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I deleted this question from instructables because they removed the ability to view an instuctable in its whole for free

I deleted this question from instructables because they removed the ability to view an instuctable in its whole for free 11-2-09

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SFHandyman8 years ago
Check your DVD player settings to make sure you have the correct number of channels/speakers set. If you only have Right Front, Left Front, Right Surround, and Left Surround speakers, but have the DVD player set to 5.1 (common default on DVD players) the dialog will be sent primarily, or exclusively, through the Center speaker that you don't have. So make sure the number of speakers setting is correct. Same with a computer sound card.

Setting = Number of speakers

Stereo or Headphones = Right and Left
4 or Quadraphonic = Right Front, Left Front, Right Surround, Left Surround
5.1 = RF, LF, RS, LS, Center and Sub Woofer
7.1 = RF, LF, RS, LS, Right Middle, Left Middle, Center and Sub Woofer

I have a Movie file that I tried to play on my computer. I got sound effects and music, and I could hear the extras mumbling, but not one bit of main character dialog. Turns out that movie file defaulted itself to 7.1 speakers and I was listening with headphones. All of the dialog for the main characters was being sent through the Middle Right, Middle Left and Center speakers that I wasn't using, so I didn't hear any of it. Most older movies don't have completely separated channels like that, but they do direct the majority of the dialog through a center speaker if there is one. Turn off the center channel and the dialog will come out of the Right and Left speakers.

Once I changed the settings to Stereo/Headphones, I could hear everything.
In the last 12 years I've went through 1x £1000 Technics 5.1 DVD Hi-FI System, 2x £500 Sony Home Cinema Systems, a £600 5.1 Yamaha Amp, and currently a £500 Sony 7.1 Amp. The last 2 amps have been connected to High Range MISSION Speakers. I have to agree with you when you complain about low dialogue, its taken me all the above setups to realise that I'm looking for something thats just not there. Like mentioned above, I find the "NIght Mode" setting quite usefull even if it does spoil things slighty.
UziMonkey8 years ago
This depends on the movie and your sound system. Many movies (and especially music) mixed in the past 20 years or so are getting progressively more compressed, meaning everything (including the quiet parts) sound louder. It's possible you're just used to this, so the natural volume range sounds strange to you. If you have the bass cranked all the way up, turn that down. People crank the bass up on their sound systems because they think it makes it sound better. In most movies, the bass-heavy sounds are the explosions, "action" sound effects, etc. The normal sound effects and speech don't have all that much bass (unless it's a James Earl Jones movie), so if the treble is turned down, these sections will sound quiet. If you ask me, good range is a good thing. Turn it up so that speech is loud enough to hear, and let the loud parts be loud. The loud parts are supposed to be loud, that's why they're loud. But then again, that probably won't make your neighbors too happy.
baudeagle (author)  UziMonkey8 years ago
I am only using my TV speakers to watch movies on DVD so I don't have control of the range of sounds and how they come out. It is also strange how the DVD's that I play are really quite on my TV but regular broadcasts are just fine. I also notice the loud music and effect in movie theaters as well. I cannot control this either. I jsut wonder if there is a consipricy out there to drown out the actors with noise.
I Agree.. nowadays they're so hyped up on action and loud effects, they dont care if you have to crank it up to 100 to hear speech...REGUARDLESS of settings (I Know all about it, so dont rant to me ppl), the tendancy nowadays is loud music/FX/etc and low vocals...which if you dont have the best hearing and cant stand the loud parts or dont wanna piss off everyone on your block the studios certainly dont care bout ya.. On a similar note, whats with the huge difference tween shows and commercials....these companies dont realize they piss off customers when we have to race to mute their ads.. I've actually been thinkin bout making either a product or instructible of a cheep volume normalizer for ppl like us.. just my 2c..
richms8 years ago
DVDs have a decent dynamic range because thats how things are meant to be experianced, they compress the sound on broadcast tv because otherwise half deaf people have problems hearing the dialog out a tinny tv speaker. check your player is playing the 2.0 track that a lot of discs have, thats normally worse sounding to allow for playback on inferior systems, otherwise you will need to get a dolby digital reciever that has a midnight mode which will even the levels out to make it more like a constant level boring tv broadcast.
110100101108 years ago
cause they want to hide from you how the dialogs are pointless ?
lmao, so true... dude subtitle it if you cant do anything else