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Old 08-11-2014, 12:38 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cincinnati OH
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Default OT: Question on my Dolby Atmos experience in a theater

I don't know if this should be moved to general discussion, but I wanted to get the perspective of some of you experienced engineers.

Basically, after all the hype about how amazing Atmos and other similar formats are supposed to sound, I wanted to check it out. The closest theater with Atmos was an hour and a half away, so I made the drive. I chose the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. I figured that would be a good one to check it out, with all the spaceships, laser guns, and so on.

So, bottom line, I was kind of underwhelmed, compared to what I expected. It basically sounded like a louder, more articulate 5.1 system. It was louder, with more clarity, similar to the difference in an Imax theater vs. a normal one. But the only situations I could kind of hear the effect were actually quiet scenes with ambience, like reverb in a large room, or rain, etc. I did also notice more pinpoint accuracy with on screen dialogue, etc., where the front speakers were concerned. But as far as the action scenes and out into the surrounds, not really what I would have expected.

However, because it was crowded, I was sitting on the left end of the middle section, not quite halfway back, near the railing that typically divides the front and back into two sections. I do find that even in regular theaters, I don't get as much surround effect when I sit there, because the front speakers kind of dominate.

So, my question is, is there a "sweet spot" in the theater for being able to hear the effect more, and what people are raving about? Perhaps maybe sitting farther back, in the same position that the re-recordist sits in the mix room? Or should it not matter much, and perhaps something was off in the presentation? I'm also wondering if the loudness factor could undo some of the subtleties (I find even regular Imax theaters uncomfortably loud, and this one was the same way).

On a positive note, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:18 PM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London
Posts: 978
Default Re: OT: Question on my Dolby Atmos experience in a theater

The only film I've seen in Atmos was the last Star Trek.
I felt that was uncomfortably loud too and didn't really use Atmos to 'wow'
the audience, (which it is certainly capable of doing from the demos I've heard and the one day I spent at Dolby trying it out).

I'm guessing a lot of these films are mixed 7.1 and the just have some Atmos tweaking on top, rather than being mixed for Atmos from the start?

I hope we'll see more films that are bespoke atmos and auro 3d mixed as more theatres are kitted out for the formats.
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