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Walk The Line DTS Sound Track

793 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TekWorm
I know there is another thread with a review on this DVD, but I didn't want to comment on the whole movie (which I thought was good), only this horribly mixed sound track. I was actually surprised this type of movie was offered in DTS when so many that would greatly benefit from a DTS track do not. I set up the disc and started to play it with my wife sitting next to me. The bass was so strong in the opening scene in the prison, my wife thought I had turned the shacker on that is hooked up to the couch. It was ridiculously loud, so much so I actually turned the sub down a few notches. Then a music scene came on and the whole thing again was really loud. I then turned down the master volume so it was at a normal listening level. To my surprise, we couldn't hear the dialog after they stopped playing, so I turned it up until the next music scene where it was again blasting through my system. After about an hour or so of this, I went back to the setup menu and selected 5.1. Everything was fine after that. I have never experienced a DTS mix like this. The bass in the opening scene nearly rivaled WOTW except it wasn't a sustained rumble, just pulsing, but the fact that the vocals were so out of wack with the rest of the movie (in DTS) makes me think this may have been a bad disc.
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While I agree that the musical performance scenes were a little loud on the DTS track, I think it was intentional and done for effect.

Other than that, I had no real issues with the DTS audio track. Dialog was clear and balanced. Music sounded great.

Have you calibrated your speaker levels lately?
Aside from the sub which I play with from time to time and go by my ear more than the SPL meter, as of 6 months ago when I last checked, all the speakers were fine. Also I have not experienced this with other discs like Black Hawk Down, WOTW, Star Wars, Master and Comander. This is the first time I had a problem with the dialog being to low when I lowered the master volume due to a really loud scene.
When going by ear, big bass when you are expecting big bass (WoTW, SW, MC, BHD) doesn't sound out of place. But big bass when it is uncalled for signifies an issue.

I used to have my sub behind my couch (not ideal, acoustically speaking, for the layout of my room), and my gain up way too high. I watched The Island one night, and the bass in music in the very opening sequence was just way over the top. It turns out it was a combination of having the sub too hot and bumpy frequency (with the bass in the music falling right in the range with that extra boost). I would only notice it sounding bad or unnatural in a few places in movies, and that was one of them. It also sounded bad and boomy with a lot of music, which is why I found a different spot for the sub.

I suggest getting Avia and an SPL meter, checking your frequency response with the sweep tones (to see if it's flat, or if you have big peaks that are only noticeable in places like you mention), experimenting with LP/sub position if there are peaks, and calibrating your sub to your speakers (or a few dB over if you listen at lower volumes). Of course, you are free to not do any of that. :)
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The DTS bass track for the opening was extremely hot. I rather enjoyed it, but nearly got up and turned it down. I got used to it fairly quickly and as said, I felt it was used for effect.
We just watched this last night (on my new Ascend 340s/170s + VTF-3 Mk2). Yes, the live music scenes were hot/loud. Ever been to a live music show? That's what it sounds like, and it sounded very real. The musical performances in this film sounded great. I loved the upright bass, slapping those notes out. The sound was fine for me - just very big sound for the musical performances. We watched at about -15 with the DTS (using Avia to calibrate - relates to -12 using receiver tones), and the dialog was clear and sounded great. It was a little low at times at this volume setting, though, and I did turn up the volume a few notches for dialog during a few parts.

If I was in an apartment, I would have been riding the volume on the remote a lot, or switched to DD and put on mild DRC as well.
I agree that the bass sounded very real to me, comparing it to live concerts etc. I never had a moment where i had to adjust volume (sub or master) like described here. Makes me wonder if it's a setup thing...?
My 2....

Many reviewers & my musician friends agree, that the Dolby track of this film is far superior to the DTS.

A "used-to-be" Country player, myself, I grew-up thru the era covered and cut my teeth on this music.

I personally feel the Dolby track more honestly presented the sound of the "early" Johnny Cash & band.

I'm a DTS fanatic... but it isn't always the answer.

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