Dialog wash out - Plz Help

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Rick Bargerhuff, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone,

    I have a problem with a Dolby Digital speaker set up. I know I am supposed to use the receiver's test tone and a SPL meter to calibrate each channel to the same decible, but when I do that, during a movie, I need to continuously raise the volume in order to hear the dialog, then back the volume down when loud parts of the movie are present. I would like advice on what to do to bring out the dialog and make it more pronounced with out sacrificing the balance factor.

    Another question of mine is: A Receiver has special sound enhancements like Movie, Music, etc. Am I supposed to take advantage of these sound fields or ignore them when watching a movie. I know people will say, what ever sounds better, but I find myself second guessing myself alot. I would think using no sound fields would be how the movie was intended to be heard.

    I appreciate in advance and welcome all comments and suggestions,

    Rick Bargerhuff alias cougar
    Programmer / Developer / Computer Specialist
    Personal Email: [email protected]
    Personal Website : http://mywebpages.comcast.net/cougar718
     
  2. RickMo

    RickMo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is your center "matched" to your mains? Also, my Yammie offers a set-up feature to reduce the volume of the mains in relation to the center center by -10 db (my system is set-up in just this manner). Lastly, does your DVD offer a "dialogue enhancement" feature? This, too, will increase the volume of the center channel.
     
  3. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Topher

    Topher Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is your center channel matched with your mains (same brand and line)? If not then that is most likely your issue. If indeed it is matched then you will simply need to ignore the calibration a little and raise the level of the center channel, or lower the other channels.
     
  5. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    Yeah, same brand and same line. So I will take your advice and raise the center channel up to compensate for the dialog being low.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions,
     
  6. Bill_Wil

    Bill_Wil Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Rick,

    I feel that you're correct in assuming you should ignor the different sound fields while watching a DVD. Most people feel that it sounds best the way it was intended to sound.

    As far as the center speaker not playing loud enough you arent talking about when you listen to a stereo source and you play it in DPLII are you? Because often that will be the case with the dialogue.
    I assume you're talking about when you're listening to something in DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1
     
  7. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    0
    What kind of receiver are you using?
     
  8. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 1999
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the receiver offers a "night" listening mode, turn it on. It will allow you to set the volume louder to hear the dialog, yet keep the bombastic bits more restrained.
     
  9. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is safe to assume I'm talking about DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. When I get some free time, I'm going to watch a movie and increase the center channel's volume in order to bring out the dialog more.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    The receiver I'm using is an RCA brand receiver. I have had nothing but good experiences with RCA and Optimus brand receivers. However, it prolbably doesn't compare to the type of recievers talked about on this forum.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    My receiver does offer night mode so I'll give that a shot.

    -- Thanks all for the replies, purely awesome!
     
  10. Dennis Gardner

    Dennis Gardner Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rick,

    My receiver defaults signals to Pro-Logic when DD5.1 signals are not available. This really changes the center dialogue level for me. Any calibration on your system will probably only be good for the decoding mode that you are in at the time. I find that even some of my DTS movies require center levels to be adjusted somewhat.

    Digital cable for me is only being decoded as DPL not DD5.1

    Night modes can help the dynamic differences for the digital modes and many like them on all the time. I really find them useful when my wife watches with me since she is bothered by large differences in volume. Not me, bring on the explosions!


    Dennis
     
  11. Terry Montlick

    Terry Montlick Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rick,

    If I might offer an alternative opinion:

    If "night" listening mode helps, then you have an acoustical problem, namely dialog intelligibility. What the night mode does is reduce dynamic range so that the loud sounds are not as loud and the soft sounds not as soft.

    This is fine for special listening situations, such as actual night listening so as not to annoy others. But it reduces the fidelity of your system to one of significantly lower quality. A real movie theater does not make such compromises in sound.

    The most common cause of poor dialog intelligibilty is too much reverberation ("liveness"). Proper acoustical treatment is the only real fix for this. It's frustrating to spend good money on a system and not have it sound its best. But the acoustical environment of your HT is every bit as important as the equipment you put into it.
     
  12. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 1999
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    Well my HT room is sort of a basement with a bunch of wood paneling... so it not really good situation. Lots of furniture though...

    I'm using my reciever's test tone with my SPL to calibrate the SPL of all channels.

    Thanks for the suggestions,
     
  14. alex y

    alex y Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi. Rick:

    Your center speaker may be the top of the TV. When Center speaker is closed to the ceiling, there are too much early reflection. Also, center speaker gets more sound reflections from side walls.

    This is an article I read from here article
    said "the recording that you paid good money for already has the sonic footprint of that large carefully designed performance space. Your living room doesn't need to add its footprint on top of that. In truth, your living room needs to absorb as much sound as possible. It needs to be acoustically dead."

    The speaker attachment called " mihorn" will help you. You can get them free from M I H O R N . C O M

    Good luck!
     
  15. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your center speaker is sitting on top of a big screen TV, make sure the cones are pointed toward your ears when you are sitting. Often they are pointing above your head. If so, you will want to tilt the speaker down by elevating the rear. I did this with a pair of rubber doorstops, a buck or two at Home Depot. A cheap and simple fix that can make a difference.

    WT
     
  16. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Wayne,

    My set is as follows...

    Left, Center, and Right front are at the same height, above the TV, about 6' off the ground. My Surround speakers are at the same height and are positioned on the sides of the listening area. Now do I want to tilt the front speakers as well, or just the center?

    The tilting idea sounds good, and may be a cheap fix so I would like to know if I need to tilt the front left and right speakers down towards the listening area.
     
  17. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rick,

    The tweeters of all three front speakers should be at ear level when you are in your normal seating position. If the center has to be on top of a large TV, which is often the case, then it should be tilted to compensate.

    Why do you have all three speakers six feet off the floor?

    Wayne
     
  18. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Wayne,

    My buddy is going to do a drawing of my set up, not super complicated, just enough that you get a basic idea of it. Top and front view if you were looking from the listening area,

    I'll post that link soon as the drawing is done. But to answer your question, the speakers are on a shelf because this is a combination, computer office, home theater, entertainment room. I'm probably going to move them thanks to your information.

    Thanks Wayne,

    Rick
     
  19. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rick do you have a lot of background noise when watching movies? Like kids playing, laundry machine, traffic, that sort of thing. I find with my set up that is there is a lot of background noise and it drowns out the quieter dialog and I get the same situation you are describing.

    Of course my room is far from acoustically dead, so I am sure that contributes to it as well.
     
  20. Rick Bargerhuff

    Rick Bargerhuff Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heya Lee,

    The only background music I have is the air conditioner because it
    is adjacent to my set up. But my set up like yours, is so far from acoustically dead it's not even funny, Wood paneling stinks! [​IMG]
     

Share This Page