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thoughts on the DIE HARD 2 DTS track

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by thesnowman, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. thesnowman

    thesnowman
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    since purchasing a home cinema system, I never got round to watching die hard 2 on it, until last night

    Is it me or does the dialog on the dts track seem to be pretty low, so low infact that sometimes it was quite hard to make out what was being said,

    I even had to adjust the left and right speakers on the system to low as to balence out the sound with the centre speaker
    I found the music and sound effects to be some what over powering

    The DD track is pretty much identical to the DTS, ie that the dialog was pretty low.

    what I found ironic is that the dialog on the 2.0 track was just right


    what are your thoughts on this? do you agree that the dialog mix could have been louder than what it is.
     
  2. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    Die Hard 2 is I'm sure what they call an 'American Genre Movie', and probably suffers from what a lot of pictures in that group also suffer from, ie music and effects WAY too loud relative to the dialogue to create a super loud sound track in the cinema, one that is much louder than you would listen to at home. The Mummy Returns and Jurassic Park 3 are good examples of this problem.

    The reason the 2.0 track sounds 'better' is that the Dolby Analogue system that cinemas use for their 2 track replay (incase they don't have DD or DTS) is occasionaly put on the DVD as a separate sound track (ie not a down mix of the DD) and this has a much reduced dynamic range relative to the digital formats. This means that the music and effects often end up lower in the mix in this format, and hence the dialogue is more audible.

    To answer your question, I think it's not that the dialogue should be louder, it's that the other elements could be quieter! :)

    Mat
     
  3. russraff

    russraff
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    Russell
    I kinda agree, but this is really only pertinent to DTS tracks. DD has dialogue normalisation which increases or decreases the volume of other channels depending on how loud the centre channel is. Fair enough, if the centre channel is crowded this wont help. Generally, though, dialogue normalisation seems to make DD tracks more listenable when the DTS one is too in-yer-face.

    Russell
     
  4. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    True - but isn't dialogue normalisation an optional thing? I thought it was metadata in the track that your decoder could use if you have it selected... could be wrong though!
     
  5. thesnowman

    thesnowman
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    IMO if the dialog was mixed right there should be no need reason to mess around with the output on the sound system.
     
  6. russraff

    russraff
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    Oh, yeah, of course. Master and commander has a superb sound track no matter what format you listen to.
    DN has benefits outside of DVD and theatre, too. Like when on $ky the adverts are a couple of db louder than the program you are watching? Well, this would be sorted with DN. I suppose that its possible Dolby thought that their system would be taken up by other diverse media without the production qualities of a big movie release, and so thought DN would be a good idea.

    Russell
     
  7. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    I assume you've calibrated your sound system with an SPL meter and calibration disc?
     
  8. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Of course, you could have just turned the centre channel up a bit. ;)
     
  9. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    It's a tricky one... 'mixed right' is VERY subjective. Don't forget also that sound in the cinema is replayed very differently than sound in a home cinema situation, which is played very differently to sound played on TV. Theoreticaly there should be a remix for each different situation, but that simply isn't possible in most cases. The dolby dialogue normalisation thing is an attempt to make this less of an issue, but it only works on a level basis, and not an acoustical perception basis, and it certainly can't change the dialogue level relative to anything else if it occurs at the same time.

    ps - technicaly speaking, the adverts on sky, or any other channel for that matter, are no louder than the programme content they punctuate. There are very specific guidelines relating to maximum volume for transmition (ie a very tight top limit) due originaly to the physical amount of power needed to drive a transmitter station, now more due to the dynamic capabilites of most TV systems. The reason the adverts sound louder is because they are compressed massively so that they sit at that top limit for the full duration of the advert. Every TV show will also go that loud, but not over sustained periods. This is because your ear gets tired very quickly by such continued intensity. As a consequence the commercials sound louder, but in fact they aren't!
     
  10. thesnowman

    thesnowman
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    DOH

    Just found out that my brother had been messing around with the settings on my dvd system, checked out DIE HARD 2 again today after making adjustments and the sound is now perfect

    whats weird is that the last few dvds I watched, the sound sounded normal that I never realised it had been messed with until I watched/ listened to this particular dvd

    anyhow thanks for the input fellows
    :smashin:
     
  11. Tonmeistermat

    Tonmeistermat
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    :) Hey ho...

    Out of interest, what had he changed? It's interesting too that other movies sounded OK, but not this one! Some mixers mix dialogue louder than others, so it's possible that a small change (from your brother) would have made a significant perceptual difference if the film was mixed with lower dialogue in the first place.
     
  12. thesnowman

    thesnowman
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    my brother had set the centre speaker to 2db whilst all the other speakers were 10db

    the last 2 dts movie that I had watched was KILL BILL and T2, I could swear that I would have never noticed a difference
     
  13. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    I'd suggest you get an SPL meter too and calibrate your setup properly, as it will make a difference...:)
     

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