Volume level

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Bill Gunter, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Bill Gunter

    Bill Gunter Auditioning

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    The sound system is in an airplane. The gentlemen who owns the airplane is complaining that the people speaking are at one volume level and the events taking place (gun shots, car crashes) are very loud. He is watching a movie and can hear the talking fine, then the actions starts and he has to turn down the volume. Then the action stops and he has to turn up the volume to here the talking. Is there something that can be installed to keep the sound level constant? I can get the particulars on the audio and video equipment installed, and I know that this is probably not a defect, but I am looking for some help on how to help this situation.
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Bill. Welcome to HTF!

    First - have you used a SPL meter to level-adjust all 5 speakers? You use the test-tones on the receiver, or a DVD setup disk like Avia or Video Essentials.

    A sound moves around all 5 speakers staying at each for 5-10 seconds. You setup the SPL meter at the chair and notice how some speakers register louder than others.

    Your receiver has adjustments for the center, both rear and subwoofer outputs to compensate for this.

    Home theater means Accuracy and calibration

    The other problem: the seat may be way too close to some speakers compared to others. This will cause some speakers to swamp out sounds from others. Level adjusting can help, but you may have to turn the speakers to fire indirect to get more distance/diffusion. Having all speakers focused directly on the central seating location may not be the best thing to do.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Bill Gunter

    Bill Gunter Auditioning

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    you might be correct as to the position of the VIP chair, he is close to the speakers. I don't know what a SPL meter is though.

    Directing the speakers can be a problem. They are mounted to the interior of the airplane pointing directly into the center of the cabin. I guess you can say from the walls in.

    I can adjust the level of speaker outputs, but it seems to turn the whole volume up or dowm, and not just the "loud" noises.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    Bill,

    I’ll bet the problem is the dynamic range that DVD’s have compared to say, CD’s or television programming. I could see there that would be undesirable in an airplane, which typically has a rather high noise floor. Turn the volume up loud enough for dialog to get over the underlying background noise and it will be tremendously loud when the “action” starts – which is exactly what you described.

    I don’t know what kind of equipment might be used in an airplane, but home receivers have a setting called “midnight theater,” which compresses the audio signal to give it a more level output for both soft and loud sounds, not unlike standard television programming. If your equipment has such a setting I suggest turning it on.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    There is no control for the "loud" noises.

    As wayne said- too much dynamics for an airplane. These DVDs are mastered for a silent room- not for an environment with a noisefloor. Just like good orchestra music doesn't work well in a car-- the quiet passages are too quiet with road noise and if you crank it up the crescendo will kill ya.

    You could try the DRC/Midnight mode which will help although it only works with properly flagged DVDs- but more likely you will need to insert compression on every channel. If you're outfitting the system on an airplane, I assume there is budget to do so. If you need information on equipment or wiring- drop me a PM.

    -V
     
  6. JoshGivens

    JoshGivens Stunt Coordinator

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    Does this system have a center front channel or are the speakers all being daisy chained off of the L and R outputs?
     

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