Is the center speaker the only speaker that plays dialogue? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been watching ripped movies lately, so perhaps I screwed up the file when I ripped it, but I have noticed that dialogue comes from the front and left rears sometimes, and not always from the center. But I thought the center existed solely for dialogue... what gives? Do other channels also play dialogue?
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 03:59 AM
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The dialog/sound should come from where that sound originates (in the movie), if that is behind or to the side then yes, otherwise no.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I see... but what is the purpose of the center speaker? To play only dialogue that originates directly in front of you?
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 04:04 AM
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Yes, the center speaker will have most of the dialogue. Surround sound is designed to where the center channel does about 60% of the sound processing, so it is important to get a good one!
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:05 AM
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Everything that you can see on screen (that makes a sound) should be coming from the center speaker, with the exception of low bass from the subs or ambient sounds created to give the 3D illusion of being there.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbuzz View Post

Everything that you can see on screen (that makes a sound) should be coming from the center speaker, with the exception of low bass from the subs or ambient sounds created to give the 3D illusion of being there.

I don't understand this compared to your first comment. I noticed that my left surround was playing dialogue when I watched a scene of two people next to each other and the actor on the left was speaking...
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:13 AM
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"I've been watching ripped movies lately, so perhaps I screwed up the file when I ripped it"

Maybe that is your answer? I watched a few badly ripped downloads where the audio was screwed up. I've on occasion (quite a few) where network tv would have the audio all screwed up, I can't answer what the problems in your case is.
Usually if it is DD there is no problem, it's when I use pro-logic to create a matrix 5 channel out of 2 channel that problems arise.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I own the actual bluray and ripped them in Handbrake following the advice to passthrough the audio so they should play whatever was on that disc without issue....
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:18 AM
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dialogue can be mapped to other speakers when story action and direction require it, such as when the person talking is off-screen, but it is rare that there is vocal content that is completely absent from the center channel.

the center channel simply reproduces sound intended to come from immediately in front of the listener, which usually includes dialog.

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post #10 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I don't understand this compared to your first comment. I noticed that my left surround was playing dialogue when I watched a scene of two people next to each other and the actor on the left was speaking...

If sounds originate off screen then the speakers that would be needed to recreate those sounds are used. If sounds are screen left then center and left front would be used etc...
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I see, so the surrounds would only be adding to the dialogue coming from the center?
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I own the actual bluray and ripped them in Handbrake following the advice to passthrough the audio so they should play whatever was on that disc without issue....

I've downloaded many movies where audio was a "straight/direct" copy, it still somehow became screwed up.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:26 AM
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I suppose if the dialogue is supposed to be coming directly from the center of the screen, the center channel might be the only one emitting sound. If you want the sound to come like it's coming from the right third of the screen, though, there ought to be some contribution from both center and right front speakers. That's just logical, and I'm sure it's a big part of the reason that matching your center and mains is the easiest route to balanced and even sound.

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post #14 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I see, so the surrounds would only be adding to the dialogue coming from the center?

Correct, the other speakers assist in creating directionality of the dialog. Also the surrounds can add effect to the dialog as well...like actors in a cave would need an echo effect when they talk.

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I see, so the surrounds would only be adding to the dialogue coming from the center?

Probably not "dialog" with the exception of something like a echo in a canyon or gymnasium, you get the picture.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I see, so the surrounds would only be adding to the dialogue coming from the center?

Not really. As explained the center speaker is to anchor the "center" on screen sounds to the tv to make it sound as if the sounds were coming right from the image.

The only way you will have dialog in a surround speaker ASSUMING all else is correct is if for instance there is a party on the movie and someone is talking but they aren't even shown in the scene then their voice would be hear from the correct direction. Or if on the movie husband is in living room where camera is and wife is in kitchen if he talks his voice will be from center speaker. If she talks it will be from whatever speaker is in the direction of the kitchen.

The job of surround sound is to NOT make you notice sounds. It is to immerse you in sound so that you feel like your actually there. It is supposed to be as natural as possible. That is why a lot of comedy or non-action flicks have very little in the surround mix because there isn't really anything going on off screen.

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post #17 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phie View Post

I've been watching ripped movies lately, so perhaps I screwed up the file when I ripped it, but I have noticed that dialogue comes from the front and left rears sometimes, and not always from the center. But I thought the center existed solely for dialogue... what gives? Do other channels also play dialogue?

If your rip doesn't match the original, then it's either the settings or the software. I would suggest using a RW and experiment until you figure it out.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-12-2012, 07:27 AM
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Ripped movies don't have best sound quality ever

Watch the legal DVD and you will get better audio
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-26-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. After this thread, I did some more research and realized there was a problem with my computer. I have written a guide for all Mac users to follow so you can play a surround audio track the way it was meant to be played found here on avsforum.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-26-2012, 03:08 PM
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If you set the avr to "All channel stereo" voice sound will come from all speakers, if that´s what you want, but by doing so you would be saying good-bye to surround sound.

When surround sound is set, voice should come from the centre, unless the voice source is somewhere but in front of the tv.

regards
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post #21 of 21 Old 01-26-2012, 08:39 PM
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It all depends on how the sound was recorded.
Traditionally, the center channel is used for voice only, so everything seems to be working OK.
However, the problem would be if you could not hear those sounds from some other channels. As long as you can hear them from other speakers, you system works OK.
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