View Full Version : 'Quiet' Centre Speaker?
31-07-2006, 07:30 PM
I am not running particulary high end stuff, but I am getting frustrated by some films having really quiet centre tracks and booming surround tracks, a lot of times on DTS-DIE HARD, DOWNFALL and REVOLVER- a case in point. Is this the fault of the sound mastering or do i need to tweak my system? I have constantly changed settings to get the best I can but it is annoying when you want to watch a film late at night for fear of waking my kids up!
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO DVD 55 DVD PLAYER
PIONEER VSX-D512 amp (a few years old now)
YAMAHA NX-E130 SURROUNDS
YAMAHA SW-P130 active sub.
31-07-2006, 08:07 PM
On my system you can raise and lower the volume on each individual speaker. Can you do this?
31-07-2006, 08:13 PM
Yes i can it's set at 10 with other surrounds down at 4, it is not quite on all films but in relation to surround effects it's lower on these particular films, there are some settings on my DVD player for sound may try tweaking them again.
It's quite common on film soundtracks for the music and sound FX to be much louder than the dialogue. I just crank it up and to hell with the neighbours. :D
Mind you some players and amps have a setting for late night viewing, this compresses the audio so that you don't get the problem of anything being too loud. Everything is compressed to the same volume level.
01-08-2006, 01:28 AM
i have a MIDNIGHT setting, that does this-will try it and see what happens!
You could try surround headphones (some are pretty decent), melamine acoustic tiles on the ceiling of the TV room or high density filling under the bedroom floorboards
01-08-2006, 10:18 AM
I have one of those Pioneer amps (maybe not the same model). Mine has a DIALOGUE button on the remote that pumps up the frequency range generally used by dialogue in the centre speaker. I find that I have to use this occasionally in films with busy surround sound tracks.
01-08-2006, 03:22 PM
This is a common problem.
Sound mixers listen to the same clip of film over and over again whilst mixing the sound, and soon know the dialogue off by heart. Subsequently the end mix tends to have the centre channel set a little low in dialogue. Just up the speaker a little until you're comfortable with it.
BTW, you might also want to check out the speaker 'size' setting, which might be set incorrectly, or even set to say you have no centre speaker at all.
Or buy a better centre speaker. All my stuff is 'seperates' by virtue of it arriving in dribs and drabs - a big meaty centre speaker makes a lot of difference.
02-08-2006, 04:07 PM
Alternately, and I'm not kidding here, it can be best (in certain circumstances) to junk your centre speaker.
We don't have centre speakers in stereo hi-fi because anything that comes identically from both L and R speakers sounds like it's coming from half-way between them, but only if you're sat in the right place (between the speakers at a distance from that centre spot which is slightly greater than the distance between the speakers).
Cinema is different, as you're more likely to have people sat quite near the screen, and to one side. Example: if someone is sat quite close to the front left speaker they'll hear anything coming from there much louder than from front right. Subsequently any dialoge which is supposed to sound central will sound set to the left to this person - hence the centre speaker, whixch drags the dialogue back to the middle where it belongs.
If at home you watch your Home Cinema set-up alone, or just you and your partner, and your distance from the TV is greater than the distance between your 2 speakers, you'll be fine.
Just remove your centre speaker (remember to tell your amp you've done this - it's sometimes called 'phantom' mode). Then the centre channel will be split into 2 identical signals to front L and R, which will sound like they're coming from your TV, as long as your seating position is good.
This only really helps if you have a poor centre speaker which is letting the side down.
11-08-2006, 09:17 PM
Cheers for the replies fellas, Have'nt got round to tweaking things yet, but I have a feeling that I have told the amp that my centre speaker is nearer than the front surround, hence it may be sending out a quieter speaker level-will get round to it some time.
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