Jump to content

Everything's too loud


Phil Rhodes
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Sustaining Member

I'm sitting here listening to Zimmer's score to Dune, which is a piece of music I barely recognise because the first time I heard it, it was so loud I had my fingers in my ears.

Went to see Tenet. Quite apart from the terrible dialogue mix, my lasting impression is of everything being so loud it was actively unpleasant, and I felt the need to protect my ears.

Went to see Dune. Was massively distracted by the unpleasantly over-loud sound; almost painful. Horrible experience.

Considered going to see No Time to Die. With enormous regret, decided that I'd rather see it under circumstances where I wasn't likely to suffer hearing damage. I want a volume control. I am not alone, and I'm not kidding; I strongly suspect Dune has the potential to create hearing damage.

Now, I am fully aware that anyone from the audio-related disciplines of film and television production will be replete with excuses for this. It's the director's intention. It's the movie theatre. It's fine, you're just being silly.

Sorry, no. This is now so bad that it's actively preventing people from going to movie theatres because the sound experience is positively disagreeable. It's not entertainment, it's something you want to be over because it is actually nasty. It's bad. There is no justification for this and people who try to make thoise justifications need to be slapped around until they realise that they're not mixing sound for themselves and their own state of hearing that's long been ruined by constant exposure to ultra-loud mixing stages.

This has become completely insane.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

I love loud shit, but holy crap was Tenet over kill. I mean borderline abuse on your ears, rock concert shit. I don't know if the film industry is secretly trying to ruin ears, but it sure feels that way. Tenet's dialog was all but missing as always. I will never understand how such a creative Director refuses to make his dialog understandable. You'd think #1 priority is dialog, #2 priority is music/effects. 

I didn't see Dune in the theater, but No Time to Die for me was fine, I saw it in a regular theater, boycotting LIEMAX bullshit. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am actively avoiding Christopher Nolan movies in theatres just because of the painful sound mix. The worst so far has been Interstellar (almost front row and very very loud with that horrible screeching soundtrack. It was like cutting cinder blocks with an angle grinder without using hearing protection for 2 hours straight) . Tenet was medium horrible mix, they did not play it super loud but it was so difficult to hear some of the dialogue that part of the audience did not understand what was happening... though the closed captioning saved some of it if the translations were about correct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

The Dune track was stupid loud with sub woofers threatening to jump out of the screen and assault the viewers.

Do they really think it adds to the viewing experience when you have to mop the blood up off he floor from all the ruptured ear drums?

Come on folks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find some Imax movies too loud, and I'm deaf 😆

It could be that cinema owners just try to pump that much volume to make the experience as different to home-viewing as possible, knowing it won't be distorted.  They couldn't do this so much in the old analog days of magnetic stripe stereo because of tape-noise ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember being a projectionist back in the 90's and the trailers were always overmodulated and hysterically loud.  We'd have to lower the overall volume and then bring it back up for the actual movie.  Struggling theaters were always dealing with really shitty sound systems.  Speakers were everywhere in sight  but most were always off.  With the only sound coming from the screen.  Rarely did surround sound work at all.  Funny how it works too well now.

Gone are the days of waiting in the dark patiently.  Now you're forced to listen to endless commercials before the trailers.  So that audio is also usually way off in volume, all over the place.  Super annoying.  Then of course there's the most annoying noise, the people next to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Michael LaVoie said:

  Then of course there's the most annoying noise, the people next to you.

That's the real reason,  trying to drown the noise of people chatting.  Just like they do at home watching TV.  And very rarely in movies nowadays are we treated to a long quiet scene. Maybe too risky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
On 11/28/2021 at 2:05 PM, Phil Rhodes said:

This is now so bad that it's actively preventing people from going to movie theatres because the sound experience is positively disagreeable. It's not entertainment, it's something you want to be over because it is actually nasty. 

I agree, but I wonder if it's something new or something we forgot about due to the pandemic lockdowns.  When I built my home movie theater (which I'm very proud of and have mentioned several times on this website, because I'm a huge jerk:) when I built my home movie theater and installed the sound system to it's specs according to what the filmmakers intended, the first thing I noticed was if I turned the volume up so I could hear the dialogue, the moment any sort of action happened, it knocked our socks off.  It was so loud I had to scream at the top of my lungs to my wife sitting three feet away from me to pass the popcorn.  After a certain movie blew two of my speakers I decided to do some of my own sound mixing.  I turned up the center channel almost four times louder than the rest of the speakers.  That way I could hear the dialogue nice and clear, but wouldn't blow the rest of my speakers the moment something got a little louder and I could talk to my wife in a almost normal voice in the loud scenes.  I'm old and I like it better that way.

I lived with that set up for a year and a half in lockdown.  Then vaccinations showed up and I went back to the movie theater after a full year and a half...  And yes, the sound blew my hair back and I was totally shocked how freaking loud it was.  But I had to ask myself if that was because I accustomed myself to my own personal sound system for a year and a half and forgot about what movies in theaters actually sound like... OR... was it my shock of reality getting back to the world?

Or have big film directors decided to blow our ears out with sound in movie theaters simply as a way to remind us why we all need to go back to movie theaters in the first place?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions, but I totally agree the sound of some of these movies in theaters is too loud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When it works. It works really well.   I just saw C'mon C'mon at Nitehawk Prospect Park Brooklyn.  The sound and picture were beautiful.  The audience was packed but very quiet and respectful.  It was, all in all, a great experience.  Movie was fantastic too.  I love that this theater has 2 Black and white movies playing. This and The French Dispatch.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An aside regarding dialogue in modern films: https://www.slashfilm.com/673162/heres-why-movie-dialogue-has-gotten-more-difficult-to-understand-and-three-ways-to-fix-it/?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

EDIT Just noticed that Frank has the same link.

 

Edited by Brian Drysdale
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

That article is very interesting, although I feel the need to be clear that my objection to Dune wasn't the dialogue mix; it didn't have the Tenet problem in that sense. Both of them - and Dunkirk, characteristically - were just way, way, way too loud, to the point of being really quite painful. That's a separate (if perhaps related) issue to the problems with dialogue mixing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got the same problem now with how loud to go with sound. I am using a bandsaw sound for a freaky production company photo of some doctors sawing a frozen corpse / torso down the center through the penis. (Real vintage photo, not a bullshit photo) I am testing out graduated sounds that border on uncomfortable. It is only 6 or 7 seconds long, but have not made any decisions as yet.

Sound plays an important part of movie drama. But I tend to be on the conservative side and usually scale back a notch or two on some of my extreme tests. 

...and don't worry, you will see the decision shortly. I have a nice Xmas 16mm I'm working on called Christmas Eves that has it in it.

Twenty-sixRoadkills25-DanielD.TeoliJr..j

Example of motion blur in relation to distance

Selection from 26 Roadkills 2014 by D.D.Teoli Jr.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/2/2021 at 4:45 AM, Frank Wylie said:

 

Yes, dialogue on some of these movie's stink. I just don't get it. How can they watch a movie a zillion times in production and not see it within 10 seconds?  They should hire me as a consultant. A few times I shut the movie off after 10 to 30 minutes if it has unintelligible dialogue. 

Here is a tip boys and girls...

Don't have music playing, car, wind and background noises and poor quality recordings of dialogue all going on at the same time. You can't understand the dialogue!

Amsterdam2014DanielD.TeoliJr.Mr.jpg

Selection from De Wallen: Amsterdam's Red Light District 2014 by D.D.Teoli Jr.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, TV production studios used to have special "standard TV" speakers, which were specifically designed to emulate the frequency response of the "average" mono speakers in mass-produced consumer TVs. Editors would routinely check the sound through both the "Mr Average" speakers and what was deemed to be "TV Hi Fi" in order to strike the best balance between the two.
I don't know whether something similar was done for movie sound, having "Flea Pit" and Dolby Surround test speakers, but whatever, those days are clearly long gone.
I have no trouble at all with the dialogue from TV shows made before about 1990, but after that, it seems that the assumption is that everybody has a dedicated Home Theatre room with full surround and mighty subwoofers.
I routinely take insertable ear protectors to cinemas now. 
In fact, that could be a new consumer product: "HiFi" hearing protectors, that just attenuate the sound without "colouring" it in any way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

Forum Sponsors

CineLab

FJS International

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Visual Products

DMX-iT

Cinematography Books and Gear



×
×
  • Create New...