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Inception music too loud Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

I watched Inception in stereo, via my Pay TV, into my home theatre system.
I found the dialog was getting lost in the music a lot.
It was great music, but way over used and seemed too loud.
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
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shatz's Avatar
Inception music too loud

I think most movies are like that. The music is much louder than the dialogue on my set up. As far as overall volume level, it was a lot quieter compared to other movies that's come out.
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
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dasindevin's Avatar
 

Bwwwaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

haven't had the chance to watch the bluray yet, but in theaters (trustable one) i felt the same way.... and i tend to like music on the loud side (ego of being a composer i guess?? haha) and i thought it stomped all over the dialogue.

But a bad ass score (though after the south park and viral mocking of it... I am a bit nervous to see if i can take it seriously again)
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
Deleted #157546
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Interesting, I've seen the movie about 4 times including in theater. I felt the music was as it should have been.

Just my thoughts...
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
TLR
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TLR's Avatar
 

I agree, had the same experience in both the Cinema and on DVD! Great music, but there was no dynamic range in the music at all, sounded like a badly compressed master which is never necessary in film, thought they were immune to the loudness war but alas.
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

i found the sound fx quite loud. THe music was loud at times but I never had issues hearing the dialogue.
Old 30th December 2010
  #7
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Inception music too loud

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadOrange
i found the sound fx quite loud. THe music was loud at times but I never had issues hearing the dialogue.
The mix I heard could have been the conversion to stereo.

I just think when you use too much music, the movie becomes like a 2 hour promo.

Needed more light and shade.

After all the hype, both my Daughter and I were disappointed, maybe it's one of those movies you need to see in the cinema to appreciate it.

I must admit to being more of an Indie movie fan. I find some of these big budget movies made for the masses a little over the top, and the stories become not really believable.

Technically the film was pretty well perfect though, so kudos to those who worked on it.
Old 30th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post
The mix I heard could have been the conversion to stereo.

I just think when you use too much music, the movie becomes like a 2 hour promo.

Needed more light and shade.

After all the hype, both my Daughter and I were disappointed, maybe it's one of those movies you need to see in the cinema to appreciate it.

I must admit to being more of an Indie movie fan. I find some of these big budget movies made for the masses a little over the top, and the stories become not really believable.

Technically the film was pretty well perfect though, so kudos to those who worked on it.
to be honest, I find that music is given less space these days. FX now take up a huge amount of space. I've had to learn the hard way when I started out as an orchestrator as I wanted to show my aptitude and all these voice exchanges and counterpuntal fugue like material was completely lost once locked to screen. I do think you should orchestrate/compose around or perhaps in late fashion with the dialogue as to not get too mickey mouse ish , but I find whenever there is an intense scene and there are sound fx involved, the music is buried way in the back. COmposers really are left with FFF block chords.

We also orchestrated knowing the range of the voice and used instruments that did not get in the way. But I can understand in Inception where you have this flow of energy going , you want to keep the pace but there are moments that require quite a bit of narration by the characters and you can't just lower the music as this would kill the energy you've already created. I think these are the moments people are talking about. I can ask my colleague what is up with that but i'm pretty sure what I described is the case.

and yes, Zimmer makes extensive use of 5.1 Watching it on a DVD will sound different but I imagine for the dvd , they will err on the side of caution and make sure the dialogue is cutting thru.
Old 30th December 2010
  #9
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Neenja's Avatar
 

Inception had music?
Old 30th December 2010
  #10
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

I think one thing composers should remember, that the score shouldn't be noticed, it's just one of the elements, creating the background atmosphere.
Old 30th December 2010
  #11
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I don't think it should be just a background element. It should fit the film and what the drama requires. It is just part of the film just like the dialogue or the sound fx. You are supposed to hear it. You aren't supposed to think about it in ways that distract from its initial goal similarly lets say you start wondering if Keanu Reeves southern american accent is good or great.

Ideally all the factors combine perfectly and you cannot really say anything but this is great. That is the ideal setting.
Old 30th December 2010
  #12
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

Having a great score is important, to great a drama be it TV or film.
I'm just saying the general public don't walk away and say, wow great score, or wow those Fx were cool.
They say wow what a film.

My favorite score is in No Country For Old Men.
Just tonal atmosphere that no one notices.
Old 30th December 2010
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

I know many people that walk about thinking great music. Not while viewing but after the movie humming some themes on the way home. It doesn't have to be just one aesthetic. I actually loath the pedal tone ambience that seems to only be there because there was a budget for a composer.
Old 30th December 2010
  #14
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

I guess it's each to their own.
I prefer less is more.
Old 30th December 2010
  #15
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DrummerMan's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

I saw it on a 7.1 blu-ray home system a couple nights ago. The system isn't well set up but I've grown accustomed to the ways in which it generally sucks (it's at my in-laws'). Even taking that into account, I felt the same way as the OP when I saw it. Not only was the dialog, IMO, too quiet compared to the music and FX, it seemed like all it's highs were rolled off. At first I thought it was the overall mix, but then realized those guitars still had plenty of sparkle. Even the booming "earth drums" (or whatever you call those things) had plenty of crispness to them compared to the dialog.

In general, my personal feeling is most "big" movies coming out now overdo it on the FX and sometimes on the music. I'm all for the idea of being dynamic (in theory), and agree that ALL the sound elements are part of the whole experience, BUT when I'm watching a movie at what my wife and I consider a reasonable volume, I need to not have to strain to understand whats being said. It's just that simple. "Reasonable level" to me is apparently not what the FX people have in mind most of the time. I don't need an ass-kicking-ly HUGE explosion rumble to let me know that something exploded on screen. Seriously... I just saw the explosion.... I get it...

My curmudgeonly side tends to also blame it on what I perceive as the ever-shrinking attention span of the general public. This is then answered by an over-saturation of stimulus in what we watch, in order to keep the general public's ever-shrinking attention. In order to keep up, I always imagine that the decision makers in these blockbusters (and in other places, like kids commercial TV) feel like if they don't do EVERYTHING SINGLE THING THEY CAN to keep your scattered brain focused on their product, then they'll lose your business to the next guy.

I'm perfectly happy to be proven wrong about that, BTW, though considering how much I hear people talking about wanting things to "pop" all the time, I feel like this mentality is ingrained into the subconscious insecurities of even the most well-meaning directors/producers/whatever.

I like big budget entertainment easily as much as indie films, but I'm one of those guys who walks away from a lot of movies thinking about how nice it would be to have an SSL limiter between my tv outs and the receiver. I know that wouldn't always fix it and would add it's own set of problems, but the fact that I even think about it at all says something.... To me, anyway.
Old 30th December 2010
  #16
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I have the Academy screener for Inception, but I haven't watched it yet, so the following comments are not a critique of that film in particular, but of the misuse of music and sound FX in general.

I have a big problem with overbearing music or sound FX in films. I resent it when the director tries to use music to tell me what to feel about what is going on because they haven't shot a film or told a story that can stand on its own. The same goes for sound FX. I feel it is both a crutch and an insult.

I can't tell you how many mixes I've been on where directors have tried to make a boring scene exciting by pumping up the music or FX. All it can do is make a marginal scene louder, but it's still marginal. If it is a good scene, overly loud music and FX actually pushes the audience away rather than pulling them in. Music and sound FX can certainly enhance or fill in blanks in the story, but they can't make up for bad story telling.

My feeling is that the story is everything, and nothing in the soundtrack should draw attention to itself unless it is a story point. it should all be integrated to the point where the audience just accepts what they are experiencing as reality. When the sound FX or music become the focus, then the director has failed. Just by the fact that you are even commenting on the music tells me that the director failed to draw you into the story enough for you to suspend disbelief in the movie making process.
Old 30th December 2010
  #17
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

The audience will generally only notice the audio when something is wrong, such as over bearing music and Fx that drown out the dialogue, this then detracts from the story and loses the audience.
Old 30th December 2010
  #18
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seemed okay to me, i don't recall ever having to strain to hear the dialogue, and that would be something i normally notice..this was on a fairly poor surround which usually portrays the music and fx more prominent. good movie by the way, fairly intricate storyline...
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I have the Academy screener for Inception, but I haven't watched it yet, so the following comments are not a critique of that film in particular, but of the misuse of music and sound FX in general.

I have a big problem with overbearing music or sound FX in films. I resent it when the director tries to use music to tell me what to feel about what is going on because they haven't shot a film or told a story that can stand on its own. The same goes for sound FX. I feel it is both a crutch and an insult.

I can't tell you how many mixes I've been on where directors have tried to make a boring scene exciting by pumping up the music or FX. All it can do is make a marginal scene louder, but it's still marginal. If it is a good scene, overly loud music and FX actually pushes the audience away rather than pulling them in. Music and sound FX can certainly enhance or fill in blanks in the story, but they can't make up for bad story telling.

My feeling is that the story is everything, and nothing in the soundtrack should draw attention to itself unless it is a story point. it should all be integrated to the point where the audience just accepts what they are experiencing as reality. When the sound FX or music become the focus, then the director has failed. Just by the fact that you are even commenting on the music tells me that the director failed to draw you into the story enough for you to suspend disbelief in the movie making process.
Gary,
Well said. I would like to add, that Dialog is King. The Dialog tells the story, the Music and FX support the story and at time lead our emotions, but if you can't hear or understand the words then no amount of Music is going to help people understand the story/ plot. Good Music is created listening to the dialog and working it around the words. Most Composers treat Music like it's own island. When all the elements work together it is amazing. The trick is to make them all support the story. Too many Movies have the score of the week, or the "hip Song of the week". Trying to make songs that are mixed with no regards to Dialog and are also mastered within .1 of digital Zero and Mixed with Radio airplay only in mind makes things very challenging.
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.sound View Post
Gary,
Well said. I would like to add, that Dialog is King. The Dialog tells the story, the Music and FX support the story and at time lead our emotions, but if you can't hear or understand the words then no amount of Music is going to help people understand the story/ plot. Good Music is created listening to the dialog and working it around the words. Most Composers treat Music like it's own island. When all the elements work together it is amazing. The trick is to make them all support the story. Too many Movies have the score of the week, or the "hip Song of the week". Trying to make songs that are mixed with no regards to Dialog and are also mastered within .1 of digital Zero and Mixed with Radio airplay only in mind makes things very challenging.
music can convey what words can't. Dialogue is important but music is just as important. I think there is somewhat of an exaggeration. Perhaps the dialogue is not as loud as you are used to but I have yet to see a modern film where dialogue was not clearly audible. Dialogue is only a component. it is not king, It is just one part of many parts that fit together in harmony.
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
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I totally agree on what Marti and Gary said about music <-> fx <-> dialogue relationships in the movie sound. I experience it all the time...

I've seen "Inception" in a theater and I would not say, that the movie was mixed badly or I had problems with dialogue understanding. I would have lots of comments on other aspects of this movie, but I found the sound for this done in a "good way". And I'd like to point out, that English is my second language... but you also need to know, that all foreign movies played in theaters here have subtitles, so perhaps I sometimes read them instead of listening to dialogue and I might not be objective...

best,
Kuba
Old 30th December 2010
  #22
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

As I said early the Inception mix could have been an issue with my cable provider during the down conversion.

I would like to add my daughter had the same problem, both of us said a quite few times "what did he say"


I might have to hire out a DVD so I get the 5.1 mix
Old 30th December 2010
  #23
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadOrange View Post
music can convey what words can't. Dialogue is important but music is just as important. I think there is somewhat of an exaggeration. Perhaps the dialogue is not as loud as you are used to but I have yet to see a modern film where dialogue was not clearly audible. Dialogue is only a component. it is not king, It is just one part of many parts that fit together in harmony.
What sells a movie? A good screenplay that may be adapted from a book. This is the case 95+% of the time. Rarely is a score the reason a Movie is funded, shot etc.
Harmony, that is a balance of Dialog, Music and FX is what we are all striving for, but that Harmony starts out with hearing all the words and having the Music designed from the start to interact with the Dialog. That is why on "The Dub Stage" we ask Composers to give us stems so that when all the elements are put in we (the Re-Recording Mixers) may have the ability to adjust the score to fit the Directors and Producers needs and desires.
I have not seen/heard "Inception" yet. I will soon, but right now I am preserving "harmony" by taking a Christmas break with the family therefore balancing the act of work and Family.
Old 30th December 2010
  #24
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ggegan's Avatar
Marti is absolutely right.

Dialog is the standard to which all other elements must be balanced. It is the story and the embodiment of the script. Yes, there are often scenes without dialog, where music or FX carry things, but as soon as someone opens their mouth and says something, everything but the words take a back seat.

If the music is telling the story, then you aren't making a movie, you are making a music video.
Old 30th December 2010
  #25
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mdmitch2's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post

I just think when you use too much music, the movie becomes like a 2 hour promo.

I watched it on Blu Ray with the tv's built in stereo speakers... I felt like the music was overbearing, but was probably a conscious decision to make the movie feel more intense... and to hold people's attention during the complicated 'dream within a dream' sequences. It was kind of exhausting to watch, but I was impressed that they put it all together in such a way that it was comprehensible to the general public.
Old 30th December 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
Marti is absolutely right.

Dialog is the standard to which all other elements must be balanced. It is the story and the embodiment of the script. Yes, there are often scenes without dialog, where music or FX carry things, but as soon as someone opens their mouth and says something, everything but the words take a back seat.

If the music is telling the story, then you aren't making a movie, you are making a music video.
why must one completely dominate the other ? There is a point where a perfect marriage of dialogue and music can coexist neither overpowering the other. I suppose we are talking Hollywood films but just like you can make a statement with no music, you can make a statement with no dialogue. I think dialogue is very important but overemphasizing its importance leads one to diminish the importance of the other elements in effect undermining your original intentions. Except for explosions. Those should be loud and in your face. the more the better. In fact the concept of leitmotiv should be extended to explosions.
Old 30th December 2010
  #27
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I think, that Marti's and Gary's point of view becomes from years of experience and numbers of films mixed including features.

And very demanding directors and producers.

And also lots of problems solved during the mix.

Kuba


PS. If the loud explosion have to interact with dialogue, problem is somewhere else.
Old 31st December 2010
  #28
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Inception music too loud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan
Marti is absolutely

If the music is telling the story, then you aren't making a movie, you are making a music video.
Like
Old 31st December 2010
  #29
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The biggest satirists of our times nailed it with this:




And to the poster - I agree to the extent that the music and effects were too obvious rather than too loud there was just too much exaggerated contrast in levels. I didn't think the movie was as complex as it thought it was as it was always repeating itself and using the music and soundfx to literally punctuate every sentence (like the South Park boys obviously felt too)
Old 1st January 2011
  #30
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadOrange View Post
I think dialogue is very important but overemphasizing its importance leads one to diminish the importance of the other elements in effect undermining your original intentions


Dialog is king.
End of story.
And it has nothing to do with being a "Hollywood" movie.
And I wish all composers would simply accept that.
Right now I am mixing a show, and the composer is doing a fantastic job, scoring COMPLETELY around the dialog, where needed.

THAT'S composing.

Quite frankly, I think that in general, too much music is being used in a lot of Film and TV, where none is needed at all. Even documentaries I see this. They don't have a story, so they have wall to wall music.
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