The SOUND of Blade Runner 2049

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by head_unit, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    I know there is another thread about the movie, but when we went and saw it what struck us-literally-was the sound. Walls and walls of it. Unpleasantly so. Is this REALLY how it is mixed/mastered?

    This was at the Westwood Village theater this past Monday, in Dolby Atmos. Which, by the way, totally failed to impress us, as it failed during Star Wars Rogue One at the El Capitan in Hollywood. Example: Ryan Gosling's character puts his hand into a beehive and I hear bees...but I do NOT hear an acoustic of being naturally surrounded by bees. I feel like I am inside a virtual space where someone is manipulating a trackball "eh, lets put a bee here, and spin it so it flies like this..."

    Anyway, the movie was LOUD. Like the scene in Terminator 2 where a semi-truck is crashing sideways. But for most of the 2.75 hours! Now, dialogue was not obviously too loud-loud maybe, but not shoutingly so. And the music not really powerful-like fake Vangelis lite as redone by The Mantovani Orchestra for Muzak. OK, maybe that's a bit unkind, though it DID sound like it was then brickwalled by the Death Magnetic culprit(s). A kind of low frequency hum/thrum motif kept recurring, supposed to sound powerful I guess, but it was more like annoying midbass than elephant-call, loosen-your-bowels LOW throbbing.

    When we went for ramen down the street afterward, we could hardly remember the movie for the annoyance of the overpowering sound. So I repeat-is this REALLY how it is mixed/mastered?
    Vidiot likes this.
  2. Jamiroquai

    Jamiroquai Forum Resident

    plymouth ma. usa
    1. My theatre was so loud the speakers rattled and by the end of the movie my head was rattled too. I really enjoyed the movie though. I really like the soundtrack as well. It’s not brick walled but definitely could have used some more breathing room. It’s also given me a major Suspicious Minds ear worm.
  3. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    As an old tinitus warrior, I'm really sensitive (and dislike) loud movies. I saw the film twice and heard a couple rattles during one scene only (the descent into Las Vegas, I think) in the first showing at an older theater. At the second (and newer) theater there we no rattles. But in both cases I thought the dialog/sound mix was fine and neither presentation bothered me with loudness.
  4. charlie W

    charlie W Forum Resident

    San Antonio
    At least 1 of the surround speakers rattled in the theater(no Dolby Atmos unfortunately) where I watched the movie. I were more aggravated by the constant low-frequency drone or hum heard throughout much of the movie. First, I thought it was part of the 2049 Los Angeles cityscape environment. It overwhelmed the music and dialogue at times. I guess this is the state of presentation at the movies now. It was much better than what I heard(and saw) in Interstellar, a movie so loud and distorted that I missed key plot/dialogue points.
  5. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    This was my first tent-pole blockbuster I've seen in a real, mall-cinemaplex-type auditorium, able to focus on the Atmos.

    Doom-y, gargantuan, "glass-pack motorcycle" drones, is NOT the best showcase for Atmos. :shake:
  6. I loved it. Deep, grungy bass synth sounds, unsettling, otherworldly, contrasted with stretches of near-silence. I was completely enveloped. Awesome end credits suite.
    16s, Yovra, Darren Richardson and 5 others like this.
  7. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    The sound at the theater I saw was excellent. Dynamic, powerful when needed, but not overbearing.
  8. Sounded fine to me--it wasn't brickwalled ;)

    Sounds like the presentation by the theater.
    iggyd, Lownote30 and Strat-Mangler like this.
  9. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Murfreesboro, TN
    The sound mix was really dull and continually rattled all the speakers of the not too terribly old multiplex I had to see it in since there's absolutely no Dolby cinemas wih Atmos anywhere near me. I felt as if the LFE was pretty low in frequency as most mixes are today and thought there might even be some roll off as many subwoofers can't get that low.

    It was certainly not impressive and the continual use of bass thuds are not good for dramatic beats in place of score. The 2049 mix is just dull and nothing like the last times I saw BR in theaters because the Directors cut and Final Cut prints sounded great.

    Weirdest of all was that despite replicating the handguns they didn't use any kind of special sound effect for gunfire whereas Deckard's gun originally sounded like a mini cannon.
  10. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I saw it in an IMAX theater and the sound was great. Ground shaking lows, i felt strongly. The rest was just as it should be, just natural. But, the low frequencies sometimes, with the ships, were really ground shaking and noticeable. Good sound in the theater i saw it in.
  11. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    "Deep"? Where did you see it? What we heard was NOT deep, but rather fake deep. Not vibrating the body at all, just rattling some of the speakers, ugh
  12. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Spirit Crusher, where i saw it the sound was totally deep. There were bodies vibrating from the sound of the ships coming and going and the explosions. Sometimes the lows were kind of scary they were so low.
    Spirit Crusher and The Revealer like this.
  13. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Norfolk, UK
    Mr Boombastic....
  14. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Yo mama so fat Thanos had to snap twice.

    New York
    This would have to be on a screen-by-screen basis. I have zero faith in any cinema chain ensuring they got the mix right, have the SPL at the correct setting, or even check if their speakers are fully functional.

    Maybe your local cinema gives a crap but mine certainly doesn’t
    Lownote30 likes this.
  15. The Revealer

    The Revealer I see you collecting... something... soon....

    Metro Chicago, IL
    Anyone who can recommend a theater in Chicago area that got it right? Want to go for a second viewing this week. Cinemark Lake Street was ridiculously loud and deep.
  16. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    I found the mix fine. Dialog was always very clear and audible.

    I enjoyed the soundtrack too.
  17. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    I rarely get to see movies in the theaters now but I am in full agreement with the OP.

    I enjoyed the movie a great deal however found the audio to be compressed/loud to the point it was distracting, even painful. It did indeed sound like the speakers were getting clipped.

    Maybe it's a variance from theater to theater.
    tommy-thewho likes this.
  18. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    I saw it in Cinemark XD and it was way too loud.
  19. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    I wish more film sound designers had the time to come out to "real America", just to sample the kind of audio you can expect in an auditorium in, say, Des Moines Iowa, or Muncie Indiana. Yeah, it might make a few of them mad, but then maybe they'd think twice about creating sound for films that the rest of the world outside of the coasts just can't pull off in a passable auditorium that's perhaps a little behind the curve.
    The Revealer likes this.
  20. darkmass

    darkmass Forum Resident

    Maybe the question should be, why do these "passible auditoriums" feel they need to set the volume to 11.5?
  21. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    Comparitively, 2049's sound was really unimaginative.

    Much of the whole movie is unimaginative.

    You replace one of the greatest movie lines of all time, with Ryan Gosling laying down and closing his eyes, trying to get us to go there with a refrain of Tears In Rain? That's basically the film in a nutshell.
  22. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Wait, you're on this forum and you have to ask that? :laugh:

    Around here, "Loudness Wars" ranks right up there with nuclear proliferation and "the heartbreak of psoriasis"!
  23. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Wow, I guess I missed the article about "replacing" the original. Fortunately for me, I bought my Blu-Ray second-hand, so they can't send the authorities to my house to take it from me!
    16s likes this.
  24. The Revealer

    The Revealer I see you collecting... something... soon....

    Metro Chicago, IL
    I ordered the 2CD edition - I had to edit out the link as it was sold out - and have been listening to the download until the discs arrive. I'm so impressed how much comes through these lossy files. Very impressive bass. I can hardly wait until the 16 bit material arrives. I might need earplugs!
  25. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    We have great theaters here but they do tend to be too loud, which is a national trend.

    When I saw it last week I felt like I was doing permanent damage to my ears. It was crushing. I appreciated the effect of the volume and overall the sound design and mix was excellent, but the loudest parts were crushingly so. Spent a number of times with my hands firmly covering my ears.

    I’ve read a lot of comments online and on Facebook complaining about the sound levels on this movie, so it’s a real issue.

    dan c
    The Revealer likes this.

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