Why is the music so much louder than the voices?

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by RKaled, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. RKaled Audiophyte

    RKaled
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    Can someone please tell me why the Voices on my TV Surround System are so quiet compared to the background music??

    This is probably a "newbie" question, but I don't get it. I have to turn the TV up to one level to here the voices comfortably, then suddenly some background music will kick in and it's so much louder than the voices. I have to keep a hand on the volume control because it flucuates to badly.

    What's the deal?... I've had the problem in two different sets, ever since I first connected Surround Sound. :confused:
  2. jaxvon Audioholic Ninja

    jaxvon
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    What components do you have, and what sources does this happen on? (DVD player, cable...etc)
  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Spend $40 and get an SPL meter from Radio Shack. In order for things to sound correct, you need to adjust the levels of each of your speakers relative to each other and your seating position.
  4. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    Without knowing your setup, we cannot help you. You could have an Aiwa surround system hooked up to a 1975 console. Do you have any type of internal eq control on your receiver (assuming you have a receiver)?
  5. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    As was mentioned above, you have to level match all the channels for equal loudness with either a test DVD or receiver's internal test tones using an SPL meter. It sounds like they are not level matched. And NO, you cannot do this by ear, sorry. ;)
  6. RKaled Audiophyte

    RKaled
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    My setup

    Thanks for your replies.

    My current setup is:

    A brand new Panasonic HD Plasma TV (sweet!), although I had the problem with my old RCA set as well. I also had HD Cable set up just two weeks ago.

    My receiver is an RCA 600W Home Theatre.

    My DVD/VCR is a Toshiba.

    This sound issue has been this way since I first hooked up the Home Theatre setup a couple years ago. I just never bothered to straighten it out. I assume you are correct in that I must level the speaker channels. But which channel is "booming" through?? I'd like to resolve this without buying additional equipment. I can't believe it's not a typical problem that everyone has. My set up shouldn't be unique. Doesn't anyone else have this issue?... and how did you resolve it? When I go through the normal channel testing (through the receiver), I don't notice any unusual sound level in any of the channels.

    There's got to be a simple solution, and as suggested, maybe I just need to play with the channel levels to level out the sound. But it's crazy to have to sit with the remote to adjust the sound everytime a new scene happens.
  7. nm2285 Senior Audioholic

    nm2285
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    Usually, assuming you're in surround mode, the center channel handles most voices. Boost the level of your center channel until it seems even with the other channels. Most receivers have a "test tone" feature which will play the same frequencies over each speaker individually. You can use this tone to match the levels of each speaker from the listening area.

    What is your speaker system?
  8. RKaled Audiophyte

    RKaled
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    Thanks for the info. The speaker system is what came out of the box with the RCA HT setup. Plus the TV's built ins. But your hint that most Surround Sound carries the voices in the Center channel gives me a starting point to level the audio channels. I have run through the receivers Test Tones, and although some channels were louder than others, they didn't seem to be that out of sync. I'll run through the tones again. Thanks very much!
  9. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    It doesn't take that much to be annoyingly high in one channel ;)
    As you can see, even by ear they are out of level balance. Just don't level it by ear. The spl meter is not that expensive, $35-$40 and should be part of an audio tool kit.
  10. bpape Audioholic Chief

    bpape
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    Using the center from the TV and speakers for the rest can certainly cause issues.

    Part of the problem can also likely be attributed to inadequate bass absorbtion in the space. What you describe is one of the prime symptoms.
  11. Nick250 Audioholic Samurai

    Nick250
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    Are you using the TV's speakers for voices? The TV speakers shoud be muted using the surround system only for audio.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. billinsandiego Audiophyte

    billinsandiego
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    Music louder the voices problem

    My HDTV is hooked up to HDMI and the sound comes through the TV. I simply had to turn off the surround sound feature of the audio on the TV menu options. Fixed the problem right away.

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