Home Theater Dynamic Range Considerations - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I've been thinking how to write a thread to best discuss this topic for a long time now.

After considering it at length, I decided to start with the general topic rather than as a problem of my specific equipment, and how to set it up. We may eventually degenerate into an equipment specific discussion, but I am electing not to begin that way. If it's absolutely necessary, I'll post new thread topics specific to my equipment in other forums, and provide links to them here.

Generally speaking, you should know that I am addressing myself to those with Surround Sound processors such as DSP based Digital Receivers with DTS, Dolby Digital [aka DD5.1, AC3 and Dolby HD] with TOSlink [optical], Coax, or HDMI capability and combinations of same.

* Owners of THX certified systems will find this thread of particular interest as these are in my stable, and may be discussed.

Overview:

With the advent of the Blu-Ray format and it's winning out over HD-DVD - the issue of Dynamic Range in home theater has come to the foreground. In the past couple years, particularly in the U.S. region, fewer and fewer titles have been issued with Dolby Digital compatible sound tracks as the primary [English in my case] track and indeed - DTS HD Master Audio tracks appear to have become the defacto standard.

Moreover - while alternate language sound tracks are often included in Dolby Digital 5.1 [previously known as AC3] the Gods of Blu-Ray never seem to include one in English. Indeed - if they offer one at all it's usually Dolby Surround, a Matrix 2.0 variation.


I have found that DTS has far too much Dynamic range for my liking. I've grown to really despise it for the vast majority of my listening. In my situation, I cannot count the number of evenings it was necessary to "ride the volume control", compensating by 10db or more from scene to scene to be able to hear spoken dialogue one minute and prevent others in the home from being "rattled from their beds" the next - by gunfire, fog horns and other effects sounds.

I am being quite literal here.

This is a constant annoyance and spoils the mood taking me from enjoyment of many a Blu-Ray title to the point where I have abandoned the visual treat of my HD title in favor of the DVD edition, just to be able to listen to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and make use of the Dynamic Range reduction features it enables in my Surround Receiver.

In pursuing this goal of HD Video and Dynamic Range Reduction, I have played extensively with various methods of attaining less with DTS sources. These include:

  • Purchase of a Blu-Ray player with Bitstream DTS->Dolby Digital Re-encode capability
  • Use of PCM rather than Bitstream settings
  • Enabling / Disabling In-Player "Dynamic Range Control" feature
  • HDMI vs Optical Sound conveyance
  • Selection of a Receiver with Multiple Dolby Digital listening modes [Low and High "Midnight Theater"]
  • THX modes and "Loudness" settings

Recently I've been looking into Dynamic Volume functions of Audyssey but been unable to gain access to these in my equipment, even though I see they are supported. [Apparently they're only enabled after a suitable automatic setup sequence]



So, that's the topic.

  • Am I alone in this frustration?
  • Can you tell a story of similar problems?
  • Have you found a way around these issues in your system / equipment?
  • Has this effected your Disk buying habits? (I always elect the DVD/BluRay combo when available)
  • Are there Receivers that offer good Compression with DTS sources?
  • Is it my imagination that HDMI and PCM conveyance of DTS is better [less Dynamic Range] than Optical?
  • Are there instances where enabling Dynamic Range Control in a disk player in combination with Bitstream re-encode seems to make the problem worse, not better?
  • Can you comment on Audyssey in this regard?


Thank you in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
50BMG is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 05:20 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Well, you probably won't like this reply, but there's absolutely no difference between PCM and the decoded outputs of TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. You get the same dynamic range with all three when the source material is the same. You are probably more aware of it with dts-MA because most BDs have DTS tracks. But, the same movies encoded using TrueHD or left as PCM would have the same issue.

If you want to apply DRC, then Dolby has the advantage of including that feature in its codecs. But, it's not uncommon for receivers to have DRC capability independent of Dolby decoding, although it won't be as well integrated. Meanwhile, DRC is a function most people don't use unless they need it for a specific situation, such as late night viewing with a sleeping baby nearby.

HDMI and S/PDIF offer no differencs in this regard, except that optical can't be used with lossless or multichannel PCM.
BIslander is offline  
post #3 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Well, you probably won't like this reply, but there's absolutely no difference between PCM and the decoded outputs of TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio...
Thank you for being the first to respond.

In researching these forums for answers previously, I have seen this comment from you elsewhere. I guess you're right - I do not agree.

If for no other reason than the one that you yourself suggest - today's receivers often have format specific features that are enabled only in specific codecs. To the point - this very issue was considered in the design of Dolby Digital and most receivers implement the Compression features. Apparently not so with DTS.

Like it or not, my equipment seems to result in the widest dynamic range when sending DTS [Audiophile Bitstream] over optical to my receiver. Sent as PCM to the same receiver over the same optical cable and channel yields at least a 6db reduction in range for some material. I do not know the reason why.

Channeling the same PCM over an HDMI is also treated differently by the receiver, and again yields different results.

DTS Bitstream re-encoded as Dolby Digital enables the same Compression features, but does not always seem to result in a noticeable reduction in range when those are selected.



Should I take it then that you are satisfied with the Dynamic Range results your systems provide and you applaud the transition to DTS as the pre-eminent and preferred format?
50BMG is offline  
post #4 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 06:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Well, you probably won't like this reply, but there's absolutely no difference between PCM and the decoded outputs of TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio...


Like it or not, my equipment seems to result in the widest dynamic range when sending DTS [Audiophile Bitstream] over optical to my receiver. Sent as PCM to the same receiver over the same optical cable and channel yields at least a 6db reduction in range for some material. I do not know the reason why.
PCM over optical is limited to stereo. You're getting something completely different than the DTS bitstream.
Quote:
Should I take it then that you are satisfied with the Dynamic Range results your systems provide and you applaud the transition to DTS as the pre-eminent and preferred format?
Yes, I am more than satisfied with the audio on my system, although some movies are mixed better than others. But, that has nothing to do with codecs. As for dts-MA, it makes no difference to me. PCM and both lossless formats all produce the same output. But, your preference for Dolby is understandable if you need to use DRC on a regular basis.

Here's the thing: there's something the matter with your setup that dialog is always overwhelmed by music and effects. DTS is not to blame. It might be speaker levels or placement. It might be room acoustics. You'd be better served looking at those areas. Dolby Volume or Audyssey Dynamic Volume could be helpful as well. They work with DTS and PCM.
BIslander is offline  
post #5 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you. You're helping me quite a bit.

Note: in the following I'll use "DRC" to mean Dynamic Range Compression.

I just spent a few minutes trying various sources on my receiver via HDMI and Optical in both Bitstream [unprocessed] and PCM modes. In each instance I noted the Receiver's detected audio mode

Summary:

Lawrence of Arabia BD DTS MA
Player set to Bitstream - Unprocessed:
  • HDMI -> DTS HD Master
  • Optical -> DTS 5.1
Player set to PCM:
  • HDMI -> PCM Multichannel 5.1
  • Optical-> PCM 2ch (.e.g. - DTS Neo6 or Pro Logic)

T2 Skynet BD DTS MA
Player set to PCM:
  • HDMI -> PCM Multichannel 5.1 48k
  • Optical -> PCM 2ch (.e.g. - DTS Neo6 or Pro Logic)

Star Trek BD Dolby HD
Player set to PCM:
  • HDMI -> PCM 5.1 48k
  • Optical -> PCM 2ch (.e.g. - DTS Neo6 or Pro Logic)

Player set to Bitstream - Unprocessed:
  • HDMI -> Dolby HD 48K (DRC features enabled)
  • Optical -> Dolby Digital 5.1 (DRC features enabled)

When the Blu-Ray player is set to output in PCM, my receiver displays emblems for DTS and Neo6 for any 2-channel content. When I set to PCM over Optical, this was triggered. When over HDMI, another setting for Multichannel PCM was triggered, and recognized as 5.1.

In none of those cases were the DRC features present, but as you might imagine, being processed by the receiver as 2 ch effected the Dynamic Range.

Content played with the player in Bitstream mode - yeilded completely different results.
Apparently, DTS-MA content is being sent as ordnary DTS over optical. Being DTS, the DRC features aren't active - but it was still perceptibly different.

Dolby HD Audio on the other hand always enabled the DRC features, whether via HDMI or Optical, as one would expect.

So the reduction in dynamic range I experienced in Optical PCM was due to being in a 2-channel mode I didn't realize. The surround processor applying Neo6 to this apparently gave enough channel differentiation to not be interpreted by me as just stereo.


What I'm realizing is that if I change to PCM optical modes, I may be able to get something I can listen to at low levels and still be better than Analog inputs. It's nowhere near as satisfying as Dolby content, but it may be an alternative if DTS is just too harsh. This is effectively what my Playstation 3 did as a BD player via Optical - All DTS was sent as Pro-Logic. [ Prior to switching to my Re-encode capable unit]

Quote:
But, your preference for Dolby is understandable if you need to use DRC on a regular basis.

Yes, I agree - apparently Bitstream Re-encoding isn't able to do this as I'd hoped. Sometimes it is effective, sometimes not. To elaborate - there are a few occasions when full dynamic range is ok. During the day, when I'm focused on watching a video it's ok. [I'm alone in the home then] In the evenings it's a completely different matter. This is most of my "quality time" - when someone else is trying to sleep. [11pm to 4am] Sub sonic rumbling of furniture on the floor above and gunfire are not appreciated during these hours. The upstairs HD plasma flat panel has AGC. This evens out all the audio issues, but it's only 50 inches. The home Theater setup [downstairs] is a 100" HD projector with the THX surround processor so not only is it more remote to the sleepers, but it is the preferred display.
Quote:
Here's the thing: there's something the matter with your setup that dialog is always overwhelmed by music and effects. DTS is not to blame. It might be speaker levels or placement. It might be room acoustics. You'd be better served looking at those areas.
I resist this as the explanation. If this were true, why would Dolby sound so spectacular in my setting, and DTS so consistently out of control? Why would reducing the Dynamic Range work? The room is the room, and the THX speakers, the speakers. [Powered Sub-woofer and all] DTS may be truest to life, but that's not suitable to all situations.

I'm spoiled by DRC which is only an option for Dolby content on my equipment and need to get it back. Maybe it's as simple as investing in another brand of receiver. Tearing apart my HT room to sound isolate it from the rest of the house seems an absurd extreme to accomplish something a DSP should easily be capable of.
Quote:
Dolby Volume or Audyssey Dynamic Volume could be helpful as well. They work with DTS and PCM.
So I gather, but I've not gotten them to show up as yet. Must be one of the Onkyo quirks. I'll persist.


Thank you for putting up with me - at least I have one explanation of the PCM anomaly.
50BMG is offline  
post #6 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 09:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
OK. The situation seems clear to me now. Dynamic range is not a problem for you at normal viewing levels, just for your late night, low volume viewing. DRC is a Dolby feature and it is doing precisely what it is designed to do as you watch at low volumes in your theater. DTS does not have that particular feature. With DTS and PCM, you have to rely on more generic receiver settings, such as the "Midnight Mode". But, they just don't work as well.

If your receiver has Audyssey Dynamic Volume or Dolby Volume, you should figure out how to get them working. They're likely to fix your problem of too much dynamic range on Blu-rays played at low volume.

One other thought: I believe PS3s can be set to re-encode DTS to DD 5.1. That player would enable you to use Dolby DRC with all those Blu-rays lacking Dolby tracks.
BIslander is offline  
post #7 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I think we're finally on the same page.

I take it from the lack of other participants that this is not an issue for many other people. Well, one never knows if they don't ask.


As for Audyssey Dynamic Volume - it's in my HDMI receiver according to the manual. However I didn't complete the microphone based Audyssey setup, so I'm thinking this feature set won't be present till I do. I'm hoping to hear from someone who uses it too.

It's also possible that I've some other setting that's keeping it hidden. My original THX receiver was 5.1, so I have no rear speakers to fill out the 7.1 modes on the newer HDMI unit. [same manufacturer] I tried lieing to it that they're present, to see if Audyssey shows up, and that didn't work either, although the Dolby Surround EX modes did appear.

Are you aware of any Receivers that offer DRC in DTS modes? [all modes actually]

I'm willing to look at others, despite my satisfaction with Onkyo [up till now that is] Will I need to give up THX features to do so?

To be clear - I don't see this as DTS's fault per-se. However, for the industry to adopt a surround format which eliminates any possibility of or consideration that anything other than full theater listening level might be desired, seems very short sighted. Especially when one considers that the standard it superseded Had This Capacity. Foolishly, when BD came out I figured with the huge capacity of the new media, the studios would retain a Dolby Digital track in addition to DTS. Sadly, this only happened in a few titles. It is infuriating, that additional language [non-english] tracks are almost always in Dolby Digital!

I have seriously considered buying all my BDs for another region, just to get a DRC enabled format, and give up the improved quality of DTS at other times. The prospect of constantly needing to disable subtitles and select alternate audio pretty much talked me out of it.

Clearly, I'm doing something wrong to be the only one who cares about this.

Another alternative I've considered is 7.1 headphones. wink.gif

Hey - there's a new product idea... Wireless active 3D helmet with 7.1 sound!
50BMG is offline  
post #8 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

...One other thought: I believe PS3s can be set to re-encode DTS to DD 5.1. That player would enable you to use Dolby DRC with all those Blu-rays lacking Dolby tracks.

You added this in an edit while I was responding.

My PS3 is of the earlier generation and doesn't have the hardware to support that feature.

I considered another one, but decided to try a Samsung BD player which had the feature instead. (I explained that above, right? - yes I see I did) Indeed, it does make the DRC settings appear, but they don't always do anything. Some titles they work fine, others they do nothing. (Another anomaly?) Perhaps the PS3 would do better, but I wasn't even certain the new ones had that until recent rumors and the extra $220 seemed a bad gamble.

Maybe someone will post with that experience too.
50BMG is offline  
post #9 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 10:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 122
I think DD re-encoding was added to the PS3 as a software update. What Samsung player offers that feature?

You might also try upping the center channel volume when watching at low volumes.

But, first things first, you really should do the Audyssey setup.
BIslander is offline  
post #10 of 68 Old 02-01-2013, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

I think DD re-encoding was added to the PS3 as a software update. What Samsung player offers that feature?

Just re-checked - the "slim" PS3 is needed to do this. Mine's an older "Fat" one. A firmware update may have been required since the feature was enabled long after the first slim units shipped?

Samsung BD-D6500 3D WiFi - does DTS->DD and DD->DTS re-encode - see manual page 29

... already tried center channel compensations... it just doesn't help that Fog horn in Lawrence when he gets to the Suez Canal.

...LOL - Audyssey - right... Need to get the the microphone from the previous owner. (he won't appreciate me waking him at 2:00am... I'll see him Superbowl Sunday)
50BMG is offline  
post #11 of 68 Old 02-02-2013, 02:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jim19611961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Too much dynamic range? Buy a compressor smile.gif

My Room
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/817205-my-listening-room.html

My Music
http://rateyourmusic.com/~jim1961

My Equipment

Rega - Apollo
Rega - DAC
Goldpoint Passive
(2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)
Jenzen Next ( http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Jenzen-NEXT.htm )
...
jim19611961 is offline  
post #12 of 68 Old 02-02-2013, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim19611961 View Post

Too much dynamic range? Buy a compressor smile.gif
Recommend one?
50BMG is offline  
post #13 of 68 Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JHAz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 139
dynamic range, is zero different between DVD and BD. Both peak at zero dBFS. Both can encode silence. Until very recently, according to a film sound guy who posts here, film soundtracks were ported directly from the film master to DVD or BD. Recent trends toward remastering for the home will actually reduce dynamic range a bit, most likely.

To compress multiple channels, you would need a receiver with preamp outputs that could go to the compressors, probably 3 stereo compressors (one channel remains unused) and power amps for the compressors to feed into to drive the speakers. You might run into problems because typical compressors expect a different, higher, input (line level) than home electronics use, which could make setup more complicated =to=impossible. So the short answer is a receiver with Audyssey Dynamic Volume. That also has the advantage of having software to select an appropriate compression ratio, make up volume, attack, delay and release. All those settings would be "best" at different settings for different movies, different CDs, etd. For wide dynamic range sources like movies (dialog may average 80 dB and peaks can be 105 dB in each channes except the LFE, which may be 115 dB, whether on DVD or BD) the "right" compressor settings differ as the sound levels change.

dbx 266XS is a decent stereo compressor. FWIW. At the bottom of the dbx range. http://www.sweetwater.com/c790--dbx--Compressors_Limiters?utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=recording&utm_term=dbx_compressor
JHAz is offline  
post #14 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, I see what you're thinking JHAz, but I'm not interested in going analog for 8 channels.

As far as dynamic range in the media content, my preference would be that they remain faithful to the original artist's work. (I am an archivist at heart) My disappointment is that the industry is choosing only DTS, a format which effectively deprives me of the way I had of using it in a manner suitable to my needs. I just came back from the Superbowl party, and now have the Audyssey setup mic. I spent some time with his system and can confirm that Audyssey settings and modes are active in Onkyo's menus only after an Auto-setup has been performed with the mic.

Later today, I'll be doing this on my system.
50BMG is offline  
post #15 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 03:55 AM
Advanced Member
 
JD in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Later today, I'll be doing this on my system.

Good. That is very, very likely to be the answer to your concern, you mentioned it in your first post, and I'm shocked that you went through all that setup trouble without actually running Audyssey setup. Audyssey setup takes perhaps 10 or 15 minutes during a quiet time for your house. Once completed, you will get multiple benefits, including automatic equalization of each speaker, automatic level setting for each speaker, dynamic EQ which will make things sound more 'correct' at anything below reference volume, and of course the feature for which you've been searching without realizing it: Dynamic Volume.

JD in NJ is offline  
post #16 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 05:06 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 13,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Well, I see what you're thinking JHAz, but I'm not interested in going analog for 8 channels.

As far as dynamic range in the media content, my preference would be that they remain faithful to the original artist's work.

Several comments.

(1) In your view, who is the artist that is setting the dynamic range of the original work?

In modern recorded works there are many people who have their fingers in the pie.

(2) How do you know what the original dynamic range of thw artists' work was?

Quote:
My disappointment is that the industry is choosing only DTS, a format which effectively deprives me of the way I had of using it in a manner suitable to my needs.

I presume that this relates to an earlier comment:

"I have found that DTS has far too much Dynamic range for my liking. I've grown to really despise it for the vast majority of my listening. In my situation, I cannot count the number of evenings it was necessary to "ride the volume control", compensating by 10db or more from scene to scene to be able to hear spoken dialogue one minute and prevent others in the home from being "rattled from their beds" the next - by gunfire, fog horns and other effects sounds."

I don't see any actual reliable evidence that supports your apparent belief that DTS is the cause of your problems. As a rule coding schemes such as DD, DTS, AAC, MP3 etc. are quite faithful to the dynamics of the recordings that they encode.

What evidence do you have that the DTS coding process all by itself is the cause of your problems?

I can list three reasons why you may have the perceptions that you do, that have nothing to do with DTS.

(1) Your audio system has a built in dynamic range problem, and it sounds like trash at high listening levels do to its own technical failings.

(2) Your body itself has a health problem that abnormally limits the loudness that you can comfortably listen to. One such medical condition would be Auditory Hyperacusis, Please review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperacusis

(3) Your own personal preferences, aside from any technical or health situations.

IME together these three sitautions probably relate to between 1/10 and 1/3 of all persons who listen to live or recorded music.
arnyk is offline  
post #17 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 08:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jim19611961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Recommend one?

The only compressors I am familiar with are those that DBX offers. I know they will do the job, but I cant say if they are the best or most bang for the buck.

My Room
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/817205-my-listening-room.html

My Music
http://rateyourmusic.com/~jim1961

My Equipment

Rega - Apollo
Rega - DAC
Goldpoint Passive
(2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)
Jenzen Next ( http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Jenzen-NEXT.htm )
...
jim19611961 is offline  
post #18 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 11:43 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JHAz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 139
to reiterate, because I think it got lost, tIMO the most cost effective way to achieve dynamics control with multichannel content is a receiver that has Audyssey DynamicVolume. Handles multichannel natively, in digital, and is scalable both by setting the desired strength ("Day" to just take a little off the top) and by using offsets to further tailor the results for one's preference.
JHAz is offline  
post #19 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 11:50 AM
Advanced Member
 
JD in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

to reiterate, because I think it got lost, tIMO the most cost effective way to achieve dynamics control with multichannel content is a receiver that has Audyssey DynamicVolume. Handles multichannel natively, in digital, and is scalable both by setting the desired strength ("Day" to just take a little off the top) and by using offsets to further tailor the results for one's preference.

He's GOT a receiver with Audyssey dynamic volume, but hasn't taken the time to run Audyssey setup yet so he can't turn it on. Honestly the whole thread should probably just be put on hold until this is completed and he comes back with either "oh yeah, wasn't I silly, that's just what I wanted" or "you guys are idiots, that didn't help at all".

JD in NJ is offline  
post #20 of 68 Old 02-04-2013, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
LOL - I see you guys have been having fun without me. Thank you all, for participating.

Rather than quote everyone, I'll just try to answer the points you've all raised.

1) It's not that I "didn't want to", or overlooked the Audyssey setup... I simply didn't have the unit's Microphone to do it until yesterday at 02:00am.

2) "DTS Has way too much Dynamic range..." yep, that's what I said, out of context. What I said was that in choosing DTS, the industry abandoned the Dynamic Range controls inherent to all the implimentations of Dolby Digital. The lack of consideration of this feature leaves me with too much dynamic range for the vast majority of my listening situations. Had Dolby HD been chosen, I would not have any issue - but the industry putting out Blu-Ray media has apparently gone DTS. Hence my frustration.

3) Some have taken my meaning to be that I'm "Dising the DTS format". I suppose I am, because it did not include this consideration from the git-go.

4) You might rightfully criticize me for not taking issue with equipment manufacturers for failing to provide us with compression in their products to deal with the wonderful technology that is DTS. Ok, I plead guilty to that one.

5) I was hoping someone would pick up on the apparent contradiction in my preference for preservation of the "Original Artist's" concept. (Thank you arnyk) By that I mean, for film at least, the director. My hope for most Blu-Rays is that the media preserve to the maximum possible extent (within the capacity of the media) the original theatrical experience.

6) Unfortunately, I can't use the full (range) theatrical audio all the time. The home situation demands something extra - something that used to be there, but no longer is because of the exclusive selection of DTS. It's there if I want French, or Spanish, but not the original language I paid for - english. (in my case)

7) ...Idiots? Sorry, there are no idiots in this thread... yet. Everyone is expressing an opinion, owning their POV and doing so in good faith and with passion. That is what I invited, and that's what I'm getting. I need to take responsibility for my delivery of the message if it doesn't measure up to what I mean.


So why did I start a thread about the issue of "HT Dynamic Range Considerations" and not an "I hate DTS" thread? Because I was hoping to learn how others are handling the issue of Dynamic Range, and to see if there were others out there like myself. What I hear some of you saying is that Audyssey is sufficient for those of you who use it. Still, I'm a little surprised no one has yet responded with some level of agreement. Oh well.

As of this writing, you'll be pleased to know that I've performed several Audyssey setups on the system, and played with the results.

Indeed, there is a noticeable difference - as many of you knew there would be. However, it seems this unit does not in fact have Dynamic Volume, only Dynamic EQ. My friend's new unit has both, so I'll be able to experiment with his to see if the combination is sufficient. Apparently Onkyo thinks the Dynamic Volume feature was worth adding to their product. I wonder why?... biggrin.gif

In the meantime, I've arrived at a compromise which seems to get pretty close. The combination of Dynamic EQ and Dolby Digital Bitstream Re-encode (in the BD player) seems to work, provided I adjust receiver levels so that an indicated volume of -10db provides a good sound level in the room and I don't use THX listening modes. I still have a number of subjective evaluations to do, but the "Fog Horn on the Suez" described in a previous post, no longer "wakes the dead".
50BMG is offline  
post #21 of 68 Old 02-05-2013, 09:10 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JHAz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

5) Indeed, there is a noticeable difference - as many of you knew there would be. However, it seems this unit does not in fact have Dynamic Volume, only Dynamic EQ. My friend's new unit has both, so I'll be able to experiment with his to see if the combination is sufficient. Apparently Onkyo thinks the Dynamic Volume feature was worth adding to their product. I wonder why?... biggrin.gif

I'll take a shot at this one: product differentiation.. They add more and more features as you go up the price ladder. FWIW, I had it in my head that everybody was including both DV and DEQ on units with Audyssey above 2EQ for a few years now . . . seems silly to ever have divorced them, but people do what they think works best for their marketing plans . . .
JHAz is offline  
post #22 of 68 Old 02-05-2013, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hey Jim... Is that new avatar form the original Star Trek series "Mirror Mirror"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim19611961 View Post

T

Nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

I'll take a shot at this one: product differentiation.. They add more and more features as you go up the price ladder. FWIW, I had it in my head that everybody was including both DV and DEQ on units with Audyssey above 2EQ for a few years now . . . seems silly to ever have divorced them, but people do what they think works best for their marketing plans . . .

Perhaps this is so. But it may also be an evolution of awareness.

My first THX Surround Receiver was vintage 1997-1998 (Onkyo TX-DS939). Although DTS was introduced ~1993 (with Jurassic Park ?) it wasn't mainstream in homes by the 939, which didn't have any provision for it at all. The new model (989) with DTS was months away (~2000), and DTS wasn't even on my radar. I understand there was an upgrade to the 939 for DTS, but in retrospect that wouldn't have had DV or DEQ and would only have driven me nuts earlier.

The first reference to Audyssey Dynamic Volume is ~2008.

This latest Receiver I've recently acquired was introduced in ~2008. It's by no means top, or bottom of their line as it is a THX unit. It's my first with HDMI, which is the primary reason I spoke up for it when we upgraded my friend. DTS kind of came along for the ride.

I guess now that I'm aware of how important Audyssey Dynamic Volume and it's THX counterpart is to me, it will be indispensable in my next unit. Very good to know.
50BMG is offline  
post #23 of 68 Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jim19611961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Hey Jim... Is that new avatar form the original Star Trek series "Mirror Mirror"?
Nice.

Yes actually smile.gif

Its the same one I am using on some other audio blogs. Thought id be consistent.

My Room
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/817205-my-listening-room.html

My Music
http://rateyourmusic.com/~jim1961

My Equipment

Rega - Apollo
Rega - DAC
Goldpoint Passive
(2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)
Jenzen Next ( http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Jenzen-NEXT.htm )
...
jim19611961 is offline  
post #24 of 68 Old 02-06-2013, 02:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mtbdudex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 4,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 161
We have 3 young kids bed time is 8am, for those post bed times when my wife and I want to watch in the family room instead of home theatre, audyssey dynamic volume has been great! That's on my 2008 Denon 4308CI. Prior to that, the 2000 Onkyo 787 did not have that feature and we did not watch in the family room due to it.



Sent from my 32GB iPhone4 using Tapatalk
mtbdudex is offline  
post #25 of 68 Old 02-06-2013, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for weighing in mtbdudex. I don't feel quite so alone now. wink.gif

Having evaluated Audyssey Dynamic Volume on the Onkyo TX-NR616 earlier today, I conclude it's possibly even more effective at the most aggressive setting than the Dolby Digital "Late Night" modes. The caveat is that for DV to be selectable, DEQ must also be enabled. This is a little counterproductive given that DEQ boosts low frequency content, but it's manageable with a reduction in the subwoofer or by a higher DV setting.

It's worth noting: On the newest Onkyo receivers, the setting of Audyssey functions is saved and remembered from one powerup session to the next. Not always so with the Dolby Late Night mode setting. Some models have the optional ability make the setting persist, others forget and powerup with it "off".


Now that I'm aware of Audyssey, I've been able to re-search forum threads here at AVS. I find that this issue has been raised and discussed previously, although not correlated as directly to DTS in most cases. (but a few did)

In those and other selected readings, I am very impressed with the breadth of knowledge displayed there, by those of you who took time to post here. I was particularly interested in a thread which got onto surround speaker reflection effects, and their identification / management. ([jim19611961 - you posted quite a bit in that one)

Again I thank you all.


So far, I see that other manufacturers have implemented Audyssey or have invented their own technologies to deal with this issue.

The one's most discussed seem to be Denon, Yamaha and Marantz.

Please, if you have one of those, or another I am not aware of - consider posting a few words about how you feel about them? Negative or positive, standalone or compared... whatever. Despite being primarily an Onkyo devote, I am not so thoroughly ensconced that I wouldn't consider changing. I really would prefer to stay with a THX certified unit however. (If you've been reading, you already realize that)

I actually plan to seek out some Denon receivers at local showrooms, to play with and give them a listen. There aren't as many equipped showrooms around as there used to be frown.gif and I'd really value your experiences.
50BMG is offline  
post #26 of 68 Old 02-07-2013, 09:14 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mtbdudex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 4,127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 161
If you are on facebook, then you can ask ChrisK directly, the CTO and co-founder of audyssey, Q's related to audyssey dynamic volume
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/audysseytechtalk/
That is their technical discussion page, not their general public page.
mtbdudex is offline  
post #27 of 68 Old 02-09-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Here's a technical question...

What is the effect on Dynamic Range of local noise?

The HT setup I've been using is in the corner of a fairly large, below grade space. Walls and floor are concrete. Previously, the area was carpeted and had insulated studded walls with various surface treatments, which have now all been removed.

This allows local sounds of A/C circulating fan, PC power supply fans, and HE water heater noises to infiltrate the space at varying levels.

All that has the effect of raising the noise floor in the area of the HT. It's not much, but at lower listening levels, it couldn't help but obscure the lowest parts of the content.

How would you view these interferers in terms of impact on Dynamic Range?


Just curious.
50BMG is offline  
post #28 of 68 Old 02-09-2013, 01:42 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jim19611961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Depends how you view dynamic range in the first place. If you view it as the difference between the highest peak and the noise floor, then the higher the noise floor, the less dynamic range. And in this light, the lower the volume, the lower the dynamic range. All spaces have a noise floor, and you are right to consider that some musical content could get buried beneath it, especially if the musical content has a lot of dynamic range and the listening level is low.

If you view dynamic range without consideration as to the noise in the room, then you have to consider what might be called partially obscurity. That is, if the dynamic range of the music is say 70db, and your listening at 90db, but the noise floor is 35db, then one might ask whether your dynamic range is still 70db, or if its now only 55db due to the noise floor. An important question becomes: Can I hear a audible signal at 20db with 35db of noise in the room? I suppose the ranges of frequency of each would have to be considered to answer this. If the dryer is running and what you hear in the next room is a 35db noise at 60hz, and then a musical backround sound happens at 20db, but at 1000hz, I would say you would probably still hear it. If the frequency(s) of the noise are similar to the frequency(s) of the low level content of the music, then you might get partial or total obscurity of the low level signal.

Listening to music in a car is a case in point to this topic of the effects of noise on the listening experience, except in dramatic fashion. High dynamic range music is hard to listen to in a car, or hard to hear the full content of. Compressed music (that which has less dynamic range) is easier to hear everything in a car.

This topic also confronts the idea of how much dynamic range you want or can use , even in a home environment. If one claims to have a audio track with 90db of dynamic range, to get the low level content equal to the noise floor (lets use 35db for our example), you would have to let the peaks hit 125db! Ouch!

My Room
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/817205-my-listening-room.html

My Music
http://rateyourmusic.com/~jim1961

My Equipment

Rega - Apollo
Rega - DAC
Goldpoint Passive
(2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)
Jenzen Next ( http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Jenzen-NEXT.htm )
...
jim19611961 is offline  
post #29 of 68 Old 02-09-2013, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
50BMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well, I need to get used to some new scales then...

I think my THX systems calibrate 0db = 85dbSPL, doesn't it? If I recall, this happens to be the maximum allowable long term (recurrent) level before hearing damage is a concern.

Coming from a telecom / broadcast electronics background, I'm not used to thinking about things that could be much over 70db in range, without needing hearing protection. An auditory noise floor lower than -65db is very quiet indeed. (one's breathing sound, heart sounds and swallowing are actually about that) Normal conversation on that reference would be around -15db, with hearing damage expected at around 35db and pain at 45db.

The notion that a sound system could have a useful 90db range is new to me, to say the least, as it already exceeds the limit of safety even if it begins at the threshold of hearing.

I guess that subjectively, a director might try to provide a film with sounds meant to compete with one's sense of self. (Heartbeat, breathing etc...) This would require the sound environment to be quiet enough that those are above the audience's abient noise. That's a lot to expect, given today's multi-venue theaters.

Is there typically any way to access the absolute levels obtained during the Audyssey calibration?

That might be fun. Probably too much to expect also. frown.gif


Am I looking at this about right, or am I missing something... "OUCH" is right!
50BMG is offline  
post #30 of 68 Old 02-09-2013, 05:16 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
amirm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 17,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 356 Post(s)
Liked: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by 50BMG View Post

Here's a technical question...

What is the effect on Dynamic Range of local noise?

The HT setup I've been using is in the corner of a fairly large, below grade space. Walls and floor are concrete. Previously, the area was carpeted and had insulated studded walls with various surface treatments, which have now all been removed.

This allows local sounds of A/C circulating fan, PC power supply fans, and HE water heater noises to infiltrate the space at varying levels.

All that has the effect of raising the noise floor in the area of the HT. It's not much, but at lower listening levels, it couldn't help but obscure the lowest parts of the content.

How would you view these interferers in terms of impact on Dynamic Range?


Just curious.
There is the wrong answer and the right one. Alas, the answer posted just about everywhere online is the wrong one smile.gif. Here is the right answer: Dynamic Range of Listening Spaces: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/RoomDynamicRange.html

Quick summary, our ears are much less sensitive to the low frequency ambient noise so you can't use that to establish the audible dynamic range. A frequency analysis needs to be performed to determine the true value. Fortunately this means that our rooms have far higher dynamic range than simple meter tell us.

Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"

amirm is offline  
Reply Audio theory, Setup and Chat

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off