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  #11  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:18 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

Quote:
(I expect the dialog LUFS at 85dBspl to be -33 +/-3 ...)
I would agree with that Joachim, that's what my mixes come out at also.
It would be a good basis of a 'standard'.

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I know, that was why I created two different poll questions for predubs and finals. There are many other technical details that could have been covered, but in all honesty I'm not sure I would be able to interpret them nor find how relevant they are to the big picture, which is the recurring issue of cinema sound levels.
Understood, good that we're all on the same page.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:19 AM
yoerik roevens yoerik roevens is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

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Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post

At the end of the day I think we need an agreed loudness standard for film, similar to R128 in broadcast and we can get back to enjoying mixing.
Sorry to say, but that's a terrible idea. Only thing that must happen is that studio's and theaters start respecting the standards again.

Why is it a bad idea in short?

Loudness standard for broadcast is there so there are no big jumps between channels and stations. After all, the viewer has the remote and controls the listening level to taste. What happens if you use a loudness standard in a theater where the viewer cannot do this? A film like Mad Max or 300 will sound as loud or soft as a very quiet intimistic film. It`s like having a standard for concerts that says that a concert by Metallica should sound exactly as loud as a piano piece by Satie.

Keep in mind that R128 was developed specifically for broadcast and all tests where done at 65dBa (if I remember correct, it`s in the papers), which is way softer than cinema.

Keep in mind that R128 loudness metering is intended for programs with dynamic range smaller than +-20 dB (max 'range' you can measure is about 26 dB).

This summer I was sent a document by some Dutch guys who are trying to get loudness standards into cinema.

I did a small test which is very easy to setup, both with test tones/noises and actual footage.

1) I took a rough mix of a quiet short film I was working on, which measured -43.3 LUFS.
2) I boosted it with a MB compressor and limiter to -27.8 dB (which didn`t sound great, but still acceptable)
3) To both versions I added a 30s helicopter sound at a random spot in the film (same spot of course in both versions) of -16,9 LUFS
4) V1 (the quiet one) now measures - 19.7 LUFS, V2 (the compressed loud one) just -26.1 LUFS

So when working with dynamic material, it' s perfectly possible and very easy to make mixes that measure far less loudness, while they actually are much louder.

Besides, think of a theatre as a concert hall. You simply don't want every film to sound equally loud. That's exactly why the current standard is there and it should be defended by all means imo.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2017, 11:44 AM
yoerik yoerik is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

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Originally Posted by yoerik roevens View Post
This summer I was sent a document by some Dutch guys who are trying to get loudness standards into cinema.
to be slightly more precise, the paper was not so much about a loudness standard, but rather about maximum levels using loudness measuring, but that runs into exactly the same problems.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2017, 11:56 AM
yoerik yoerik is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

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Originally Posted by yoerik roevens View Post
...big jumps between channels and stations.
I can't edit right now as I'm logged in under another account, but of course I meant channels and programs
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:22 PM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

Don't get me wrong Yoerik, I totally agree with you, they should just turn back up to 7 and we could all be happy.

I don't know what the answer is? There is no overall body that could control what Cinema owners do anyway, so even if a new standard was set, it probably wouldn't be adhered to.
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2017, 04:57 AM
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Branko Branko is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead:
At the end of the day I think we need an agreed loudness standard for film, similar to R128 in broadcast and we can get back to enjoying mixing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoerik roevens View Post
Sorry to say, but that's a terrible idea. Only thing that must happen is that studio's and theaters start respecting the standards again.
Seems we quickly forgot some things from our recent history. Until the DCPs took over, we always lived with limitations, which is a true name for standards. Let me remind you:

While mixing for Dolby Digital (which has 20 dB of headroom over 85), we had to live with limitations - those of analog soundtracks (100% modulation was 6dB above 85) that served as a backup in case of DD failure during the playback in cinemas. Consequently, you could not make your mix louder than what was permitted by physical limitations of an optical soundtrack, because there would be a huge difference in levels, and "seamless switching" between analog and digital would be impossible. Dolby Consultants would attend print mastering sessions and assure this request was respected. The great difference between digital and analog was (apart from discrete surrounds and LFE) in transients.
Loudness wars started immediately after analog disappeared from our workflow - engineers were quick to fill the empty space above -20 FS and make "louder" mixes.

So, to recap, you cannot just simply go back to pre-DCP standards, because the conditions have changed, and there's nothing (and no one) to tell you where's the limit. As Cheesehead says, we need some new standards/limitations.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2017, 05:05 AM
Steven1145 Steven1145 is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

Branko, Phillip Newel reminded us of that also in an interesting article in the latest issue of Resolution.
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:49 AM
simonchase simonchase is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

I can't imagine any cinema chain will listen to a bunch of sound guys. But they'd listen to studio bosses. When we get the opportunity we need to encourage those up the food chain to step in. Their product is not being presented in the way they want it to be. Studio heads could even sanction cinema chains who don't playback the film as intended by the film makers with random spot checks by Dolby. Maybe CAS should make a representation to the big studios and see what can be done. Convince the studios that it's in their interest to police the cinema experience as they're being sold short.
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2017, 08:22 AM
yoerik roevens yoerik roevens is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

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Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
Don't get me wrong Yoerik, I totally agree with you, they should just turn back up to 7 and we could all be happy.

I don't know what the answer is? There is no overall body that could control what Cinema owners do anyway, so even if a new standard was set, it probably wouldn't be adhered to.
I totaly agree.

As far as I can see, the only solution would be a forced QC before films are allowed to be released in theaters. Such a QC department would be set up and led by people representing theaters as well as mixing studios and would check both playback and mixing levels.

Of course that seems like a very eutopic idea, but as far as I have been trying to see there's no possible way for automated QC or limiting tech specs within the dynamic realm of cinema. After all, mixing for film should about craftsmanship, artistry and taste, not about squeezing mixes into narrow boxes.
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2017, 08:23 AM
yoerik roevens yoerik roevens is offline
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Default Re: Cinema mixing levels poll

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Originally Posted by simonchase View Post
I can't imagine any cinema chain will listen to a bunch of sound guys. But they'd listen to studio bosses. When we get the opportunity we need to encourage those up the food chain to step in. Their product is not being presented in the way they want it to be. Studio heads could even sanction cinema chains who don't playback the film as intended by the film makers with random spot checks by Dolby. Maybe CAS should make a representation to the big studios and see what can be done. Convince the studios that it's in their interest to police the cinema experience as they're being sold short.
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