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Need help - dialogue WAY softer than FX/music

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Old 01-20-2013, 10:27 PM   #1  
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Default Need help - dialogue WAY softer than FX/music

I know this has been discussed many times here, and I have tried many different suggestions, but still haven't been able to make it work.

First off, I am using:

Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-Ray Player

and

Yamaha HTR-6130 Reciever with 5.1 surround sound

Last night I watched Looper and am getting frustrated with having to keep my finger hovering above the volume button of my remote any time I watch a Blu-Ray. I just cannot seem to find a way to balance the dialogue volume and the FX/music volume. I mean, I have to go back and forth within a large range to be able to hear the dialogue and then when shooting, music, etc. starts.

I have tried adjusting as many settings as I can, but it seems to make minimal difference in this aspect. I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hecubus114 View Post
I know this has been discussed many times here, and I have tried many different suggestions, but still haven't been able to make it work.

First off, I am using:

Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-Ray Player

and

Yamaha HTR-6130 Reciever with 5.1 surround sound

Last night I watched Looper and am getting frustrated with having to keep my finger hovering above the volume button of my remote any time I watch a Blu-Ray. I just cannot seem to find a way to balance the dialogue volume and the FX/music volume. I mean, I have to go back and forth within a large range to be able to hear the dialogue and then when shooting, music, etc. starts.

I have tried adjusting as many settings as I can, but it seems to make minimal difference in this aspect. I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this.
On that particular receiver, dump the HDMI and run video component from the BD player to the receiver. Then run a toslink cable from the BD player to the receiver. You didn't mention what type of speakers you have. If you have a weak center channel your l/r mains are going to overpower the sound. have you considered a different receiver?
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #3  
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thanks for the reply - I do not know for sure what kind of speakers they are - they came with the receiver as a set. I have tried cranking the center speaker all the way up and all the others all the way down just to see if it made a difference. For the most part, it seems to make everything louder/softer together (meaning: if I find a way to make the dialogue louder, the loud booms and whatnot get that much louder too). I have been using the optic cable for sound since I got it and just run the picture straight to the TV from my bluray player. I would consider a different receiver, but financially that is not an option for me right now. It seems ridiculous to me that the one I have wouldn't be able to do adjust this simple issue, especially with how many different settings it has...
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:22 PM   #4  
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What audio mode are you running on the receiver? I ask because with a true 5.1 source, dialog will be mostly in the center with music and effects largely in the L/R channels. If you crank up the center and drop the mains way down, you would hear significant differences in a properly configured system. Are you using some sort of all channel stereo mode?
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #5  
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Well, see - that's where I start to get lost. Best I can tell, I am running in a mode that says 5ch stereo. And theres a little picture of the 5 speaker setup. However, I have tried almost every variation I can with similar results. Sound coming out of all the speakers - no problem there. But then there is so many ways to alter it from there. I adjust the volume during a high action scene (where it's loud, but not overbearing), but once a slow, dialogue-only scene starts, its just inaudible mumbling. Some movies are worse than others, but I can't remember the last movie where I didn't have to constantly change the volume to some degree throughout watching it. With Looper it was REAL bad, sometimes I had to quickly turn the volume down 10db or more once shooting and explosions started. The last movie I watched where it was that bad that I can remember was 3:10 to Yuma. It is just very frustrating - as I am usually watching movies with my dad, whose hearing isn't the best to begin with, and my young daughter sleeping in the next room. I wish, after this elaborate set up we got to enjoy watching at home, that I could just relax and watch without having to have the remote in hand, pointed at the receiver the whole time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:05 PM   #6  
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Turn off 5 channel stereo. That mode is good for background music at parties and not much else, as you've discovered.

I am not familiar with Yamaha settings. But, you just want it to play basic 5.1 audio. Dialog will be crisp and clear in the center channel. If you have difficulty finding the proper settings, I suggest resetting the AVR to the factory default. The defaults should work just fine.

Last edited by BIslander; 01-21-2013 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:06 AM   #7  
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Ok - reset the unit - running it at factory defaults - still having the problem. Grrrr
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:40 AM   #8  
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Does this happen with all of your input sources (disc player, TV, etc)? Is 5 channel stereo still engaged? Better still, what are the audio settings in the AVR for the sources that sound bad? Have you configured levels so that all speakers play at the same volume? After the reset, does raising the center volume and dropping the volume of the other speakers give you dialog and little in the way of music and effects?

Last edited by BIslander; 01-22-2013 at 05:46 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hecubus114 View Post
I know this has been discussed many times here, and I have tried many different suggestions, but still haven't been able to make it work.

First off, I am using:

Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-Ray Player

and

Yamaha HTR-6130 Reciever with 5.1 surround sound

Last night I watched Looper and am getting frustrated with having to keep my finger hovering above the volume button of my remote any time I watch a Blu-Ray. I just cannot seem to find a way to balance the dialogue volume and the FX/music volume. I mean, I have to go back and forth within a large range to be able to hear the dialogue and then when shooting, music, etc. starts.

I have tried adjusting as many settings as I can, but it seems to make minimal difference in this aspect. I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this.
Sorry to say ALL the above mentioned responses are absolutely wrong.
The problem that you're experiencing can be helped to a degree, but not totally eliminated.
Read this: http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/A...l/42_DDFAQ.pdf
Scroll down to Chapter 23

Last edited by amf1932; 01-22-2013 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: Added information
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #10  
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Originally Posted by amf1932 View Post
Sorry to say ALL the above mentioned responses are absolutely wrong.
The problem that you're experiencing can be helped to a degree, but not totally eliminated.
Read this: http://www.dolby.com/uploadedFiles/A...l/42_DDFAQ.pdf
Scroll down to Chapter 23
Sorry to sat that your answer is absolutely wrong!! - He is not experiencing issues with dialog normalization - that applies to equalizing volumes between different channels or sources.The OP problem is related to a lack of dialog on the center channel alll the time and difficulty getting it 'even' with the other channels which overpower it after the OP turns the volume up to hear what is in the center channel (so before you call out everybody else you may want to be sure you know what you are taling about amf1932). I as well as others are fairly certain it is a set-up issue .

To the op have you individually set the volume (speaker levels) for each channel independently? If not try lowering the front L & R and increasing the center. If your receiver has a calibration microphone I would try that first.

from something I saw on-line about this particular unit
Quote:
The Cinema features that Yamaha has on this unit is great. However, even when using Bluray and an optical audio hookup, you will need to enter the sound menu and manually amplify the center speaker's volume. This is because the Cinema features for movies utilizes the center speaker more often for voices. You will hear amazing ambient sounds and full bass at all times, but if you do not turn up the center speaker, you will have a hard time hearing the speech.
I would add to that turn down the other channels as well

Last edited by jkkyler; 01-22-2013 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #11  
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I suggest that before you say my response was wrong you should read what others are saying with the same problem,
https://www.google.com/search?q=Effe...D_enUS356US356
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #12  
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Originally Posted by hecubus114 View Post
I have tried adjusting as many settings as I can, but it seems to make minimal difference in this aspect. I would be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with this.
I had a similar problem hearing the center channel on my Onkyo. While adjusting the sound level on the front L/R and the Surrounds DOWN and adjusting the Center UP-- there was improvement, but not as much as I had hoped for. Sure I could hear the dialog, but I the Front and Surround channels were diminished too much. So I tried something different. I set the DISTANCE to the Center channel to a significantly greater distance than the Front channel. Between experimenting with not only the Levels of each discreet channel, but also the Speaker Distance I was able to achieve satisfactory results. I'm for sure not expert on how the amps in these receivers work, and I thought adjusting distance would just cause the sound lever to change-- but it made a difference I could not achieve with just the Level adjustments.

Take BIslander's great advice and forget the 5 Channel Stereo and keep working with it.

Factory pre-sets seem to work fine for people with "normal" hearing and rooms with "typical" acoustics-- but I'm older and because of work and hobbies, I have some hearing loss (not a lot, but dialog can be a problem at times).

Last edited by Rick-F; 01-22-2013 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by amf1932 View Post
I suggest that before you say my response was wrong you should read what others are saying with the same problem,
https://www.google.com/search?q=Effe...D_enUS356US356
I have and what he describes isn't Dolby dialog normalization as you claimed. His is speaker volume level within the same program not between inputs. Your google response also isn't particular to his individual unit - a lot of that google deals with 2 ch stereo set-ups trying to play 5.1 soundtracks.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #14  
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Dialog normalization has nothing to do with individual channel levels. It is a failed attempt to deal with different loudness levels between programs. Dolby decoders will lower the overall output level based on the dialnorm value entered in the metadata. There's no adjustment of channel levels or changes to the mix on the soundtrack. DTS encoders do not use dialnorm, although it was added to the DTS-HD codec.

Meanwhile, the OP needs to get to a known condition with his AVR before anyone can help with this issue. It's hard to know what's going on until he has configured the system for 5.1, calibrated the speaker levels, and turned off all extraneous surround processing.

Last edited by BIslander; 01-22-2013 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:18 PM   #15  
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Ok, I have to admit that the original link was incorrect as to the original posters problem, but here is a link that will answer this problem in a fairly unscientific way. You should also read the responses in the bottom of this article.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57...vies-too-loud/
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