Originally Posted by FilmMixer
Why do you think that is the case ?
I’ve ceros my seen none of that behavior. As a matter of fact the company I now work for has built 5 “broadcast” centric Atmos rooms in the last two years and all of them are a bit bigger than most similar rooms around. That’s in addition to the other 6+ rooms and facilities I’ve seen come online.
I would argue the way consumers listen to broadcast/tv/OTT content, and the quality of tv speakers, sound bars and headphones used to hear them, has lead to a better experience for a vast majority of consumers. No one I know mixes any differently now than they did for the last long while...
And since I made the transition to doing mainly broadcast content, about 3-4 years ago, I have almost no clients ask to hear it on “small” or TV speakers.... we have a new generation of creatives and show runners in this world and the are generally, and genuinely, focused on making the best soundtracks available without concern for the “lowest common denominator...”
I would argue things are going the other way.. we can see the shrinking of the need for large scale auditorium sized mixing stages due to the changes in the film business as a whole and the types and quantity of theatrical only “large scale” films., while broadcast mixing stages are getting better
Just my .02
Ps.. regarding your earlier comment about Dolby enabling 7.1.4 printouts... the ability for their software to do that only came out in the latest release of their software, released only a few months back. As I’ve mentioned in the last took a bit of work to make that happen in the past...
I am discussing the possibility of trending quality downward as an unfortunate side result of the tenuous circumstances surrounding traditional theatrical distribution on the BIG screen due to this pandemic.
AMC and other cinema companies are hanging on by their fingertips and if we have continuous spikes of outbreaks (despite the fudging of the numbers happening in some states - like Colorado and Florida as but two examples - to make it appear things are winding down, so they can "open back up") because of mismanagement of the crisis, then I can only see theatrical distribution as an endangered species. Why would people risk their lives and dwindling funds on going to a communal place like a theater? I'm glad you still have a job, but many people no longer do. Some might risk it, but not enough to keep things afloat.
If this worse case scenario plays out, then the majority of sound systems playing back these soundtracks will be in the home. We've already noticed on this and other HT boards the damage to dynamics, volume, surround activity, diminished Atmos tracks (fixed print-outs, the minimal use of the immersive formats' full capabilities for various reasons), severely filtered bass tracks (not to fix clipping and distortion that may have occurred in a previous mixes due to lack of QC, but to add a severe low frequency roll-off at about 30 Hz). Maybe you as a seasoned audio engineer don't subscribe to these mixing "foibles" (thank you for that), but it is too often occurring to be one-off events. The latest victims appear to be Top Gun
and The War of the Worlds
on 4k disc at least as far as bass is concerned.
Then take this to the next step... studios continue to lose revenue causing a shifting from big screen oriented releases to smaller home screen releases. Since more people are listening with, dare I say it, less than adequate sound systems, and with a lack of dual soundtracks on disc or streaming (an A Grade primary track designed for high end home theaters that normally contain subs and speakers that can handle the dynamics and low bass a heck of a lot better, and a B Grade track optimized for sound bars and the like that cannot handle a full-throated audio track), why mix for the best home systems that may have Trinnovs or other high speaker count processors (that can do 9.1.6 or possibly larger immersive layouts - prices have fallen and that as spurred a trend toward somewhat more reasonable >
7.1.4 receivers and pre-amp interest on these boards as we want to take advantage of Atmos' 3D object capabilities to improve surround immersion and precision) and other top flight equipment, which are costlier to set up in mixing studios? Your employer may have installed some state-of-the-art dubbing and mixing rooms (that's great!), but can it sustain itself with this economic change in the weather? Will other audio post houses be so bold in the future?
You also have brought up a point that we don't fully understand how home Atmos works. Given that some literature has come to light (at least starting a few pages back) on consumer Dolby Atmos, its use of spatial compression, etc., can you help explain what it is talking about in layman's terms... or debunk it if it is incorrect information? Some software that looks at disc metadata seems to indicate that the Meridian Lossless Stream (aka Dolby TrueHD) on the Dolby Atmos tracks is carved up into a maximum of 16 "channels" with many tracks only using 11. Is this inaccurate?
Your assistance and expertise would be most helpful in clearing up any questions or misconceptions or speculation that have been floating around for some time.
Thank you for your time and continued patronage.