Are the surrounds supposed to be so quiet?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Justin Ward, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    I just finished hooking up the speakers to my Pioneer VSX-510 reciever. Anyway, I ran the test tone and all the speakers seem to be at the same volume, however, when immersed in a movie I find the surrounds are very hard to hear. I turned them up a little(they now sound louder on the test tone) but they seem to be at the right level in movies. Aside from that, I am VERY happy with the sound from my new audio setup! Very clear and powerful.
     
  2. shane_watson

    shane_watson Stunt Coordinator

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    justin the best way to be sure your getting the proper volumes on your speakers is to calibrate them via avia,ve,or the cheapest way i found that works great is the sound and vision ht setup dvd which can be purchased at amazon.com for around 20 bucks,its a wise investment to get you a spl analog meter from radio shack for about 35.00$ you wouldnt believe the differance this would make.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Justin,

    Guessing by ear is not the best way to accomplish this, a SPL meter and proper test tones would probably yield a more accurate result (this info is suggested in the FAQ and primer, listed in my sig).

    But, you should realize that surround sound level is not intended to draw your attention away from the screen. Some people get their first system and want the surrounds to be pumping full on, all the time- and that simply is not the purpose.

    But I would suggest a real calibration with a meter before we chalk this up to you not liking the level of the surrounds.

    -Vince
     
  4. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    Like Vince said, surrounds are not to draw your attention away from the screen.

    To elaborate, in many titles the surrounds are used very subtlely as opposed to hardcore surround sound some have. Their purpose is to make ambience, or panning effects, or when a sound is coming from beside or behind you.

    When the surrounds are banging out a whole lot of sound the ambience sounds unatural, and effects sound placed closer to you than they should be. Even when used subtlely you will notice a difference if you were to turn them off, then back on. If you notice a difference then you will know for sure that they are doing their job. If not the system needs calibration, or better surrounds in your system to get the effect you really want. But I stress that any audiophile will tell you that nice subtle enveloping surround sound is best and truer to a good film's reproduction, and not just one trying to show off.

    After you calibrate your system let us know if it sounds better to you.
     

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