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09-05-2010, 10:16 PM
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Try to keep tech questions in the forum for fastest answers! (And possibly get some input from our other members, as well.)


not sure if i have asked this question before, so apologies if i have.

onto the question...

a lot of films / shows / cartoons have sections where the sound (volume)
is ramped up.
personally, i don't like it getting so loud.

is there a way of limiting the volume level automatically?
ie a realtime, self adjusting volume limiter.

is there a media player (for the PC) that has this option?

further, if in the future i purchase a good sound system for my home
cinema setup, is there a piece of hardware that will do the same job?

both, the software and hardware solutions, must allow spoken words to be
clearly heard, but at the same time apply the limiter to strong / loud

over to you...

Based on my observations, no, nothing exists.

My biggest gripe about television, for many years, has been how commercials have been allowed to be quite a few decibels louder than the content of the TV show. It was so bad that laws were being written up by congressmen in past years, although I have not followed where any of that has gone. (Passed into law, disappeared, died in halls of congress, etc.)

Many televisions, including two of mine, claimed to have "volume limiters" on them, but it realistically never worked. So items claim this feature, but I've never seen one work in practice.

Part of the issue is that "perceived loudness" doesn't always follow the same curve as actual levels. Various pitches can seem louder (and more annoying) than lower ones, even at the same level.

Some of it is simply an issue of dynamic range. If you've clipped a constantly-speaking advertising jabberhead to max peaks within a level, it can still sound 2x-3x as loud as the program that had the wider dynamics within the same max limit. This is the loophole that many advertisers had been using, especially cheap in-house ads from the local cableco and satellite providers. The local ad producers appear to be incompetent with audio, based on what I tend to see, because it's often clipped really bad. (Same for video, judging from all the interlace errors I see regularly from the local cable ads. People seem to have gotten dumber lately, as it involves so-called professional video work.)

The issue you see on your own DVDs is the dynamic range issue. Dolby and DTS tend to artificially adjust audio in ways that it was never intended by the creators of the piece (especially on the older content I know you like to watch).

Some receivers have "smart clipping" type limits, often referred to as "night modes". One of my good friends has such a receiver. Indeed, I tend to watch everything on "night mode" when I stay at his place and watch TV by myself. He, on the other hand, loves his ear-shattering explosions and whispers so soft that you can't hear what's being said. He says it's "realistic". I call BS.

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09-06-2010, 10:03 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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hey, thanks for the reply.
shame there isn't a off-the-shelf solution.

VLC has a "normalize audio" option.
don't think this will do what i want it to, but i'll give it a shot later.

as a last resort, i suppose i can re-do the audio and make a new dvd to playback.
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