how loud do you listen?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by ChrisHall, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. ChrisHall

    ChrisHall Auditioning

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    just recently purchased the radioshack spl meter, and finally calibirated (sp?) my sound. much better i must add. anywho, have a couple of questions.

    how loud are movies (in general) in the movie theatre?
    how loud do you listen to your movies at home?

    dialouge for me is generally 80-85db.
    just curious. [​IMG]
     
  2. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    dialouge >70db.

    But for music I tend to keep several db's louder
     
  3. Jeremy Scott

    Jeremy Scott Second Unit

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    how mush does it cost?

    they go for about $40-$50 on ebay.
     
  4. ChrisHall

    ChrisHall Auditioning

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    50$ @ radioshack.
     
  5. kirtis_mcleskey

    kirtis_mcleskey Stunt Coordinator

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    what is it that you got , what does it do , I dont knwo if i have the option of makign my dialouge more than my music ect. i can set each channel to -10 or +10 dbs
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Radio shack SPL meter measures volume levels (SPL)

    You use it to calibrate your surround system so that all your speakers, and sub are at the same volume for proper playback.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    On a serious Movie, I'll hit around 90db on dialog.

    I still believe this is just a tad below commercial theater levels.
     
  8. ty_diaz

    ty_diaz Agent

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    to me it has varied depending on the type of movie I'm watching. Action movies..definetely up there.
     
  9. Jeremy Scott

    Jeremy Scott Second Unit

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    are these things worth $50??

    probably considering AVIA was worth $40
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Jeremy,

    It's been asked many times on this forum if the SPL meter is worth the cost. As many times as it has been asked, the only people who say "no" are those that have never calibrated by meter and rely on going "by ear". Many who think it is not worth it have gone ahead and bought it and posted that they were amazed at the difference in sound after calibration by SPL meter. I do recall a few saying they were "pretty close" with the settings they did by ear, but they are far in the minority.

    I've said it dozens of times, the RS SPL meter did more to improve the sound of my HT than any other purchase I have made, including all cables, wires, plugs, new receiver, new center channel etc., some of which cost 10 times as much.
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    In my opinion dialogue should sound approx. as loud as normal voices in your room. In doubt, go stand outside the door and see if you can "mistake" the voice for someone actually there.

    Music is a bit more complicated, but there solo-instruments (piano, guitar) can help in the same way.

    In the end, it all depends on your personal taste, of course. Some people seem to think one "ought" to listen at reference level. Don't, it may ruin your ears.

    Also, I noted that some of my friends think there's a fixed setting, that should always remain the same. In my opinion you should certainly use the master volume control (after proper tweaking the channels using AVIA or the like) to adjust the sound level for different DVDs and CDs (as well as setting of your source on the same medium: e.g. DTS or DD).

    Cees
     
  12. Todd_Anisman

    Todd_Anisman Auditioning

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    Cees' Answer is actually pretty good-DVD's are all over the map because of the misunderstanding on how to encode AC3 Files for mastering..

    I am a Mixer at Technicolor Sound Services in LA, CA. The theatrical reference level is 85 dB, C weight, slow response on the RS SPL meter. Thats for each of the front 3 speakers. The surrounds are at 82dB. the Sub is at 92dB W/ Band pass filters on. For smaller rooms this volume level will absolutely punish you-Set your fronts to 82dB and your Surrounds to 80-82, sub at 90. Your ears will thank you.
    To answer the original poster, That basically means that Dialogue, by itself, will average about 78-85dB. We as mixers, try to get levels between -10dBVU and -3dBVU Below 0 (OdB=-20dBFS or +4dBu). However, some scene may require hotter or quiter depending on the Film. Armageddon had Dialogue out to +20!!! Love Liza, A Film I mixed last year, was at -20 in spots.

    As for DVD's, its really hard to find one that is encoded correctly-There is that tricky dialogue normalization setting that causes all kinds of problems. Basically, when the mixer has delivered the program, it already has a basic Dialog normalization value that the mix has. This could be almost any number-it depends on the Film itself. There is equipment that we have on the stages which will give us this value for a particular film. What we are supposed to then do is enter that value into the AC3 encoder when we are encoding the stream, and that's where the process almost invariably falls apart. Many of the larger studios have basically created specs that dictate what this value is supposed to be, rather than letting the mix itself determine it!!! This is why you always have to turn up so many of your DVD's, and then go and turn some others down. Dolby uses that Dia Norm setting to determine what the optimal listening level is, and if it isn't set right, screws up the entire disc.

    Ok peace-

    -Todd Anisman
     
  13. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    I listen 15-21db below refrence level.
     
  14. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Todd:

    Welcome aboard. I have always set my fronts at around 85db and the surrounds at around 78db and run my set up at about -20 from reference. Now this is when the family is home. All bets are off though when I am left alone with the equipment. [​IMG]
     

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