Sunday, January 01, 2006

Movie sound

Is it only me or do others find that the volume in movie theaters is set too loud? There is an imbalance between the speech and the music. Actors seem to believe that they must sound natural, and that naturally people mishear or don't hear what others are saying. I have taken to watching foreign fims with subtitles so that I can read what the actors are saying.

The other evening I saw a bit of Olivier's Henry Vth. It was a joy to hear English spoken as if the words were meant to be heard and understood.

I am sure that the spectacle of films like Lord of the Rings and Narnia is meant to be appreciated in a theater, but give me a DVD any time, where I can turn the volume up for the speech and down for the music and battle sounds, and hit the pause button for comfort breaks.

3 comments:

Jenny Lou said...

I am in total agreement with you. I don't know if age has anything to do with it, but I find that the musical score is always louder than the vocal audio. My ears have trouble discerning--but, I was a singer in a rock and roll band for 30 years and that was before earplugs were "in".

Jenny Lou

Kurt Grayson said...

It won't be long before the DVD players will have separation of the sound, the ability to lower the music and raise the voices. Professional machines do this now, so it won't be long before it's available, added to the bells and whistles all for an extra buck when you buy your new updated DVD.

K.

Gordon Quinn said...

I have read you for years on the acor CLL list. I'm a Documentary filmmaker (Hoop Dreams, Stevie, The New Americans) and I have to agree with you. I do think it has something to do with age also. I remember when I first fell in love with movies I sat right down front. Now you can find be at the back of the theater. Also the feature Kurt mentions is on some DVD player on the market now under the audio settings.