modern speaker systems to their actual capability instead of the 1980s?

What I'm saying is that panned vocals CAN work when they're planned for. A technical issue for one scene or a problem with the way a movie was filmed and audio recorded is a technical would be an issue, yes. But clearly there are ways to do things and when a movie is being made to re-record vocals over top a noisy scene, etc.

Thus, what I'm saying is that my comments on PREFERRING correlation of sounds on screen with their position in the soundtrack are not a commentary on how to do your job or whether you're good at it, etc. I've never watched Power Rangers (what else have you done?) and I have no interest in watching that movie due to the subject matter. My comments are in general about movies I've seen with more (maybe not "all") vocals correlated versus the many many movies I've seen where everything is just thrown into the center whether it matches the screen or not. That strikes me as both lazy and unrealistic. I know there are other reasons given for why it's done (clear vocals for the entire audience in a theater, etc.), but that's less of a problem now with say 5 speakers across the screen than 3. Certainly, Atmos could have added even more if they wanted to make it even more seamless for all seats. But while "Cars" might place a vocal off-screen in my living room TV with speakers off to the sides, it does a great job in my home theater where the speakers are at the left/right screen edges and everything comes pretty close to where it's at on-screen.

Some movies only move the dialog when it's at the extreme edges, but that's better than nothing, IMO. Maybe it's not always possible to put them perfectly where they are due to how it was recorded, etc. and certainly going back and editing old movies might be difficult to do at this point, but then we live in an age where they are often able to go back and take a movie that was only in stereo in the 1970s and make it 5.1 or 7.1 or even Atmos TODAY.

I've been trying to point out how "taste" for mixes has changed over the years. Where the thought of stereo surround speakers was once distasteful for many people (it would be a distraction!), it's now commonplace and many people seem to enjoy it. How many would enjoy panned dialog if it were the norm instead of the exception? How much of that "unnatural" feeling is due to being used to what is common now rather than an actual problem with what is clearly more realistic (i.e. sound coming from where the source is on-screen)? You might hate it. That's OK. I didn't say you had to agree with me. I simply voiced an opinion.

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Did I say to never do it? No I did not... go listen to Power Rangers...
I really don't want to watch Power Rangers (nothing to do with your mix; I simply never got into Power Rangers as a kid and have zero interest in the movie in general and I'm not going to buy it just to hear an example of your mix).

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You seem to be the only one actively complaining
I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with anything? Why is giving my opinion "complaining" anyway? Do 1 million people have to agree with me for someone to bring something up on these forums? How many people have even thought about it? People take it for granted that dialog comes from the center. But when you watch a movie where it comes from the source on the screen, it's an ear opener. I happen to think it's better that way. Clearly, you seem to disagree enough to argue about it. I really didn't post the comment to create an argument.

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... you shouldn't ascribe your gripe with everyone else on these boards (for example those with upper and lower C speakers.)
That has nothing to do with it. I'm pointing out that some people are very picky about sound placement to the nth degree where it really doesn't even matter (height or y-axis isn't as noticeable as left/right x-axis) but apparently don't notice or care (as you seem to think) how dialog sound placement never moves in many films. I simply pointed out that it does move in several films and I think it makes a lot more sense for sounds to come from the source that made them than the middle of the screen (at least when "possible").

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You're entitled to your opinion. So you can disagree (or 'sigh') all you want.
I'm sighing because you implied I wanted a whole new soundtrack made from scratch. We have headphone mixes now and even DTS NEO: X mix in at least one case, but the idea that we could have an option for accurate dialog placement is just impossible? Actually, it would probably be best to mix for accurate dialog placement and then dump everything to center for the old-fashioned mix. It's not hard to put things in the center, after all. If I delete a pan in Logic Pro, it goes back to the center default placement. We can make 5.1 or 7.1 mixes from movies that were originally released in stereo only, but panning a vocal apparently is too much to ask for.

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But I make a living for giving mine .
The fact other mixers have panned dialog tells me that I'm arguing with little more than the opinion of one person. And I don't even know why I'm arguing. I made a comment about preference and you attacked it. Hey, have at it. You've got your fan entourage here to agree with every post you make where I'm loathed for giving a contradictory opinion. And so I'm "all alone" in that opinion on the whole wide planet? That's why movies like Gravity and Cars use panned dialog. Because NO ONE else likes it? (and I mean film mixers, not the audience who is not asked what they would prefer!)

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Not every mixer agrees... but you seem fairy incapable of reading what I said and understanding that they are valid point and limitations.... discretion is always a factor... as is every other of the thousands and thousands of decisions that go into a mix.
Yes, I can't understand anything you say! You must speak more slowly!

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Regarding your last point... what about foley, or sound effects that accompany the dialog? So no, it's not "obviously..."
What about them? Where are they at? Are you telling me they're better off in the "center" than the left or right when the center is WRONG for the dialog where you can clearly see their mouths moving, but this supposed sound effect matters that much? What kind of sound effect? Where is it at? You just interject abstract examples and then complain you can't separate them when that's no worse than having sound that should be from the left side of the screen come out of the center instead! Why is THAT acceptable to you but having some "sound effect" in the wrong place isn't? Maybe you should edit out the sound effect that's causing the problem and insert another one in the mix instead if it's such a big problem (probably easier to do than getting the actors to re-record their dialog).

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Sorry... to say you only need to redo the dialog is a grossly uniformed statement IMO.
You asked if they were supposed to redo everything and I said no. That doesn't address every single possibility, obviously. But it doesn't mean redo every single sound effect used either! Apparently, you weren't asking a question but being sarcastic and nasty because I'm questioning sound mixes and that's your livelihood so therefore everyone else that isn't also a film sound mixer for a living is apparently incapable of talking about the subject or giving opinions.

Hey, don't worry. Everyone will agree with you anyway. I'm hated (and I don't care since I'm not in high school).
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post #45962 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nalleh View Post
I actually agree with you here. It seems that dialog is "locked" to the center, no matter where the person speaking is placed in the scene. And i find that unrealistic too.

Another example: two people talking, one on the screen, the other out of screen, in the back of the room(behind where you sit and watch the movie). But still both voices come from the center.



I find it spectacular when what happens on screen is followed by what you hear. Like the opening scene in Power Rangers, when he drives and crashes the car, the camera changes all around, and the sounds mirror that change. Very cool, and as it should be, in my opinion.



The very famous scene in a episode of Daredevil, where the camera pans 360 degrees in a car, while a man in the backseat sings, is also a "textbook" example of how what you see and hear is in sync.

My entire original point was :

1. Sometimes for technical reasons you aren't able to do that.

2. Sometimes you don't want to when you can because it doesn't serve the story, either visually or dramatically.
@MagnumX suggested we should offer 2 mixes for home heater. Which makes no sense.... you can't account for every setup. We all know where speakers are supposed to exist in relation to a the image in all of the various aspect ratios in which films are presented.

To creat a mix for one person who has speakers outside the LR and those who doesn't would be foolish.

And as he has again shown in his lengthy reply to me, he doesn't understand why it isn't simple... but I don't need to keep beating that red horse.

Both of those examples you listed of my work were prime example of the movement helping to tell the story and of me also being able to technically be able to do it (in daredevil the production sound was clean...).

Again... sometimes you can't separate two characters entirely so that dictates your choices. Sometimes you want characters to be in the same space dramatically, which is why both or more voices in the center makes sense (and the opposite holds true when you want to creat a divide between them ...)

Let me say something that I hope isn't taken as egotistical.... but I was hired for Daredevil exactly because I bring this kind of thought process and sensibility to my work.

So I'm not trying to dismiss what you or others may like. But I think it's a mistake to be critical of the practice without knowing all of the reasons what it is or isn't more ubiquitous.




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post #45963 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
As it happens my wife and I just this minute finished watching (for the very first time) Matt Dillon's City of Ghosts (2002). It's hard for me to believe that this was Dillon's sole feature film as writer/director. Everything about it--story, dialogue, acting, direction, character development, camera work, locations, and editing--was just stunning. As you say, the soundtrack put us right in the exotic settings where the action takes place without calling attention to itself.

And, lo and behold, whose name did we spot in the end credits but our very own @FilmMixer! Well done, sir!


Thanks Jeff.

That's certainly an interesting film with a really great score.

As a side note... Matt Dillon talked a lot about just being a huge study and sponge when was working as an actor on all those really great films he acted in.

He certainly had some good teachers
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post #45964 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
My entire original point was :

1. Sometimes for technical reasons you aren't able to do that.

2. Sometimes you don't want to when you can because it doesn't serve the story, either visually or dramatically.
@MagnumX suggested we should offer 2 mixes for home heater. Which makes no sense.... you can't account for every setup. We all know where speakers are supposed to exist in relation to a the image in all of the various aspect ratios in which films are presented.

To creat a mix for one person who has speakers outside the LR and those who doesn't would be foolish.

And as he has again shown in his lengthy reply to me, he doesn't understand why it isn't simple... but I don't need to keep beating that red horse.

Both of those examples you listed of my work were prime example of the movement helping to tell the story and of me also being able to technically be able to do it (in daredevil the production sound was clean...).

Again... sometimes you can't separate two characters entirely so that dictates your choices. Sometimes you want characters to be in the same space dramatically, which is why both or more voices in the center makes sense (and the opposite holds true when you want to creat a divide between them ...)

Let me say something that I hope isn't taken as egotistical.... but I was hired for Daredevil exactly because I bring this kind of thought process and sensibility to my work.

So I'm not trying to dismiss what you or others may like. But I think it's a mistake to be critical of the practice without knowing all of the reasons what it is or isn't more ubiquitous.




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Sure, i get it. And i think we agree about how it "should" sound. And then corporate gets in the way

I guess with all people just listen to TV speakers, they don't know any better, and finds it distracting when something sounds from any other place.

I prefer when it sounds "logical" in that sounds come from where they belong. And what i find distracting is when all voices is put in the same place in the center.

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post #45965 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Nalleh View Post
Sure, i get it. And i think we agree about how it "should" sound. And then corporate gets in the way

No..... we don't all don't agree.....

I certainly don't share your opinion.

What does "corporate" getting in the way have to do with this discussion? I don't understand that comment.
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post #45966 of 55027 Old 08-20-2017, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
My entire original point was :

1. Sometimes for technical reasons you aren't able to do that.
That would be understandable.

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2. Sometimes you don't want to when you can because it doesn't serve the story, either visually or dramatically.
That's where it's subjective and where things have clearly been changing over time, especially in regards to surround sound usage. It's only a matter of time before someone figures out that precision placement of dialog on screen makes more sense than putting everything in the center. You've got a theater with over 100 speakers in it and yet dialog is dead center all the time? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.... Treat the bird calls better than the actors voices.

However, given almost all films put the dialog dead center with no thought to anything else, I think it's safe to say most mixing people agree with you. I think that will change. Imagine VR where the voices come from a plant in the center instead of the people on the left. THAT is my point. And besides technical reasons where separation or whatever is an issue, there is no excuse for it other than "that's the way it's always been done" or "it's less distracting" and yet some movies choose to do more and I find them preferable for it.

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@MagnumX suggested we should offer 2 mixes for home heater. Which makes no sense.... you can't account for every setup.
Please. There are only TWO possible mixes needed to handle dialog for every single home theater out there!

Panned vocals require standardized fixed setup locations (edges and center of screen) to reasonably well place voices where they're supposed to be (nothing is perfect, obviously).

Anchored vocals can accommodate everything else imaginable out there (since they put ALL the vocals in the dead center where one would assume the screen would be unless someone likes having the TV on the far left).

I count exactly TWO mixes required there not one for "every setup" imaginable.

The ironic thing is that most films already use anchored vocals even though they were mixed for theaters, not homes. Thus, it's actually the cinema mixes I have an issue with, not what I would call the "home" mix in my suggested alternate choice setup. Yet even so, I don't recall tons of complaints about Cars or Gravity at home (you said I'm the only one complaining, but who complained when the opposite was done?). There may be lots of hybrid mixes as well (I haven't made a list).

In fact, in truth, "most" people don't care or notice such things as they play the sound out of their TV set speakers....

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So I'm not trying to dismiss what you or others may like.
Of course you are. That's the entire point of arguing to death over a simple opinion about existing soundtracks. You think things are fine the way they are and people smarter than me or my neighbor should make those decisions and we should probably just STFU and not imply things could be done more accurately than having voices come out of the dead center regardless of what's happening on screen.

Really, I'm not having any fun here. I have better things to do than argue about an OPINION I gave (and at least one other agreed with). I'd prefer more accuracy for dialog placement. You're defending the status quo and I really don't need your reasoning to defend it because I don't agree with your opinion that it's fine as it is.

If one mixed for panned dialog, making an anchored dialog version would be relatively simple by comparison (move everything dialog related to the center; Logic Pro did this for me by default if I removed my panning on my rock album (yes it's two-channel, but panning is panning and I did mix for placement using PLIIx processing as an option and that was more difficult than panning to actual discrete channels to get the results I wanted). CENTER is the default location for panning or the lack thereof in Logic Pro. Maybe there would be a few trouble spots along the way for making a panned dialog track, but that's not something I would call unsolved mystery worthy.

Clearly, several films have managed already. Whether it's worth doing, hey, that's a different question altogether than CAN it be done because for the most part, YES IT CAN. And there is no technical reason a panned dialog soundtrack couldn't be mixed to be an anchored dialog version. Include both and the home user can pick their poison (make anchored the default for most compatibility and people that don't know any better). Is it worth the bother? Probably not to the bean counters. But then asking for an HD version of Star Wars as it originally appeared in theaters is too much to ask as well (fortunately, someone else managed to do it on their own).
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post #45967 of 55027 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 #45968 of 55027 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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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 #45969 of 55027 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 #45970 of 55027 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 #45971 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 03:20 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.

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 #45972 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AndreNewman View Post
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 #45973 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 04:12 AM
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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 #45974 of 55027 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 #45975 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
1. Sometimes for technical reasons you aren't able to do that.
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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)

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post #45976 of 55027 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 #45977 of 55027 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 #45978 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 07:01 AM
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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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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 #45980 of 55027 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 #45981 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 11:08 AM
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 #45982 of 55027 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 #45983 of 55027 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 #45984 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 12:15 PM
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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.


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 #45985 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 02:01 PM
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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.
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 #45986 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 02:06 PM
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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 #45987 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 02:11 PM
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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 #45988 of 55027 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 #45989 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 02:22 PM
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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 #45990 of 55027 Old 08-21-2017, 02:50 PM
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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.

Audio Gear: Trinnov Altitude 32 (24 channel), NAD M27 amps (3)
Video: JVC RS600, Seymour 100" UF Screen, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4444 (coming soon)
Speakers: PSB Imagine T3 LCR, Imagine T Wides/Side Surround 1, T2 Side Surrounds, Imagine XB rears, Image B6 screens, PSB CS1000 ceilings (6), HSU ULS-15 Mk 2 subs (4) - 13.4.6
HAA HT1 and HT2 Certification
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