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Old 05-14-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
Heart&Soul Heart&Soul is offline
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Default Why Aren't More Movies Release With 7.1 Audio?

Is it that much more expensive for a studio to create a 7.1 soundtrack when the film is released in theaters? I would think that since there are so few Blu-rays with 7.1, it would be a great selling point. I have my system set up for 7.1 and there aren't that many movies to take advantage of it.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:00 AM   #2
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I'm with you, I would like to take more advantage of my 7.1 setup. 310 to Yuma is my favorite currently and Shoot em up is fun too.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:04 AM   #3
Marcusarilius Marcusarilius is offline
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The whole format is relatively new. BD just became the only HD format. Think of all of the different encodes per studio with two formats going. These things take a great deal of time to become solidified into a uniform HD viewing and listening experience.

There is no garauntee that 7.1 will become the norm in the future either. Remember 6.1? Where is it? Remember THX on DVDs? Where is it on BD. Not needed and too expensive for studios to pay for when it is almost a selling gimmick at this point and nothing more.

Time will tell if 7.1 will be around in the future or not. If it is... great.
Bottom line is that it's just far too early for all studios to be of a single mind on this issue at this time.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcusarilius View Post
The whole format is relatively new. BD just became the only HD format. Think of all of the different encodes per studio with two formats going. These things take a great deal of time to become solidified into a uniform HD viewing and listening experience.

There is no garauntee that 7.1 will become the norm in the future either. Remember 6.1? Where is it? Remember THX on DVDs? Where is it on BD. Not needed and too expensive for studios to pay for when it is almost a selling gimmick at this point and nothing more.

Time will tell if 7.1 will be around in the future or not. If it is... great.
Bottom line is that it's just far too early for all studios to be of a single mind on this issue at this time.

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Old 05-14-2008, 01:23 AM   #5
WickyWoo WickyWoo is offline
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All theatrical movies are still mixed 5.1 by default.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:31 AM   #6
Alan Gordon Alan Gordon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickyWoo View Post
All theatrical movies are still mixed 5.1 by default.
Except Woody Allen movies... right?

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Old 05-14-2008, 01:31 AM   #7
Rabidhunter Rabidhunter is offline
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I wish they would make more Blu's with 7.1 though. Most all of the major receivers are selling in 7.1. That's their major selling point.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:44 AM   #8
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The Descent is in 6.1 at least woohoo
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:45 AM   #9
WickyWoo WickyWoo is offline
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Quote:
Except Woody Allen movies... right?
That's right, isn't he still mixing in mono?
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:05 AM   #10
MatintheHat MatintheHat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickyWoo View Post
All theatrical movies are still mixed 5.1 by default.
MOST theatrical movies are 5.1 but a handful are released theatrically in 7.1 (SRD-EX and DTS-ES). I find that few theatres are even 7.1 capable. I think the last 7.1 theatrical release was The Waterhorse.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickyWoo View Post
That's right, isn't he still mixing in mono?
Yep!

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
Heart&Soul Heart&Soul is offline
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Is it difficult for a studio to go from 5.1 to 7.1? Do they have to fake the increase in some way? If the elements aren't there to begin with for the additional 2 speakers, how can they do it so it sounds as if it was originally 7.1?
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timer00 View Post
The Descent is in 6.1 at least woohoo
That is still one of my favorite audio tracks from any movie.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:22 PM   #14
JadedRaverLA JadedRaverLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatintheHat View Post
MOST theatrical movies are 5.1 but a handful are released theatrically in 7.1 (SRD-EX and DTS-ES). I find that few theatres are even 7.1 capable. I think the last 7.1 theatrical release was The Waterhorse.
Dolby EX and DTS ES are both 6.1 mixes, though they sometimes call it 7.1 is you use two speakers for the surround back channel -- but since it's a mono signal, that's not really accurate. SDDS has a true 7.1 configuration, but its five channels across the front (like in the older 70mm analog systems) + 2 surround channels, so having a 7.1 SDDS master isn't really very useful for creating a 7.1 home theatre mix. Similarly, though the DCI spec allows for up to 16 channels of PCM sound for digital cinema, the only channels defined are the 7.1 channels setup like the SDDS system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Soul View Post
Is it that much more expensive for a studio to create a 7.1 soundtrack when the film is released in theaters? I would think that since there are so few Blu-rays with 7.1, it would be a great selling point. I have my system set up for 7.1 and there aren't that many movies to take advantage of it.
Since there's no reason to do a 7.1 mix for theatrical release (and the 6.1 systems never took off theatrically) I wouldn't count on it. As big of a deal as everyone here makes of 7.1, it's all just remixed (or 'rematrixed') from the original 5.1 mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Soul View Post
Is it difficult for a studio to go from 5.1 to 7.1? Do they have to fake the increase in some way? If the elements aren't there to begin with for the additional 2 speakers, how can they do it so it sounds as if it was originally 7.1?
Excuse a minor rant here...

I have the utmost respect for sound mixers, but at the end of the day, the studios (and Dolby/DTS) have severely limited the real usefulness of surround sound in movies anyway. Based on some 'consumer preference,' virtually all of the dialog is just spouted from the center channel speaker regardless of the character's actual placement on or off screen, while music and sound effects are put out through the right and left channel speakers with minimal directionality. And then, occaisonally, some of it (mainly sound effects) gets bled through to the surrounds to make people go "Oh, cool!"

Compare that "modern method" to the older 70mm 6-track or Cinerama 7-channel stereophonic mix and you'll be blown away by how much more "real" those older systems sounded. Character's voices actually appear to come from *gasp* their character location! What a novel concept. Of course, since cinema screens are far smaller today those five across the front systems with highly directional sound wouldn't have nearly the same impact today -- and pretty much no one's home theatre would be large enough to accomplish the effect, it's still pretty jarring what amazing directionality they were able to create decades before Dolby Digital or DTS had even been conceived.

Anyway, back to your question... you would almost always be starting with a 24/48 5.1-channel PCM mix created by the original sound mixer on the film. This mix is made up of a TON of mostly mono (with some stereo music and effects) sound 'elements' that the original mixer has used to create a 5.1 mix. Since there really aren't any 5.1 'elements,' there certainly aren't any 7.1 'elements,' but you can create a new 7.1 mix just as easily as the original 5.1 mix. Neither mix is truly "real" or "fake." Film is art, and sound design is part of the art. It's just a matter of the studio deciding to allocate the resources to remixing to 7.1 for the Blu-ray release.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Soul View Post
Is it difficult for a studio to go from 5.1 to 7.1? Do they have to fake the increase in some way? If the elements aren't there to begin with for the additional 2 speakers, how can they do it so it sounds as if it was originally 7.1?
I would imagine that a movie studio could remix the individual tracks any way they want.... Look out for 10.1 coming soon!!
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkoPeeKee View Post
I would imagine that a movie studio could remix the individual tracks any way they want.... Look out for 10.1 coming soon!!
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:45 PM   #17
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10.3

ahh, i'd rather hold out fo 360.4 with the option to buy smell-o-vision
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #18
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I could see where 12.1 would be nice - 3 in front, 3 on the right side, 3 in the back, and 3 on the left side. That would make for smooth movements around the room. I wonder if there would ever be a need for a speaker directly overhead pointing down, or one on the floor pointing up?
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:34 PM   #19
J_UNTITLED J_UNTITLED is offline
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I personally am very disappointed that studios aren't taking the time to remaster the audio of many (if not most/all) new and catalog titles to get them released with 7.1 audio... to not take full advantage of the format and basically give people better picture quality but DVD-grade audio quality is pretty crappy.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:55 PM   #20
WickyWoo WickyWoo is offline
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Quote:
I personally am very disappointed that studios aren't taking the time to remaster the audio of many (if not most/all) new and catalog titles to get them released with 7.1 audio... to not take full advantage of the format and basically give people better picture quality but DVD-grade audio quality is pretty crappy.
How is the lack of the artificial addition of a split surround back channel "DVD grade audio quality"?
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