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Sound Quality of Raiders of Lost Ark

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by FoxyMulder, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder
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    Before i begin let me say i'm a huge fan it's my favourite film of all time and i was very much looking forward to this boxed set, it was my understanding that they were doing a complete re-mix from start and that the films would sound superb, i watched Raiders last Friday and again on the Saturday thats almost 100 times i have watched it now including 4 times at the cinema.

    The Picture is ok but there are points where it seems to go out of focus, try the cave scene at the beginning of the film with the spiders and the whole film seems darker than i can ever recall it being.

    Sound wise i don't believe this is top notch as many reviews have claimed, the sound is compressed and the bassline sounds boomy in many scenes and not clear high quality bass, the opening scene with the gun click and Indiana cracking his whip just does not sound as good as it could have been, its a remix for the home version so why doesn't the whip travel from right front speaker to centre and exit via rear left, besides that i believe the ProLogic mix of this scene on VHS tape sounded better.
    The bar fight scene is lacking real power and weight and control that i have come to expect from a quality sound mix, overall i just felt the sound was compressed and not open and high end as i expected it to be, now maybe a DTS mix could have added a little more openess and sweetened the mix up but that we'll never know, i'm disappointed my favourite film of all time isn't as good as i hoped or expected it to be.

    Now Close Encounters of The Third Kind is an older film yet sounds better, my point is we waited years for them to put Raiders out and they have had years to get it right and i feel underwhelmed by what has been released, picture is ok but the sound mix is lacking and what happened to the deleted scenes which we know exist why weren't they included on the extra's disc it's been a long long wait for Indiana Jones and they could have done better..
     
  2. keiths

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    I too feel that the sound isn't as good as I had been hoping for. In addition to the problems FoxyMulder mentions, I have a real problem in setting a volume level that's high enough for the dialogue to be intelligible without it getting way too loud during the louder sequences. (I got the SPL meter out and rechecked the levels and found them to be spot on). Still a great dvd package though.
     
  3. Nobber22

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    Forget the SPL and increase the centre's volume a few notches until it sounds better to your ears. I always increase the centre speaker by 3db when I watch Seven R2. Then I set it back when I watch something else.
     
  4. keiths

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    Aye, that's what I did - but it's a pain to remember to set it back again afterwards!
     
  5. lentini

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    I had a feeling of slight disappointment when I watched Raiders last night. I know the film is over 20 years old but the transfer did suffer from a bit of grain, particularly the opening credits.

    I noticed this too, and another part where Indy and Marion are on the steps right at the end of the film. The top third of the screen is out of focus.


    I find this to be a problem on most of my THX 'optimzied' DVD's.
     
  6. Paul Young

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    I have not bought the set yet but happen to see the beginning of the ROTLA R2 in the Virgin megastore. I also saw that the spider on the back of alfred scene was soft and out of focus or the contrast was twicked and now i hear that the end is out of focus. I thought this was remastered frames by frames ? This not on ! How about 2 and 3 disc any problems?
     
  7. mjn

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    i thought the sound and picture were pretty good, however i did notice some pixelation in the middle of the film....but i suspect thats my useless Sony DVD.
     
  8. lentini

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    The general picture quality IS really good, it's just parts like the 'spider on the back' scene that let it down.
     
  9. Phil Hinton

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    I think you could get things into perspective regarding the age of the print and the sound.
    The comments regarding little things like the spider scene were noted in my review of the set, but considering this is 20 odd year old I think they have done a fantastic job with the print, it looks brilliant, even on a 7.5ft screen!
    The sound mix is also miles ahead of the old mix ( I compared bits from the THX Ultimate demo and the new releases). On my system (Tag av32r,M&K's, Rotel amp and SVS sub) it sounded sublime with the new mix making a huge difference. Try the snake pit scene for some brilliant mix work with thunder and hissing of the snakes, brilliant stuff! It wont however sound as good as something created yesterday as the technology is now far ahead of what they had in the 1980's, but they have done better then I was expecting.

     
  10. FoxyMulder

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    My Opinion is they made us wait soooooooo long for these and the age of the films is no excuse, the technology exists for doing better more exciting remixes and it still sounded compressed and artificial in many instances although i grant u the snake temple scene sounded good.
     
  11. Jeff

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    The colour and detail often outclasses good quality new releases. Great stuff.
     
  12. Phil Hinton

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    It didn't sound compressed to me, but what I was trying to point out in my post above is that the original stems they will have remixed from were made back in 1982 and they did lack the overall dynamics found on todays soundtracks. The only way to improve this would be to completely re-record the entire soundtrack on up to date equipment including ADR stuff (I think you would find Indy would sound quite a bit older than he does in the original stems.) As re-recording is out of the question, then what we get IS the best they could hope to achieve. Maybe this lack of dynamics is what you mean by compressed?
     
  13. FoxyMulder

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    Yep lack of dynamics would be a good way to put it, also think it would have been nice to have deleted scenes on the extras disc, i guess maybe i'm being too fussy cos it is my favourite film of all time.
     
  14. anephric

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    no, that's just naff and lazy Luca$film for you:

    Same story when they brought out Star Wars "Definitive" Trilogy on laserdisc:

    $249.99 retail: film was great quality apart from the fact Empire was missing about 10 seconds cos somebody at luca$film couldn't be bothered to program the telecine right, and the extras were cobbled together ballsacks.

    Utter rip off: still, s'pose we were lucky they released it at all, considering the shabby treatment dvd fans have got.

    What is it with Luca$ and dvd?: he seems to be in constant fob-off mode.

    And does the Indy trilogy have the shabbiest animated menus or what? Nice Paintbox fx, mmm, that watercolour effect took about 4 seconds to render.

    nadgers!

    regards,
    anephric
     
  15. Smurfin

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    Moan moan bloody moan:mad: :rolleyes:

    Personally I thought the menus were good, very unique...:)
     
  16. Semiskimmed1976

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    I was well impressed with the film - the last time I watched these films was years ago, and to my mind i can't remember them looking this good..!! I must admit, the sound at times was difficult, esp to hear the vocals above the effects...because i'm partially deaf, it even made me check to see if my hearing aids were in working order :)

    Still i'm pleased with the set esp the extra's and the menu looking shoddy?? Personally it's to my taste...I suppose the only thing you can question is whether your expectations were too high?? But each to their own...
     
  17. grey torq

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    I would be interested to know what equipment you have to make these comments on the soundtrack.

    Through my Denon 3803 with the R1 disks I was very impressed with the sound especially considering all three films were presented in stereo at the cinema. The surrond effects in the Last Crusade especially were superb and you could tell they had been deliberately remixed to give great surround pans, better than some current movie soundtracks in my opinion.

    Compare them to the Die Hard DTS remixes and I think the Indie box set is superior, i'm not sure where you guys are coming from.

    Torq.
     
  18. Marv

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    I thought the sound on raiders did the job. But i found the gun shots from Indys revolver a little too boomy and artificial.
     
  19. cybersoga

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    It's not supposed to be realistic, it's a sound effect based on a shot gun!
     
  20. Ryan

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    The pistols in Raiders have always sounded like shotguns, from the initial cinema release theough VHS and now Dvd.
     
  21. FoxyMulder

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    Well thinking about it and seeing what Disney were able to do with a very average Lion King (( excellent remix)) i think Lucasfilm could have went right back to the drawing board with Raiders of The Lost Ark and isolated the voices, then totally remixed the sound effects and put the voices back in and remixed the film score from scratch they've only had ohhh 20+ years to do it.
     
  22. Home PC Nut

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    Ben Burtt remixed the sound to 5.1 for Indy in 1998 for the cancelled 5.1 LD's. This is probably the same sound mix on the DVD's. For those who have not heard of him he is the same man who created the sound design for all the Star Wars & Indy movies as well as co-editing Ep's2 & 3.

    On my full THX system the sound is stunning. It is not however much different from the mix on the NTSC LD's I have had for over 10 years.

    When I first bought a THX system back in the early 90's all 3 Indy movies sounded noticeable better than without THX modes engaged. I suspect that Lucasfilm remixed the audio to sound it's best on THX certified equipment as after all they also own THX!

    As a general guide you should expect to tweak sound levels on DVD's as each has a different sound mix and some choose to have very high SPL's on all channels except the dialogue.

    If you do not want to mess around all the time just adjust your centre channel to be +10db as almost every movie only places dialogue in this channel anyway.
     
  23. Smurfin

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    I disagree, this is poor advice imho. Once calibrated you shouldn't have to keep tweaking levels, given an ideal listening environment. Although I can play loud, even when I'm not the centre channel stays balanced with the L and R speakers. +10db will make it noticeably different, which will ruin the balance of any soundtrack imho.
     
  24. Home PC Nut

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    I stand by my original comments as:

    1: Most people do not have an ideal listening environment. If you did then dialogue clarity would hardly ever be an issue. Lots of DVD's are given specific channel tweaks in the mastering stage. Most DTS DVD's are given +10db surround and sub boost's although DTS deny this people in the US have used their SPL meters and other scientific instruments to verify this. Why do DTS deny it because it would be admitting that their 768kb codec does not sound much better than Dolby's 448kb codec.

    2: Dolby Digital as part of its spec allows you to adjust all 6 channels +-10db purely because the codec designers know the home environment differs in most cases drastically from that of your average cinema. Very few people can afford the luxury of sitting in the ideal seating position between their 6 or more speakers. Furthermore lots of people do not even have 5 or more matched speakers so you need a system which allows individual channel adjustment.

    3: In the real world unless you have a sound proofed cinema reference design listening environment designed purely for home cinema calibrating reference SPL's with a SPL Meter is pointless.

    For many years I have also adjusted my Surrounds & Sub to +10db. This makes a huge difference to watching a movie as in the average home cinema environment you do not have full range multiple speaker arrays in a 360 degree configuration so the only way to reproduce a cinema style surround soundfield is to tweak. Most DVD's have very weak sounding surround channels because the sound design was not created with the DVD in mind first & foremost.

    I realise this config gives me an unnatural sounding environment but the results are what count more to me than going by the book. With + 10db Sub, Surround & Center Channel the experience in my system at least is better than most cinema's can offer as I have a 360 degree soundfield and can hear the dialogue with clarity plus I also get great sub & surround action.
     
  25. puddleduck

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    I thought Indiana Jones looked and sounded stunning, as a good as I've ever seen it since I first saw it in the cinema when I was a kid.

    Thought the video was better than many modern day films, and although I'm not usually a fan of 5.1 re-mixes (I prefer my audio unadulterated) this sounded very good to me too :)
     
  26. Phil Hinton

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    Home Pc Nut,
    Totally disagree with your points and your reasoning behind them. I would recommend the tried and tested route of proper calibration using an spl meter and a calibration disc.
     
  27. Jase

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    Try engaging DRC (Dynamic Range Control) if you aren't listening at Reference Level. Most amps/receivers/processors have at least three or four settings for it (OFF, LOW, MID, HIGH etc). If you are struggling to hear the dialogue and have to keep turning the volume up and down, then use it. I certainly wouldn't whack the centre and surround channels up by 10db as that will knacker the soundstage and throw it completely out of balance.

    Quick note. DRC will not be available on some DTS tracks or if you use any THX Post Processing Modes.
     
  28. Dave H

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    A poor center speaker often makes the speech hard to make out on some films.

    Dave.
     
  29. Smurfin

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    You are quoting specific figures, which I'm afraid shows you don't know what you're talking about.

    If you listened to a well setup system, with all channels calibrated you simply won't need to tweak the channels every time.
     
  30. keiths

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    I have tried using the Dynamic Range limiting on my Yamaha RX-V630RDS before and have found that using any other setting than "MAX" overcompresses the dynamic range at anything other than VERY low listening levels - so I tend to leave it well alone.

    Just to put things into perspective, I watched RotLA again last night and didn't find the quieter centre channel as distracting as I did a couple of days ago for some reason. Also I think that for the age of the film the overall sound and picture quality is excellent - so I'm really not complaining!

    My centre is probably not as good as the main L-R speakers (Mission 77c centre as opposed to Mission 753 Freedoms for the main speakers), but I've not noticed the problem to the same extent with any of the other 100+ dvds I own as with RotLA. I guess it was just a decission by those doing the mix to have the effects louder than the dialogue and I maybe notice it more because I probably don't play films as loud as some other people may do?

    (I also agree that gross adjustments of channel balance should not be needed and that correct calibration using a SPL meter and test signals is the way to go).

    [edited for spelling]
     

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