DAD - Center channel dialogue level too low!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Richard Moya, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. Richard Moya

    Richard Moya Stunt Coordinator

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    While having family over yesterday for Father's day we were watching Die Another Day. The system was cranking all the highs and explosions but the dialogue was so low I had to turn up the volume up so loud that the loud portions of the movie were unbearably loud. It was only for lower dialogue. When there were screaming or action sequences, the center performed nicely. I have a DA2ES, JBL NSP1, SAWM40 setup and is calibrated with AVIA. All setting were double-checked and no solution. Is this normal? Is it the DVD itself? How do I compensate for low dialogue. Do I run the center channel hotter than the rest?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    This may be better served in the HT Software section, but I experienced the same.

    DRC "on" for this film will help. I don't know if turning up the CC will help, as the effects were (seemed to be) coming from the CC also.

    jdg
     
  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Several posts were deleted, but the gist of it was:

    If you were listening to the DTS track, try the DD and see if it is any more listenable.

    The digital limiting that sounds prevalent to my ears could make using dynamic range compression an ugly sounding option. Digital limiting is used to limit the highest dynamic peaks and is sometimes used so that the RMS level can be "cheated" higher. This can be virtually unnoticeable during relatively quiet sections, but will sound like a mother lode of compression is being applied during the louder portions.

    Regards,
     
  4. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Actually one of the first replies suggested that if you were listenting to the DD track to try the DTS track for better center-channel listening. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  6. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    Hi Richard,
    I've tried a number of options to cure this. I think the worst DVD I have that exhibits low dialogue is "The Matrix" and "The World is Not Enough".

    I think the only thing you can really do is turn the Dynamic Range Control to On or try the different settings (Medium or High Compression) on your receiver. Remember, this option will only affect Dolby Digital soundtracks (and if the disc is encoded with compression flags but you don't have to worry about that as I have yet to come across a disc without these flags).
    And in conjunction with that, boost the center channel probably atleast 3dB's (we can supposely only hear differences in levels when there's a 3db change).

    I've bought compression devices to reduce the dynamic range and they work with limited success.
    It's really a balancing act. If you compress too much, then dialogue clarity can actually be hindered.
    Hope that helps,
    Andy
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The other problem with compression that I was trying to point out above is that the loud passages that already sound a bit dynamically smooshed will sound even worse. I believe the DD track is not quite as hot as the DTS track, though, so it might not be as awful as I imagined.

    (BTW, the DD5.1 track for "The Limey" was purposely encoded without dynamic range compression flags. The DVD includes an explanation of this and directs you to use the DD2.0 track if you wish to engage "midnight mode" or any other dynamic range compression feature of your hardware.)

    Regards,
     

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