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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having problems with my new digital audio setup. I've had my receiver for over 3 years now but finally got an optical toslink cable to connect up my Dolby Digital Source from my ps3. One thing I have noticed when transmitting this digital audio to my receiver is that my dialogue is a little low and during action scenes it's extremely loud. I boosted my dialogue with a built in option on my receiver to enhance the dialogue, but the action scenes & music audio is always much louder.


Does anyone know what could cause this? I know that Dolby is supposed to boost the action scenes and what not but it's almost unbearably loud when compared to the dialogue only audio. Thanks for the help!
 

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That is "by design." You are hearing the dynamic range that exists already. You can counteract that by setting the Night Mode in PS3. That will reduce the dynamic range and only affect content from the PS3 in dolby digital and not other sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's exactly what I was thinking...


In that case, maybe when i'm not watching something "action-packed" i'll change my settings on my receiver to receive the digital content, just not process it as dolby digital. I'll check it out a bit more and see if there are any other settings I can mess with.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastb0isct
... i'll change my settings on my receiver to receive the digital content, just not process it as dolby digital.
Dolby Digital is not a processing mode. It works like a zip file, using data compression to shrink a large multichannel PCM soundtrack into a smaller size for storage on a disc. The decoder unzips the file. So, if the source is DD 5.1, then you must use a DD 5.1 decoder to produce sound. The same goes for DTS. The encoder does the zipping and the decoder does the unzipping. And, that's all they do. Dolby Digital and DTS are not responsible for dynamic range, btw. Dynamic range comes from how the audio mixer produced the soundtrack.


To your issue: Have you calibrated your system so that all channels are playing at the same volume? While some soundtracks are poorly mixed and dialog gets buried under sound effects and music, that should not the case most of the time in a system that is properly laid out and calibrated.


Also, the center channel is especially important for dialog. The center speaker needs to be well placed. You can also try increasing the volume of the center channel a few dB.


DRC (Dynamic Range Control) can also be helpful. DRC is applied in the device doing the decoding. Since you are using optical, you should set the PS3 to bitstream, which sends encoded DD 5.1 and DTS to the receiver for decoding. In that situation, DRC would be done by your receiver, not the PS3. DRC only works with Dolby sources, although some receivers have their own Night Modes, which work with DTS and PCM as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply! That give me a better picture of what's going on in the background. I don't have a ton of knowledge when it comes to audio so this is awesome.


I have a sort of odd setup. My receiver is ~4 years old and is a 7.1 but I don't have a subwoofer. Instead I have two large old-school Yamaha speakers that have subwoofers. I wanted to set them up so they only distribute the bass but I haven't found any settings for my receiver that will allow that. I have the channels setup so that the smaller speakers are receiving the majority of the volume. It's an "effect" control on my receiver. I'm going to post my receiver/speaker setup later tonight.


I'm not sure if I have a center speaker connected on my setup. I will definitely be doing that now that you have told me it is key. I'm curious, if i have a 7.1 setup but can only process 5.1 through my toslink does it work well if i have the receiver decide what to do with the extra couple speakers? I saw a couple settings in the manual about that and just wanted some input.


Referring to the DRC, I know that my receiver has a night mode. I'm pretty much only playing DD5.1 or DTS type streams through it so how big of a difference does this "night mode" have? If you could explain it a little bit that'd be awesome.


Thank you so much!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastb0isct
Thanks for the reply! That give me a better picture of what's going on in the background. I don't have a ton of knowledge when it comes to audio so this is awesome.


I have a sort of odd setup. My receiver is ~4 years old and is a 7.1 but I don't have a subwoofer. Instead I have two large old-school Yamaha speakers that have subwoofers. I wanted to set them up so they only distribute the bass but I haven't found any settings for my receiver that will allow that. I have the channels setup so that the smaller speakers are receiving the majority of the volume. It's an "effect" control on my receiver. I'm going to post my receiver/speaker setup later tonight.


I'm not sure if I have a center speaker connected on my setup. I will definitely be doing that now that you have told me it is key. I'm curious, if i have a 7.1 setup but can only process 5.1 through my toslink does it work well if i have the receiver decide what to do with the extra couple speakers? I saw a couple settings in the manual about that and just wanted some input.


Referring to the DRC, I know that my receiver has a night mode. I'm pretty much only playing DD5.1 or DTS type streams through it so how big of a difference does this "night mode" have? If you could explain it a little bit that'd be awesome.


Thank you so much!


There's not a seetting that will do what you want with your Yamahas. The subwoofer output would contain the sounds you want to run through the Yamahas, once you set bass management (establish crossover frequencies for the non sub speakers). But the sub out is a preamp level signal and will not cause a speaker to make noise. You would need an amplifier to use that signal to drive the Yamahas. Connect sub out to amp (with a Y cord to get into two channels) and amp to speakers.


The receiver will direct sound to the speakers based on how the speakers are connected to the receiver. THe speakers connected to front left and right will get the front left and right content, etc. AFAIK only one or 2 very costly receivers allow any degree of assignment of individusal speaker outputs (amplifiers) to different channels, with one exception. Many allow you to use the rear surrounds (what takes it from 5.1 to 7.1 to biamp your front left and right, a process that is generally thought to be unharmful but of very little real value in the real world.


Night mode will make the loud parts significantly quieter so that you can turn up the quiet parts more. Basically. You'll want to listen for yourself to see if the other changes that this dynamic compression cause are troubling. If you're playing VERY quietly, then whatever frequency content changes occur with night mode are probably well worth the tradeoff so that you can actually hear the dialog. As you get louder, you may notice changes (which may either bother you, or not) when you flip from night mode to not night mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks JHAZ. That was my suspicion with my large Yamaha's. Do you know what type of Amp i'd need to utilize them to their fullest??


I know that I have a bi-amp setting on my receiver but haven't seen any real use for it so i guess i'll just keep it the way it is and add a center channel to boost the dialogue a bit more. Going to be mounting the TV soon so that should make it easier.


Nightmode is definitely what i'll need to turn on then. I was watching "The Descent" the other day and the dialogue was barely hearable and then a split second later it'd be ear-drum crushingly loud. Thanks for the advise!
 

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Did you say you do not have a center speaker? If so, if you tell your receiver that you do not have one, it will send that channel to the other speakers. Without it, you will get severe issues with dialog on many movies where they put they dialog in that channel only (or for the most part). I would pursue that fix before trying anything else. DRC/Night Mode compress the ratio of loud to faint sound but in the process also severely impact the nice things about having good dynamic range for movies. You will likely find the sound anemic with this mode turned on.


While you are at it, also tell your receiver you lack a sub. It may also steer some bass toward your larger speakers in front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll get on this when I get home. I don't have the exact model or #, completely blanking on it at the moment.


amirm: I believe i don't have a center speaker setup so you might be right that it's already directing that channel to my front speakers which might be the problem because they are the BIG ones which have tweeters, but i turned them off on the speaker itself.


I love that everyone is trying to help but i don't have all the info and wasn't expecting such fast replies! =) I'll get on it when i'm home so you can help me out more guys


Thanks!
 

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I suggest you start from scratch. Reset the receiver to the factory defaults. Then, do the basic configuration, telling the AVR which speakers you have, whether they are large or small, and distances. Finally, calibrate levels so that each speaker is the same volume at the primary listening position. You can the calibration with the AVR's built-in test tones or with tones on a calibration disc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, i found out what my model is: Pioneer VSX-516 and the two large Yamaha speakers are NS-1000 Monitors. I'm going to be fiddling around with this more on the upcoming weekend but let me know your input. I'll probably look around for a center speaker since it seems pretty important. Thanks for the advice, i'll probably go back to factory defaults and go from there as you said.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastb0isct /forum/post/20826522


Alright, i found out what my model is: Pioneer VSX-516 and the two large Yamaha speakers are NS-1000 Monitors. I'm going to be fiddling around with this more on the upcoming weekend but let me know your input. I'll probably look around for a center speaker since it seems pretty important. Thanks for the advice, i'll probably go back to factory defaults and go from there as you said.

Wait wait, you opened up a pair of NS-1000's and gutted the tweeters, to try and use them as subwoofers? Or do you mean you simply turned their pots down to "minimum"?


Based on what you've described, and to echo what Amir and schan have said - you'll want to set your large tower speakers up as "Large", and send them a full-range signal (trying to use them "as subs" just doesn't make sense). Then go and set-up whatever other speakers you have accordingly, if you set them all to small, the receiver will steer the LFE output to the NS-1000's (what you wanted in the first place, but it will provide amplification that the sub-output lacks), and it will also steer those channels appropriately to the NS-1000's. If you lack a center channel, set that up, that will also be steered to the NS-1000's (nothing will be damaged). Set those front pots based on preference (I'd start with them in the middle, and change them based on listening).


The dialog should not be barely audible running a phantom center, although from what you've described, you have a very large woofer trying to run full-range as your main L/R, and center channel, and LFE; sounds like a problem to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert /forum/post/20826892


Wait wait, you opened up a pair of NS-1000's and gutted the tweeters, to try and use them as subwoofers? Or do you mean you simply turned their pots down to "minimum"?


Based on what you've described, and to echo what Amir and schan have said - you'll want to set your large tower speakers up as "Large", and send them a full-range signal (trying to use them "as subs" just doesn't make sense). Then go and set-up whatever other speakers you have accordingly, if you set them all to small, the receiver will steer the LFE output to the NS-1000's (what you wanted in the first place, but it will provide amplification that the sub-output lacks), and it will also steer those channels appropriately to the NS-1000's. If you lack a center channel, set that up, that will also be steered to the NS-1000's (nothing will be damaged). Set those front pots based on preference (I'd start with them in the middle, and change them based on listening).


The dialog should not be barely audible running a phantom center, although from what you've described, you have a very large woofer trying to run full-range as your main L/R, and center channel, and LFE; sounds like a problem to me.

I actually just turned off the tweeters, didn't gut them. Both tweeters were essentially blown when I got the NS-1000s. I guess I mis-typed saying "subs" when I meant i just didn't want to push highs to the NS-1000s. I have them set as "large" speakers now so they are getting most of the bass as they're the only "large" speakers I have.


Are you suggesting I steer the center channel to the NS-1000s?


Maybe if i describe the setup just a little bit more it can help, since i didn't describe where the speakers are. I have the two NS-1000s set as my main L/R as you stated, on top of those NS-1000s I have two smallish shelf speakers that are being pushed through the LS/RS inputs which I have set as small speakers. I want them to push most of the highs out since I turned the NS-1000s tweeters "off". I'm going to be getting an actual center speaker to set up but as of right now i'm lacking that. Then I have two rear speakers, one on each side so i'm essentially at a 6.0 system right now though it's all coming from front and rear.


Thanks so much for the guidance everyone. Helping me out a ton!
 

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Your set-up is "wrong", and that's why you have problems.


In order to run those bookshelf speakers as you intend, you need a speaker switch or a crossover to ensure that they're fed the same data as the NS-1000's, not the surround data. You will then steer the center data to the front L/R, and you will be able to hear dialog.



Basically at this point, reset the receiver, and take everything apart - you've got a lot of re-working to do.
 

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For reference, here's roughly where your speakers should be placed (or what it should look like):
http://www.audioholics.com/images/img1.jpg


That comes from this guide:
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/sp...ssential-guide


Any speaker you don't have, for example a center, simply set to "No" or "None" on the receiver, it should take care of the rest.


The pair of speakers you want to use as your front L/R, either connect to the A+B outputs on your receiver (if it has them, I may have missed mention of your receiver), or simply pick one pair and use that.


Once things are set-up right, the front L/R will have the center channel mapped to them (if you have no center), and the LFE/bass from speakers set to small (if you have no subwoofer). If this was the NS-1000's, they should handle that task reasonably well. If you only have small satellite speakers, I would probably look at purchasing a subwoofer.
 
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