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Volume jump from Dolby Digital to DTS...Why?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Jason Cheung, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Jason Cheung

    Jason Cheung Agent

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    Hi,
    I just got a Denon 3803 and, finally, for the first time, listened to both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS in my home. (What an experience!)
    But I have a question I hope some of you more knowledgable HT owners can help me with:
    When I switched from DD to DTS on the receiver, I was taken aback by the unexpected volume increase in the system. It was so loud my mom gave me a little lecture. I was at about -10 db while listening on the DD format, but when I switched to DTS, the volume got significantly louder. I was even afraid I might have blown my speakers.
    Anyways, is this "normal" when switching from format to format? Is this caused by different recording levels on various DVD's?
    What's the best way for me to not get "surprised" like this anymore.
    Well, any help with this would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    The first question is - did you calibrate your system? If you have not calibrated, your levels could be very different for DTS and DD (They should be roughly the same). Second, what DVD were you listening to? Usually there is not much of a difference in the levels between DTS ands DD (not 10 dB anyway), but the DVD you were using may be an exception.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    It's possible that dts soundtrack could be around 4dB louder than the DD soundtrack (due to mastering levels and dialnorm).
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Also check that "night mode" or "midnight mode" or dialog normalization is OFF for DD, as this will very significantly reduce the volume of loud scenes and generally compress the dynamic range, which may be why you saw a huge change in volume level when you switched.
     
  5. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    I have verified on several occasions that the DTS track is louder (seems like more than 4db difference) than the DD track. This may be the reason some ppl say the DTS track sounds better (like comparing speakers, the louder one usually sound better). I have never been able to determine any difference in sound quality between the two.
     
  6. Gary Mui

    Gary Mui Agent

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    Basically it comes down to the age old question of DD vs DTS:

    http://www.5point1.com/dts/battle.html

    As that website shows, DD is a highly compressed format compared to DTS, which may account for the loudness you describe when switching to DTS.

    From my own personal experience, I typically find the DTS track to be fuller and more enveloping than the DD track. I find the DTS track to have more subtlety and clarity as well.
     
  7. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Screenwriter

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    Adam
     
  8. Gary Mui

    Gary Mui Agent

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    Sorry to stir up an old thread, but I'm still puzzled about how I can get a DD track to sound as 'loud' and full as the DTS track?

    I have the Yamaha HTR-5550 receiver, and a Panny RP-82 DVD player, connected with an optical cable.

    So is there a setting on the receiver for 'night mode'? So far I am not aware of how to turn it 'off'. Any help is greatly appreciated guys, thanks!
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Lead Actor

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    As "loud"? Turn it up 4 db. As "full", well that's a whole can of worms.

    As far as night mode- there is a DD feature allowing dynamic compression (sometime called DRC sometimes called "night mode")-- how it is used in your system, and how it disable it will depend on the receiver. I don't have a Yamaha- so maybe someone else could chime in on where to find the setting.

    -Vince
     
  10. Gary Mui

    Gary Mui Agent

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    Yes, I guess what I'm after is turning off 'normalization' for the DD track. Because it definitely sounds like the higher highs and the lower lows have been chopped off, compared to the DTS track.

    As of right now, if I were to close my eyes and listen to one track, then the other, it's very obvious which is which. From what I've read, there really shouldn't be that much of a difference? So that's what I'm after. TIA!
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Lead Actor

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    Well- depends on the track, the disc and the mix. Some are NIGHT AND DAY diff- although one would argue mix differences are a part of that. Some are closer.

    I have also found that some receivers are not playing fair- and DD or DTS sounds better inside the unit-- the decoding circuits and DSP chips being better for one or the other.

    -V
     
  12. Phoenix

    Phoenix Agent

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    DD may be more universal but i prefer dts mostly due to the increase in recorded volume. i find that the louder signal masks the hissing sound when the volume is high and the passage is quiet. has anyone else noticed this? i have a yamaha htr-5560 the range compression is in the main menu number 5 or 6 down the list i believe. it only affects DD signals as was stated above. There is a night mode, but it will only activate if you are using the headphone jack on the front. also i read that dolby digital is recorded onto the film itself(in between the frames) in the theaters, and DTS is recorded on multiply cd's. is this true? i think a cd would sound better than a tape reel.....
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Lead Actor

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    Lol- it's digital data- it's either there or it's not. The reel tape element would have little to do with it beside durability.

    And this would have zero inpact on DVD- as the DVD tracks are sourced from the files (that are either carried on CD or Film for theatrical exhibition.

    -Vince
     
  16. Phoenix

    Phoenix Agent

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    So I stand corrected, what can i say:b So it is the decoders that raise the volume of DTS tracks? Maybe that is a marketing ploy from DTS because the average person thinks that what is louder is better right? The hissing I am referring to is not loud, but just enough to hear when the volume is set at -40 to -35db. Isn't a 3db increase in SPL equivalent to being twice as loud to the ear? If that is the case then wouldnt 4-5 db make a big difference? Please note that I am not trying to pretend like I know what I am talking about, these are just things that i have heard over time, many of which are form this forum.I apologize if my information is not very accurate because I am, after all just a noob[​IMG] I realize that DVD and theater recording media and practices are different I wansnt sure if they used CDs or not.
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Redundant information
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    One decibel difference is generally considered the smallest change that the human ear can detect. This general statement is dependent on a number of other factors.

    So a three dB change, while certainly audible is not a change on the order of twice as loud. It does take, more or less, about twice as much amplifier power to cause a 3 dB increase however. Or an order of magnitude (10 times) to get twice as much sound.

    However, as human hearing is not exactly straight line, some of the above depends on a number of other factors.
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  20. Phoenix

    Phoenix Agent

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    I see... thanks for the info. I understand a lot better now. Sorry for changing the subject of the original post. i hope you found what you were looking for Jason, good-luck [​IMG]
     

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