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What Is DialNorm ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Simonian, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    Well, I sorta know what it is but I dont get it. (odd...). Doesnt it have something to do with the Dolby track being adjusted to stay within other sources. Yeah, that made sense.
    If Im right, then, I dont know what to think still. I just thought of it because I just finished watching Charlies Angels to waste some time and remembers how many claimed it had a bad dialnorm problem. Something in the lines of -8db instead of the usual -4.
    Can someone explain what Im going to be hearing with this. I wasnt quite sure what to be listening for. To me, the track didnt sound very dynamic. Well, compaired to some GREAT DD tracks out there (nonetheless, mixed by anohter studio). Like ID4, I thought it sounded great.
    Well, anyway, if someone could enlighten me?
    EDIT: oh yeah, and if there are anyways of countering it.
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    Yes, these are bruises from fighting. Yes, I am comfortable with that. I am enlightened.
    [Edited last by Scott Simonian on September 15, 2001 at 12:13 AM]
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    quote: Something in the lines of -8db instead of the usual -4.[/quote] On Charlie's Angels, it's -7db.
    quote: Can someone explain what Im going to be hearing with this. [/quote] A soundtrack that plays back 3db softer, at your normal volume setting, than if the disc had the standard -4db setting. Otherwise, nothing is changed.
    quote: EDIT: oh yeah, and if there are anyways of countering it.[/quote]Turn up your volume an extra 3db.
    Many of the older threads containing detailed descriptions of dialnorm have scrolled off. In brief, dialnorm instructs a DD decoder to raise or lower overall volume according to a set value (the default on Dolby encoders is -4db). It was intended primarily to enable broadcasters to even out the volume differences between different broadcast channels, looking ahead to a future day when DD is the dominant broadcast format.
    Most DVDs use the default value. Columbia Tristar discs are like the proverbial box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get. It's a nuisance, but usually correctable upon playback.
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on September 15, 2001 at 11:16 AM]
     
  3. Perry Sun

    Perry Sun Extra

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    Please refer to the following article for a great explanation:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...on-6-2000.html
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  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Perry, that link is just a bit too long. [​IMG] Try this instead:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...on-6-2000.html
    It's a fine article with an excellent technical explanation. But it's not intended to address the anomalies created by CTS's idiosyncratic use of dialnorm, which has been the subject of so much discussion here.
    M.
     
  5. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    Ah ha. Now I know. Thank you so much guys! [​IMG]
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    Yes, these are bruises from fighting. Yes, I am comfortable with that. I am enlightened.
     
  6. Alex Shk

    Alex Shk Stunt Coordinator

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    That article contains much good information about DialNorm, but I always felt one of it's conclusions concerning broadcast usage to be misguided. While DialNorm values may not change during a movie (or program), they may change during the commercials. I imagine there are ad execs already getting chubbies thinking about manipulating this little baby.
    This reminds me of the early days of CD's, when the 100 db dynamic range meant we would no longer be faced with excessive compression. What we didn't realize was they WANTED the music to sound that way. So to state that DialNorm will protect us from over-volumed commercials when it's pretty easy to see how it could be manipulated to have the exact opposite effect, and that effect is DESIRED by advertisers and the broadcasters they support, is just being naive.
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