Every time I play a movie disc or stream a show I always check my info setting on my Yamaha receiver and it will give me a dialogue level that is either 0 or a + number. Last night I watched a dvd film(Family) that had a -3 dialogue level and it was a challenge to even hear the dialogue. So what I would like to know is who sets these levels and what are they based on? I find movies with + 4 dialogue(highest Ive seen it) are the best at clarity but anything 0 or below can ruin viewing a film.Is it the audio engineers that set this level or is it my Yamaha receiver that is setting it based on the way I have the receiver setup for 5.1 audio?
Are you referring to Dolby's "DialNorm" function or some other setting?
No, as I explained above its not a setting that the user sets. When I press the info button on my Yamaha it tells me if its 5.1 or PCM and then it has a section for dialogue and its either + or - some amount. Just watched a film on dvd and it was a +4 dialogue level, and a streaming show on Netflix that was -1 dialogue level.Just wondered who sets these various levels and why?
A lot of it is done by the mastering engineer to set the desired sound mix. This is a battle of trying to preserve the dynamics of the mix, the practicality of the target environment (the movie may be watched in less than ideal situations), the desires of the director, as well as the target - netflix might have technical requirements for the audio as well.