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Old 07-28-2018, 09:41 PM   #1
Megalith Megalith is offline
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Default Dangerous SPL in a movie theater?

My understanding is that theaters are calibrated with the mic at the center or middlemost seat (85dB, with the potential for 115dB peaks). Wouldn't that make the left-most or right-most seats dangerously loud?
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:00 PM   #2
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Huh?What?
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:10 PM   #3
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I think most the volume comes from the main channel speakers behind the screen. I don't think the surrounds that are mounted way up the walls are really the source of any deafening volumes. It's probably more an issue for those who sit in the front rows and are close to the screen.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:46 AM   #4
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Haven't you seen the dozens of people stumbling out of theaters after the show, holding their heads, with their ears bleeding? This is serious!
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zillamon51 View Post
Haven't you seen the dozens of people stumbling out of theaters after the show, holding their heads, with their ears bleeding? This is serious!
No but I have seen people holding their hands over their ears during movies, and some using earplugs. It's usually the on the big main screens and I think they crank the volume up to 11 to try and give it a little more wow factor. I started waiting a few weeks to see stuff when it was pushed to the smaller screens as they usually had saner volumes.
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:07 AM   #6
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One of the screens at my theatre has laser projection and speakers on the ceiling. What if all those ceiling speakers fall down and kill people, Final Destination style?
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalith View Post
My understanding is that theaters are calibrated with the mic at the center or middlemost seat (85dB, with the potential for 115dB peaks). Wouldn't that make the left-most or right-most seats dangerously loud?
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:23 AM   #8
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As a kid I used to be bothered by the sound. We'd ask the box office people which showing they thought was quieter, the THX or the DTS (that's what they'd advertise the showings as). Of course, that was back when we had the option between the two. Now it's usually all DTS I believe (we don't have a Dolby Cinema).
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:21 AM   #9
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the only two instances where the sound levels where near ear bleed bad were one of the Transformers movies in IMAX-Digital and 'The Expendables' where I left the theater with a major migraine
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:42 AM   #10
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I have noticed movies do seem to be getting louder at least for previews. Its not a problem in the short term but I would expect theater frequenters will as a group suffer some degree of hearing loss the same way concert goers do. Personally I wish theaters would turn down previews to normal levels and decrease the max db by about 10 to 15 db. Personally the volume has been getting bad enough that I have started to consider bringing ear plugs or not going to the theaters at all.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:44 AM   #11
ITDEFX101 ITDEFX101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstar View Post
the only two instances where the sound levels where near ear bleed bad were one of the Transformers movies in IMAX-Digital and 'The Expendables' where I left the theater with a major migraine

Bay's Transformers series ear bleed level loud? Nahhh it can't be. The only time I can remember TF having an aggressive sound mix was when I saw AOE at the Regal in Salisbury, MD in the RPX screen. I think that one had a 7.1 Atmos mix.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas View Post
I have noticed movies do seem to be getting louder at least for previews. Its not a problem in the short term but I would expect theater frequenters will as a group suffer some degree of hearing loss the same way concert goers do. Personally I wish theaters would turn down previews to normal levels and decrease the max db by about 10 to 15 db. Personally the volume has been getting bad enough that I have started to consider bringing ear plugs or not going to the theaters at all.
I agree. My local regal digital imax had a problem with this for the longest time. Previews would be mega loud but the main feature would be below normal sound standards with weak surround.

I would love to bring in this but I am afraid some fool would think I am recording the show and report me.
https://www.amazon.com/Decibel-Meter...17797099&psc=1
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:16 PM   #13
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I wish I had the privilege of going to the deafening movie theaters you guys go.

Throughout my life, one of my moviegoing pet peeves has been the irrational, inexplicable, counterproductive tendency of some theaters to LOWER the volume. I've lost count of how many times I went to the movies and the sound was tiny, muffled - even in big blockbusters that were supposed to be loud. It does ruin the enjoyment.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:25 PM   #14
ITDEFX101 ITDEFX101 is offline
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The problem is the way they advertise these theaters has having high end quality surround sound and 4k picture quality...yet as soon as the movie starts, for the most of the viewing experience the sound sounds like normal stereo to me. I see at least 8 speakers to my left and right (16 total) yet hearing audio from the screen area itself. Feels like the 1990's again.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:33 PM   #15
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We always make a joke in college when the lecturer mentions SPL, what's the Scottish Premier League got to do with it, Phil?
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITDEFX101 View Post
Bay's Transformers series ear bleed level loud? Nahhh it can't be. The only time I can remember TF having an aggressive sound mix was when I saw AOE at the Regal in Salisbury, MD in the RPX screen. I think that one had a 7.1 Atmos mix.
well interestingly the 'Age of Extinction' Atmos mix on AMC Tyson's ETX screen (at the time) while loud, wasn't as extreme as on the IMAX screen - I literally had to cusp my ears as the volume got louder and louder, I'm surprised the speakers didn't clip causing speaker damage. 'The Expendables' also at Tyson's was overkill (no pun intended) in how loud a movie can and should be allowed to be played back at.

Another recent movie that I felt pushed the volume to excess was 'The Accountant' (Dolby Cinema, AMC Georgetown) the shooting range scene as well as the climatic shoot out scene, the sonic blasts really gave one's ears a workout.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:00 AM   #17
aiman04 aiman04 is offline
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They don't use one single mic at the center, they use multi-points just like our Audyssey at home. THX is not an audio format, it's a standard to make DTS, Dolby, SDDS, etc sounds as intended.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:10 AM   #18
Ben_UK Ben_UK is offline
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I've had to learn a lot very quick about SPL and audio stuff as I am doing a project on race cars and one of the tasks is to record them distortion-free. Pretty hard when you have budget gear to work with and race teams that don't want your kit placed in areas they don't want. I use a RODE mic with an SPL of 136, and even that gets blown out / distorted at times.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:02 PM   #19
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I prefer louder movies because you can't hear the aholes in the next row talking.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:30 PM   #20
Rayjaymay Rayjaymay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITDEFX101 View Post
I agree. My local regal digital imax had a problem with this for the longest time. Previews would be mega loud but the main feature would be below normal sound standards with weak surround.

I would love to bring in this but I am afraid some fool would think I am recording the show and report me.
https://www.amazon.com/Decibel-Meter...17797099&psc=1
I don’t know how accurate they are compared to an actual SPL meter, but there are apps you can download and use your phone as an SPL meter.
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