T

TechToys2

Audioholic
You hear a lot about the problem many people have with soft dialog and loud effects and Dynamic Volume or increasing the center channel a few db is often suggested. What I don't generally hear about is another thing that I have noticed ... that the fluctuation in volume of dialog makes it difficult to set the volume. For example, I'll set master volume to a comfortable level (or even slightly louder) for most of the dialog and then invariably certain parts will be spoken very softly and be difficult to hear (even in the absence of background music or effects) -- i.e., the dynamic range between the softest and loudest part of the dialog seems too great.

Has anyone else noticed this? Again, is it simply poor mixing?
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
You hear a lot about the problem many people have with soft dialog and loud effects and Dynamic Volume or increasing the center channel a few db is often suggested. What I don't generally hear about is another thing that I have noticed ... that the fluctuation in volume of dialog makes it difficult to set the volume. For example, I'll set master volume to a comfortable level (or even slightly louder) for most of the dialog and then invariably certain parts will be spoken very softly and be difficult to hear (even in the absence of background music or effects) -- i.e., the dynamic range between the softest and loudest part of the dialog seems too great.

Has anyone else noticed this? Again, is it simply poor mixing?
Yes, freaking yes. Just this morning I broke down because i didn't want to but upped the center channel 3db. I really, really didn't want to but had to and it's really because content sound is inconsistent. It's so annoying that it's this way but it is. Some movies the center channel/dialog is excellent, and easy to hear and others it's absolutely horrendous. God is it frustrating. Anyway rant over and center channel is up 3bd.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
You hear a lot about the problem many people have with soft dialog and loud effects and Dynamic Volume or increasing the center channel a few db is often suggested. What I don't generally hear about is another thing that I have noticed ... that the fluctuation in volume of dialog makes it difficult to set the volume. For example, I'll set master volume to a comfortable level (or even slightly louder) for most of the dialog and then invariably certain parts will be spoken very softly and be difficult to hear (even in the absence of background music or effects) -- i.e., the dynamic range between the softest and loudest part of the dialog seems too great.

Has anyone else noticed this? Again, is it simply poor mixing?
Try this:

-Set Dynamic volume to Light
-Dialogue volume needs to be raised by atleast 3 DB
-Dynamic offset, should be set to 0 db for movies.
Reference for movies/TV

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What master volume levels are you guys generally listening to these movies at? Or are these tv shows? Notice any issues with a particular delivery method? 5.1 content or stereo upmixed?

I generally set my volume so that dialog is comfortable, usually at around -20. Some programs I might raise a bit or lower a bit but not too often. I don't use dynamic volume, but do use dynamic eq. I have noticed some movies that seem to deliberately make the dialog a bit hard to hear in spots, and have heard some make comments about such as artistic choice of the director. Can't think of an example off the top of my head, not a common thing.
 
T

TechToys2

Audioholic
What master volume levels are you guys generally listening to these movies at? Or are these tv shows? Notice any issues with a particular delivery method? 5.1 content or stereo upmixed?

I generally set my volume so that dialog is comfortable, usually at around -20. Some programs I might raise a bit or lower a bit but not too often. I don't use dynamic volume, but do use dynamic eq. I have noticed some movies that seem to deliberately make the dialog a bit hard to hear in spots, and have heard some make comments about such as artistic choice of the director. Can't think of an example off the top of my head, not a common thing.
For me it is TV as well as movies, mostly delivered through a Roku. System is 5.1 and content is typically 5.1, some Atmos. Master volume is typically around -20 plus or minus. Last night I watched a short Netflix movie and a 1/2 hour TV show on Hulu, both through the Roku. Neither were action or effects heavy and volume was at -18. Dialog was understandable for the most part, but it varied and every once in a while it would get too soft to hear clearly. Seating is only around 8-9 feet from the fronts.

Both dynamic volume and dynamic EQ were off. I think I mentioned in a prior post that when I checked speaker levels manually, it was reading more like 72 db rather than 75, but it was consistent among the fronts and surrounds.
 
M

mj30250

Audioholic Intern
I've resigned myself to the reality that as long as you've gone through the proper paces in terms of setup, this is almost always a result of the mix - whether for intentional "artistic" reasons or simply as a result of a lazy / poor quality mix. You're never going to fully resolve the problem. My wife especially loves when I'm watching something three rooms away and have to crank up the volume to make out some quiet dialog, only to have an explosion hit that nearly shakes the pictures off the walls. The Mandalorian has been a recent culprit.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Gene and Matthew did a very good video on this subject a few months ago. Sometimes it is the mix, but many times it can be a set up issue as well. Make sure the bass isn't running too hot, not just on the subs but mid-bass from the main speakers as well.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
Gene and Matthew did a very good video on this subject a few months ago. Sometimes it is the mix, but many times it can be a set up issue as well. Make sure the bass isn't running too hot, not just on the subs but mid-bass from the main speakers as well.
I agree, set up can be the culprit too. I am going to tilt my center up just a bit towards ear level. I bought some trusty door stops. They are gonna work perfectly though just to tilt the center up just a bit too see if that makes a difference which I think it will.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I will tell you guys one more time. This dialog issue is speakers, speakers and speakers.

99.9% of center channel speakers are not fit for purpose and not designed right at all.

I have excellent dialog on my three systems. I never have to use dynamic Eq or raise the center channel level. Hearing dialog is not a problem. Heck, my wife does not listen at a loud level, but when she is watching TV or movies I can hear every word on the upstairs landing!

This is 100% a speaker issue and I know how to eliminate it.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
I would have to agree. Speaker choice makes all the difference in clear dialog. After switching to the Ascend Sierra Towers as fronts and the Monolith Center I don't have to increase the center channel volume at all. It's really easy to hear the dialog in all of my 4K movies.
 
T

TechToys2

Audioholic
I will tell you guys one more time. This dialog issue is speakers, speakers and speakers.

99.9% of center channel speakers are not fit for purpose and not designed right at all.

I have excellent dialog on my three systems. I never have to use dynamic Eq or raise the center channel level. Hearing dialog is not a problem. Heck, my wife does not listen at a loud level, but when she is watching TV or movies I can hear every word on the upstairs landing!

This is 100% a speaker issue and I know how to eliminate it.
I don't disagree that speakers can and often do have a lot to do with it, but I wouldn't conclude that is the only problem for everyone, or even that it is the paramount issue.

I suspect that Gene has pretty good speakers, yet in his video that Shadyj linked to (see it again HERE) he said he often has trouble hearing dialog and that he increases the center channel a couple of db due to bad mixes, etc. He and Matthew spent well over an hour talking about issues related to dialog intelligibility. If it were only a speaker issue, I think the video would have been 5 minutes. And take a look at the video at around the 48 minute mark. The first item on the list of things that don't work for purposes of making dialog better is replacing speakers. He provides further clarifications and notes that speakers are very important (and also Gene contradicts the point later by saying to get good speakers), but he also says that too many people run out and buy new speakers when that is not necessarily the problem.

Anyway, as I said, I don't disagree with you entirely. But I think there are other things going on as well that need to be considered.
 
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mj30250

Audioholic Intern
Obviously a "good" center and/or front stage properly set up and aimed at the listener(s) is going to fix the majority of issues. That doesn't discount the fact that all mixes are not created equal, and that massive volume disparities can exist in the source between dialog and other sounds. If I can watch a film and get natural, crystal clear dialog along with powerful house-shaking sound effects, and then watch a different film and get powerful house-shaking sound effects but strain to hear the dialog, that's probably not my speakers' fault.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I don't disagree that speakers can and often do have a lot to do with it, but I wouldn't conclude that is the only problem for everyone, or even that it is the paramount issue.

I suspect that Gene has pretty good speakers, yet in his video that Shadyj linked to (see it again HERE) he said he often has trouble hearing dialog and that he increases the center channel a couple of db due to bad mixes, etc. He and Matthew spent well over an hour talking about issues related to dialog intelligibility. If it were only a speaker issue, I think the video would have been 5 minutes. And take a look at the video at around the 48 minute mark. The first item on the list of things that don't work for purposes of making dialog better is replacing speakers. He provides further clarifications and notes that speakers are very important (and also Gene contradicts the point later by saying to get good speakers), but he also says that too many people run out and buy new speakers when that is not necessarily the problem.

Anyway, as I said, I don't disagree with you entirely. But I think there are other things going on as well that need to be considered.
Gene I believe uses RBH speakers. Gene probably won't want to hear this, but none of the RBH speakers are designed correctly for center channel use, and will exhibit the problems you speak of.

These are the problems that have to be solved for a speaker to work properly as a center channel speaker with intelligible dialog every time.

1). This is most important. No serious aberrations in the time and therefore phase domain can be permitted in the speech discrimination band. That is 400 Hz to 3.5KHz and preferably 4KHz.

2). A correct lobing pattern. That means NO horizontal MTMs.

As far as I am concerned these are absolute rules that can not be broken and achieve optimal speech intelligibility. No breaches can be permitted at all.

This can only be achieved in the following ways.

1). A good full range single driver. I used that very successfully in a previous system.

2). A good coaxial driver with minimal time aberration in the crossover.

3). In a spaced driver system, no crossover on the speech discrimination band unless it is an active speaker, with DSP to correct time alignment.

There is no way I no of to do this.

So in my main system the center is a coaxial design. It has excellent speech clarity.

The family room system is 2.1, but the midrange is crossed at 400 Hz and 4KHz. Speech clarity is excellent. Zero trouble with dialog.

My wife's in wall system which is a 3.1 system with a three way center with vertically aligned mid and tweeter. The mid is crossed at 400 Hz and 4KHz. Again speech clarity is excellent. Neither my wife or I have a problem with speech/dialog intelligibility on any of these systems on any program.

This problem is solvable, and above is the road map.
 
S

Sachb

Full Audioholic
It depends on the processing too, I had the issue on my denon where most of the movies encoded in 5.1 sounded way too soft in vocals but louder in effects such as explosion etc. Adjusting the dynamic volume and settungs did help tho, but at times some movies also sounded muffled.

I believe one should also use the restorer function along with adjusting the dynamic settings to improve on clarity.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
It depends on the processing too, I had the issue on my denon where most of the movies encoded in 5.1 sounded way too soft in vocals but louder in effects such as explosion etc. Adjusting the dynamic volume and settungs did help tho, but at times some movies also sounded muffled.

I believe one should also use the restorer function along with adjusting the dynamic settings to improve on clarity.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
You should not have to make any adjustments after Audyssey sets the levels. I use zero Eq.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic General
Gene I believe uses RBH speakers. Gene probably won't want to hear this, but none of the RBH speakers are designed correctly for center channel use, and will exhibit the problems you speak of.

These are the problems that have to be solved for a speaker to work properly as a center channel speaker with intelligible dialog every time.

1). This is most important. No serious aberrations in the time and therefore phase domain can be permitted in the speech discrimination band. That is 400 Hz to 3.5KHz and preferably 4KHz.

2). A correct lobing pattern. That means NO horizontal MTMs.

As far as I am concerned these are absolute rules that can not be broken and achieve optimal speech intelligibility. No breaches can be permitted at all.

This can only be achieved in the following ways.

1). A good full range single driver. I used that very successfully in a previous system.

2). A good coaxial driver with minimal time aberration in the crossover.

3). In a spaced driver system, no crossover on the speech discrimination band unless it is an active speaker, with DSP to correct time alignment.

There is no way I no of to do this.

So in my main system the center is a coaxial design. It has excellent speech clarity.

The family room system is 2.1, but the midrange is crossed at 400 Hz and 4KHz. Speech clarity is excellent. Zero trouble with dialog.

My wife's in wall system which is a 3.1 system with a three way center with vertically aligned mid and tweeter. The mid is crossed at 400 Hz and 4KHz. Again speech clarity is excellent. Neither my wife or I have a problem with speech/dialog intelligibility on any of these systems on any program.

This problem is solvable, and above is the road map.
I would never go to a friend’s house and tell him his toys sucked. I might be an a$$hole, but that’s a d#%k move.:p
 

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