Sound City

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
Jarvis
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:38 am
Location: the new york

Sound City

Post by Jarvis » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:24 am

I watched Sound City on video with my sister today. Loved the first 3/4s of it. Is it just me (and my sis), or a bad dupe or what, but the audio was horrible! Music blasting and dialogue indecipherable. Yes, my ears have been through the ringer (I regret nothing) but a film about audio quality and they couldn't throw on a little compression to even out the volume? I question my hearing on a regular basis but this seemed inexcusable. Tell me I'm wrong.
Apologies to the makers. I will never be as famous as you but I was all WTF.
Ivan the Threadstopper

User avatar
tjcasey1
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:10 am
Location: Boston
Contact:

Post by tjcasey1 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:57 am

I watched it in my living room on an audiophile surround system and the sound worked great - I didn't have to ride the gain at all. Of course, it was fairly loud, like in a theater.

Other folks have complained about the wildly varying volume, though, so you're not crazy. Maybe the stereo mix isn't very good, or maybe the soundtrack doesn't translate well on a normal playback device.

If you ever do get the chance to watch it on a killer system, go for it. You'll love it.

MoreSpaceEcho
zen recordist
Posts: 6464
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 11:15 am

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:09 am

saw it in the theater and as far as i can remember the sound was ok there.

but we've watched other stuff at home that's had terrible sound. there was some sophia coppola movie ms morespace insisted we watch....we had to turn it all the way up, and even then, after 5 minutes we had to put the subtitles on because the audio for the dialogue was so bad.

ms morespace used to be a filmmaker, so she was ranting and raving about the shitty sound. and the punchline is....we're watching the credits and all the sound/post was done at skywalker sound. i ask you: how is this possible?

kingtoad
pushin' record
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:12 am

Post by kingtoad » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:44 am

I saw it at home and my experience was exactly the same - blaring music and inaudible dialogue. I guess they did it to make the music sound more impressive, which might have worked in the cinema but was just annoying on a small TV speaker.
Hippocratic Mastering: Do No Harm to your carefully recorded and mixed audio.

http://www.hippocraticmastering.com/

MoreSpaceEcho
zen recordist
Posts: 6464
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 11:15 am

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:51 am

so many movies are like that. super annoying at home. i'm considering hooking an RNC up to the stereo just so we can watch movies without having to ride the damn volume the whole time.

User avatar
Gregg Juke
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3537
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by Gregg Juke » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:00 pm

Yeah, that is a pain. My understanding is that they mix everything at very low volumes, so you'd think that they would have a good grasp on what's up, but also they are pushing the envelope constantly on music, SFX, and Foley, so sometimes the dialogue (you know, the important part) gets buried. Also, it seems like 5.1 and 7.1 is where they're spending their time, so those of us watching playback with only stereo get shafted. It's so different in the theater, because there are so many speakers and everything is so loud most of the time...

I wonder what insights Bob O. could bring to this? (he worked in film for quite a few years after Motown)

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9103
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:43 pm

Anyone notice how so many recent releases don't even give the option of stereo? It's all 5.1 now, etc.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
JGriffin
zen recordist
Posts: 6739
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:44 pm
Location: criticizing globally, offending locally
Contact:

Post by JGriffin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:30 pm

I suppose it's possible that an indie release like Sound City (or the Sofia Coppola flick) might not have had the budget for a separate home video mix. In the theater you can have the loud excitey parts considerably louder than the dialog bits, and still run the show hot enough that people can hear the dialog. You can take advantage of the wide dynamic range of the digital playback system. For a home setup, a narrower dynamic range is probably better but if the film's budget doesn't allow for another mix, you are going to be stuck with turning the volume up and down.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

MoreSpaceEcho
zen recordist
Posts: 6464
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 11:15 am

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:06 pm

totally makes sense. but wouldn't you think if they had the budget to go to skywalker sound in the first place, they could swing the extra bucks for the home mix?

honkyjonk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2182
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Portland

Post by honkyjonk » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:59 pm

Or maybe the extra few bucks to have some hack intern throw a compressor plug on the 2 buss?
Stilgar, we've got wormsign the likes of which God has never seen!

User avatar
iC
pushin' record
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:25 pm
Location: Rockland NY
Contact:

Post by iC » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:30 pm

Skywalker Sound takes on no-budget work very consistently....
http://www.skysound.com/credits/feature_film/
And I suspect, just like we deal with on amateur recordings, the pig still looks like a pig even with Princess Leia's lipstick on it.....
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
R. Buckminster Fuller

User avatar
JGriffin
zen recordist
Posts: 6739
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:44 pm
Location: criticizing globally, offending locally
Contact:

Post by JGriffin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:09 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:totally makes sense. but wouldn't you think if they had the budget to go to skywalker sound in the first place, they could swing the extra bucks for the home mix?
A valid question.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

Bro Shark
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 653
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: SF

Post by Bro Shark » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:17 pm

DG probably wanted the music to be BLARING LOUD. I mean, listen to Foo Fighters. No wait, don't do that.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: drumsound and 69 guests