8 thoughts on “Movie Dialogue”

  1. The way I have heard it explained, and wasn’t really covered in the article, is that media is mixed for surround sound and that people who watch without surround sound have all the sounds competing for the limited amount of speakers. This makes a lot of music and background noise really loud and hard for the dialog to compete. True? I can’t say.

    The problems I have noticed is that the dialog is drowned out by music and other sounds making it hard to hear as opposed to an artistic purpose of speaking through a mask or trying to convey a sense of distance or something else. Hearing dialog in the theater has never been an issue but I haven’t been to one since pre-pandemic. At home, audio issues abound. And when you are in your home, you don’t always want to crank the volume to hear dialog and then turn it down because the producers want to blast your eardrums with music or explosions.

    Novice YouTubers often have similar issues because they don’t balance the volume for dialog or the body of their video with intro and outro scenes.

    1. I can say with 5.1 surround I have just as much issue recognizing dialog as with regular over the air. And yeah, continuously cranking up for dialog and then back down is a royal pain (for me and the Mrs.)

  2. Yes, the sound mix often sucks to the point where I turn captions at home to understand what’s being said. Just as annoying, why are so many movies so dark? I remember watching Rogue One is a theater and being barely able to see what was happening. That seems to be the norm in a lot of movies. What’s up with that?

  3. Yeah, at home I’m continually either reversing a movie/TV stream to listen again or turning captions on and off. Very annoying, I think they just can’t resist putting tens or more sound layers on. If you look at older movies and television, they might have had enhancing music but the voices were much more distinct and clear – probably intentionally overemphasized. So maybe that wasn’t “realistic” but at least you didn’t have to break up the viewing experience.

  4. This reminds me of an old short spoof of the Original Star Wars called Hardware Wars(1978) The Princess Leia clone (who had a pair of cinnamon rolls attached to the side of her hair…) kept replying to Darth Vader’s incoherent mumbles: “I don’t understand what you’re saying!”

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