We take a look at why the volume in movies shifts so wildly and what you can do to fix it.
Lets set the scene: You’ve put a film on to watch in bed. As standard, your better half has fallen asleep 5 minutes in, so you adjust the volume to accommodate, only for the dialogue to be too quiet and the music and explosions to be too loud.
The result is an ever-vigilant finger-hover over the volume button – completely removing you from the viewing experience.
Why Does This Happen?
The reason for this is the dynamic range, or in laymans terms – the contrast between the films loudest and softest bits. Basically, the film audio is mixed that way. Whoever that magician was, they have mixed the audio levels for maximum effect. The aim is to have you feel every loud noise and experience every tender moment in full dynamic presentation.
This is great, in theory and in the cinema, but not so much for late night home-viewing.
Your TV will not compare to the optimised cinema acoustics and high quality surround sound speakers. (Unless of course that you have one of those mancave setups you only see on Tik Tok that involve a hidden passageway behind a bookcase and have a pool table and a Stormtrooper…..)
How Can I Fix It?
There are a few steps you can take to fix the sound or at least ensure you don’t get a dig in the ribs everytime theres a loud bit….
Never fear there is hope out there! Or more accurately “in there”! Most modern TVs, steaming boxes and sound system/speaker sets/soundbars have an option to fix this within the Audio Settings! The option you’re looking for is called “night mode,” and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
You can find it by consulting the settings of your device. It may also be called “dynamic compression” but it should be easy enough to find and turn on. If you get stuck you can always Google the make of your TV or device and “dynamic compression” or “night mode”.
Invest In Decent Audio.
There’s only so much night mode can do, especially if your existing speakers are poor quality. Your best bet (outside of selling some organs for a Bang and Olufsen system) is to have a decent speaker/sound system to begin with.
This sounds a bit obvious but you’d be surprised the difference a decent speaker makes. Alternatively you can:
Tweak Your Sound Settings.
An easy fix is to boost your centre channel in the audio settings. This flattens and stabalises the audio to some extent. The sound is forced into the centre speaker where the majority of dialogue sits in the mix. Most devices should have options and presets for this. Again – Google your model and your request.
It’s not exactly ideal, is it? There’s not much else you can do to be honest. Slap on some headphones ideally with RF Wireless or Bluetooth functionality to minimize mucking about.
Hopefully this helped to sort out your Dynamic Volume Shift issues! If you have any tips that might help others then post them below!
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