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  #1  
Old 04-30-2012, 03:04 AM
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MIKEROPHONICS MIKEROPHONICS is offline
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Default Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

Dear all

I took two kids (both7) to see Pirates, the new Aardman film in the Odeon in Richmond (London).
The playback level was horrendously low and I could regularly hear the cinema next door. Sometimes dialogue was obscured by popcorn crunching. The mix sounded just plain wrong at that level. I was very surprised as the cinema had obviously been upgraded since my last visit and now had digital projection (which did make the adverts sound a whole lot better than the usual optical nonsense)
I went to find the manager afterwards, in a positive way to find out what the playback level was. She was just anxious that she didn't want to refund me as I had watched the film. (which wasn't my point), After summoning "the tech" who claimed to know nothing and wouldn't let me have a look myself "due to health and safety" (poppycock), he eventually backed down from his claims that the entire film is just automated, to admitting the playback level is 4.5. They are allowed to raise it to 5 if complaints occur.

Before I go both guns blazing on a "angry from Twickenham" rant to the Odeon head office, perhaps some of our cinema brethren could educate me a bit more. Once digital film mastering has occurred, and it it in the hands of "the cinema", does it still go through a Dolby cp800 thingumy cinema box with a Dolby fader? Is there any potential to get it right?

By the way, despite piss poor sound replay, the film was total hoot and I can heartily ( no pun intended) recommend it. One of the best Aardman films in years - top drawer for kids and adults!

Cheers


Ps Ironically one old lady complained that the same screening level was too loud, but I think her hearing aids were on nitrous - which didn't help my complaint.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:06 AM
garnoil garnoil is offline
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

Kids movies are always played very. very low. I have a 7 year old kid and there has not been one movie that we watched that has ever played nowhere close to what it should be. When I play the same films in my studio (at a play back calibrated to 85dbC) from commercially available DVDs or even voting screaners, the levels are fine (same as any other film).

As far as hearing the movies next door while you watch in your theater, it is also the same here (I am in Canada) and this is simply poor architecture and acoustic design.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:43 AM
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MIKEROPHONICS MIKEROPHONICS is offline
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

I don't understand why Dolby are not all over this like a rash, or why AMPS etc are not campaigning (are they?).

Why do they even allow manual control of the fader? kind of makes a mockery of the whole calibrated mix room concept somewhat?

I was hoping to watch more movies in the cinema now my son is older, but if this is the case, I shall be sticking to my studio and blue ray etc. Sigh..
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

Dolby actually dictates a mixing level of 7, and when Dolby Consultants are present to print a MOD, they always check this level at our CP650.
I dont understand, why cinemas even get the possibility to change the playback level however they want.
They should get a device, that allows moderate changes, but nothing more.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

the 10dB I was experiencing was quite dramatic - to say the least.

anyone else able to chime in re digital playback equipment?
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

wonder if Andy Nelson et al read this board?
I have written to Aardman - Odeon next....

hoping to change the world...

cheers
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEROPHONICS View Post
wonder if Andy Nelson et al read this board?
I have written to Aardman - Odeon next....

hoping to change the world...

cheers
I recently watched a David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.The screening was in a newer built and well equipped Cinemateque Tel Aviv.
It was a DCP copy.The sound was rediculously soft. I could hardly hear the dialogs. The foley fx, such as upper body and some foot steps were just not noticible at all. I was rather irritated by the audience movement in a hall, than enjoying the movie.
I don't know what's wrong with it and I am glad that Mike chime in about this issue in London.
Also one thing is pretty constant IMHO.
I am pretty confident that most DCP movies have no solid sync between picture and sound. For me it's like shifting around 1 to 3 frames.
I compare it to the film copy, where the sync was always "locked" for my brain.
Is it only me? Mike sorry for hijacking your post, but I think it has something in common.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

This has been discussed a lot here lately. And it is a problem, in my opinion! How do we explain the moving target to a Director? I mixed a film where the Director was happy with the levels. Then they did a bunch of studio screenings and emailed me in a panic, "What happened to the mix? It is too quiet now?". I explained. He doesn't quite "get it" and still seems to think that I meesed up the ouput. We have the same issue now that it is a DCP in the theaters, the level is too low in every screening that he or the crew has been too.

Here are some recent threads:

http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t...ighlight=Level

http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=319839
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:42 PM
DJ Insomaniac DJ Insomaniac is offline
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

I had this happen to a short I mixed not too long ago. Every other short had been mixed by the same group, who I believe also had links to the people running the festival, and while all of there stereo mixes were loud and up front, my 5.1 was very clearly not playing as intended. I guess that's what I get for mixing it on a dub stage...
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Cinema Chains - sadness at poor levels

chains are terrified of lawsuits over short term(customers hearing) and long term (employees hearing).....its the f..n lawyers, .man///
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