Why is sound ok to "Sounds good to you" while video must be expertly calibrated.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John D., Sep 18, 2002.

  1. John D.

    John D. Auditioning

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    The following question is based on posts I have read at this forum.
    Can someone explain why it is OK for sound calibration to be acceptable when it "sounds good to you". Yet Video must be precisely calibrated by trained experts with calibration tools. Why can't video just "look good to me" too?
    JD
    P.S. Yes I'm a newbie. ( I can't afford to be anything else) [​IMG]
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    As long as you're happy.

    As a sidenote, audio is more subjective and difficult to calibrate with room interactions, hearing problems, and equipment differences. Video calibration (at least basic, AVIA/VE adjustemnts) is easy by comparison with clear, well-defined, measurable standards for color accuracy, gray scale, and other parameters. A basic calibration provides better detail and a generally more pleasing picture. Just my opinion...
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    This is kind of a good question.

    First, I have never heard anyone say "calibrate until it sounds good to you". Most people recommend a SPL meter to adjust loudness levels, and even a RTA to find peaks/room responses. The electronics are usually recommended, not personal perception.

    I HAVE heard: "buy the speakers that sound good to you".

    This (I have thought) is because hearing is a matter of TASTE.

    If you lined up 5 brands of chocolate ice cream in the "best-to-worst" order, your order and mine would likely be different. And this is accepted because we have different tastes. The same goes for beer, wine, soda, etc.

    So why is this not acceptable for video adjustments?
     
  4. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I here what your saying. I run my surrounds a db up and when it comes to my two stacked subs I throw it all out the window. Depends on the movie and my mood--and if the wife is home. When music is played I always cut the bass way back to around calibration. Maybe I ought to fine tune the video to[​IMG] [​IMG] .
     
  5. John D.

    John D. Auditioning

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    OK I guess I used the wrong terminology re "calibrate until it sounds good to you".[​IMG] Yes I know (from reading it here) that speakers should be calibrated with an SPL.
    However, I have also seen here that certain adjustments can be made to sound levels (term.) such as turning on "Midnight mode" or turning up the center speaker to add volume to dialog (I think I read that here. I've read so much from this forum in the last week that I think my head is going to explode [​IMG] ) etc. All of these recommendations end with "as long as it sounds good to you"
    Even calibrating with with an SPL takes into account differences in room shapes, sizes and other varying acoustic properties. I would think though that once calibrated, the room properties would not be likely to change.
    With video, there are also "room properties" to take into effect. Ambient light, the lights in the room, etc. Unless you have a HT with complete light control (I do not) these factors would be more likely to change during the day and even at different times of the year than would the shape of the room.
    Which lead to my original question, why is sound "subjective" and video "objective"?
    J "I love a good debate" D
     
  6. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    John,

    There are established standards for setting up the audio portion. Unfortunately for most, it is quite expensive and time consuming to setup an audio system properly. It requires acoustical tests and measurements and room treatments to correct the problems.

    It is possible to get decent sound in a room with an SPL meter and proper speaker placement. Many people do the first and fewer do the second. The reasons vary from the "not my room syndrome", to the WAF factor, to aesthetics, etc., etc., etc. Regards.
     
  7. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    >>> With video, there are also "room properties" to take into effect. Ambient light, the lights in the room, etc. ... Which lead to my original question, why is sound "subjective" and video "objective"?
     
  8. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Bruce,

    I am a fan of your wonderful explications here, and there, and this is certainly your best. Thanks for your efforts.

    bill
     
  9. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Bruce,

    Interesting points.

    I do disagree with your "calibrating with an SPL meter" thoughts. Using an SPL meter merely sets each channel to an equal level just as setting basic delay in the receiver or pre/pro is simply a starting point. These are merely a (early) step in the process. It is a necessary step but to set a room up correctly it is just the beginning. Most here use it is the beginning AND end. Regards.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  11. John D.

    John D. Auditioning

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    Bruce,
    Thank you for a great explanation. I must say that does clear things up. I guess my original question was based on posts I had read implying that >
    Unless someone comes back with a better argument as to why they should be "Sacrosanct", you have convinced me that I am not wrong to turn up the brightness if I feel like it [​IMG]
    Of course my TV is not in great shape anyway and I'm afraid if I tell what I have I'll get flamed with responses like "Why did you even ask that question with the *&@$@# TV you have?" :b
    Thanks again.
    JD
     
  12. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    One additional note on the ISF calibration.The guns on most TV's, especially the RPTV's, are factory set WAY too hot. This is usually so that they are bright on showroom floors.

    This type of setting will usually shorten the life of the CRT's (not something you want happening on these expensive sets).

    Properly calibrated TV's will give you fantastic pictures, very black blacks, non-bleeding reds and oranges, and extend the life of your set.

    Minor tweeks like occasional boosting of the contrast, brightness, etc. based on your taste or display equipment (DVD, VCR) are then fine and will not hurt the life of your set and can make your viewing more enjoyable.
     
  13. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Bob,

    The other steps I'm speaking of involve the room. Placing speakers and setting levels and delays is very important but most neglect the one thing that has the biggest part in getting correct, balanced sound...treating and Eq'ing the room. Regards.
     

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