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Computer sound fluctuates too much, is there a compression software solution?


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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   bbooze

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Posted August 26 2011 - 05:44 AM

Almost everything I watch is either on Netflix or in the form of digital movie files. I have a situation that is more problematic through my stereo receiver than headphones (but still present in headphones) - namely - that the sound fluctuates waaaaay too much. I'm sure it's a very common complaint. You are watching a movie, and the dialogue is so low you have to crank it, then a soundtrack or explosion/scream kicks in and you are waking the neighbors. That's a very real problem for me because my neighbors often complain when I watch anything after 9pm. My "solution" is to constantly have my hand on the volume remote, and conduct an arcane waltz where I have to try to guess and time volume changes... it's extremely annoying. Does anyone know if there is a mac OsX solution that would act as a compressor or limiter of sorts, dropping the hottest volume bursts and raising the quiet ones? If not, is there some other manner in which someone has tackled this issue through other means? I suppose I'll just get a stand alone limiter for my stereo if I absolutely have too, but I assume the surround sound will be ditched if I do. Any tips? Thanks. -Chrome browser -os 10.6.8

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Brian McHale

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Posted August 29 2011 - 08:53 AM

My Denon AVR has a Dynamic Range Compression feature, with three settings (low, medium, high). Many receivers have something similar. It might be called "night" mode, too. I'm not aware of anything in OS X that would perform this function. It probably needs to be handled at the decoder end, so it probably needs to be in your receiver, not your player (computer). Edit: my AVR actually has multiple modes. In addition to the Dynamic Range Compression feature (which I think works with Dolby Digital, but don't quote me on that), there's also a 3 range Night mode, plus a dynamic volume capability which includes Day, Evening and Night selections.
Brian

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   bbooze

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Posted August 29 2011 - 10:02 AM

Thanks, I'm now shopping for a new receiver. Probably going to get one of the Onkyo models with the Audessey or whatever it's called settings.

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Brian McHale

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Posted August 30 2011 - 03:31 AM

Shopping for a new receiver is a perfect time to look for features like this. While I love HTF for getting information on movies and Blu-ray discs, I find that AVS Forum is a better place to research HT hardware. If you haven't been over there, I would highly recommend it. It's how I figured out which AVR I wanted, plus I found out about a great deal on it (most of their threads are supposed to be "no price discussions", but that rule gets disregarded quite a bit). Here's a link to their receiver forum: http://www.avsforum....isplay.php?f=90
Brian




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