Video Essentials Audio Levels??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulW, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Today I got VE from NetFlix. I had already calibrated my system with the receiver test tones and THX Optimizer off my X-Men disk. The levels where the same on both. Well when I poped in VE and go through the test tone it says my rears are both 3 DB higher then the rest of my system. So are the VE rears test tones 3 DBs to high? If not what's going on?

    Thanks,

    PaulW
     
  2. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys help me out here! I'm sure one of you has some insight into this issue. Please??

    Thanks,

    PaulW
     
  3. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Can't comment on the THX Optimizer but I'd stick with the VE calibration. I would think it to be more accurate.
     
  4. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    I would have thought so to but with my receiver test tones AND the THX test coming out the same, well when VE came back and said 3 DB higher I was like HUH?!?! I'm just wondering if any one else has had these issues.

    Thanks,

    PaulW
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Frequently, receiver test tones will give you different results than a calibration disc. The receiver test tones do not account for any attenuation in the signal path from the source of your software. On the other hand, I have noticed that I have to increase my surrounds by 3 dB to get the VE 2.0 pro-logic tones to match the front levels compared to what it takes to get the rears to match the fronts with the VE DD5.1 tones.

    Regards,
     
  6. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Why would "attenuation" only occure on one disk?

    PaulW
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  8. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes Yes I understand and that is what is confusing me. I started my using my receiver test tones, matching all levels. Next I used the X-Men THX disc opti. which has 75 DB test tones. All levels where still the same. I thought "Cool!". So I get VE just to try it out. The front 2 channels where unchanged but as soon as the rear test-tones started, as I stated above, where 3 DB to high. I'm wondering if any once else has ran into this? It just doesn't make sense. Now I need another source disk to test with!

    PaulW
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Paul,

    My guess is that THX has started using the disclaimer I mentioned in my second paragraph above because of discrepancies like the one you described. I would stick with the VE levels unless someone verifies that they are wrong.

    Regards,
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Paul,
    When Optimode first came out, there were dozens of people finding the rears to be a smidgen less than 3 DB too low. I have tested this against VE, AVIA, and Dolby's Test and Ref Disc (dolby installer tool)-- Optimode was 2.5db lower than all 3 of these discs. I have tried 2 different optimode versions, X-men was one of them, and they were about 2.5 db lower than the 3 pro calibration discs I have.
    So if you calibrate with optimod's signal being 2.5 db too low, you will end up with your rear channels too loud- as VE as shown you. I don't know if THX did that on purpose, or by accident- but one could theorize that average joe types using Optimode would find the +3 surround levels more pleasing for impressing guests...
    Granted, in your case where you have 2 sources vs VE, you'd be inclined to side with the 2 sources-- and I would in your position as well. I think it is simply coincidence that optimode and your receiver were both wrong in the same way. In my case- my room measures pretty much dead on ref with Avia, Dolby and VE-- but then Optimode tone is too low in the rears, and my Denon's internal tones are slightly too loud in the rears, and 1db too low in the center channel.
    It's just a question of who you trust- and in my case I said with Avia/VE/Dolby - mostly do to the fact that they are recognized sources. Again- if I were in your situation, I'd be tempted to believe the majority as well (2 against VE)- but I think VE is correct.
    You might note, the Optimode incorrect rear channels were just mentioned here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=30098
    I would imagine this error on Optimode has something to do with the theatrical surround level- which for some reason is 3db bumped up compared to HT. Studios equipped for theatrical mixing have the rears +3 over the main system, and mix accordingly. This 3db boost is not included for HT specifications- so soundtracks are adjusted-- or in the case of remixes, are remixed in an environment without the 3db boost.
    Somehow, THX has decided to account for this 3db boost in their calibration software, and ducked the rears by about 3.
    Either that, or THX did it on purpose so that inexperienced HT owners would be impressed with how active the surrounds were after using this THX tool.
    Regardless why it happened, I have confirmed this by testing the outputs raw from a decoder (no boost, no cut)- and the raw signal from Optimode was right about 3 db under the front channels in RMS output level-- which would cause you to calibrate 3db too high.
    Hope that answers your question.
    -Vince
     
  11. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok I did some more testing,and to be honest the results dont make any sense to me. I hope some of you can help.

    These results are with my surround levels at 0.

    X-Men Thx Opti with THX on:

    Rear L: 73.5

    Rear R: 73.5

    X-men THX Opti with out THX:

    Rear L: 75

    Rear R: 75

    I looks like THX processing lowers the rears 2.5 DBs

    Also I had to have the volume much high for VE to reach 75 DB, I think the THX Opti might be at 85 DB

    Ok VE time:

    VE with-THX:

    Rear L: 77.5

    Rear R: 77.5

    VE with out THX:

    Rear L: 78

    Rear R: 78

    I tested everything twice. As I said, it honestly makes no sense to me. Why would the THX processing make such a large difference on the X-Men and not in VE?

    I think the THX disk must be mastered with the cinema setting on the encoder and not home theater which reduces the level by about 3 DB. Any other thoughts?
     
  12. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Since VE has been the standard for most of us (1000's of users) for the past 2-3 years and hasn't been found to be off, I'd say it's a safe bet to trust VE and just forget about the results you get with the other methods.

    Bruce
     
  13. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah you are right, which in that is the question. If VE is right, are many other DVDs mis-mastered by using the movie theater setting on the Dolby Digital Encoders instead of the home theater setting? VE made this mistake once on there Laser Disc, but corrected it before the DVD came out. If disc are mastered with the movie theater setting they are 3 DB to low. So you can see the problem. Man I wish I had some software to encode my own audio test tones!

    PaulW
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  15. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I found when I first got my Denon that keeping THX mode ON when peforming level calibration throws the surround levels off-whack.

    If you have a THX mode on your receiver, leave it off when settings levels, whether that be with Avia or the internal tones.
     
  16. PaulW

    PaulW Stunt Coordinator

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    All well, I'm going to let my ears be the judge. I'll get it close, and how it sounds to me is what counts. I'm getting way to caught up in this.

    PaulW
     
  17. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    My Onkyo has different levels with internal test tones and with VE. I agree with the advice to turn off THX processing when setting levels.
     

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