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Music Drowns Out Dialogue In Tv and Films

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Baldbloke, 28 May 2021.

  1. Baldbloke

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 Nov 2010

    Posts: 552

    Location: Thorne Yorkshire

    Hi folks,

    I guess this has been asked many times.

    I watch mainly Netflix or Amazon prime video through my LG tv with audio through its in built speakers. I'm not much bothered about quality of sound. I'm more interested in the clarity of dialogue.

    As the title suggests, I'm sick and tired of music drowning out dialogue. My missus is sick and tired of me adjusting volume when that noisy, loud bl**dy music kicks in. It's nearly every single program theses days.

    I've tried the tv graphic equaliser settings. Preset "clearvoice setting. Even tried a couple 2.1 of sound bars.
    Result is very disappointing. Negligible.

    Lots of websearched answers suggest 5.1 sound system e.t.c but none seem to promise sufficient results. Buying the equipment and trying it just to be disappointed could become quite expensive.

    Perhaps if I were to build a mini pc to specifically handle sound only then maybe I could get rid of that invasive, overused blooming music. What do you think? Feasible?

    Has anyone actually achieved what I'm trying to do?
     
  2. EsaT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 10,776

    Location: Finland

    Assuming sound is sent as 5.1 you could indeed boost dialogue, which is that center channel.

    But if audio signal is only stereo then there's isn't much to do.
    Processing can be used to try to isolate sound that's common for both channels and boost it.
    But there's simply no guarantee that only dialogue has equal signal between channels.
     
  3. phil-k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Jul 2011

    Posts: 1,630

    This has peed me off for ages, you get the volume right for the dialogue and then music blasts out, I have tried all sorts of settings but nothing works.
    I did see something on a site once where the programme producers say the volume is at one level which is rubbish.
    You also get a situation where there is someone talking and they play music which is too loud over the top of them so you have a job hearing what they are saying
     
  4. Tanin'iver

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Oct 2020

    Posts: 144

    Without knowing exactly what features your TV has I can't say if this will work, but I'd guess it likely won't have this option. See if there is a way to adjust the volume on a per-channel basis - if so, reduce the front left/right, and the surround, and boost the centre, since dialogue would generally be on the centre channel.

    Turn off any kind of bass boost feature since voices wouldn't be in that range, and if there is a bass control reduce it there too.
     
  5. Baldbloke

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 Nov 2010

    Posts: 552

    Location: Thorne Yorkshire

    I've given up with the tv settings. They have very little effect when trying to reduce or eliminate music in tv programs.
    I'm thinking perhaps a pc with a decent sound card to filter out music might be worth a try.
     
  6. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2009

    Posts: 4,046

    Location: South Wirral

    Hacks me off too. There seems to be a generation of sound engineers who think "nightclub full of drunks" mode is appropriate.
     
  7. Baldbloke

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 Nov 2010

    Posts: 552

    Location: Thorne Yorkshire

    So true.

    I have never been able to even watch David Attenborough Blue Planet 2 because of the music volume.. I tried but gave up after a few minutes. The music is so loud and irritating.
     
  8. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,340

    While it does seem to be the way with the production of a lot of stuff these days probably like me most of your hearing range is fine but there is some attenuation of a frequency or frequencies in the human voice range :(

    I tend to use my PC and AE-5 soundcard a lot for watching anything I can as the SB Connect software has a range of options which fix pretty much anything for me.
     
  9. Baldbloke

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 Nov 2010

    Posts: 552

    Location: Thorne Yorkshire


    I had my hearing tested 12 months ago. It's good. No issues there despite being 60 years young.

    The SB Connect software... Does it work well? Does it offer good options to hear speech clearly? I'd happily get myself a sound card if it could eliminate or reduce the night club effect.
     
  10. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,340

    It isn't the best software ever to be honest but it does have a bunch of profiles for adjusting the audio presentation and options for voice clarity and dialog which personally I find work well and you have the options of just selecting a pre-made profile or tweaking by hand.
     
  11. Chaos

    Soldato

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,451

  12. Guest2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 17,486

    Same problem has been around for ~20 years for me. Loud dump music that’s normalised over voices.
    Its been the same with a few different speakers, only certain films you can hear the voices over music.
    I just though it depends how the film is produced
     
  13. delta0

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 21 Oct 2012

    Posts: 7,982

    Location: London/S Korea

    I have an LG tv but with a sound bar. Restricting the dynamic range/dynamic compression on the sound bar helped a lot. I don’t know if the tv can do something similar.
     
  14. Baldbloke

    Hitman

    Joined: 26 Nov 2010

    Posts: 552

    Location: Thorne Yorkshire

    The tv is probably fairly average in terms of sound. It's ok. It has a graphic equaliser but it still doesn't reduce the music by much. I've tried 2 or 3 televisions. Same results.

    I've also tried a couple of sound bars. Admittedly only 2.1.

    I may have to try a 5.1 or better soundbar. I'm not interested in quality. Just clarity of voice.
     
  15. delta0

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 21 Oct 2012

    Posts: 7,982

    Location: London/S Korea

    If the tv has something called night mode that is similar to dynamic compression.
     
  16. chrcoluk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 27 Feb 2015

    Posts: 8,399

    Only workable solution for me is audio range compressor.

    Films super loud gun shots and music, quiet voices, this kind of evens it out.

    I feel like 5.1 is so yesterday, so many people use headphones or 2.1 sound now.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2021
  17. Guest2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 17,486

    5.1 was so 2000. Then I seem to remember it going to 7.1, 10.1... then back down again to 2.1, stereo and headphones. I think people realised it wasnt worth the cable mess
     
  18. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: 19 May 2012

    Posts: 13,142

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    An AVR would likely give a lot more control than a TV with regards to applying Dynamic Range Compression, Crossmixing the dialogue channel across front as well as centre, boosting individual speakers levels, and upmixing stereo signals to surround.

    Moving to significantly larger speakers (ideally 2 Fronts + a Centre) will also help with clarity (even if played at similar sound levels), versus the tiny speakers in most TVs and even a lot of Sound bars.
    I upgraded my Fronts and Centre from a Denon "home theater in a box" setup, to some Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 and 12.C, and the difference in clarity is massive despite listening at similar levels and not really changing anything on the receiver.

    As @EsaT has mentioned though - If the source doesn't offer discrete signals (e.g. Stereo only - on a lot of non-HD TV channels), then it will always be trickier to get something you are happy with.
     
  19. chrcoluk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 27 Feb 2015

    Posts: 8,399

    I still have the remnants of it all, cables going round back of this room to speakers I havent bothered to remove, and a massive subwoofer taking up valuable space on lower part of my desk, wanted to remove it last month until I seen price of 2.1 decent replacement speakers so delayed it, I mostly use headphones now but will still change it out as the front speakers need the subwoofer hooked up to work, and I want all the mess gone.

    If anyone has any suggestion of 2.1 speakers they know are good but also not top range price I would appreciate it actually. :)
     
  20. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: 19 May 2012

    Posts: 13,142

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    You really need 3.1 (Left, Right, Centre and Sub) otherwise you're not really going to gain anything