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Cinema DTS / Home Video Mixes - Waveform Comparisons
#1
I've lately been interested in how 5.1 home video audio mixes across various formats compare to their theatrical counterparts. So I've taken the cinema DTS tracks that I've been able to find or that others have kindly shared with me and done some visual waveform comparisons.

All cinema DTS tracks have had their surround channels attenuated to -3Db and LFE channel boosted +3Db for pre-1999 movies and +6Db for post-1999 movies. For more information on why this is necessary see this wonderfully informative thread by pipefan413.

So I'll start with The Matrix.


The Matrix - 1999 Theatrical DTS 6-Track

[Image: matrix-cinema-dts.jpg]

So here's the cinema DTS. It's a very dynamic mix with LFE and surrounds used fairly sparingly until the final 30 minutes of the movie.


The Matrix - 1999 DVD - AC-3 5.1 448kbps

[Image: matrix-dvd-ac3.jpg]

The DVD release is not as dynamic as the theatrical DTS. Adjusted for volume the centre channel has a slight boost and LFE + surrounds have been toned down. It looks fairly close to the theatrical mix though.


The Matrix - 2008 Blu-ray - TrueHD 5.1 1646kbps

[Image: matrix-bd-truehd.jpg]

Once adjusted for volume this is essentially just a less dynamic rendering of the theatrical mix with LFE toned down a little. It's very close indeed. It could even be that these are near-field adjustments intended to recreate the sound of the theatrical DTS in a smaller space - I don't know enough about this to be able to say.


The Matrix - 2008 Blu-ray - AC-3 5.1 640kbps

[Image: matrix-bd-ac3-core.jpg]

I'm not even sure why this track is on the BD. The TrueHD has an AC-3 Core track for compatibility so this seems utterly redundant. This one is an even more neutered version of the DVD 5.1. The centre channel dynamics have been squashed even further and the LFE in the finale has been toned down yet again. Worse still, this is the default audio track on the disc so the vastly superior TrueHD track has to be manually selected.


The Matrix - 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray - TrueHD 7.1 4868kbps

[Image: matrix-uhd-atmos.jpg]

Unsurprisingly the Atmos track on the UHD is a total remix with lots of additional LFE and boosted surround effects. From an authenticity standpoint, it has no value whatsoever.


The Matrix - 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray - AC-3 5.1 640kbps

[Image: matrix-uhd-dd.jpg]

Anyone hoping that the 5.1 track on the UHD was the original mix is going to be disappointed. It's just a 5.1 channel folddown of the Atmos remix with a boosted centre channel.


Missing Mixes
Not included in this comparison is the LaserDisc AC-3 simply because I don’t have it though I've heard it's the same as the DVD 5.1. If anybody has it and would care to share then I’ll gladly add it here.


Conclusion (TL;DR)
The BD TrueHD 5.1 looks to be a very respectful attempt to create a slightly more polite rendering of the theatrical audio track. Anyone who maligns the BD 5.1 for being nothing like what they heard in the cinema in 1999 either has very keen ears or went to the wrong cinema.


More comparisons to follow.
If anybody has any of these Cinema DTS tracks please let me know as I'd be happy to sync them to their respective BD/UHD releases.
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#2
Thanks for the comparison!

For the next ones, may you please set the dynamic range higher? I mean, it seems from your screenshots it's at 18dB - showing only a small portion of the waveforms; I'd go with at least 36dB, but 60dB would be better - I wrote something about this here: https://forum.fanres.com/thread-4240.html
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
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#3
Yes, I can see how it would be better. Any idea how I go about doing this in Audition?
If anybody has any of these Cinema DTS tracks please let me know as I'd be happy to sync them to their respective BD/UHD releases.
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#4
Dunno, I use Audacity... there, you can find under preferences/interface a "master dB range" setting - I guess there should be something like that around, it *must* be!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#5
Here's The Big Lebowski.


The Big Lebowski - 1998 Theatrical DTS 6-Track

[Image: lebowski-cinema-dts.jpg]

Unsurprisingly for this type of movie it's a very front-heavy mix with not much at all in the way of LFE or surround effects.


The Big Lebowski - 2003 DVD - AC-3 5.1 448kbps

[Image: lebowski-dvd-ac3.jpg]

The DVD is fairly close to the theatrical mix. Centre channel and LFE have received a boost with a few small tweaks here and there in the other channels.


The Big Lebowski - 2011 Blu-ray - DTS-HD MA 5.1 4106kbps

[Image: lebowski-bd-5-1.jpg]

When adjusted for volume the BD 5.1's front channels are essentially the same as the theatrical DTS albeit a little 'enhanced' in places. Both surrounds and LFE are slightly boosted (the latter even more so than the DVD). I would have called this the best home mix but for one anomaly; for the entire last 40mins or so of the movie the left front and surround channels are considerably louder than the right which noticeably shifts the whole sound stage. It's a screw-up plain and simple.


The Big Lebowski - 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray - DTS-HD MA 7.1 4938kbps

[Image: lebowski-dtsx.jpg]

As expected the DTS:X track on the UHD is a full-blown remix. This one has the biggest boost to the LFE and surround channels with some new effects in both.


Missing Mixes
Not included in this comparison is the HD-DVD AC-3 simply because I don’t have it. If anybody has it and would care to share then I’ll gladly add it here.


Conclusion (TL;DR)
Given the botched BD 5.1 I'd have to say that the DVD is probably the closest thing to an authentic home mix. None of them really provide an acceptable rendering of the theatrical audio though.
If anybody has any of these Cinema DTS tracks please let me know as I'd be happy to sync them to their respective BD/UHD releases.
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#6
Oh I like this thread.  Keep them coming!

I too would be interested to see the LD track from the Matrix (and others) to see under the microscope.  Are you removing the DialNorm before looking at the wave forms?
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#7
Great thread
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#8
Yeah I had naively assumed these 7.1 mixes on UHD’s would be close to the theatrical 5.1s but clearly not. Would be very interested to see Casino & Carlito’s Way (once it’s out) comparisons - can send you the UHD audio for both if you want.
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#9
(2021-10-05, 06:24 PM)alexpeden2000 Wrote: Yeah I had naively assumed these 7.1 mixes on UHD’s would be close to the theatrical 5.1s but clearly not. Would be very interested to see Casino & Carlito’s Way (once it’s out) comparisons - can send you the UHD audio for both if you want.

They never are
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#10
(2021-10-05, 06:28 PM)dvdmike Wrote: They never are

This. They're almost always some revisionist remix.

Also has anyone synced TLW Cinema DTS to the UHD? If not I'll gladly do it if someone can provide me with the files.
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