just want to hear some opinions on how would one theatrical mix have to be adjusted for the home cinema. need to?

Not talking just about the output volume or overall compression. but also panning.

Listening to 5.1 of GOT, and imagining how those hard panning was heard in the cinema when it was shown in the theatre in the US. in think it was season 4? i haven't had the chance to hear it in the cinema only in my studio.

Or some stuff in the last season of True detective.

There is one shot when the main character is wakening up, his breath is coming form the centre. Hwoever when his hands reach for pack of cigs and are offscreen, foleys are mixed to the right channel. That might sound ok in a home small setup, perhaps nobody even notices that. but in a big screen environment that would be just too obvious. I think that the crew mixing that did this intentionally, but my question is what would happen if perhaps the True Detective (in question) would get the theatrical release (as GOT did). would they remix it? the scene i put as an example is not the sole one.

any opinions?


I would guess TV shows are often "mastered" either the same way or very similarly for broadcast versus DVD and Blu-Ray since the final output equipment is the same in either case. The release of two episodes of Game of Thrones was specifically described as "remastered" for IMAX, so we can expect the audio portion was mastered differently for delivery to IMAX.

Feature films are absolutely mastered different for theatrical release versus home viewing. It's possible that all the types of home viewing are made from a single home release master or that there are as many masters made as there are media types (e.g., broadcast, streaming, Blu-ray, DVD), depending on the budget and type of movie. For theater releases, there may be separate masters for different theater formats (e.g., old-school analog (if it exists?), THX theaters, Dolby vs. DTS vs. SDDS, etc.)

Regarding the differences, a master for a theater will generally have the following qualities:

  • It will have a higher crest factor (the difference between average and peak levels) than a home release master.
  • The surround panning will be different to take into account precise theater surround speaker placements versus unpredictable and/or typical home placements.
  • The surround processing will often be different due for surround formats that are exclusively used in theaters.
  • The stems (separate mixes of dialog, music, and sound effects) may be mixed differently to take into account different speaker equipment and calibrations of theaters versus home systems.
  • Mastering stage processing for ambiance, phase correlation, surround spread, delay timing, etc. may be different between theater and home releases.

In general, theaters are supposed to have standardized or more predictable speaker placement and calibration, plus controlled environments, which allows for more exciting masters. Home systems could be anything, from a 3" mono speaker up to high-end home theater surround systems, so the mastering often has to be a bit more resilient to unpredictable situations.

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