1. Visit this thread for your chance to win a selection of Lionsgate action films on UV!
    Dismiss Notice

center channel localization

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Michaw, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 2, 2000
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    This was something that I was concerned with when purchasing my speakers, and it is something I continue to be vexed by.

    My center channel speaker is a PSB Image 8C. It is positioned atop of my Toshiba 42H81 set, tilted slightly forward. When I was auditioning speakers, I spent much time listening to center channels. I was trying to to find a speaker that gave me the benefits of a bigger sounding speaker, without the detraction of a localized sound. Of the 6 or so center channels that I tried in my budget, the 8C was a winner. It provided clarity, musicality, and a fairly full-range sound. It also did not point to itself as much as some other speakers did (meaning that dialog in movies sounded as if it was coming from the TV, not the speaker).

    Over the last 2 years, I have purchased a new TV (the 42H81), and the speaker height and angle have been altered. I don't know if my hearing is better or if my focus is just better, but I believe that dialog is coming more from my speaker than I noticed in the past. It is most common on female voices. Male voices, sound effects, and music seem to come more from the TV. For whatever reason, female voices often sound as if they are coming right from the center speaker, thereby creating a disjointed feel between image and sound.

    Does anyone else notice this? Has anyone been able to minimize this effect? I have tried tilting the speaker up and down, but I don't know what the actual results were (placebo effect...or fear of it). What have been solutions of other people? At this time, I cannot move the center channel below the screen. It would jut out too far into the living area. Any suggestions or stories would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    The whole point of the center channel in HT is to lock the dialog to where the speaker is. The localization of the off-height speaker is a result of that.

    If you hear it with music, which should never have one voice or another steered exclusively to an individual speaker, you should play around with the center delay setting +- 1.5ms.

    Adjusting the delay does not do much for dialog since the voice is coming out of a discrete speaker. It will only effect off-centered dialog/effect. Speaker tilting, putting edge of speaker to edge of TV or placing speaker below screen should be tried.
     
  3. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 1999
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two things bug me about the most common center speaker location (top of the TV): (1) midbass reinforcement from being placed so close to the large surface area of the TV screen (its like a miniature wall), and (2) the unnatural height compared to the other speakers. I solved both by simply putting my center speaker on a stand directly in front of my RPTV. The speaker is angled up, and its top is about 2" below the bottom edge of my 53" TV's screen. It is "normal" for me to hear sound coming from below the screen on my RPTV since that is where the TV's seakers are, so this setup seems very natural. You can use a box or a stack of books or magazines to try out this location for FREE!

    Jim
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,874
    Likes Received:
    849
    Location:
    Michigan
    Are your main speakers also from PSB and timbre matched to your center speaker? If not, that may be part of what you are experiencing.

    I do not experience these problems with my setup. I have moved the center speaker to the very front edge of the RPTV, and use rubber door stops to angle the speaker downward towards the primary listening position. I get a very good blend with my main speakers. Dialogue is centered on the screen without being localized to the speaker itself.
     
  5. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    831
    Likes Received:
    1
    "hide" the speaker that seems to help, systems that have hidden speakers I always find sound more spacious since you can't pinpoint the speaker. Try turning out the lights and putting a curtain (accoustically transparent) in from of all your speakers. Make sure you do them all since it will affect the sound the tinyest bit.
     
  6. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 2, 2000
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    All my speakers are in the same family, so they are timbre matched. As for tilting it up and down, I'm not sure how much that helps...and to what extent.

    Sometimes I notice it more than others. If it seems like a particularly bad dub, then it stands out. If the dialog sounds like it was recorded live, it often sounds much better.

    I have thought about putting the center in front of the set and agling it upwards, but it would be out far into the room. Has anyone found a better way of placing the center speaker to reduce this phenomenon? i.e. cones, feet, vibrapods etc.?
     

Share This Page