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Sound effect louder than dialog?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Adam*Ak, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Adam*Ak

    Adam*Ak Auditioning

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    This happen when watching DVD, but sometimes with TV also. The spoken dialog is pretty soft, so I've to turn up the volumn. And the special effect is so loud sometimes it scares me. I found myself turning the vol up and down constantly. Is there anything I can do about this?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    You're more likely to get useful advice if you indicate what sort of equipment you're using. Are we talking about a TV speaker or some sort of receiver (and if so, what kind)?

    M.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And are you asking about gain riding? That is, a device that automatically gain rides for you?
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum Adam.

    I’m going to assume that you are listening via a receiver.

    Depending on your receiver there are potentially a couple of things which you can do.

    Go into the menu or options in your receiver and look for DRC or Dynamic Range Control. This should have some settings that allow you to compress the range of sound coming from your DVD player (or whatever). This means that the soft sounds won’t be so soft and the loud sounds won’t be so loud. Most receivers allow a range of compression.

    Some receivers also have a setting termed Midnight or something similar. This enables DRC or DRC-like processing to the sound.

    Some TVs have DRC-type settings as well.

    From my experience better speakers don’t require as much volume to understand softly spoken dialogue. YMMV
     
  5. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    Have you set up your speakers using an SPL meter and a setup disc? This could fix your problem and also make your setup sound ALOT better.
     
  6. Adam*Ak

    Adam*Ak Auditioning

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    Thanks.
    I have a Sharp 37" LCD TV, Gallo speakers & subwoofer, HK DPR 1001 Receiver and HK DVD 101 player. I listen through receiver/ speakers only.

    The receiver has something called EZ Setup and that's what I went through. Didn't use SPL meter. I'll go back and look through my manual.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    if you can, definitely calibrate first. that will give you a nice solid base from which you can tweak to your heart's desire. [​IMG]

    also, keep this in mind. most of the dialog comes from the center speaker. effects usually (but not always) come from the other speakers. so...you could bump up your center speaker volume. you'll definitely be able to do that via your receiver's adjustments. that should help increase dialog intelligibility (is that a word...?)
     
  8. Dave Nibeck

    Dave Nibeck Stunt Coordinator

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    Audio calibration is the first step. You can guess by ear but having a spl meter is preferred. You can pick one up at rat shack. This is a useful tool in that you will probably go through several sets of speakers, receivers or just plain ol setup. You can also wow your friends by calibrating their equipment. I'm a biker so I also use mine to measure exhaust music.

    Acoustics is another common reason for dialog drop but you need to start with the basics first.
     

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