Why Do Movies Get Loud Then Quiet?

The loudness phenomenon is a common occurrence in movies, and is especially common in action movies. Sitcoms are not affected, with the exception of commercials. A paper published by audio engineers in 2009 analyzed the phenomenon and found that action movies, such as The Matrix, can have as much as 25 decibels of noise, while sitcoms, such as Friends, only have up to six decibels.

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Less dynamic range

Depending on the movie, dynamic range can be low or high. In general, action movies have more dynamic range than sitcoms. But, commercials can be loud, too. So, you can set your TV or media center software to adjust the dynamic range. It’s a good idea to experiment with this feature to find the best setting for your situation.

In addition, you may want to adjust the volume of the center channel. Sometimes, the dialogue in a movie may be too quiet. To fix this, use case-by-case adjustments. In any case, you’ll want to know why the dialogue is so quiet before adjusting the volume.

The issue is not a new one. Many people have questioned the level of sound in movies. Some people have found it to be too loud – particularly when advertisements and upcoming attractions come on. But if the volume is too loud, this can cause serious damage to your hearing.

More dynamic range compression

Many high-end TVs and audio receivers have this feature. It helps to reduce high-dynamic-range sounds. But the downside is that it may not be as accurate as you’d like. If you’re an audiophile, you may not be able to hear every detail of a movie.

If you want to improve the audio quality of your movies, you can choose to use night mode, which reduces the difference between the loudest and softest sounds. Some devices even have a dedicated night mode button on the remote. The night mode feature may also be referred to as dynamic compression.

Room conditions

When you watch a movie, you might be a bit distracted by the sounds around you. Air conditioning units, for example, are often very loud. As humans, we are used to tuning out everyday noises, but movies are a different story. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of noise you’re exposed to while watching a movie.

XBMC’s version of dynamic range compression

Dynamic range is the contrast between loud and soft parts in a movie. In cinemas, this is used to make the audio more effective. While this feature is great for cinemas, it doesn’t work so well at home. You may have noticed that a movie can get quiet and loud very quickly. Luckily, XBMC has a feature that can reduce this effect.