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Voices only on centre speaker in 5.1?

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Dave McQueen

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Posted November 17 2002 - 09:41 PM

Hi Got my first 5.1 system the other day. Just some questions about the smaller speakers. I only get my voices from the cenree speaker. Is that right? Also the volume on the centre speaker is much louder than the other 4'even though they are the same models? Is that right? Thanx

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Haris Ellahi

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Posted November 17 2002 - 11:35 PM

Yes, the main dialogue is meant to come from the center speaker only.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 18 2002 - 01:16 AM

Again, it depends. Using a test tone and measuring the speaker output with a sound pressure level (SPL) meter, the volume should be the same for all speakers. But one speaker may be perceived as louder than others at any given time, simply because there's more activity in that speaker at the moment. I'm going to move this to Basics. I think you'll get a better response there. M.
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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted November 18 2002 - 02:02 AM


As others have said- the majority of dialog will come from the Center. On some tracks, dialog will pan to follow the actors on screen (there are some excellent examples on Toy Story 2)- but for the majority it will be anchored to the center.

As far as volume- the brand of speaker has little effect- the relative placement will usually be the biggest factor in volume. Because no two speaker placements or room sizes are exactly the same, your receiver has individual volume controls for each channel that allows you to adjust them independently in order to get all 6 channels even.

Some people try to set this level by ear- but it is a hundred fold more effective to use a test disc like AVIA or VIDEO ESSENTIALS and a radio shack meter. These DVDs will provide a set of test tones which you can use in conjunction with a Sound Pressure Meter (available from radio shack) to make all 6 speakers even- providing the best playback.

The idea of calibration is discussed in the FAQ and Primer:



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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Dave McQueen

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Posted November 18 2002 - 03:32 AM

Maybe it's because the surround ones are more playing background noises rather than the Centre one which appears to play everything? Thanx

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted November 18 2002 - 05:16 AM

[quote] Maybe it's because the surround ones are more playing background noises.... [quote]

that is correct dave. the rear speakers are used mainly for ambience or effect shots.


when it's raining, you'll hear raindrops and thunder behind you. when someone shoots a gun, you'll hear the bullet whiz behind you. when you see something fly overhead, you'll hear the engine behind you....etc.

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