managing bass for music and LFE for movies

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Steve Satch, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Steve Satch

    Steve Satch Stunt Coordinator

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    How do I get the proper level of bass with music and balance that with the proper LFE level for movies? With my receiver, Yamaha rx-v995, when I set the subwoofer using VE and SPL meter, I set it at -18. That sounds good with movies, but it's too low for music. It sounds better at -12 for CDs. If I keep the subwoofer setting at -12 it's too much bass for movies and it's calibrated wrong according to VE and SPL meter. Should I set the subwoofer setting high, like -12, but use the Dobly Digital and DTS LFE settings to lower the LFE for DVDS? That wouldn't effect bass for TV shows in Pro Logic though. How do you guys deal with the fine line with bass and LFE for movies and music? I'm sure there's something I'm missing. I've always kept it at -18 (correct for movies) and changed the setting to -12 when I listen to CDs. Thanks for any help.
    Steve
     
  2. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    I don't know how flexible your Yamaha is, but with my Lexicon MC-12, I set sub levels, crossovers, distances, and limiters once in the "setup menu" using internal test tones and an SPL meter. Then I can adjust sub levels individually for each mode (DD, DTS, 2-channel, Logic7, Neo6, "cathedral" etc.) using the "output levels" sub-menu within each "mode menu".
     
  3. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Maybe a "correct" bass amount for music sounds anemic to you becaause you're more used to typical American bloated bass? In this case it is a psychological problem and must be fixed with years of expensive therapy.
     
  4. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    How is having bloated bass somehow an American characteristic?
     
  5. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    Similar to the average american's "bloated" waistline? [​IMG]

    I prefer the subwoofer channel reduced by about 6dB, compared to the "correct" calibration tones- leave DD/DTS as they are- just change music settings.

    Make sure you don't have overlapping crossovers because that could result in the bloated bass (plus of course too high gain on sub)
     
  6. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    now, now.

    there ARE a few "classy" american speakers, as well.

    [​IMG]

    (heh. this coming from someone who just bought KEF.)

    btw, john smith, i don't know if you saw the most recent studies or not, but you brits have caught up with our bloated waistline and are even more unhealthy (if you can imagine that), according to some of the key indicators. tally ho.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve wrote:
    >>I set it at -18. That sounds good with movies, but it's too low for music. It sounds better at -12 for CDs.
     
  8. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    Steve,
    I spent the better part of 2 hours today trying to solve this exact same problem.
    I find that all the modes, excluding DD and DTS, do not have enough bass for my liking and changing the crossover setting and speaker size was just not enough.
    My solution was exactly what Dave posted. I just bumped up the sub output on everything other than DD and DTS.
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I think the 995 is an older model, so it probably doesn’t have this kind of flexibility. I know my older Yamaha flagship DSP integrated amp/processor doesn’t. I just inserted a remote controlled pre-amp in front of the sub, so I can control the sub level for each program source, if need be.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  10. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    This will probably put me on even more people's ignore lists but I had to say something about this.

    What's the deal with this fear of "violating" calibration settings??? If a particular setting truly bothers YOU, who gives a rat's ass what the meter says? If there is too much of something, change it! Level-setting devices and procedures exist merely to establish baseline levels; from then on you do what you feel sounds best.

    If there is too much bass, simply:

    1) Turn down the level right at the sub.

    2) Turn down the level using the receiver's subwoofer level control (my Technics SA-DA8 has a dedicated button on the remote for this single function, unlike many other manufacturers who bury it in a messy, difficult-to-access menu system. Just another reason I bought that brand of receiver).

    3) Turn down the receiver's bass level control.

    Doing any of the above will not cause the sun to burn out, your dog will still like you and best of all, you will be able to enjoy listening to your movies and your music.

    Machines and science exist to serve human beings, not the other way around.

    LJ
     
  11. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

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    >>What's the deal with this fear of "violating" calibration settings???
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Roger: I've read quite a few posts here that concern level setting and while the writer didn't specifically say he was fearful of adjusting a calibrated system it was clear (to me anyway) from the tone of the message that he was worried about doing such a thing & that somehow it would ruin the listening experience.

    As everybody knows, each person has their own personal--and physical--volume threshholds for certain sounds and while I have stated here many times my preference to respect what the musician or director wants his audience to hear, sometimes that can just simply be too much for certain people to handle. And they won't change their mind about it simply because someone somewhere has declared this to be the "correct" way to hear it. This would be like the host of a dinner party commanding that since the cook liked his food extra spicy, each guest MUST coat their otherwise tasty fajitas with a full tablespoon of Tobasco sauce......sorry but at least for me since I'm a sissy when it comes to spicy food, this just ain't gonna happen! A few shakes of the bottle is all I need to add some extra kick.

    These days, even for us hobbyists a 5.1 system using a $200 receiver can be complicated to set up correctly. But while WE think its an enjoyable thing to do, for non-hobbyists it is just a confusing chore and I just happen to think being overly-rigid with certain aspects of it will only scare off potential surround adopters, and they will continue to listen to their movies through their TV's tin can 3" speakers.

    So, if convincing a hesitant person to buy a surround system means that a certain dinosaur caused only a slight vibration in their sofa cushion rather than cracking their windows, then I am all for violating calibrated level settings.

    LJ
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    FIRST, try adjusting the placement of the sub.

    I used to have the same problem, and found that a new sub solved it quite well.

    Are you using the same device to play music as well as movies since you calibrated based on that device? I would recommend you adjust your sub's level based on the receiver's tones and not VE's, as well as double check your other speaker settings relative to your receiver's tones as well.
     
  14. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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    "FIRST, try adjusting the placement of the sub."

    Ditto - I had my sub hidden in a corner behind a couch and it sounded way too boomy, then I put it under my center and I couldnt hear it at all. Lastly I had the front [its front firing] aligned with the front of my couch and now it is crystal clear.
     
  15. Steve Satch

    Steve Satch Stunt Coordinator

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    What I meant in my original post is simply that I find I like the subwoofer set to a different level for DVDs than I do for music and wondered if others had this same problem. My receiver does not allow different setting for different inputs. I did not mean that I like the subwoofer set to a different level than my SPL meter and VE say it should be at.
     
  16. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    I know exactly what you mean Steve. And really it depends on the type of music you listen to.
    For example, try playing Cowboy by Kid Rock. This song has very deep bass and I really have no need to turn my sub up.
    But when I pop in AC/DC, I usually bump the sub volume to about +6.
    I think the problem is that I have just gotten used to deep bass to the point that if it's not there, I have to create it.
    It's possible that this may be happening to you also.
     

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