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  1. #1
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Mid level dialogue/High level sound effects....

    I was wondering is this normal. It seems a lot of people have this problem. It's not a problem for me if I watch a movie by myself because I just blast it. But when I watch a movie with wifee, who doesnt care for ear bleeding levels I have to babysit the remote.
    During scenes with alot of talking I have to turn the volume up because I have a hard time hearing everything, but as soon as the action starts I have to turn it down.

    Is there something I could do about this? Besides banning her from HT

    As I was typing this, it just crossed my mind that most avr's has a night or midnight mode. I've never tried it before. Has anyone used this and is it there to fix this sort of problem?


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    First thing you need to do is get a SPL meter and calibrate the levels on your system. The center speaker will typically have a different sensitivity level than the main speakers. That, along with their horizontal alignment and likely different height/distance from the listening position, will ensure a good likelihood of mismatches in the uncalibrated levels.

    Once you have you have your system calibrated, THEN you can make a better evaluation as to whether the soundtrack itself has a different balance between dialog and sound effects than you prefer. If you need the effects dialed down and the dialog more dominant, you can always use the dynamic range compression options with Dolby Digital soundtracks (option not available with DTS). The voices will be more prominent with the compression turned on because the loudest sound effects will not have as huge a range between the softest and loudest levels.

    Other sources that detract from the dialog intelligibility include resonance from installing your center speaker inside an entertainment cabinet, improper positioning of the center speaker, or using center speaker that insufficiently voice matches with the mains.

  3. #3
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    First thing you need to do is get a SPL meter and calibrate the levels on your system. The center speaker will typically have a different sensitivity level than the main speakers. That, along with their horizontal alignment and likely different height/distance from the listening position, will ensure a good likelihood of mismatches in the uncalibrated levels.

    Once you have you have your system calibrated, THEN you can make a better evaluation as to whether the soundtrack itself has a different balance between dialog and sound effects than you prefer. If you need the effects dialed down and the dialog more dominant, you can always use the dynamic range compression options with Dolby Digital soundtracks (option not available with DTS). The voices will be more prominent with the compression turned on because the loudest sound effects will not have as huge a range between the softest and loudest levels.

    Other sources that detract from the dialog intelligibility include resonance from installing your center speaker inside an entertainment cabinet, improper positioning of the center speaker, or using center speaker that insufficiently voice matches with the mains.

    I guess I should have gave a better description of my set up. My bad.
    First off, I used the auto setup on my Denon to calibrate my system and double checked it with a SPL meter. All my speakers are set to small and my x-over is set to 80hz. I'm running all Energy C-series speakers. My center is above my TV with the back raised pointed at the sweet spot.

    Thanks for the reply. I will give the night mode a test tonight and see if it helps. Any other suggestions are welcome.

  4. #4
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    LJ,

    Just for your information, this is something I CONTINUOUSLY experience during my entire marriage to this hobby -- that is, the center channel not being nearly "loud enough" to "keep up" with the other channels delivering the action sequences on a given DVD, and my system is calibrated, with all speakers set to small and the sub crossed over at the proper frequency. While it is true that dynamic compression schemes on Dolby Digital-only tracks (not DTS as was stated) can decrease this experience, there still IS a lack of center channel punch and delivery during just about every single DVD presentation out there; MY biggest ***** about the whole thing is that when there are dialogue-driven sequences on a disc, whether it's DTS or DOLBY DIGITAL, the listening room gets so damn quiet and I can easily hear so many distractions over the soundtrack, ESPECIALLY if someone is sitting next to me talking when watching the film.

    Do you find this as well?

    P.S. My center channel calibration levels are three decibels higher than the remaining channels and I still experience the need for more power from that center channel during dialogue driven sequences.

  5. #5
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    "Although my wife supports my HT addiction, she doesn't understand why we need to listen to movies so loud."

    I understand this. I went through the EXACT same thing with my ex, who had the same complaint but to me, the levels were nowhere near ear bleeding at that point she was complaining about......

    "Trying to hear dialogue at normal listening levels is tough so I usually end up babysitting the remote."

    For the most part, me too, but I hate that, so I end up finding a "reasonable" midway point where dialogue is UNDERSTANDABLE but effects arent that blasting --- I would rather keep the volume display on one constant number rather than fiddle with it up and down through a film, but sometimes there is just NO choice.....I found this recently with CONSTANTINE, which was REALLY annoying because the Dolby Digital mix had SUCH a low dialogue track.

    "I haven't tried the night mode yet, but hopefully it works. Gotta keep wifee happy .I know what your saying though.We have to use a portable fan in our HT room so when there's a dialogue only scene I can hear the fan in the background"

    I cant STAND ambient noise in the HT room; whenever a scene goes quiet, I can hear my dogs scratching their collars, barking; I can hear people talking in the next room.....it's really annoying.

    You are running a receiver-based system, correct?

  6. #6
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    LJ,

    Just for your information, this is something I CONTINUOUSLY experience during my entire marriage to this hobby -- that is, the center channel not being nearly "loud enough" to "keep up" with the other channels delivering the action sequences on a given DVD, and my system is calibrated, with all speakers set to small and the sub crossed over at the proper frequency. While it is true that dynamic compression schemes on Dolby Digital-only tracks (not DTS as was stated) can decrease this experience, there still IS a lack of center channel punch and delivery during just about every single DVD presentation out there; MY biggest ***** about the whole thing is that when there are dialogue-driven sequences on a disc, whether it's DTS or DOLBY DIGITAL, the listening room gets so damn quiet and I can easily hear so many distractions over the soundtrack, ESPECIALLY if someone is sitting next to me talking when watching the film.

    Do you find this as well?

    P.S. My center channel calibration levels are three decibels higher than the remaining channels and I still experience the need for more power from that center channel during dialogue driven sequences.

    I usually do most of my ear bleeding levels when I'm home alone. Let's just say I like to get the most out of my system when I can. Although my wife supports my HT addiction, she doesn't understand why we need to listen to movies so loud. Trying to hear dialogue at normal listening levels is tough so I usually end up babysitting the remote. I haven't tried the night mode yet, but hopefully it works. Gotta keep wifee happy .I know what your saying though.We have to use a portable fan in our HT room so when there's a dialogue only scene I can hear the fan in the background.

  7. #7
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    "Although my wife supports my HT addiction, she doesn't understand why we need to listen to movies so loud."

    I understand this. I went through the EXACT same thing with my ex, who had the same complaint but to me, the levels were nowhere near ear bleeding at that point she was complaining about......

    "Trying to hear dialogue at normal listening levels is tough so I usually end up babysitting the remote."

    For the most part, me too, but I hate that, so I end up finding a "reasonable" midway point where dialogue is UNDERSTANDABLE but effects arent that blasting --- I would rather keep the volume display on one constant number rather than fiddle with it up and down through a film, but sometimes there is just NO choice.....I found this recently with CONSTANTINE, which was REALLY annoying because the Dolby Digital mix had SUCH a low dialogue track.

    "I haven't tried the night mode yet, but hopefully it works. Gotta keep wifee happy .I know what your saying though.We have to use a portable fan in our HT room so when there's a dialogue only scene I can hear the fan in the background"

    I cant STAND ambient noise in the HT room; whenever a scene goes quiet, I can hear my dogs scratching their collars, barking; I can hear people talking in the next room.....it's really annoying.

    You are running a receiver-based system, correct?
    Yeah, Denon 2805.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Yeah, Denon 2805.
    And you find that it's fine for your needs -- you are not looking to go the separates route? The receiver seems to fill your room with enough explosive audio?

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    I was wondering is this normal. It seems a lot of people have this problem. It's not a problem for me if I watch a movie by myself because I just blast it. But when I watch a movie with wifee, who doesnt care for ear bleeding levels I have to babysit the remote.
    During scenes with alot of talking I have to turn the volume up because I have a hard time hearing everything, but as soon as the action starts I have to turn it down.

    Is there something I could do about this? Besides banning her from HT

    As I was typing this, it just crossed my mind that most avr's has a night or midnight mode. I've never tried it before. Has anyone used this and is it there to fix this sort of problem?


    Thanks in advance
    L.J.

    I think the night mode will do the trick for you. Check your manual. There may be more than one setting for it. Mine does, and it comes in handy when wifee is watching with me.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    And you find that it's fine for your needs -- you are not looking to go the separates route? The receiver seems to fill your room with enough explosive audio?
    My Denon's fine for my needs. Although all the talk about separates and adding amps has me curious.

  11. #11
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    L.J.

    I think the night mode will do the trick for you. Check your manual. There may be more than one setting for it. Mine does, and it comes in handy when wifee is watching with me.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I'll have to give it a try. I know my Denon has some type of night mode.

    When you turn yours on, does it seem like there's something missing?

    Do you lose any dynamics from the soundtrack?

  12. #12
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I'll have to give it a try. I know my Denon has some type of night mode.

    When you turn yours on, does it seem like there's something missing?

    Do you lose any dynamics from the soundtrack?
    You do lose some dynamics. How much you lose depends on what setting you use. Mine has 6, a high, medium and low for HT or music. I don't even notice that I lost the dynamics until I set it back to normal.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    My Denon's fine for my needs. Although all the talk about separates and adding amps has me curious.
    I KNOW exactly what you mean......but your Denon does fill your listening room quite adequately with sound?

  14. #14
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    You do lose some dynamics. How much you lose depends on what setting you use. Mine has 6, a high, medium and low for HT or music. I don't even notice that I lost the dynamics until I set it back to normal.
    The things we do for women. I'll tell ya

  15. #15
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    I bump the EQ a little for the midrange on my center to augment the vocals a little, as well as employ the occasional 'night mode'. Just a thought.

  16. #16
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    I KNOW exactly what you mean......but your Denon does fill your listening room quite adequately with sound?
    My previous system was a JVC avr powering Best Buy Sony speakers and a Yamaha sub. My first upgrade was my avr. There was a huge difference in sound but not day and night. My second upgrade, about 2 months ago, was getting rid of those sonys. When I hooked up my Energy's speakers and Energy sub there was a huge night and day difference. I most say that my biggest improvement in sound came from upgrading my speakers and sub. I could easily add an amp to my system but I don't think I need to. My movies sound just fine. I may amp my mains just to fill my curiosity, but I still can't see how much of an improvement it could actually make as far as HT goes. Musical benefits may be a different story.

  17. #17
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    I bump the EQ a little for the midrange on my center to augment the vocals a little, as well as employ the occasional 'night mode'. Just a thought.
    Do you have a separate EQ or are you able to do this with your avr's settings? Just curious.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    LJ,

    Just for your information, this is something I CONTINUOUSLY experience during my entire marriage to this hobby -- that is, the center channel not being nearly "loud enough" to "keep up" with the other channels delivering the action sequences on a given DVD, and my system is calibrated, with all speakers set to small and the sub crossed over at the proper frequency. While it is true that dynamic compression schemes on Dolby Digital-only tracks (not DTS as was stated) can decrease this experience, there still IS a lack of center channel punch and delivery during just about every single DVD presentation out there; MY biggest ***** about the whole thing is that when there are dialogue-driven sequences on a disc, whether it's DTS or DOLBY DIGITAL, the listening room gets so damn quiet and I can easily hear so many distractions over the soundtrack, ESPECIALLY if someone is sitting next to me talking when watching the film.

    Do you find this as well?

    P.S. My center channel calibration levels are three decibels higher than the remaining channels and I still experience the need for more power from that center channel during dialogue driven sequences.
    Hey Lex, with you running your center 3db higher, you are also not only 3db higher with the dialogue, but also 3db higher with every other sound reproduce in the center channel information. That could be distracting when there is dialogue present.

    Try this, go into the menu and turn your center off. Your left and right mains will now take over the center channel duties and as long as you are sitting perfectly center you may get an overall bigger presentation. This is of coarse that your mains can handle it. Try it, you may like it.

    If that fails, get a Yamaha and use the presence channel feature. I have personally never heard it but to me, it makes good sense.

  19. #19
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Do you have a separate EQ or are you able to do this with your avr's settings? Just curious.
    The EQ is in the receiver (Yamaha V800), I assume it would be fairly common feature. I think the point is to help voice match the center. It's nothing fancy, just five big bands. I bump the middle up 1-3db and the mid-high 1-3.

  20. #20
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I'll have to give it a try. I know my Denon has some type of night mode.

    When you turn yours on, does it seem like there's something missing?

    Do you lose any dynamics from the soundtrack?
    Hey L.J.

    How did that night mode work out for you?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  21. #21
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Hey L.J.

    How did that night mode work out for you?
    I didn't get a chance to use it last night. We watched XXX 2 with Ice Cube last night and I kinda just babysat the remote again, but not until the very end of the movie. Although it wasn't all that good, I haven't seen a movie with that much explosions in a while. I put the movie on kinda early so I guess it didn't seem as loud to her. Isn't it funny how the later and darker it is, the louder the movie seems to get, even at the same volume? Or maybe I'm just crazy.

  22. #22
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    The EQ is in the receiver (Yamaha V800), I assume it would be fairly common feature. I think the point is to help voice match the center. It's nothing fancy, just five big bands. I bump the middle up 1-3db and the mid-high 1-3.
    Gotcha. My Denon has that. I could make adjustments to all speakers at once or individually. There's also a room EQ feature that is set when using the setup mic. It analyzes the room and makes small adjustments for better sound. There's three setting(normal,flat and front) but I've only used the normal setting. I'll have to take the time to play with it. Thanks

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