How much is reference dialogue volume during a movie ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Post How much is reference dialogue volume during a movie ?

What should my spl meter read when i listen to a movie at reference movie during dialogue ?

How much dB ?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
What should my spl meter read when i listen to a movie at reference movie during dialogue ?

How much dB ?

Thanks.
It depends on which body of standards that you have used within the rest of your system.

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Garidy View Post
It depends on which body of standards that you have used within the rest of your system.
All speakers are set to 75dB at reference and i listen about -10.00dB or -5.00dB , sometimes even at reference volume.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
All speakers are set to 75dB at reference and i listen about -10.00dB or -5.00dB , sometimes even at reference volume.
Then set your center channel to the same SPL, using the exact procedure that you used to set the others. Then have a listen. If you are having difficultly hearing the dialog, you my discover that you need to equalize the frequency response to your center, then reset your SPL to 75dB.

This takes some back and forth, once an EQ is implemented...

Please keep us posted.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
All speakers are set to 75dB at reference and i listen about -10.00dB or -5.00dB , sometimes even at reference volume.
not sure you understand what reference is, but at reference, the dialog should be exactly however effin loud the mixer and director and producers decided it should be. there are precisely zero rules about how loud dialog should be. In my experience, dialog in V for Vendetta ran around 77 dB. IIRC, dialog in the versions of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies I have or rented ran around 81 or 82 dB.

See, the beauty of having a reference volume is, at reference, everything is however loud the mixers mixed it to be. The mixers, with input from everybody who gets input, still get to decide. So while some folks will say dialog is at 85 dB they are simply wrong. Frequent contributor and actual Hollywood movie mixer FilmMixer, for example, said they put the dialog very low in the Pacific episode(s) he mixed to make it sound like it would if you were really in that environment. IOW, you could not actually understand all the dialog. On purpose! Art.

BTW, reference is defined as 85 dB per speaker (surrounds excluded) with a bandwidth limited pink noise signal encoded at -20 dBFS, and after purchasers freaked out at how loud 85 dB was during setup, home systems use the mathematically and audibly identical 75 dB with a signal encoded at -30 dBFS.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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All of my speakers are set to the exact same level. All i want to know is what is the near reference volume during a normal dialoge in a movie. Because my receiver is not with - / + dB so i need to know how below the 0dB i am.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Fair enough. I was watching godzilla and the dialogue was about 68 to 72dB. What is considered a recommended volume in a small room ? I know i need to check my tastes with my own ear but i ask anyway to see different opinions and suggestions.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
All speakers are set to 75dB at reference and i listen about -10.00dB or -5.00dB , sometimes even at reference volume.
not sure you understand what reference is, but at reference, the dialog should be exactly however effin loud the mixer and director and producers decided it should be. there are precisely zero rules about how loud dialog should be. In my experience, dialog in V for Vendetta ran around 77 dB. IIRC, dialog in the versions of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies I have or rented ran around 81 or 82 dB.

See, the beauty of having a reference volume is, at reference, everything is however loud the mixers mixed it to be. The mixers, with input from everybody who gets input, still get to decide. So while some folks will say dialog is at 85 dB they are simply wrong. Frequent contributor and actual Hollywood movie mixer FilmMixer, for example, said they put the dialog very low in the Pacific episode(s) he mixed to make it sound like it would if you were really in that environment. IOW, you could not actually understand all the dialog. On purpose! Art.

BTW, reference is defined as 85 dB per speaker (surrounds excluded) with a bandwidth limited pink noise signal encoded at -20 dBFS, and after purchasers freaked out at how loud 85 dB was during setup, home systems use the mathematically and audibly identical 75 dB with a signal encoded at -30 dBFS.
At what master volume did you use when watching v for vendetta so that you obtained 77dB dialog during v for vendetta ?
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
What should my spl meter read when i listen to a movie at reference movie during dialogue ?

How much dB ?

Thanks.
When listening to a movie at reference level your spl meter reading will jump up and down like crazy. And not only for dialog. Well, if this was what you were asking!

Cheers, Feri


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post #10 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
At what master volume did you use when watching v for vendetta so that you obtained 77dB dialog during v for vendetta ?
at reference. zero on my avr as calibrated. TBH I did not sit and stare at my meter all the way through the movie, or endeavor to average the constantly changing dialog levels from the entire movie. Just an observation from maybe five minutes or so of the movie, because it was so obviously quieter than average.. But it is well known as a quieter dialog movie
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 04:25 PM
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you should listen at the level you want. Most charts I've seen put real human conversation somewhere in the 65 dB range. So at 75 dB you are twice as loud. At 85 dB four times as loud. I tend to put dialog at a little louder than a natural in room level, plus enough to overcome the added noise going on in the movie. FWIW, IIRC, FilmMixer listens about five dB below reference at home, although he is of course precisely at reference on his mixing stage, which would fit something like six or eight of my living room. But I could be misremembering.

I just would not put a second of worry into whether my preferred listening level is similar to anybody else's. Nor do I worry much that levels come down five dB or so when my wife is watching with me. Better to just enjoy the experience . . .
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-31-2014, 07:11 PM
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A Dolby white paper describing dialog normalization says the company found dialog averages about -27dBFS, which is 78dB at reference. But, as was explained earlier in this thread, there are no rules or standards about how to mix dialog. The movie production crew can do whatever it wants.
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-01-2014, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
A Dolby white paper describing dialog normalization says the company found dialog averages about -27dBFS, which is 78dB at reference. But, as was explained earlier in this thread, there are no rules or standards about how to mix dialog. The movie production crew can do whatever it wants.
I was asking to check how near i am to reference during a movie. Well i got the point now. I also wanted to know how much is considered very loud and loud.
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-01-2014, 06:06 AM
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JHAz got it correct. There is no such thing as "reference dialog level" in motion pictures. It's whatever the folks mixing the film feel like making it.

Dolby Labs (Eric Benjamin) performed a study of preferred listening levels in the home environment and found that for television viewing, the preferred listening level was 57.7 dBSPL and for home theater viewing the level was 64.8 dBSPL (both A-weighted). In both cases, there was a spread of levels with the distribution skewed towards lower levels. You can read the study in AES paper 6233.

In motion picture sound practice, pink noise alignment level at 83 dBSPL corresponds to 0 VU on the console meter, which is set at 20 dB below full scale digital. If the mixer was peaking dialog at 0 VU, then average dialog level would probably be 7 dB (or so) below zero level, corresponding to 75 dBSPL. Obviously much higher than what the Benjamin study found in the home environment.

I've read many interviews with film mixers and they claim they never watch the console meters but set dialog levels by ear (what they feel like), so who knows what the levels really are. Based on the number of complaints of excessive sound levels in movie theaters, it's apparently too high, whatever the number is.
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-01-2014, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post
I was asking to check how near i am to reference during a movie. Well i got the point now. I also wanted to know how much is considered very loud and loud.
Reference is not related to the movie you are watching. It's a way to calibrate systems to a common standard. If you have done a reference calibration and set your playback to that level, you are listening at reference regardless of how loud or quiet the dialog ends up being.
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