ATMOS/DTS X Movie ratings by Overhead Channel usage

Montro25

Standard Member
I want to start a thread about this subject. This is a big issue with Dolby ATMOS movies. Basically most movies don't have a good ATMOS Mix. They turn out to have just regular 360 degree sound field which you already get with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 7.1 for the most part.

ATMOS is supposed to add height to the sound so that you get a 3D effect but a lot of movie studios are barely using this feature specially after marketing ATMOS all over the place and having people spend a lot of money in these audio systems. We need to hold these movie studios accountable for their bad ATMOS mixes!

As far as I've looked there's no website that dedicates itself to rating or reviewing Dolby ATMOS content.

There's a lot of videos on YouTube about the best ATMOS movies recommendations etc. but I found a video that discredits those claims about best ATMOS movies with films like John Wick 2, Godzilla, Alita and Mad Max.

In this video "Stop the FOMO" guy disconnects all channels except the height channels to determine how much ATMOS height content there is in these movies. YOU WILL BE SURPRICED!

Dolby ATMOS Overhead Effects? You’re Not Missing Much


If anyone is able to continue to do tests like this on different movies and post their findings here in some form of rating or review this would help all of us 3D Audioholics choose the best movies for audio entertainment! Let the fun begin! Post your findings below!
 

lostinspace

Well-known Member
Thanks for posting the video.

I have to admit I am underwhelmed by Atmos, and now I know why. Before watching the video I put it down to having tall front speakers and upwards firing speakers on top of them.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I want to start a thread about this subject. This is a big issue with Dolby ATMOS movies. Basically most movies don't have a good ATMOS Mix. They turn out to have just regular 360 degree sound field which you already get with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 7.1 for the most part.

ATMOS is supposed to add height to the sound so that you get a 3D effect but a lot of movie studios are barely using this feature specially after marketing ATMOS all over the place and having people spend a lot of money in these audio systems. We need to hold these movie studios accountable for their bad ATMOS mixes!

As far as I've looked there's no website that dedicates itself to rating or reviewing Dolby ATMOS content.

There's a lot of videos on YouTube about the best ATMOS movies recommendations etc. but I found a video that discredits those claims about best ATMOS movies with films like John Wick 2, Godzilla, Alita and Mad Max.

In this video "Stop the FOMO" guy disconnects all channels except the height channels to determine how much ATMOS height content there is in these movies. YOU WILL BE SURPRICED!

Dolby ATMOS Overhead Effects? You’re Not Missing Much


If anyone is able to continue to do tests like this on different movies and post their findings here in some form of rating or review this would help all of us 3D Audioholics choose the best movies for audio entertainment! Let the fun begin! Post your findings below!

His system is most likely badly setup. I get tonnes of overhead use!!
 

famasfilms

Banned
His system is most likely badly setup. I get tonnes of overhead use!!

Surely configuration has nothing to do with it if every other channel is disconnected? There's no other sounds to drown out the atmos channels. All he has to do is make sure they're plugged in and the AVR is set to an audible volume
 

KBD

Well-known Member
I'm not surprised, the movie makers are quickly grabbing cash by 'remastering' stuff as cheaply as they can.

not exactly related, but still funny to me:
Lemmy wrote that when Motörhead were invited to Top of the Pops they were told to remix or re-record the song they were going to perform. So they stood in the 'studio' & drank beer instead of actually doing anything.
He claimed that's what every band did.
 

famasfilms

Banned
I'm not surprised, the movie makers are quickly grabbing cash by 'remastering' stuff as cheaply as they can.

not exactly related, but still funny to me:
Lemmy wrote that when Motörhead were invited to Top of the Pops they were told to remix or re-record the song they were going to perform. So they stood in the 'studio' & drank beer instead of actually doing anything.
He claimed that's what every band did.

Eh? Wasn't TOTP nearly always bands miming over a backing tape?
 

KBD

Well-known Member
Yeah, I have no idea why they even wanted the artists to re-create the song, & I guess neither did the artists.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Surely configuration has nothing to do with it if every other channel is disconnected? There's no other sounds to drown out the atmos channels. All he has to do is make sure they're plugged in and the AVR is set to an audible volume
Atmos is only used to add atmospheric effects, go and stand outside and pay attention to how much stuff comes from a above your head, the answer is not much.

Atmos works brilliantly for me, anyone how disagrees is welcome to come and have a demo at mine, I’m 100% certain anyone who listens will agree with me.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Atmos is only used to add atmospheric effects, go and stand outside and pay attention to how much stuff comes from a above your head, the answer is not much.

Atmos works brilliantly for me, anyone how disagrees is welcome to come and have a demo at mine, I’m 100% certain anyone who listens will agree with me.

I think many people misunderstand how Atmos works - it's not supposed to be totally overhead stuff, but the overheads help 'lift' and direct sound within a 3D bubble - effectively like using a stereo pair to create a phantom centre and anywhere between. So many sounds emanating from the overhead speakers will naturally be subtle, they are helping some of what is being played in the base layer to be steered within the bubble - it would be rare indeed for all sound to come from an overhead speaker with little in the base layer.

One of the few times I've heard sound coming directly from the overheads, and little else, was when you demo'd A Quiet Place to me - this was a distinct 'alien walking' sound coming from above, and nowhere else - which captured perfectly, the sound of the alien moving around upstairs.

Even helicopters flying overhead aren't just going to light up the overheads and nothing else, that would be totally unrealistic - and yet it seems that is what some people are expecting to come from their system! :rolleyes: The system is designed to work as a whole - you can't just go switching parts of it off and expect any meaningful results!

My move to Atmos was one of the best things I've done sound-wise.
 

KBD

Well-known Member
regarding ambient sounds:
There's a noise-canceling feature in my automobile's sound-system.
Unfortunately I had to disable it when I installed an after-market amplifier, because the noise-canceling sounds from my speakers were also amplified & very apparent when the sound-system wasn't even activated.
Before I installed the amp there was always ambient sound in reverse 'polarity' from the road noise.
 

Jason56d

Well-known Member
Initially I was underwhelmed by Atmos. But after watching a few demo tracks where the overheads were more pronounced, I appreciated it a lot more.

I only have 2 ceiling speakers, (and that was with tricking the wife, so 4 or more is a definite no! :D ), but there are plenty of times I have been very impressed with overheads. I agree about A Quiet Place, the creature upstairs is very good, but then sound (or lack of it) is the main element of that film so you'd expect it to be very good.

Couple of movies that immediately spring to mind that have good examples of overhead sound are Dwayne Johnson's Jumanji & Deepwater Horizon. Both decent enough films.

In Jumanji, when the characters die and respawn, the respawn sound comes just from the overheads and is quite loud! Made us jump, then smile.

Deepwater Horizon is in the helicopter scene when they are travelling to the oil rig not long into the film. It's a good work out for your system. Front L & R and Surrounds are dealing with the rotors, very effectively, and the actual engine noise is coming from the overheads. Then your sub gets to show it's beans as well! I was very impressed with the separation and it is now one of my demo scene's to show friends and family.

No, Atmos is not an all action part of the sound track, it's meant to be more subtle and ambient. But when it's done right, it's very very good.
 

JustinT350

Active Member
Good thread. I posted this in the other thread with a couple of examples


I would agree that most Blu-ray's with Atmos are a bit underwhelming, but there is definitely an additional layer of sound there. I almost prefer some of the upmixers which help enhance it.

A few examples I'd suggest are

Everest - Storm scene. Definitely wind and rain noises, thunder etc.
Deepwater Horizon - explosion scene. Atmos effects throughout
A Quiet Place - the bath scene after she walks down the stairs
Hans Zimmer in Prague - outstanding disc all round. Lots of crowd\instrument sounds

There used to be a brilliant YouTube channel where the guy played a Blu-ray but only had his Atmos speakers connected and he recorded the sound, which he then reviewed. From memory Aquaman was full of Atmos. I can't seem to see the channel now though?
 

The latest video from AVForums

Paramount + UK launch: Halo, Star Trek and Beavis, and all the latest 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom