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Old 09-18-2012, 07:15 PM   #31
Dan203
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Compression is suppose to help normalize the discrete channels to each other, but as you discovered it's not perfect. You may want to check the settings in your system. It might have a built in compression option that will work better then the one in Handbrake. However it will probably only work with 5.1 sound, so you'll need to use one of the discrete files for testing.

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:35 PM   #32
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Compression can only help so much.
Actually, not true. It is possible to compress the dynamic range of an audio track so much that there is virtually no change in volume throughout the entire piece, but it is true most DRC controls don't allow that much compression.

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I run into this a lot with movies as well. Dialog too low, sound effects way too loud.
It happens, although this is often more a case of a noisy environment than a bad audio mix from the movie. If one has fans, air conditioners, outside noises, etc. intruding on the theater environment, then one will have to turn up the audio so that otherwise normal low level sounds are much higher than would be necessary in a quiet room, and the loud passages are then that much louder. One should be able to hear sounds that are right at the threshold of hearing coming from the speakers, and if one can, then the loud passages won't be too loud. Few, if any, video sources are capable of delivering even an 80dB dynamic range in the main program material (excluding momentary peaks). The theoretical maximum for a 16 bit linear amplitude sample is 96dB, and that with a rather large amount of distortion in the low volume sounds and in the peaks.

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Apparently the people who do the sound for movies assume everyone wants their teeth to rattle when watching a movie with special effects.
Well, the fact is a typical gunshot, or especially an explosion is a great deal louder than anything your audio system is likely to produce. The smallest sound an average human can hear is set at 0dB. A jet engine at takeoff can produce in excess of 150dB at 25 meters. One audio researcher attempting to reproduce the sound of the snip of an ordinary pair of scissors chained together a number (ten if I recall) of 1000 Watt amplifiers, and the peaks of the audio wave were *still* clipped. Now, of course I am not suggesting anyone listen to music or video at levels that approach 150dB - which can rupture the tympanic membrane, or even at 110 dB, which is the average human threshold of pain. For that matter, one is definitely counseled to keep all exposure to sound below 80dB except for very brief and very infrequent excursions. Eight hours of continuous exposure to 80dB sound can produce permanent hearing damage, and constant repeated exposure to such levels can also do so. A 60dB dynamic range is not excessive, though, yet the sounds in such a sample will either be inaudible at the low end or unpleasantly loud at the high end if one cannot hear one's own normal breathing at rest or a normal whisper at 1.5 meters (about 20dB). The quieter the room, the lower the volume of the audio can be.

Good speaker placement and room design also has a great deal to do with it. Of course, few of us can afford a completely isolated anechoic theater room, and sometimes speaker placement must be compromised for practical considerations, but the more uniform the sound distribution, and the less reflective the surfaces of the room, the better the sound will be, and again the more audible lower volume sounds will be, allowing for lower amplitude high volume sounds.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:26 AM   #33
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Compression is suppose to help normalize the discrete channels to each other, but as you discovered it's not perfect. You may want to check the settings in your system. It might have a built in compression option that will work better then the one in Handbrake. However it will probably only work with 5.1 sound, so you'll need to use one of the discrete files for testing.

Dan
What do you mean by discrete files? What settings in my AV receiver should I be checking? As I mentioned, I only have left-center-right speakers.

Please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:44 PM   #34
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What do you mean by discrete files? What settings in my AV receiver should I be checking? As I mentioned, I only have left-center-right speakers.

Please let me know. Thanks.
I said discrete channels, not files. A 5.1 audio track actually contains 6 discrete audio channels. Left, Right, Center, Left Rear, Right Rear and LFE (aka subwoofer). Since your setup only has 3 speakers you're either losing the LR, RR and LFE channels or they are being shifted and blended with the other channels. (depends on your receiver)

The easiest way to deal with this is to simply turn up the center channel as much as you can, turn down the L and R a little, and if you have any options for LR and RR turn those down a lot. That should make the audio more even. Now whether you have enough control over that in your system I don't know. Every system has different options and capabilities.

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Old 09-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #35
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I said discrete channels, not files. A 5.1 audio track actually contains 6 discrete audio channels. Left, Right, Center, Left Rear, Right Rear and LFE (aka subwoofer). Since your setup only has 3 speakers you're either losing the LR, RR and LFE channels or they are being shifted and blended with the other channels. (depends on your receiver)

The easiest way to deal with this is to simply turn up the center channel as much as you can, turn down the L and R a little, and if you have any options for LR and RR turn those down a lot. That should make the audio more even. Now whether you have enough control over that in your system I don't know. Every system has different options and capabilities.

Dan

Are you referring to the EQ settings in the receiver for each speaker? (They range from +10 to -20)

Would it make sense to decrease base/treble for Left/Right speakers all the way down and then increase base/treble for the center channel all the way up?

Is that what you're referring to?
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:38 PM   #36
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Base and treble are different. The EQ setting might be the right one. Honestly every receiver is different so you're just going to have to play with it until you find something that works for you. Just make sure you write all the settings down (or take a picture of them) before you start playing with them that way you can revert back if you need to.

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:27 AM   #37
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Base and treble are different. The EQ setting might be the right one. Honestly every receiver is different so you're just going to have to play with it until you find something that works for you. Just make sure you write all the settings down (or take a picture of them) before you start playing with them that way you can revert back if you need to.

Dan
I think my receiver is likely the problem. I spent over $800 on a Sony3500ES about 4 years.

The receivers now which cost about 1/2 the price sound so much better. I am really annoyed how poorly this recever has performed.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:27 PM   #38
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I think my receiver is likely the problem. I spent over $800 on a Sony3500ES about 4 years.

The receivers now which cost about 1/2 the price sound so much better. I am really annoyed how poorly this recever has performed.
There have been huge innovation in technology since that receiver came out (6 years ago now) ...
new audio schemes, new codecs, just the changes in the HDMI spec have driven a number of vendors out of the marketplace!
I gave up on receivers per se and went to preamp/Processors and discrete amps.
As long as it has preamp outputs, I can always replace the front end every couple of years
and keep the high quality amp stages over time.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:47 PM   #39
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I switched to Sonos for my entire home audio solution and it was the best thing I ever did. It was so much that screwing around with an AV receiver. Will never go back to that again.
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