Originally Posted by pepar
Interesting, Hugo. Is it their contention that clarity and the "position" in the overall mix is perceived differently for a person speaking in one's native language?
That is our context here, specifically with regards to Keith's target curve edits.
As a graduate linguist I know what Hugo is referring to and agree with his premise - the 'rhythms' of language are acquired very early in life and stay with us, and this does have an inhibiting effect on learning new languages later in life. Indeed, whenever I go to visit Italy, for example, it takes me a day or so for my ear to 'tune in' to the natural rhythm of Italian and until it does so, I struggle to understand what is being said. HST, the differences between American spoken English and British spoken English are much less pronounced, although on occasion I do struggle a little with some of the more 'unusual' American accents (by which I mean accents I don't usually hear much). I imagine it is the same for Americans if they listen to British accents from the North East or South West of England, or from Glasgow in Scotland. I know Americans who sometimes have to turn on the subtitles in order to be able to decipher some of these regional accents (and sometimes I struggle a little myself, especially with Glaswegian for example).
What I think all this boils down to is the importance of ensuring that the centre channel dialogue is as clear as it can be - and in this regard I have found, personally, that dampening reflections with room treatments (plus using Audyssey of course) has made the most significant improvement, once one assumes a decent centre channel speaker with proper placement, correct toe-up (!) etc. and a properly EQd system.
While I do take your point, Jeff, that a system that is good for music will also be good for movies (which, logically, has to be the same as saying that a system that is good for movies will also be good for music), I do maintain that intelligibility of the human voice (dialogue) is paramount for movies and perhaps a little less so for music. HST, I agree that a system built around the twin premises of accuracy and transparency to the source will sound good on any content it is charged with reproducing and thus the entire discussion is probably pointless ;) This is not, of course, to be conflated with saying that a system used primarily for movies needs to be designed with all of the same parameters in mind as for one that is primarily designed for music. For music, I do not need two subwoofers with virtually flat response into single figures and for movies I would be prepared to sacrifice, for example, and if I had to choose, some extreme top end for a little more clarity on dialogue reproduction. The huge 'distraction' of the visuals diminishes the need to be so absolutely critical of whether the massed violins in the score have all the openness and 'airiness' they can muster, for example - whereas if you didn't quite catch Morpheus saying that his belief system does not require that you believe the same as he does, well, you may have missed the entire point of the movie <LOL>.