Dialogue Distortion on these DVD's HELP

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeDierbeck, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. MikeDierbeck

    MikeDierbeck Agent

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    Ok, I have the whole set up. JBL S-Center II, JBL S38's for mains, SONY STRDE975 receiver, and SVS 20-39PCi. However, when I watch some films, I get distortion even when I am 5dB from reference level. I was wondering, after I list the movies and the select scenes, if you have any of these movies, could you check and let me know if these scenes distort for you too. I just got the S-Center II about 2 months ago and I have high quality new speaker wire, so I'm hoping it is the recording on the disc.

    Teaching Mrs. Tingle... The "Exorcist" scene, the dialogue distorts and/or sounds strained in that scene. Also, before Jeffrey Tambor comes over, Marisa Coughlan runs up to Tingle's room and when she speaks, more harsh/strained/distorted dialogue.

    Batman Forever - Tommy Lee Jones' line during the scene where the Riddler first introduces himself. When Sugar and Spice are lighting up his cigars, he says something about Batman "DRIVING US INSANE" -- that line for sure had a lot of distortion and some other lines of his does the same thing.

    The Beach -- When Robert Carlyle first enters the movie when he's walking down the hallway and YELLING his lines. His lines start to distort. Is it me, or is the dialogue in general a little weak in this movie??

    Vanilla Sky -- after the club scene when Tom Cruise is drunk and walking with Penelope and Jason Lee down the street at night. The beginning of that scene when he's talking loudly to Jason Lee, his lines sounded strained.

    I am hoping it is the movies, because I watched Fight Club at about -5 from Reference tonight, and I didn't notice any distortion and there is a lot of yelling and screaming in that movie and it sounded REALLY good.

    Thank you

    Mike
     
  2. Robert G

    Robert G Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had the same experience with some movies. However, I have none of the movies you listed except Fight Club and it sounds perfect on my system as well. I cannot recall off of the top of my head which movies are the worst perpetrators. If you experience any more list them and hopefully I'll have some of them.
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    There are some offenders like The Fofth Element for example that are not hardware problems but soundtrack problems so there is nothing you can do. As I understand it, the dts of The Fifth Element also exhibits that phenomenon but maybe to a lesser extent.
     
  4. Eric Sevigny

    Eric Sevigny Stunt Coordinator

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  5. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    A quick way of checking for strain on the power amp and/or speakers is to bring the level down 6dB or so on the scene in question. If it still sounds strained then it is something else.
     
  6. Kirk Mango

    Kirk Mango Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    I have had my system for 2 years now. It consists of B&K Seperates (Ref 30 Pre amp, Ref5250 amp, Ref2220 amp, and Sony S9000ES DVD). My speakers are from Mirage and they are Omnipolar (OM5 Fronts, OMC2 Center, OMR2 Surrounds & Backs). Sub is a Rel Storm III. I have noticed dialog strain or distortion in the dialog of various DVD's since I got my system. (Sounds like a light crackling or wobbling of the voices.) At first I thought there was a problem with my center but I play my system far below reference (-15 on preamp). I researched this many many times, even brought in the DVDs to listen to on different systems with the same speakers set up, same system with different speakers (Vienna Acoustics, Martin Logins, etc.) most exhibited the distortion. I did notice that the lower the quality of the speaker the less noticable these distortions were. Some hid it entirely. I have noticed similar situations on CD's and SACD's when playing 2 channel stereo through my OM5's. After all this trial and error and asking questions, by the way some people claim not to hear anything, I found out that the cause of this is in the mixing of the DVD or CD itself. The level is pushed to high on the mixing board when they are produced and higher quality equipment will reveal this as a sort of crackling or distorted sound. Again, I have noticed it many many times. It is hard to find really good quality CD's / DVD's without some sort of errors like this.

    By the way, I noticed the exact same distortion you pointed out in Vanilla Sky, spent time listening to the same section you did on various systems and speakers and heard the same distortion on most. Especially speakers from Martin Logan and my Mirage Line.

    This can be very irritating until you finally realize it is not your equipment. Hope this helps.

    Kirk
     
  7. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who notices this. A few of the discs I previously used for testing would exhibit this, such as 5th Element, exhibit this problem. I always thought it was my less than stellar DefTech ProCenter 100, but after upgrading my pre/pro, amp, and speakers all around I still noticed the problem on certain discs and came to the conlusion that it's just the source material. I've noticed that with my new system (which is more revealing), things like satellite TV are especially noticeable as being sub-par source material.
     
  8. MikeDierbeck

    MikeDierbeck Agent

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    I'm glad I"m not the only one with those kind of problems. I haven't watched this one in a while, but I remember in "Out of Sight" when Cheadle is boxing another inmate in a prison scene, I think either Ving Rhames or Clooney's dialogue is strained or distorted. I don't know if anyone else has this movie and could check up on it.

    I have everything calibrated to 85dB and the speaker is so new that I was pretty sure it had to be a DVD mixing error rather than my center speaker or receiver which are both so new.

    Thanks again

    Mike
     
  9. Jason Bovberg

    Jason Bovberg Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been having similar problems with certain discs lately. One in particular is "Goldeneye," at the 1:44 mark, when the helicopter crashes. The sound of the explosion is marred by severe crackling. Anyone feel like checking this spot on their system?

    I've adjusted channel levels way down and I still hear it. The phenomenon is limited to occasional discs, but it drives me nuts.
     
  10. MarkyM

    MarkyM Agent

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    what specific scenes in the "Fifth Element" are you refering to? And is it the superbit version????
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Neil-

    I noticed that distortion too in 5E on my old version of the dvd. It's exactly the same in the DTS Superbit, so definitely in the original vocal track.

    The scene where the cops are chasing korben and lee-loo is where you'll hear it easily. One cop says "he has a scan blocker" and it sounds clipped.
     
  12. MikeDierbeck

    MikeDierbeck Agent

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    Anybody notice some dialogue distortion during "Magnolia" at all?
     

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