Back speakers quiet :(

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by gamepsyched, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. gamepsyched

    gamepsyched Agent

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    my surround sound has been great for me for these last couple weeks since i got it . but i noticed its not realy giving me " surround sound " the back speakers are so quiet i can hardly hear them and i am sitting about 4 feet away from them/.

    Example: i was playing saints row on xbox 360 and i turned my back to the car playing music ... it was QUIET!! like really quiet . then when i faced it my front speakers strted bumpin loud as hell ... is this a problem or do all back speakers do this?
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    You need to go into your receiver's setup menus and set the distances and levels, for your speakers. To do it properly, you need an SPL meter (available at Radio Shack), but you can adjust them by ear, until you can do better.
    Good luck!
     
  3. gamepsyched

    gamepsyched Agent

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    i did set the distance .... and its still quiet
     
  4. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    But did you set levels? Run the test tones on your receiver to get pink noise going through the surrounds and set levels by ear to insure that they are at least working.
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    What about the levels? The levels, are the actual volume of the speakers. The distance, is the "delay" setting, which is part of the overall speaker adjustments. The biggest and most noticable difference in volume, will come from level adjustments. If after adjusting the levels up, on the surround speakers, they are still "quiet", you may have a problem somewhere.

    Depending on where the levels are set now, you may need to adjust the levels of the front three speakers down some, in order to get enough difference, to be able to get the surround speakers a little louder. (if levels are about maxed out, and rear speakers seem quieter, because front speakers are closer, and drowning out the rears, lower the front speaker's volumes, so you can hear the rear speakers) Is this making sense? I'm a slow typist, and having trouble making my point clear............

    If you can, spend the $40-$45 for a Radio Shack SPL meter, and you should be able to get them set just right.
    Good luck! I hope this wasn't too confusing...... [​IMG]
     
  6. LS1 Sounds

    LS1 Sounds Auditioning

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    Also make sure you have the speakers wired with the correct polarity. If they are out of phase, the sound may cancel itself out at certain frequencies.
     
  7. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Your back speakers may also be somewhat less powerful than your fronts...due to speaker design. In most movies the rears and sides almost never reproduce as much as the fronts, consequently many systems make no effort to have earth-shaking sound from the sides and rear.

    First things first, though. Make sure you set the levels so that the speakers are as near the same loudness as possible.

    You might want to check the game on another system, too, jsut to see if this is a game issue rather than a sound system issue.
     
  8. gamepsyched

    gamepsyched Agent

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    yay i set level!!! i put back speakers to +5 decibels and set distance and stuff now back speakers are still quieter then front but good enough so i can notice [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] YAY!!! thank you for your help ... and what does spl meter do exactly?
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Those test-tones send sounds to 1 speaker, keeps it stedy for 5 seconds, then moves to another. It continues in a circle.

    The SPL meter measures the volume from each speaker (SPL - Sound Pressure Level). You use the meter to get the actual volume measurement. Then you use the +/- option on the receiver to get all speakers producing the same volume.

    You need to re-adjust the levels if you change any speakers, change the angle or position. These can all have a dramatic effect on the volume several feet away.

    The analog SPL meter from Radio Shack is the prefered device. Digital will work, but analog is a bit cheaper and better.

    Look for a DVD setup disk called "Video Digital Essentials" or "Avia". These both have tutorials on level-adjusting your speakers with an SPL meter.

    You get "geek cred" for doing this. [​IMG]
     
  10. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    When you say it is "quieter" in the surrounds, you need to remember that there is not as much information going to those speakers so there will not always be something going on back there. That could be what you are (not) hearing.
    When you set your back (surround) speakers to +5 dbs. where were the front and center speakers set to? Usually a level of "0" db. all the way around is optimal but it is acceptable to run certain channels "hot", say +1 or so on the center to improve dialog intelligibilty.
     

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