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#21121 - 12/05/03 11:18 AM Re: Two Towers/Rings
Spiker Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/29/03
Posts: 297
Loc: Middle Earth
Wayne:

Please do me a favor. Do a side by side comparison between Helms Deep wall explosion and Star Wars, Attack of the Clones when senator Amedala’s shuttle craft explodes at the beginning of the movie. It will only take a few minutes. Put the audio settings at normal listening level as it would be in an average household. After all, these DVDs are made for those households to get the most sales, aren’t they?

Once you’ve done the comparison, please tell me which sound you liked better.
In my opinion, one felt like I was hit with a cotton ball the other with a sledgehammer. I’m just looking for opinions to see if I’m alone on this.

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#21122 - 12/06/03 02:22 AM Re: Two Towers/Rings
Wayne Charlton Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 203
.

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#21123 - 12/07/03 01:43 PM Re: Two Towers/Rings
boblinds Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/07/03
Posts: 242
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
At the "creation" stage of the game, DVD and the "average household" couldn't be farther from these guy's minds. What IS on their minds are the Acadamy nominations for best sound design and the Acadamy members experience these films in a cinema that conforms to industry standards - RIGIDLY


My two cents (not intending to be critical of Wayne's post, but just to use it as a springboard):

I think this statement reflects too little respect for the sound engineers and too much respect for the Academy voters.

When engineers are creating a soundtrack, their preeminent concerns are the creative desires of the director and producer -- NOT whether or not they'll win an Academy Award.

Academy voters see films in a wide variety of theatrical contexts -- when they see the films AT ALL -- and, oftentimes, just on a DVD player at home.

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#21124 - 12/08/03 12:22 AM Re: Two Towers/Rings
Spiker Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/29/03
Posts: 297
Loc: Middle Earth
Wayne:

Thank you for expressing your opinion. That’s what I was hoping to see – more people putting in their 2 cents. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Mine just happens to differ from yours since this DVD experience can be subjective.

I’d say that wall explosion scene didn’t have enough punch considering how visually spectacular it was (I’ve mentioned this earlier in this thread). There seem to be a bit of imbalance between sight and sound in my opinion. I brought up the example of Star Wars DVD for the sake of clarifying my point about the balance (when heard through same equipment). I’ll be careless whether audio engineers do side by side comparison in their studio or not.
Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne Charlton:
[B]The "Helm's Deep" explosion is not seen as one hundred feet away (as is the case for the transport explosion in Star Wars AOTC) but rather from a half mile away. The Star Wars ship is made of metal and the explosive is "God knows what"? The wall of "Helm's Deep" is rock and the explosive is gun powder. The landing platform in Star Wars is a mile up in the sky. The wall at "Helm's Deep" encloses a stone fortress hune of the bedrock, at the base of a mountain, etc., etc.
B]

I don’t know how you can get such accurate information from watching DVD. Perhaps you can share some DVD features I may have missed out. I couldn’t tell if it was 100 or even 50 feet. BTW, there are multiple shots during that wall explosion. At early stage of the explosion, they show a close up of the wall coming apart, then some people’s faces and bodies, then a shot that appears to be about one football field length away. Calling that a half mile may be stretching it. Also, the explosive may be some kind of gun powder like. I don’t know. Judging from images like cave trolls and Belrock (spell?) swinging a flame sword (an ancient version of light saver perhaps?) and whip, it could’ve been something more fantastic. Anyway, I get your point. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie. As is the case in reality, no movie is perfect. In The Fellowship of the Ring, a noticeable bump is when Belrock falls from the bridge. It looks like there was a visual hiccup. Still, I liked the movie.

Thanks for your time and input.

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#21125 - 12/08/03 10:41 AM Re: Two Towers/Rings
curegeorg Offline
Desperado

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 1012
Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
when i watched the movie that scene seemed a pretty good fit for the rest of the movie. not that any of its sound was spectacular... some movies are driven by sound, special effects, etc. and obviously lor does not want to be pigeon holed into that type of movie. they chose a more subtle approach, and kudos to them because the series is very good. the more compelling question is why couldnt legalos shoot that guy with the bomb, i mean he didnt miss at any point of the entire movies, so why now all of a sudden could he not kill the guy. i would have liked to see the dwarf jump down and hit the guy in head with his axe... :-) oh hed have to be tied to a rope so they could pull him back up.
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#21126 - 12/09/03 03:02 PM Re: Two Towers/Rings
stabie Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 93
Loc: Austin, TX US
Hi all,
I decided to do a quick measurement on the two towers vs attack of the clones. I only powered the sub-woofer. All other channels were set to small @60Hz. The results...

LOTR Dam breaking: 106db
Scene right after with bird flaps 105db

Attack of clones clone war 110db

So the quick answer is, ATOC has louder bass.
Both rattled the walls, with ATOC more at
the louder levels. ATOC had many more "events" that achieved this louder level as well.
So if your looking for thunderous bass, ATOC
wins. I still prefer LOTR as a movie, as I feel the story & acting is better.

I'm sure the measurement quality is weak. I doubt if the SPL meter was really meant to measure in thie frequency range. Mainly, I used the same position & range for the meter.

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#21127 - 12/12/03 08:52 PM Re: Two Towers/Rings
Wayne Charlton Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 203
.

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#21128 - 12/23/03 11:27 AM Re: Two Towers/Rings
bestbang4thebuck Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 668
Loc: Maryland
A few words on explosive sound … having lived in the Middle East on the fringes of, and occasionally right in the fabric of, short battles, I have: had a mortar round hit the ground exploding about 50 feet away while I and my family were in the car; driven through a mile wide valley on a dirt road at night suddenly to find myself very near six to twelve mobile artillery (they are similar to “tanks,” but have less armor and larger guns) arrayed in the field near the road as they began a steady outgoing barrage (in the midst of the ‘flash and thunder’ all around, I didn’t stop to count how many pieces of artillery were firing); spent time in a bomb shelter several meters underground listening to the low rumbling of explosions coming through the ground; seen and heard what appears to be a thunderstorm a few miles away on a cloudy night, but was actually an artillery duel; plus other occurrences that would take many words to describe. I’m certain some who have served in the military have even greater experience with this.

In any case, I feel that the SW2-AOTC sound was less authentic, but better at conveying the intensity of a nearby explosion. To make it more real, the experience would have had to stun the audience and at least temporarily leave them with ringing ears and partial hearing loss. As in the theory of gunshot sounds in some films (if you need to see a pistol firing, use a rifle sound; if you need to see a rifle fire, use a shotgun sound; etc.), the SW sound seemed to be built of several layered sounds that do not occur together naturally, but do give a desired impression.

The LOTR-TT explosion was very close to the feeling/sound of a distant explosion. For LOTR-TT, I heard and felt the sudden rumble of an explosion at a distance, but without the higher intensity concussive sound that would ‘slap’ you and make your ears bleed had you been ‘closer’ to the explosion. IMO, this was closer to explosion-at-moderate-distance authentic.

As often happens, sounds that attempt to be ‘actual’ do not make as much of a theatrical impression as those that are enhanced for greater audience impact.

- - - - - - - - - -

Regarding Dolby vs. DTS, on the very limited number of DVD’s I have heard that have both, the DTS gave me a better impression in some cases, while in other cases the two seemed roughly equivalent, which leaves me with a mild preference for the DTS. I would like to see more releases with DTS available, just so that a comparison can be made and the track that you favor can be used.

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#21129 - 12/23/03 04:09 PM Re: Two Towers/Rings
Spiker Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/29/03
Posts: 297
Loc: Middle Earth
There is a difference between movie and documentary. I doubt anyone would argue that we find movie listings from entertainment pages. For the sake of entertaining, they may very well use (within legal limits) what makes people tick, whether the sound is authentic or manipulated. It may not always work perfectly but I’m all for exploring sound effects that stimulate viewers in ways that it conveys the director’s idea efficiently for a given scene.

IMO, LOTR are all well made movies overall. They are more entertaining than most movies that came out in recent years.


[This message has been edited by Spiker (edited December 23, 2003).]

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#21130 - 12/23/03 04:24 PM Re: Two Towers/Rings
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
Quote:
As often happens, sounds that attempt to be ‘actual’ do not make as much of a theatrical impression as those that are enhanced for greater audience impact.


Reminds me of one of soundhound's threads -- his assortment of "lively" sound effects that included actual recordings of a Harrier for use in True Lies. As I recall, he mentioned that the real Harrier recording (and anyone who's been around a Harrier in flight knows they have a distinctive sound) was rejected by James Cameron and more generic jet engine noises substituted.

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