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Old July 5 2010, 02:13 AM   #1
Warped9
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Too much NOISE in films!

It's been going on for some years now and steadily gotten worse. I've got a big grievance with films: They've gotten too damned noisy!

It seems to have gone hand-in-hand with more sophisticated sound systems in cinemas as well as the growth in home theatre audio systems in the home. More specifically the variance from quiet moments to action scenes as well as the intrusion of music that's gotten just TOO DAMNED LOUD! Half the freaking time I struggle to understand what the hell characters are saying because the music is too loud and/or too intrusive.

The byproduct is having to constantly play with the volume control while watching the film. You turn it up to hear characters talking and then next thing your ears are ringing from a BLAST of too fucking loud action and/or music, and so you quickly reduce the volume. And heaven help you if characters are talking during the loud parts because you'll be lucky to hear what they're saying.

Candidly this bullshit can easily ruin the viewing experience for me. I'm not one of those who has to have the whole room shake just to enjoy action scenes. And music doesn't have to be overwhelming to set a scene's mood.

I'm really pissed with this. And in the cinema it can be just as bad particularly when the average volume is too loud to begin with.

I'm tired of the headaches and frustration.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:22 AM   #2
Nick Ryder
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

Yeah, at the risk of sounding like an old fart... yeah they're not really as good with the sound mixing like they used to be. And it's even a fucking Academy Award category too - which honestly I always thought was funny.

"We are giving this bozo an award because he figured out how to adjust the channels on the A/V equipment. Congratulations! Oh and here's your High School diploma too."

I mean is it THAT hard to just equalize the sound so that voices can come through clear, and an explosion or action can still be loud, but you can make out what the characters are saying. This isn't the 60s or 70s when multi-track recording was still sort of 'new-ish'. We've had it now for almost 50-60 years. Old films could figure out how to make an explosion still rock the house, but you could still hear a character talking. And the music wasn't so loud it drowns out the actors...

Although a part of me simply wonders if it's just poorly set up equipment in homes and theaters that doesn't take advantage of a sound equalizer or just keeps everything at 'default' mode. I mean the sound level for say, Sex in the City 2 shouldn't be the same as the sound level for Iron Man 2.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:24 AM   #3
NuFan
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

You damn kids get off of my lawn!
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Old July 5 2010, 02:25 AM   #4
Brikar99
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I think part of the problem is that the sound mix created for the film is different from the audio track on the DVD/Blu-ray and that theatres often just crank the volume instead of really calibrating their systems.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:27 AM   #5
FluffyUnbound
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I tend to err on the side of low volume, and won't play with the remote any more.

I just put on the captions instead.

This is especially true of shows on commercial television (especially TNT, those jerks). The volume differential is even worse when you factor commercials in to the mix.

And yes, I think it's a function of the fact that they design the sound for the best possible sound system you can own. If you're listening to their movie through the TV's own speakers, they don't care what you think.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:27 AM   #6
RoJoHen
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I only notice this occasionally, but I definitely noticed it the other day when watching "The Dark Knight" on Blu-Ray. I was watching it and trying not to bother my upstairs neighbor. I had the dialogue at a perfectly reasonable level, but every time there was a new scene the music would blare, and whenever there was an explosion or gun shots, the volume would suddenly get out of control. I don't understand the need for it. I can see the explosion. I don't need it to be twice as loud to know that it's there.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:33 AM   #7
zakkrusz
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I believe the saying "If it's too loud, you're too old" comes to mind here. Being loud is what a surround sound system is for.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:35 AM   #8
RoJoHen
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

zakkrusz wrote: View Post
I believe the saying "If it's too loud, you're too old" comes to mind here. Being loud is what a surround system is for.
It's not that it's loud. It's that it's inconsistently loud. One scene should not be a significantly different volume from another scene. I shouldn't have to constantly adjust the volume on my TV because one scene is blaring while the next scene is barely audible.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:40 AM   #9
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I've never encountered that and I've got a crap ton of DVDs.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:41 AM   #10
RoJoHen
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I don't encounter it often. Oddly enough, I encounter it more with brand new Blu-Rays.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:45 AM   #11
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I'm more upset about companies encoding DVDs with new mothods so that I can only watch them on my PC or the machine in the living room because the rest can't make heads or tails of them and skip and freeze constantly.

Either that or messing up the chapter timing. My Deep Space Nine DVDs are full of that kind of retarded manufacturer error.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:55 AM   #12
DWF
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

It's a matter of sound quality, dialogue has a different sound quality than explosions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_quality
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Old July 5 2010, 03:11 AM   #13
Trent Roman
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

Volume and sound mixing are seperate issues. No surprise that theatres are loud; I spend a lot of time on the bus, and it amazes how clearly and from what distance I can hear somebody else's earphones/earbuds. These people either do not realize or do not care that they are damaging their ears by playing things at such a volume. And film theatres crank it up to keep up with our gradual defeaning of ourselves.

Sound mixing, on the other hand, is just annoying incompetence. I wish there was a function on TV/DVDs that let you adjust the various streams seperately like on videos games (i.e. "Music", "Dialogue", "Effects"...). I certainly agree that it lessens the pleasure of the experience if you always need to have the remote in hand, adjusting for sudden shifts in volume.

The volume of commercials is also very irritating. There have been moves by government(s) to address the issue, but nothing concrete yet. Still, that hasn't stopped industry shills from complaining about 'intervention' and parroting the usual line about how the industry will do a better job regulating itself--when they're the hypocrites responsible for the problem in the first place. The industry's idea of self-regulation for commercials is making the consumers buy software or hardware designed to counteract their own blaring advertisement, the fucking whores.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old July 5 2010, 03:23 AM   #14
FluffyUnbound
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

zakkrusz wrote: View Post
I believe the saying "If it's too loud, you're too old" comes to mind here. Being loud is what a surround sound system is for.
I guess my complaint is that films are being made now specifically to sound good on such systems, and as a result they are garbled incomprehensible crap if you watch them at home without a top of the line sound system.
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Old July 5 2010, 03:30 AM   #15
Warped9
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Re: Too much NOISE in films!

I'll take clarity over sheer volume anytime.
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