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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Lion King 2019 - soft volume (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Lion King 2019 - soft volume
Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 07-19-2019 03:30 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just pre-tested the movie and found that the volume is quite low compared to other movies.

I would suggest running it at least 1 fader step higher than your usual, maybe more. The opening song (same as in the original version) loses about 80% of its impact if it's played too soft.

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James Wyrembelski
Expert Film Handler

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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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 - posted 07-19-2019 03:47 PM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
THANK YOU

I thought it was just me....

I had MIB set at 4....Lion King is at 5.4

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 07-20-2019 04:47 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow. Low volume? On a movie like The Lion King?

I wonder if any of the people involved with this project watched the original 1994 animated film in a good quality theater playing the original Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. That one could never be associated with soft volume. It has been 25 years, but I can still clearly remember how the sound system at the GCC Northpark #1 theater in Dallas handled that mix. The explosive drum beat on the film's title card pounded the air in my chest. It was scary dynamic. The original "Dolby Stereo Digital" trailer that played on the front of it was thunderous as hell. The summer of 1994 had other movies with great, boisterous sound mixes, like True Lies.

Movie sound is now in a somewhat contrary place now. The digital audio tracks on a DCP have the capacity to play much higher quality audio than the lossy compressed formats introduced in the early 1990's. But back then when discrete digital surround sound was a new thing both the filmmakers and commercial movie theaters seemed to have more fun with it. The audio was more bombastic and chest pounding, especially in a good quality theater like the Northpark #1 THX house.

Today when I watch a movie in a commercial theater the experience is far more ordinary. I'll hear some things in the surrounds and clearly know the audio is 5.1 or 7.1. But most of the time the sound is turned way down. An audience member might experience some dynamics on an element like a gun shot or explosion in a premium priced house like IMAX or Dolby Cinema. But it's not startling and fun like it was in the old days.

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Sascha F. Roll
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From: Berlin, Berlin / Germany
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 - posted 07-20-2019 06:18 PM      Profile for Sascha F. Roll   Email Sascha F. Roll   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well if it's sounds a bit soft at 5.0 that perfectly makes sense as you're 6 to 7 dB below reference - play it at 7 as intended and it'll be fine.

Don't really see the problem.

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Steve Moore
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From: Leeds, West Yorks, UK
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 - posted 07-20-2019 07:46 PM      Profile for Steve Moore   Email Steve Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed here too. It's actually the first film I can remember playing with the fader at 7 in years; generally 5 or 5.5 is plenty loud enough for most tiles these days in our cinema.

It does not have the great impact that it did back on film, especially that final drum on the the opening version of "The circle of lies"

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Jarod Reddig
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From: Hays, Ks
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 - posted 07-20-2019 10:23 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Disneys near-field mixes have been soft here lately too. Damn it what is wrong with them?

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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-21-2019 12:50 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I doubt anything is "wrong" with Disney. It is more likely that everyone else has added so much compression and "sweetening" to the mixes of today that everything simply sounds loud and people are just getting used to playing with their fader set lower.

If you want to hear the mix sound like shit, just wait until it's on bluray after they have "near field remixed" it to poop and back. [puke]

I am with Sascha here...play it at 7 (or at least try 6) and see what happens.

Bobby - I seem to recall we ran the original Lion King at something like 7.5 or 8 on the fader at the GCC Northpark. It was a good SRD mix and could run louder than normal because of it.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 07-21-2019 02:28 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I certainly could not say what fader settings were used on The Lion King at the Northpark. But DAMN, the way the sound mix thundered through that sound system was really impressive. The title card moment at the front and end of the movie is iconic for just how "holy shit" dynamic it sounded. Add to that the thunder taking place in a huge 1000+ seat auditorium. There's a lot more in the movie than just the title card stuff. And, yes, it's hasn't been remotely the same on DVD and Blu-ray. The dynamics have been very toned down. It's all dynamics compression hell. Make all the quiet scenes louder than they need to be and all the bombastic moments far less so. It's as if the same disease that has infected popular music production has spilled over into movies. They're mixing the show as if we're going to listen to it over a HAM radio.

I never did get to tour the booth at the Northpark, although Ron Beardmore did put the offer out there one of the times I met him there back in the early 1990's. IIRC, I had talked to one of the staffers there about how much I was impressed by presentation quality and that led to a conversation in the lobby with Ron who happened to be there at the time. I wish I would have taken him up on the offer. I didn't figure the theater would be closed just a few years later.
[Frown]

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James Wyrembelski
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From: Beaverton, MI, USA
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 - posted 07-21-2019 02:39 PM      Profile for James Wyrembelski   Email James Wyrembelski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Got an email from Deluxe regarding sound level, requesting all theaters set their sound to 7.

That would blow my room apart.

I have it set above 5, one kid had to leave due to the loud lion roars scaring him.

The mix is odd in my opinion. The lion roars are quite loud and room shaking, yet some of the music seems restrained. Dialogue is generally even, though some parts seem a bit too faint comparing the normal dialogue level. And agree with Mike, if its even just a tad bit too low the intro music is quite underwhelming.

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Brent Barnhart
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From: Terre Haute, IN USA
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 - posted 07-21-2019 04:04 PM      Profile for Brent Barnhart   Author's Homepage   Email Brent Barnhart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed. We can’t touch anything above 5.5 or we would blow the walls off the place.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 07-21-2019 04:42 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm running ours at 6.1. Usually we play around 4.8 to 5.0. It all depends on the dialogue.

quote: Sascha F. Roll
Well if it's sounds a bit soft at 5.0 that perfectly makes sense as you're 6 to 7 dB below reference - play it at 7 as intended and it'll be fine.

Don't really see the problem.

It's not a "problem," it's just a "difference" from many other movies at this point in time. We play almost all of our movies between 4.5 and 5.1, but this one didn't sound good here (to me) until 6.1. I tried it at 7 and thought it was too loud. Again, I let the dialogue rule the day. The songs sound nice and loud and the "talking" is in the normal range where you don't think it's too loud.

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Ron Curran
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 - posted 07-21-2019 09:16 PM      Profile for Ron Curran   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Curran   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Lion King film was before quad and it was Dolby Digital We had not installed DD at that time, so ran it in SR. I remember staff rushing into the theatre to hear the opening - it was so impressive.
I don't think I will ever be as awed as I was with mag stereo back in the day.

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William Kucharski
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From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
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 - posted 07-22-2019 09:02 AM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Moore
Agreed here too. It's actually the first film I can remember playing with the fader at 7 in years; generally 5 or 5.5 is plenty loud enough for most tiles these days in our cinema.
This is why I see fewer and fewer movies in theatres these days.

Everything should be played at 7, period.

Unless your installers messed up your calibration, the surround processor was calibrated to a certain level in the theater at 7, and the mixers mix with processors set to 7.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 07-22-2019 09:20 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Such a simplistic view of sound. It would be nice if one could simply use one metric (overall SPL) to evaluate subjective sound levels without regard to acoustics, frequency, distortion, 1st arrival versus reflected, decay time...etc.

The only way your statement would be true is if the theatre closely resembled the sound stage it was mixed on, down to the size, equipment, acoustics. The further you depart from that the less true it becomes (hence the original concept behind the THX program).

And even then, it also depends on the person mixing the movie and what they thought was a tolerable level and whatever hearing fatigue they were suffering from due to being at that level for the duration of the mix.

If most theatres played most movies at 7.0 (period), while they may gain you and a percentage of other patrons, they'd lose 75% of their existing patrons and likely find legislation being introduced to combat excessive levels in theatres and turn that into a government regulation.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 07-22-2019 10:03 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: William Kucharski
and the mixers mix with processors set to 7
Well, they don't.

http://www.associationdesmixeurs.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NIVEAU-DE-MIXAGE-CINEMA.pdf

- Carsten

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