Audio on DVD movies

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by dave_brogli, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    When i watch pretty much any DVD, I have a problem.... The bangs and booms and sound effects are always real loud, but the voice is always so hard to hear.... I have messed with my receiver endlessly. I have also tried a audio setup disc, and i seems to have everything up to par. ..... Anyone know what is going on......help!!!
     
  2. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Second Unit

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    Hi

    You might try moving the center channel or adjusting it so that it is firing toward your listening position. You can use rubber door stops to angle it up or down (depending on where it is mounted)

    The other option is the 'Dynamic Compression' feature that is on most DVD players and receivers. It is sometimes called 'Midnight Mode' or 'Night Mode'. This increases the level of quiet spots and lowers the level of explosions and gunshots. I believe it only works on Dolby Digital though.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    Yeah I thought it may be the center speaker.... Would it make a difference that my "center" speaker is really a "bookshelf" speaker.(haha i am sure it matters alot!) I am in the process of buying all new speakers so my center and surrounds I dont think are up to there full potential. I also have tried my midnight mode... it helps but not that much. Any suggestions on a decent (75.00-150.00) Center speaker?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Adam J

    Adam J Stunt Coordinator

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    I had the same problem and just turned down the volume on the sub. Night mode made a little difference but didn't fix the problem. I use the Star Wars Episode 1 disk when Anakin takes the fighter pilot out of the hanger to judge what the maximum bass level should be. Its a good short burst of low bass followed up by a light saber fight which should still sound boomy, but not push your sub over the max.
    I am sure someone else can give you a much more technical answer but that is what worked for me [​IMG]
     
  5. jeff cr

    jeff cr Agent

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    i think this is kind of normal, it happens on my system to. in fact i went to the theater last week to watch Jimmy Nuetron with my son (there are a lot of special effects in this movie) and during regular dialogue the voices and such were real low but when the effects came on it was very very loud. i find when i'm watching movies i have to fiddle with the volume a little during the movie because some parts are loud and others are not.
     
  6. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    This generally happens to me when I am watching something on my plain ol' two channel stereo setup in my livingroom.

    I always just wrote it off as surround encoding not being weeded out and rear channel and front channel info being sent to my speakers.
     
  7. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Second Unit

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    Hi Dave_Brogli

    Actually some suggest that using identical bookshelf speakers for all 5 is the best setup.

    When i started into the 5.1 game, i purchased a receiver and a center channel first. I used crap fronts and surrounds for the first 6 months. Then i bought new fronts, waited 5 months and bought new fronts, and moved the others to the surrounds.

    My suggestion is to pick the 5.1 setup that you want - by this i mean the Make and Model ie. Energy make, XL model. Decide / forecast how long it will take to buy all 5 speakers. You don't want to pick a model line that has been out for 4 years, if you will take 2 years to buy all of them, since they may get discontinued before you are finished. Research speakers recommended on this forum and then perform your listening tests.

    Then begin purchasing as your budget permits. Buy either the center or fronts first. These will make the biggest difference right away. Then buy the surrounds and Sub.

    Then sit back and enjoy the sound

    Take it easy
     
  8. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    Thanks Everyone[​IMG]
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  10. Harold_C

    Harold_C Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    You could try bumping up the level setting on the center speaker--since most dialog comes through here, that might effectively raise its volume.
     
  12. Vasanth B

    Vasanth B Stunt Coordinator

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    Harold's suggestion is an excellent one and I think your best solution. Once you have calibrated your system using Avia or Video Essentials, turn the volume up to reference level (what you set as reference with the disc)...then activate the dynamic range compression for Dolby Digital on your receiver. This may be labeled as "D.Comp" or "Night Mode" I find I have to use the highest setting on my Denon 1802 to keep my neighbors from complaining at night. (or it seems at any time. [​IMG])
    Once you have the setting enabled, you can adjust the volume so dialog is clearly heard.
    If you still can't hear, then as a last resort bump up the center channel by 2-3dB. It will throw off your calibration, but some people need that extra push in the center to hear dialog clearly.
    Oh, and BTW, D.Comp does NOT work on DTS soundtracks or 2 channel Dolby Surround.
     
  13. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Just to offer a somewhat different perspective, the "problem" is that Dolby Digital and all the equipment that goes with it is designed to reproduce the sound the way it was engineered by the creators of the movie, and the equipment is getting better at it all the time.

    In real life, an explosion is very LOUD, much, much louder than conversatoin. The more realistic the movie sound, the more this will be true. So, with dialog "normal," the really loud sounds should really blow the roof off.

    All of the suggestions above, while effective, are also compromising the goal of accurate playback.

    Not that I disagree with this compromise. The reality is than most of us have no choice, and don't care to be punished by the sounds in movies. We just want to watch the ACTORS being punished!
     
  14. Harold_C

    Harold_C Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Adam J

    Adam J Stunt Coordinator

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    I upped my center channel by 2 decibels as well. Didn't mention it earlier cause I thought I might get flogged [​IMG]
    Anyhow, I am happy with how my system sounds and whether I am an idiot or a genius you have to respect that.
    Btw, I am not a genius.
     
  16. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Supporting Actor

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