Surrounds too loud in DTS

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by LawrenceK, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

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    After calibrating my system using Video Essentials (not DVE), my system, when played back in Dolby Digital, sounds pretty damned good. Everything sounds very well balanced. However, when I play a DVD using DTS, it is invariably much too loud in the surrounds. It is too the point of distraction. I have noticed this occurring on every single DTS dvd I have played, but it is most noticeble on discs such as Se7en, Gladiator, and the EE of Lord of the Rings. I almost can't concentrate on the action taking place up front because the surrounds are so distracting. Does anybody know why this occurs, and if there is a way to calibrate my settings for DTS so that the surrounds are more balanced like in DD? I'm using a Rotel RSX-1065 reciever.
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Sounds like you are more sensitive to the DTS mix if you do indeed have the speakers calibrated.
     
  3. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

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    I really don't think it is an issue of being "more sensitive" to the DTS mix. I mean, the surrounds are really overpowering. For example, in Gladiator, in the dolby digital mix when he enters the colliseum for the first time, the surrounds pick up the sounds of the crowd all around him, but are more of a ambient effect. Whereas with the DTS track, my ears are immidietly taken away from the front, to the surrounds whenever the crowd cheers, because they are just so much louder. Same with in Se7en, I switched between the dd track and the dts one, and the rain in the surrounds was much louder and distracting on the DTS track, but on the DD track it sounded perfectly balanced in the mix.
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Wild guess, but have you checked to see if the speaker level settings stay the same when in DTS mode? In case the receiver keeps separate settings for each. Not sure why there would be such a thing though.

    If it's a consistent issue the last resort is of course just changing the levels to your preference.
     
  5. LarryGS

    LarryGS Auditioning

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    LawrenceK, just so you don't feel alone, I have exactly the same experience. It's annoying enough that I just avoid DTS.
     
  6. Michael Young

    Michael Young Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmm interesting. Does it have something todo with the way certain receivers play back the DTS track??
    All my levels sound exactly the same in DD or DTS, except the LFE channel. And on the sony receiver I have it says to use +10DB as the DTS LFE track to help with the problem.
     
  7. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    I don't know about the DVE but the S&V HTT-U has calibrations for DD and DTS, not sure if it makes any difference or not.
     
  8. Johnny Ayala

    Johnny Ayala Stunt Coordinator

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    I used the DVE disk and mine sound the same in either DD or DTS. Could it be a different setting because of the different disk you used?
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    I guess I am not such a purist, I adjust my center channel level freely to make sure I can here dialog clearly, and leave the rest of the system where it was calibrated to.

    So this could be why I don't have such an issue with it perhaps. I always make sure dialog is clear and loud.

    Seems to work well for me, but I do realize your potentialy throwing off your front sound stage, but it seems if I adjust the center to hear dialog where I like it, the sound stage for any given movie / source seems great, more so than if the dialog would have been more subdude.
     
  10. Michael Young

    Michael Young Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes but that could ruin the dialog pan from center to front right/left etc.

    I've never had a real problem hearing dialog, unless its a poor mix, like some bad dialog parts on the new nightmare collection, or some of the soft dialog on alien.

    I assume you have calibrated using a disk and SPL meter?
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well, I am calibrated.

    Not, that I really have a hard time ever hearing dialog. But I do adjust my center fairly freely, and suggest the same to others.

    I do understand the potential issues with the front sound stage and panning. But as I said, it seems to me, to be more correct where the dialog is clear and loud.

    We are not talking about very large changes either here. My significant other says she can't even hear the difference most times when I do it.
     
  12. Robert MacD

    Robert MacD Auditioning

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    This same thing was happening to a customer of ours. After a few hours of trying to analyze it I found out the problem. His DVD player had a DTS decoder chip built in to it and the default mode for it was “ON”. His receiver also had a DTS decoder chip built in to it. So the receiver’s DTS decoder chip was not getting a good (pure PCM) signal for it to use, and the result was that the surrounds were very loud and the center channel was very hard to here. Does this sound familiar?

    If your DVD player and your receiver both have a DTS decoder chip built in to them, you might want to check and see if they are both “ON”.

    Rob
     

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