question about loudness of surrounds

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Cook, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    The sound is supposed to be lower on the surrounds than all the other speakers, right? I don't have a spl meter yet and I am just setting everything up by ear at the moment.
     
  2. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    When I put my ear up to each speaker, the surrounds sound considerably lower than the rest. When I do the test tone to each speaker, they all sound equal. Should I bump up the tone to the surrounds?
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Mike,

    Playing it by ear is not going to get you close. You really

    need to pick up an SPL meter and Avia or Video Essentials if

    you want to get it right on the money.

    I have mine set by ear and I know they are not right..

    But yes, untill you get the proper measuring tools if you

    feel the sound is lower in the back, by all means bump it

    up.

    When you watch a Movie the surround effects should not over

    power your front stage sound field. The rear effects should

    blend in.
     
  4. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, I will do it by ear and probably get a meter sometime this week to fine tune everything.
     
  5. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Mike,

    Just for chuckels (actually to display how inaccurate our ears are at absolute levels), can you record the values before calibration.

    This isn't meant to single you out, so don't take it that way. I know I was way off when I calibrated by ear, but I wasn't wise enough to record the results.

    Regards,
     
  6. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    John, That's a good idea. I will write down my +/- db settings now and then after I tune it with the sound meter. Then, when I get an avia disk, I will write those down too. I'm interested to see how off our ears can be. I will post the results of the ear vs. spl meter differences sometime this week after I actually get the meter.
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Cool!
    I'll be at CES, so I doubt I'll have much time to check things out, so if you want you can send me an e-mail / private message to alert me to the thread and I'll check it out [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  8. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    This was discussed awhile ago among several of my audiophile acquaintances. Not one of us, thinking back over the last 30 years or so, has ever found that the "louder is better" argument holds water. In comparison tests where levels are not matched, an audiophile will often pick out the louder component as his/her LESSER choice if it has subpar performance. The higher the output level of a poorly performing product, the worse it sounds, as it calls out its deficiencies "loud and clear." Also, if the poor performer is auditioned at a LOWER volume level it can sound somewhat better than it actually is, as its problems are masked a bit by being more difficult to hear.
     
  9. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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  10. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll tell you what the SPL meter did help me a lot with was setting the subwoofer. Its really hard to do that by ear.

    Rob
     
  11. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Alex,

    Read my post again please and then tell me exactly where I

    stated "audiophile" anywhere in the post?

    I went back and re read what I had posted and from what I

    can see I said "listener".

    Most "Listeners" could not even discern Clipping or Distorsion

    therfore Louder = Better to them. Of course if you round

    up an "Audiophile" he or she should be able to tell the

    diffrence.
     
  12. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob, they sound lower when watching a movie. The test tones all sound the same. I just assumed they were supposed to sound like the fronts, but have since learned otherwise.
     
  13. RobP

    RobP Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael try watching a movie with a more active surround field and see how they sound.

    Rob
     
  14. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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  15. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Brett:

    I took your use of the word "listeners" to include anybody who listens, which would encompass everyone from newbies to audiophiles. But I intentionally mentioned audiophiles because I wanted to make clear I was talking about discerning, experienced listeners only. One occasionally sees posts here by others who routinely present the "louder is better" statement as some totally accepted, undisputed fact. If that is indeed the case it would apply to all listeners. Yet it certainly does not, which makes it an inaccurate generalization.
     
  16. Zbigniew

    Zbigniew Stunt Coordinator

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    Brett,

    one of conditions of DBT is that speakers are level matched...

    _zjt
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    just to echo what others have said:

    when calibrating, the rears (when sending test tone) should be the same as the rest.

    after that it's personal preference.

    some like an "exaggerated" sense of rear-channel activity. others say it detracts from the front. to each his own...there's no right or wrong answer here.

    using the spl can help some. i was pretty impressed with myself that i was pretty close by ear. but i was off by about a db on one channel. it's definitely a cool tool.
     
  18. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    just finished trying out video essentials/the RS SPL meter today. the sub was the only channel that needed adjusting vs the built-in test tones/listening by ear. I ended up lowering the sub output by 7db I think, which surprised me a bit. it's getting kind of late to watch a movie, so I'll have to wait and see if that's how I end up liking it.

    The 5 main speakers were pretty much dead on already, but I'm sure luck and a matched set of speakers up front helped some too. i have to admit i knew the sensitivities of all the speakers going in, so I had a fair idea of how to go ahead and adjust them.

    I did also notice, that with my setup, VE vs the built in test tones differred by 4db. does it really matter? nahh.....
     

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