Denon/Marantz widespread issue/bug/feature - DRC applied automatically

Ash2341

Active Member
Not sure if this has been brought up here before or is an old issue/problem? I did a quick search for DRC but not much came up with any replies? I hope I am not brinig up something old and well known about as it is new to me.

The Ultimate List of BASS in Movies w/ Frequency Charts - Page 387 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

Apparently with some Dolby soundtracks (TrueHD mainly?) Denon and Marantz receivers will automatically turn 'ON' the DRC feature. This seems to 'affect' older and newer equipment alike.

I am not a fan of DRC, or other versions like Night mode, Dynamic EQ or Dynamic Volume etc as I would like to hear the soundtrack as intended so when I found this out I wan't too impressed.

The main issue I have is that I have turned off all these modes when I set my receiver(s) up and expect that setting to stay the same, but apparently the DRC 'feature' sometimes turns 'ON' when specific films with Dolby sound are played. This happens automatically in your receiver based on the 'flag' or metadata biult into the soundtrack. I think it happens on TrueHD only and not any DTS ones. It also doesn't happen on all soundtracks either.

What is apparent is that the option for DRC does not appear until the film has started, so most people will not have seen the option when setting things up (as most won't fiddle with settings when a film has started I suppose?).

I have checked on my Denon AVC-A1HD (old by today's standards as not 4K or anything) in my lounge setup and this was happening here. I thought I had all dynamic range control options set to 'OFF' etc but when I played Black Panther I checked the 'audio parameters' section and there was now a 'DRC' option which was set to 'Auto'. I could change it to Low, Middle, High, Auto or OFF so I turned it off. Not sure if the setting will stay that way or not once I turn the AVR off but we will see. Goingto check my Denon AVP-A1HD now, but I think a lot of the newer AVR's are also 'affected' by this issue.

I don't know if this is a 'feature' for Dolby or not, but I am not too impressed that this buried setting is automatically applied. I am also annoyed I did not know this until now! I have had my AVR's for around 10 years give or take and didn't know this was happening. I always thought some soundtracks were a little 'off' so maybe this was the reason? Sometimes you can tell if your system doesn't sound 'right' but with so many factors at play it's hard to work out what the problem is (or if there is a 'problem' at all...maybe it's how it was mixed and just not to my expectations/preference for bass etc?). With this option not even appearing in the menu unless the film is playing is what got me to be honest.

I am not sure how much DRC changes the sound, or how it is applied so not sure the about the consequences of it being on 'Auto' but just thought I would bring it up here.

Anyway, sorry if this is a non-issue for some, or old or anything like that, just thought I would share it with you. The link for AVSforums above has some ideas on it. I think it is even in some manual on some AVR's somewhere but I am not sure why DRC would automatically need to be applied?

Either way, check on your own AVR's to see if it's happening if you are bothered about DRC being applied at all.

Cheers

Ash
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The issue you outline doesn't appear to be affecting Yamaha AV receivers and no change is made to the Dynamic Range setting during the playback of either the TrueHD soundtrack you get with the HD Blu-ray of Black Panther or in association with the YrueHD/Atmos soundtrack you get on the UHD disc. The Dynamic Range setting remains set to the MAXIMUM setting I had it set to prior to playing the aforementioned soundtracks. The MAXIMUM setting equates to no compression being applied.

My AV receiver is a Yamaha RXA1050 and the disc player is a Panasonic DMP-UB700.

Have you or anyone else contacted Denon about this and are they aware of the issue?
 

Ash2341

Active Member
The issue you outline doesn't appear to be affecting Yamaha AV receivers and no change is made to the Dynamic Range setting during the playback of either the TrueHD soundtrack you get with the HD Blu-ray of Black Panther or in association with the YrueHD/Atmos soundtrack you get on the UHD disc. The Dynamic Range setting remains set to the MAXIMUM setting I had it set to prior to playing the aforementioned soundtracks. The MAXIMUM setting equates to no compression being applied.

My AV receiver is a Yamaha RXA1050 and the disc player is a Panasonic DMP-UB700.

Have you or anyone else contacted Denon about this and are they aware of the issue?

Hi, I think this only seems to be an issue with the Denon/Marantz group stuff to be honest. Thanks for checking out the Yamaha.

I am only going off what I found from the AVSForum posts in the US, apparently its been happening for years with no 'fix' other than checking each time if it's on 'auto' or not. I am sure someone has reported it to Denon, and after looking over on AVS it seems to be in a manual for a recent model so I think its a 'feature' or something like that. I just thought it would be best to highlight it here as I am not sure many know it happens?

Anyone else hear about this or know if their model does it? I only mentioned black panther as it did it on mine, I assume other titles will do it too if it has TrueHD or even Atmos.

I will check in the next few days if it comes back after the AVR has been switched off.

Cheers

Ash
 

Ash2341

Active Member
I remember both my Onkyo i owned,used to do it,but not my last Marantz 7010 :)

Thanks, good to know the 7010 doesn't do it :)

Cheers

Ash
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
I remember both my Onkyo i owned,used to do it,but not my last Marantz 7010 :)

It (Loudness Management) was set to On (DRC to Auto) by default on my Marantz 7010 for Dolby sources. Once turned Off it stayed Off.

Worth double-checking to make sure it's off for each Input though. I did post about it a couple of years ago in the Marantz owners thread.

Marantz SR7010 & SR6010 Owners thread

Edit. It's also the same on the Denon X4200W and X4400H.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Here's Denon's official line on DRC:

D. Comp, Dynamic Compression, & Dialog Normalization


Dynamic Compression / D. Comp and Dialog Normalization are both part of Dolby Digital technology. Although they deal with a soundtrack's loudness, they're very different processes. You can use the digital compressor (called D. Comp or Dynamic Compression on Denon products) whenever you're listening to a Dolby Digital source.

D. Comp circuitry progressively reduces the dynamic range (the difference in loudness between very soft and very loud sounds) of any Dolby Digital source. Denon products give you four different D. Comp. settings (Off, Low, Mid, and High) to match specific needs. "Low" provides the least compression, "Mid" contributes moderate compression while "High" really stomps on dynamic range with a maximum peak reduction of 15 dB and a 10 dB upwards expansion of very soft sounds -- that's a maximum 25 dB reduction of dynamic range.

You'll find D. Comp (Dynamic Compression) circuitry particularly useful while watching an action movie late at night when the kids are asleep in the next room. By compressing the sound track's dynamic range, you'll be able to hear soft dialog without blasting yourself out of the chair when explosive sound effects appear. Experiment with different D. Comp levels to find the one that's best for your needs. We recommend that you use the least amount of compression to preserve the source's natural dynamic range but the final choice is up to you.

Dialog Normalization helps you avoid the "this one's too loud, this one's too soft" level differences encountered when changing inputs or sources. Dialog Normalization, which takes its clues from information embedded in the digital audio data stream, makes sure that levels are roughly the same as you switch sources.

*On newer models, please enable the "Loudness Management" option in the Audio section of the GUI menu to utilize Dialog Normalization and Dynamic Compression.

D. Comp, Dynamic Compression, & Dialog Normalization


There's also nothing within either their manuals about you being forced to use DRC. According to the manuals it is something you determine whether or not it is applied.

snapshot001.jpg




If I'm understanding the above correctly then the answer to you issue is to turn the LOUDNESS MANAGEMENT setting to OFF and this would then prevent Dolby encoded content being able to automatically reconfigure the DYNAMIC COMPRESSION setting? Turning OFF the LOUDNESS MANAGEMENT completely disables all dynamic compressions and or audio normalisation.

Yes, the default setting for DYNAMIC COMPRESSION is AUTO when handling Dolby encoded audio, but you can override this by turning the LOUDNESS MANAGEMENT setting OFF.

By the way, the AUTO setting doesn't nescessarilly mean that compression is being applied and would depend upon the metadata associated with the audio being handled by the receiver. THis will have been set by whoever mastered the soundtrack for the home version of the soundtrack.


Here's what Dolby have to say about DRC and metadata:

Dynamic Range Control

Different home listening environments present a wide range of requirements for dynamic range. Rather than simply compressing the audio program at the transmission source to work well in the poorest listening environments, Dolby Digital encoders calculate and send Dynamic Range Control (DRC) metadata with the signal.

This metadata can then be applied to the signal by the decoder to reduce the signal’s dynamic range.

Through the proper setting of DRC profiles during the mastering process, the content producer can provide the best possible presentation of program content in virtually any listening environment, regardless of the quality of the equipment, number of channels, or ambient noise level in the consumer’s home.

Many Dolby Digital decoders offer the consumer the option of defeating the Dynamic Range Control metadata, but some do not. Decoders with six discrete channel outputs (full 5.1-channel capability) typically offer this option. Decoders with stereo, mono, or RF-remodulated outputs, such as those found on DVD players and set-top boxes, often do not. In these cases, the decoder automatically applies the most appropriate DRC metadata for the decoder’s operating mode.

The Dolby Digital stream carries metadata for the two possible operating modes in the decoder. The operating modes are known as Line mode and RF mode due to the type of output they are typically associated with. Line mode is typically used on decoders with six- or two-channel line-level outputs and RF mode is used on decoders that have an RF-remodulated output. Full-featured decoders allow the consumer to select whether to use DRC and if so, which operating mode to use. The consumer sees options such as Off, Light Compression, and Heavy Compression instead of None, Line mode, and RF mode. Advanced decoders may also allow custom scaling of the DRC metadata.

All that needs to be done during metadata authoring, or encoding, is selection of the dynamic range control profiles for Line mode and RF mode. The profiles are described in the following sections.

Note:
While the use of DRC modes during decoding is a consumer-selectable feature, the Dialogue Level parameter setting is not. Therefore, setting the Dialogue Level parameter properly is essential before previewing a DRC profile.


There's more within this PDF:
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technologies/a-guide-to-dolby-metadata.pdf
 
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Dolus

Active Member

gibbsy

Moderator
My Denon X6200 has the features so well outlined by dante above. It's never come on and remains firmly off from the first day I set it up. I didn't have any problems with an older Denon 2310 either.
 

Ash2341

Active Member
Thanks for the info Dante01, much appreciated for all who didn't know what I was going on about etc :thumbsup:

Glad to see it's staying off when turned off for most. What surprised me was that the option on both my AVR's was not apparent until I was playing the film, so I was not aware that it was on 'auto' at all as I thought all options were already off. That's the main reason i started the thread really, to let people know to check once a Dolby source was playing etc.

My preference is to have a full dynamic soundtrack with no 'compression' or dynamic range limiting at all, and to have the soundtrack full range. I (rightly or wrongly) assumed the director would want that too, but also see that for some, a compressed or limited range soundtrack would let them experience the film in a better way due to equipment limitations that would necessitate use of such options.

I also don't know whether 'Auto DRC' did much or anything to the soundtrack if the AVR through audyssey or the like can tell if it needed much limitation to the frequency range and whatnot? Either way, personally I am glad there is an option to turn it totally off and it staying off (I will check every so often to see if it stays that way for now).


On a similar note, I am all into trying to get the full range and experience from a soundtrack and so have looked inthe the BEQ thread over on AVSForums and this would indeed need to have things like DRC fully off to work properly. This is especially important to obtain ULF and so why I brought it up here to be honest.

Anyway hope this has helped others, and also thanks for all the information on the technology above too :thumbsup:

How do others feel about the use of DRC and the like anwway?

Cheers

Ash
 

tebbo65

Well-known Member
Just checked various sources inc Black Panther (UHD) and thankfully no sign of DRC defaulting to Auto. Mind you Loudness Management is off. Will monitor it though. Thanks
 

GrazzaB

Distinguished Member
Bump for an old thread! This has been very interesting thanks - I only recently got a Denon 4500 and despite doing all the Audyssey calibration, including setting dynamic EQ etc to off, found that the loudness management was set to auto only last night! So turned it off straight away. Very odd that this is buried in a menu and only visible when playing Dolby tracks within a film.

Cheers again
 

007L2Kill

Well-known Member
What a joke of a feature, I have had Marantz gear for years and I paid dearly for it too, I have changed power amps, cables, etc…, you get it, because I love my system sound with music and when it comes to watching anything 5.1 or above my centre as always been off sounding as my speakers have beryllium tweeters in them and my centre as always had a sharp edge with “S” and “T” words, never could work it out until late last night after watching blindspot, I thought the sound was more top heavy than usual.

I looked in the menus, nothing like the OP says, but I started to mess around thinking these recording of this programme are way off, so, I started playing some music and I think that is lovely sound, then I think again of buying a new centre speaker (I have been through many), but just by look I thought let me switch the settings on and off when its playing blindspot as I always set things up when video is stopped or paused, so I go in the menu and I see for the first time “loudness management” what the heck is this and other settings all set to on and auto, I quickly switch to off and BAM, my 2 year old problem went away, my centre is so smooth sounding that it even sounded dull because I been listening to a hyper treble version of my programmes for god knows how long.

I think Marantz/Denon want to not hide these options and just have them dulled down so anyone knows they are there. This problem as cost me money over the years.

Will be interesting to watch blindspot latter tonight and hear my centre speaker for the first time.
 

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