Ask Audyssey/Audyssey 101

Dynamic EQ and Reference Level

Stefanie October 29, 2009

What is Dynamic EQ and reference level?

 

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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Movies are mixed in rooms calibrated for film reference.  To achieve the same reference level in a home theater system each speaker level must be adjusted so that –30 dBFS band-limited (500 Hz – 2000 Hz) pink noise produces 75 dB sound pressure level at the listening position.  A home theater system automatically calibrated by Audyssey MultEQ will play at reference level when the master volume control is set to the 0 dB position.  At that level you can hear the mix at the same level the mixers heard it.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ is referenced to the standard film mix level.  It makes adjustments to maintain the reference response and surround envelopment when the volume is turned down from 0 dB.  However, film  reference level is not always used in music or other non-film content.  The Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset provides three offsets from the film level reference (5 dB, 10 dB, and 15 dB) that can be  selected when the mix level of the content is not within the standard.

0 dB (Film Ref): This is the default setting and should be used when listening to movies.

15 dB: Select this setting for pop/rock music or other program material that is mixed at very high listening levels and has a compressed dynamic range.

10 dB: Select this setting for jazz or other music that has a wider dynamic range.  This setting should also be selected for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.

5 dB: Select this setting for content that has a very wide dynamic range, such as classical music.

October 29, 2009 10:37 AM
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Dathon

I have the Onkyo TX-SR607 that only has 2EQ. It doesn't seem to have these options to adjust the offset. I find that modern jazz music still sounds okay with Audyssey turned on, but other music not so much. My receiver has two menu settings for Audyssey: (Dynamic EQ: On/Off, and Equalizer: Audyssey/Manual/Off).

 

Is my only choice to turn off Dynamic EQ for music listening? Do I need to turn off both options listed above, whenever I want to listen to music?

 

November 11, 2009 08:50 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

In AVRs that don't have the Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset feature, you can achieve the same thing by turning down the digital input trim for that source.  Onkyo calls it IntelliVolume.  Turn it down by 10 dB.  Then you can turn the master volume up by 10 dB to get back to the same listening level. Dynamic EQ will apply less compensation because it will see a higher source level.

November 13, 2009 08:21 PM
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mario abb

Hi, I am trying to understand how Dynamic Eq works, in order to make a good use of it in my system.

I dont understand how it happens that music which is typically mixed at higher listening levels should be reduced by 15bB in the processor and the TV should  be reduced by 10dB when it is mixed at lower listening levels as compared to film standard. I am a little confused and would love to understand.

Thank you

December 22, 2009 07:27 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The Dynamic EQ reference offset is not reducing the level of the content.  It is simply telling Dynamic EQ that the reference level is higher than that of film (by 5, 10, or 15 dB depending on the choice you make) and so Dynamic EQ applies less compensation than it would for film content.

December 23, 2009 09:51 AM
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Raanan

Hi Chris,

 

I'm using a Denon AVR-2310 which contacin Dynamic EQ (and Dynamic Volume as well),

I have 2 questions:

 

1. If I understand your explanation correctly, then theoretically when watching a movie at a lower volume then 0db, Dynamic EQ should always be ON, there is no reason to set is to OFF as according to your explanation the recording will sound more authentic with Dynamic EQ ON, is that true to say? also - if I raise the volume above 0bd, will Dynamic EQ still do anything or will it be automatically disabled?

2. can you please provide the same clear explantion anout Dynamic Volum and it's purpose? is it a replacement for "Night mode" or it has some other purpose?

 

Thanks,

Raanan.

March 07, 2010 07:35 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

1.  Your understanding is correct.  Dynamic EQ should be left on.  It will preserve the octave-to-octave balance of the content as you turn down the volume to make up for the changes that happen in human hearing at lower listening levels.

2. Dynamic Volume solves the problem of constantly changing levels in the content (soft dialog to loud explosions) or from content to content (TV show to commercial).  Unlike old "night mode" methods, it is not a simple limiter.  Limiters cause artifacts because they don't know how to react to content that is changing in level at different rates.  A slow approaching train that gets very loud needs to be treated differently from a sudden gun shot.  Dynamic Volume uses a look-ahead method to constantly estimate the perceived loudness of the content about to play and then makes adjustments so it doesn't get louder than the user wants to.  Also, unlike other methods, it is based around dialog level: you set the volume for the dialog level you want and then you don't have to worry about anything getting too loud or too soft.

March 07, 2010 08:16 PM
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Raanan

thanks for the prompt response :)

can you please clarify what happen with Dynamic EQ once I raise the volume to 0db or more?

will it still try to touch the balance?

March 08, 2010 02:42 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Yes, Dynamic EQ will operate above 0 dB on the master volume to preserve the reference balance.

March 08, 2010 07:13 AM
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Raanan

what about at exactly 0db?

March 08, 2010 03:08 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

It's not needed at 0 dB because you are already at reference level.

March 08, 2010 06:29 PM
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pradeep

Hi Chris,

I have read some literature and also hear people referring to SMPTE spec. which they say
-20dBFS of pink noise should produce 85dBSPL for movies and 79dBSPL for television as being the standard.
Is this information correct?

But i read here (link http://ask.audyssey.com/entries/73283-dynamic-eq-and-reference-level )
that -30dBFS band limited pink noise should produce 75 dBSPL for movies..

Please enlighten :)

regards,
pradeep

March 09, 2010 07:28 AM
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Raanan

Hi Chris,

 

I have another question,

I played quite a bit with MultiEQ and DynamicEQ recently and I reached to a conclusion that I would like a stronger dialog from my center (but not stronger special effects) and I would like less treble in general, so the best option I could find is to set MultiEQ to manual EQ and after copy the curves from flat to manual EQ I lowered the treble in all channels and increased the 500hz and 1khz in 2-3db in the center channel - I think that the overall sound is much better now, my problem is that when using MultiEQ set to Manual EQ, It looks like Dynamic EQ is off by default, after few tests I made, Dynamic EQ can be on only when MultiEQ is set to Audyssey (haven't checked with Flat and ignore L/R) - any idea why this is the case?

March 11, 2010 02:55 AM
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Frank Romeo
Hi chris I've been told reference ( 0db ) is the way to watch movies but Ive also been told and read that it can damage your hearing. I have to admit at reference it's at a comfotable level don't get me wrong it's loud but a detailed loud no distortion.
June 05, 2010 11:04 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Frank,

Reference is the level at which movies are mixed.  Most people at home listen 10-20 dB down from there.  In the past, this would change how you perceive the balance of low and high frequencies in the mix because of human hearing differences at lower volumes.  But, Dynamic EQ addresses that so you can hear the proper balance at lower volumes.  It's highly unlikely that it will damage your hearing to listen at reference for a couple of hours per day (i.e. during a movie).  You listen at reference every time you go to the movie theater.

June 05, 2010 09:17 PM
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Frank Romeo
Thanks Chris
June 05, 2010 09:41 PM
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Ronald van Dijk

Hi Chris,

How is this done for dvd music concerts and dvd-a discs? Is the reference for any 5.1 or 7.1 material 0dB? Or is there no definite reference for concert footage like there isn't for music cd's? And if not should I apply the same rule of thumb you described above, having a rock concert set to -15dB?

Regards,

Ronald

June 08, 2010 12:57 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Ronald,

There is no known reference for music content.  We find that most music content is right with the Dynamic EQ reference offset set to –10 dB.

July 15, 2010 05:46 PM
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Ronald van Dijk

Thanks Chris! After quite some experimentation I came to the same conclusion that most of my music dvd's sound best at an offset of -10dB.

July 16, 2010 12:08 AM
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C F

I'm confused on one point.  I quote:

0 dB (Film Ref): This is the default setting...

15 dB: ... material that is mixed at very high listening levels ...

10 dB: ... content ... that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.

So 10 dB is for content mixed at 10dB *below* film reference, while 15dB is for content that it is mixed at a "very high listening level", presumably *above* film reference.  If I'm reading this right, perhaps they should be labeled "-10dB" and "+15dB".  Is it possible something got reversed when that guide was typed up?  I think my question is the same as what "mario abb" was trying to ask.  I understand everything posted here except this one place where it seems the sign is inconsistent.

November 13, 2010 06:09 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi CF,

No, it's not a typo.  It's more complicated than just reference level... It also has to do with how much dynamic range compression is used in creating the content.  So, I would just treat the numbers as just labels.  The 15 dB offset is for highly compressed (in dynamic range) content that is mixed at high overall levels (e.g. hip hop music).

November 13, 2010 01:07 PM
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C F

Hmm, thanks Chris.  Are these labels at least in a logical order?  In particular, if I am listening at a very low volume level, can I assume that 0db will have the strongest effect, and increasing db settings will have weaker and weaker effects?

It's obvious that a difference between mixing and listening volume levels would require frequency equalization given the quirk of human hearing that volume changes cause non-uniform changes in perceived volume at different frequencies, but I don't know how to explain the fact that the dynamic range in the material affects the desired equalization.  Does this also have a simple explanation?  (If the answer is "no", I will just take your word for it.)

November 13, 2010 01:39 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Yes, they are in logical order.  As you go from 0 (default) offset to 15 dB you are telling Dynamic EQ to compensate less.  In other words you have to turn the volume down much more before it starts to make the adjustments.  The other explanation is not simple...

November 13, 2010 01:56 PM
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Reilly J. Parker

Hello Chris, I have a Denon AVR-590 w/ Dynamic EQ and Dynamic volume. I've been watching TV shows from a flash drive plugged into my TV, and then streaming the audio through an optical cable out from my TV to the AVR optical-in. The sound is always "flat" and never has the slightest hint of "impact." I know I'd never get the kind of sound through matrix (DTS neo: 6) supposed to DTS Master Audio; however, when I stream normally through my blu-ray player (netflix), connected to my AVR-590 via HDMI, I set the Dynamic EQ reference level to 10, and the Dynamic volume to Day. With these settings I still get a pretty good impact while maintaining volume when there's talking. But using the optical cable seems to "flatten" the sound. What settings for Dynamic EQ + Dynamic vol. would you recommend, + any other information you have would be great.

Thanks

January 09, 2011 01:29 AM
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KVH

Hello Chris,

I have a denon 3311 with XT and wharfedale speakers.  I use a PS3 as source for movies.  I have adjusted the source level with +6db in order to match my cable box volume wich I adjusted with -3db.  I' m in the process of setting everything up and I ran Audyssey.  As I understand correctly, movies should be watched at 0db?  However when I turn up the receiver to 0db, it's way to loud!!  Do I have to adjust something? reference offset? Also audyssey corrected all the speaker levels with -3 up to -8db. Can this be correct? 

Thank you in advance!

Kind regards, 

March 02, 2011 08:29 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Reilly It's really hard to diagnose what is meant by "flat" and "no impact". That could very well be because of the data compression used in this flash drive.  Dynamic EQ is not meant to create enhancements to content that is not coming in properly.  The setting you have (Reference Level Offset of 10) is typical for TV content.  Dynamic Volume does something else: it is designed to reduce the difference between the loudest and softest parts of the content.  If you are not concerned about things getting too loud or too soft then you could try turning it off and just listening with Dynamic EQ on.

March 12, 2011 04:49 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@KVH No, there is no rule that says that movies should be watched at 0 dB.  After you calibrate the speakers levels with MultEQ XT, if you set the volume control to 0 dB you will be listening at the same level as they did in the dubbing stage where the content was mixed.  That's the reason for the range of level settings you see: each speaker has to be turned down (or up) depending on the distance and the sensitivity of the speaker.  The purpose of level setting is to make them all play at the same level as each other.

Now, since you have turned up the input source level to +6 dB, the actual reference level on the master volume will now be –6 dB when using your PS3 for movies.

Reference level (0 dB on the volume control) is way too loud for most home listeners.  When you turn the volume down, Dynamic EQ will take over and make the needed adjustments so that you get the reference mix balance without having to listen so loud.

March 12, 2011 04:54 PM
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Frank Romeo
Depends on how well the room is treated Chris.
March 12, 2011 06:40 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Yes, good point.  I have seen many home theater rooms with way too much absorption... The thought that "more is better" doesn't apply here.  For a given room volume one can calculate the amount of absorption needed to bring it to the recommended standard.

March 12, 2011 07:22 PM
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Frank Romeo
That is correct I have a friend who made his room completely dead.
March 13, 2011 06:22 AM
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Joe Norris

Hi Chris

I have an Onkyo AVR with Audyssey 2EQ, what is the best IntelliVolume setting for video games? At 0 dB (Film Ref) my rear speakers sound much louder than my fronts while playing video games so it ruins the surround sound experience.

March 21, 2011 08:30 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Joe,

Unfortunately there is no known reference mix level for games so it's impossible to know what was used in the mix.  Furthermore, POV games move the action to the surrounds and so Dynamic EQ will not be compensating correctly.  It assumes that the content is mixed at the same level in all channels.  My suggestion is to turn off Dynamic EQ for POV games.  It works great for ambience in games such as FIFA 11.

March 21, 2011 08:47 PM
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Simsaladim

Hi chris!,

 

I've got the denon 4311 with the XT32 equalizer.

I use Dyneq and I love what it does, but when I use it, my subwoofer is boosted to a level where I can start to localize it. I use an 80 Hz. crossover for all sattelites.

Do you have some advice for me?. Just turn down the sub level?.

Thanks,

Dimitri.

March 22, 2011 09:49 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Dimitri,

80 Hz is typically below the localization limit for human hearing.  Most likely, the cause is rattles or vibration that excites higher frequencies.

March 22, 2011 10:59 AM
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Joe Norris

Hi Chris

Even with Dynamic EQ turned off, in video games the sound coming from the surrounds is twice as loud as the fronts. I should also mention that my Onkyo system is hooked up to a PC for gaming, not sure if that makes a difference.

Turning my Onkyo IntelliVolume to -10 dB seems to have solved the issue, at least in the one game I tested it on, things sound much more uniform now. Is that what IntelliVolume is for? Am I just going to have to find the best setting for each video game I play?

Thanks for the help so far!

March 22, 2011 11:19 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Joe,

Intellivolume is just a fancy name for "input trim".  It's lowering the input level for that source (the PC in your case).  It has no effect on the balance between fronts and surrounds.  The first thing to do is to check if the surrounds are calibrated at the proper level.  You can test that with the internal pink noise that the Onkyo provides and cycle it through all the speakers.  It should sound about the same level in the fronts and the surrounds with 2EQ enabled.  If it doesn't then the calibration may not have been done properly.  You need to make sure that the first mic measurement you make is in the exact spot of where you sit (at ear level).

March 22, 2011 11:27 AM
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Joe Norris

I've run 2EQ about 5 times now, each time making sure the first mic measurement is on the spot I sit. 2EQ always sets my fronts to -11 center -12 (the max my AVR will allow) and my surrounds to -7. So I'm not sure if that's incorrect or Audyssey just doesn't work well for PCs since the user is so close to the speakers?

March 22, 2011 12:20 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Joe, it has nothing to do with PCs.  Audyssey is trying to set the reference level for the only known mix level: film.  So, if your speakers are really close they need to be turned way down.  It looks like the AVR is running out of range to do that.  Is there a volume knob on the speakers themselves that can be turned down or are these passive speakers.

March 22, 2011 12:25 PM
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Joe Norris

They are passive speakers, they all hook up to the Onkyo AVR.

March 22, 2011 12:41 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

OK, then you will have to make a manual adjustment if you want the surrounds to be at a lower level.  You can turn their individual levels down from the Speaker Setup menu.  Their levels are currently set to match the fronts, but that assumes that's how the content was mixed.  We can't make that assumption for PC games as there are no known mixing standards in that industry.

March 22, 2011 12:45 PM
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DeWayne Iverson

Hi Chris,

I have a question about the reference level being set to 0 on the master volume control after running the Audyssey setup.  I have the NAD T785 AVR, it has the Audyssey MultiEQ XT. Now this is what I don't understand; movie reference level is 85dBs and Audyssey when implemented sets this reference level for 0 on the volume master control. On my NAD receiver the reference level is reached according to SPL meter at -20 not 0. Postioning the volume dial to 0 would blow the windows out! So why is the the case in my setup? Also in regards to the offset control the NAD does not have just 3 settings ie: 5, 10, 15 but can be set at any number between 0 and 15. Is this correct. Thanks

April 17, 2011 10:41 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi DeWayne, something doesn't sound right about this.  How are you checking that reference level is achieved at -20 volume control?  Yes, reference listening levels are very loud.  Most people at home listen at around -20 dB.  So, is this a preference or have you measured the SPL with a meter?

Regarding the Reference Level Offset, it was a feature implemented after the release of this model.  So, it's not available in it.  I am not sure what control you are referring to that can be set between 0 and 15.

April 17, 2011 11:32 AM
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DeWayne Iverson

Hi Chris, sorry about the delay getting back to you. I did a quick recheck of the volume levels and my bad at -20 I am at 72dB on the rat shack sound level meter. so I guess that would be about where it should be, I could not crank it because wife was sleeping. Now the offset I am referring to is when I sequence press the Audyssey button I get 1) Audyssey Multi EQ = Audyssey 2) Audyssey Dyn EQ = on 3) Audyssey Dyn Offset = 0 through 15 not just the 5, 10,15 that was mentioned earlier. Is the the same offset you were explaining earlier?

Also just for info. The NAD has the in the Audyssey Multi EQ selection the option for a NAD curve which I use for listening to music.

April 17, 2011 05:26 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi DeWayne, what test signal are you using to measure this?  The internal test noise (band limited pink noise) in the NAD is at –30 dBFS and should be producing 75 dB SPL at the main listening position after you have run and stored the trims calculated by MultEQ.  

I see what you mean about the offset.  Yes, the Dyn Offset is the same as the Dynamic EQ Reference level offset mentioned at the top of this thread.

April 17, 2011 06:00 PM
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DeWayne Iverson

Chris I did not use a test signal for today's quick look see. I just had some programing on and did a quick volume check of the levels from this. I know this is not very definitive but because of circumstances could not do more at this time. I will recheck using tones tomorrow. Are the test tones generated by the AVR sufficient to check the levels? Or is using an audio setup disc be better for this ?

April 17, 2011 06:20 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Oh, I see.  No, sorry, it's impossible to do this with program material.  You have to use the internal test tones to verify the levels.  No need for a test disc.

April 17, 2011 06:24 PM
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robert Carman

So basically tnis is how it works:

 

0 Db = reference

10 Db = louder

15 Db = loudest

June 12, 2011 10:43 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Robert, I'm not sure I understood your post.  The 5 dB, 10 dB and 15 dB offsets for Dynamic EQ don't make the content softer or louder.  They simply tell Dynamic EQ something about the reference level that the content was mixed.  If you, for example, set the offset to 10 dB then Dynamic EQ will compensate less at the same volume control setting (as compared to the 0 dB reference offset).

June 13, 2011 06:43 AM
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robert Carman

Hey Chris!! I was trying to understand it...I may have overlookedf something....I thought you said 15Db had the least amount of correction....does this mean volum correction? If so wouldn't that mean less correction = louder??

June 13, 2011 03:31 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Robert, I have a feeling you may be confusing Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ.  Dynamic Volume is in charge of making sure that nothing gets too loud.  The discussion here about Reference Level Offset, however, applies to Dynamic EQ.  Dynamic EQ is in charge of making sure that the proper bass balance is restored as you turn the volume down.  Content such as pop/rock music that is mixed at higher than film reference levels needs less bass boost.  That's what the 15 dB offset means: it's telling Dynamic EQ that the content is louder than film at that volume setting so "don't do as much bass boost compensation".

June 13, 2011 03:53 PM
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Thijs Busquet

Hey Chris,

 

I understand the reference setup, although all mixers must be deaf by now. If I play at reference level I'm at 82% of my amps power! This will literally make me dead in about 20mins. Why does it have to be so ridiculously loud ?

 

Another question, not sure if this is the right topic. But I'm having some trouble with Dynamic EQ. My couch is on center between my speakers. It's placed against a wall and I always sit on the left side of the couch. So that was my first seating position for measuring. I then for the second measurement move the mic (have it on a boom/mic stand). to the right of the first position about 2 ft. third position is to the left 2ft. but that's not an actual listening position on the couch. The problem I then get is that when music in a 5.1 mix is transmitted stereo through the two front speakers it doesn't appear to be coming from the center position as I would like. The voices in music appear to be coming more from the right speaker. And that really drives me nuts. So to try and compensate I tried lowering the level of the right speaker to shift the center image more to the middle of my seating position. It works a little but not the way I'd like it to be. I've redone the automatic setup so many times, but I never get the result I'm looking for. Same goes for music in stereo mode (obviously). I like my center stage to be dead center on my listening position. Could you please give me some pointers ? And I have read all the guides on mic positioning etc. And the more measurements I take, the further the sound seems to shift. If I use all measuring positions (believe I have 6 or 9). The complete sound sounds like it's out of phase.

 

Hope you can help me, I know it's a lot of text ;)

June 23, 2011 09:39 AM
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Thijs Busquet

sorry above comment, first paragraph, dead must be deaf ;)

June 23, 2011 09:40 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Thijs,

Yes, reference level is VERY LOUD!  That's why we developed Dynamic EQ.

The first mic position determines the levels and delays for the speakers.  So, if you are not sitting in the center between the two speakers you should start the measurements in the off-center seat where you will be sitting.  That should apply a bigger delay for the nearest speaker and also a level drop relative to the other speaker.

Taking more measurements does not have any effect on the level and distance settings.  They are only calculated from the first mic position.

July 01, 2011 09:02 PM
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Mmeredick

Hi Chris,

 

The other day I was listening to stereo mode on my Denon 5308CI, I have to engage the dynamic EQ in order to fully enjoy the music, they just sound full-bodied.

Is it advisable to engage dynamic EQ for stereo listening mode?  If I did not engage, they sounded thin and honestly not suited for rock or R&B music for instance.

Thanks for the response.

October 17, 2011 09:39 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Absolutely! Dynamic EQ is not just for surround content. It makes real time adjustments for changes in human hearing at lower-than-reference listening levels.  These adjustments are needed for all content.

October 17, 2011 09:57 AM
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michalis

γεια σου chris,

i have onkyo 876.

after calibration i measured the speakers and they are on 70db with the pink noise of onkyo instead of 75db.

do you think i must increase all speakers by 5db or not?

thank you

μιχάλης

October 18, 2011 07:36 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Γεια σου Μιχαλη,

This can happen for different reasons.  The SPL meter may not be perfectly calibrated or maybe not placed exactly in the same location as the first microphone position used for the Audyssey calibration.  In any case it's fine to change the trims if you want to.

October 18, 2011 07:42 AM
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Mark M

My Marantz AV Receiver has the following settings for Dynamic EQ... can you relate these settings to your db guides ... 0,10,15,5

Off
On
Light
Medium
Heavy 

November 15, 2011 05:06 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Mark,

These are not the settings for Dynamic EQ.  They are the settings for Dynamic Volume.  That's a different technology entirely. It is designed to let the user set the volume to the level of dialog they want and then it makes sure nothing gets too soft or too loud, automatically.  You can read more about it and the settings above here:

http://www.audyssey.com/blog/2010/04/more-than-just-volume-spikes/

November 15, 2011 06:33 AM
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Adam Brown

Hi Chris

 

I have the Onkyo HT-S5405 system. After running Audyssey it sets all my speakers to around -4db or -5db and the subwoofer to -1db. My problem is, with Dynamic EQ turned on, in very heavy scenes the subwoofer can really rumble causing it to distort and making a very unnatural and ugly sound. It can be eradicated by simply turning Dynamic EQ off or turning the subwoofer db down to about -5 or -6. What's the best solution?

 

Thanks!

November 25, 2011 05:41 AM
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Adam Brown

Also with Dynamic EQ still on, adjusting the reference level to 10db removes the distortion.

November 25, 2011 06:00 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Adam,

Dynamic EQ only starts boosting as you turn the master volume down.  So, the overall level is lower than reference when Dynamic EQ boosts.  Are you sure this rumble is not coming from the port hole of the sub?  When bass levels are increased, the port can "chuff" because of the air being forced through it at high speeds.  In effect, what you are doing is reducing the bass content and that reduces the air coming from the port.  You could try stuffing it with some foam (or even a pair of socks!) and see if the problem gets any better.

November 25, 2011 07:19 AM
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Adam Brown

Thanks for the quick response!

 

Amazingly the socks idea seems to work! Does this mean I have a faulty sub? I don't particularly like the idea of having socks stuffed in the port hole!

November 25, 2011 07:46 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

You don't have a faulty sub.  You have a sub that is too small for the space it is trying to drive.  For example, if the room is connected through an opening to another room the sub is trying to drive the entire space and to do so it is pushing more air than it was designed to.  There's nothing wrong with socks--they are clean right?  They're just there to break up the air flow and reduce the chuffing.  The only real solution is a bigger (or a second) sub.

November 25, 2011 07:53 AM
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Ken Taylor
Hi Chris I just setup my son's Denon AVR 1912 and discovered the loudness correction feature you provide... Dynamic EQ. I have a Denon 2808 in the room we watch movies and would like to update the 2808 with this feature. Is there any chance that there is a way to update the receiver with Dynamic Volume? I have a second question about the coupling of Audyssey with Dynamic EQ. If we turn off Audyssey it appears that Dynamic EQ is also turned off such that if we then turn on Audyssey EQ remains off. This makes it difficult to quickly compare with Audyssey by simply turning it on and off. Is there a quick way to compare without getting Bass changes due to the state of the Dynamic EQ switch?
November 26, 2011 01:16 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Ken,

Sadly there is no way for older units to be upgraded.  This has happened in some cases, but it has to be initiated by the manufacturer.  

Dynamic EQ needs to start from a reference response and level so it's important to first run MultEQ to achieve this.  Dynamic EQ on its own doesn't make much sense because it would  not be starting from a known reference.

November 27, 2011 07:22 AM
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Rickard L

Hi Chris,

When the master volume is turned down, Dynamic EQ adjusts (increases) the level of the surround speakers (channels) based what the mixers did in your experiments, right? That means that Dynamic EQ behaves differently depending on which speaker channel it is adjusting? Is there also a difference how Dynamic EQ treats Front Left/Right Channels vs the Center Channel?

 

Thanks,

Rickard

December 06, 2011 02:00 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rickard,

The front three channels are treated equally.  There is no level adjustment for them.  Only a frequency response adjustment to match human loudness perception at different listening volumes.

December 08, 2011 07:53 AM
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Rickard L

Hi Chris,

My understanding of trims has been that they are part of the overall volume construct so the effective volume is the trim level + the master volume level. And that Dynamic EQ "knows" if you manually change the trim level of a speaker and will adjust accordingly. Here are two quotes which I based that understanding on:

"Changes in the trims are passed to Dynamic EQ so that it remains calibrated. "

"The trim values are passed to Dynamic EQ. So, if you change them it will "know". It will think you have turned down the master volume and make the same adjustment. "

Is that correct?

If so, assume the trim level of the sub was set 0dB by Audyssey and the master volume at -20dB, would setting the subs trim to +6dB produce the same response from Dynamic EQ as leaving the subs trim at 0dB but raising the master volume to -14?

Is there a difference how different AVRs handles this?

 

January 17, 2012 11:32 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rickard,

Your note made me go back to our development group and ask.  It turns out that the AVR makers decided not to use this option in Dynamic EQ!  I was unaware of this until now... The code allows for Dynamic EQ to look at the manual changes to the trim settings, but apparently the AVR makers decided not to use that.  So, if you don't use the reference trims that MultEQ recommends you are actually intentionally biasing Dynamic EQ.  Their thinking was that this is a way for users to apply their own preference.  Sorry about the confusion I many have caused by my "pure" thinking...

January 17, 2012 08:09 PM
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Rickard L

Ah, ok... Well, your answer certainly clears up some confusion. Thanks for investigating!

January 17, 2012 10:50 PM
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Scott staten
Hi criss Please could I have some advise.I'm setting up my new onkyo tx-nr609 tomorrow and am confused by all the settings.I have 7.1 with mission speakers and Polk sub usual settings 60hz crossover fronts 100 hz centre and 80 hz rear and surrounds.I only watch movies on it in either 5.1 or 7.1 blu ray so what settings would be best I've heard turn sub up to 120hz and set dynamic eq and thx loud plus to on.would these settings really be the best or am I missing something. Many thanx Scott
January 19, 2012 04:43 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Scott,

The whole point of calibrating with Audyssey is to let it measure your room and your system and set the right parameters and room correction filters.  There are controls on most subs that interfere with proper measurement and bass management so here are some instructions on how to set them: http://ask.audyssey.com/forums/84181/entries/76175.html

You have to choose between Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Loudness Plus.  Can't have both at the same time.  I will let you listen and decide.

January 19, 2012 07:25 PM
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Markus

Hi Chris,

 

you wrote "Content such as pop/rock music that is mixed at higher than film reference levels needs less bass boost. "

Wouldn't a recording that was mixed at high levels need more loudness compensation than a recording that was mixed at lower levels when both are reduced to the same loudness level with the master volume control?

January 23, 2012 08:19 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Markus,

Remember that Dynamic EQ is referenced to film level.  A recording mixed at higher-than-film levels will need less compensation at a given volume control setting because it will be perceived "louder" than a film mix at the same volume control setting.  So the required adjustment of the low and high frequency balance is less for a louder recording.

January 23, 2012 08:29 AM
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Markus

But the volume control setting wouldn't be the same for the high-level-mix and the low-level-mix if we adjust them to have the same loudness. The high-level-mix would need to be turned down more hence it would need more compensation, no?

January 23, 2012 08:41 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

That's why we have the Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset.  The high level mix will be turned down more, but at that low master volume setting it would receive "too much" adjustment if Dynamic EQ thinks it was mixed at film reference.  

January 23, 2012 09:04 AM
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Markus

If something is mixed on a system with reference level 10dB higher than movie reference that mix will play 10dB softer when played back on a system that is calibrated to movie reference. In order to restore spectral balance Dynamic EQ would need to boost bass and highs but changing Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset does the opposite, it applies less boost. This makes me think it assumes music is mixed at lower reference levels and not at higher reference levels than movies?

January 23, 2012 10:18 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

It's a little more complicated than that.  The Dynamic EQ loudness adjustment also depends on the dynamic range in the content.  A loud hip hop song, for example, has practically no variation between the softest and loudest content.  It's all compressed to sound as loud as possible.  This is not the case for film content that has a very wide dynamic range.  So, turning the master volume down to –10 dB on the AVR would make Dynamic EQ apply correction to the hip hop song that is not needed.  It's still much louder (perceptually) than film content even at that volume setting.

January 23, 2012 08:27 PM
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Rickard L

Hi,

regarding the perceived loudness of sources from behind that falls off faster than those from the front; is there a good way to verify that the levels are indeed correctly set? Let's say I got a hearing deficiency, hears slightly less at right ear, and I would like to adjust that to my own preference but keeping the intent of Reference: for me it would be Reference but not for anybody else with perfect hearing. I was thinking of Joe Kane's DVD Digital Video Essential which has test signals, Chptr 8 band limited pink noise, coming half from the front right and half from the surround right, should that place a virtual speaker between the two speakers? At least the accompyning video gives that impression. But the main question is: Could I use that to balance the right surround trim with Dynamic EQ enabled? To me it sounds like it would give me equal perceived loudness of the front right and right surround.

January 24, 2012 11:51 PM
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Markus

Hi Chris,

You wrote"It's a little more complicated than that.  The Dynamic EQ loudness adjustment also depends on the dynamic range in the content.  A loud hip hop song, for example, has practically no variation between the softest and loudest content.  It's all compressed to sound as loud as possible.  This is not the case for film content that has a very wide dynamic range.  So, turning the master volume down to –10 dB on the AVR would make Dynamic EQ apply correction to the hip hop song that is not needed.  It's still much louder (perceptually) than film content even at that volume setting."

Even if that mixed-at-high-level-HipHop-song is compressed to death, it would need MORE bass boost when played back at movie reference. In my mind the explanation you gave would make sense when that HipHop song was mixed and mastered at lower levels than movie reference:

The song already contains a lot of bass (because of the low level mixing/mastering) hence reducing the master volume of a movie reference calibrated system will lead to bloated bass which is balanced by the bass reducing properties of Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset.

January 25, 2012 03:39 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Rickard: Unfortunately imaging along the sides does not work the same way as the front.  It is impossible to create a perfect phantom image in the middle between the front Right and Right Surround speaker.  The timing cues used for phantom imaging only work correctly for images between the two front speakers.  Equal levels between Right and Right Surround will give a phantom image closer to the front rather than the middle.  You are probably better off just setting the surround level "by ear" if you feel you need an adjustment.

January 25, 2012 06:50 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Markus: you are still thinking of Dynamic EQ as a fixed adjustment at every volume setting.  It consists of two parts: one is a fixed adjustment based on the volume control setting and the second is an adjustment based on the real-time estimation of loudness perception in the content.  It is calibrated for film standards because those are known: (1) reference mix level and (2) dynamic range of content.  In the case of the loud (because of compression) song at –10 dB master volume Dynamic EQ will apply the fixed offset to boost the bass but its estimation of content loudness will be off.  It's not just the bass that is loud in the song.  The entire song is mixed to be perceived loud by using compression.  So, if you turn down the volume Dynamic EQ will still be looking at the content itself and think that it's too loud.  That's what we have to tell it to do less in this case.

January 25, 2012 07:04 AM
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Markus

That's understood. What I don't understand is why Dynamic EQ boosts the bass even more when it "thinks" that the song is already very loud. Dynamic EQ should boost more the softer a sound is, not the other way around, no? 

January 25, 2012 07:28 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Because it thinks (internal setting) that the content was mixed at film reference.  It has no way of knowing that the mix level was higher unless you tell it.

January 25, 2012 07:34 AM
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Markus

Understood but if it "thinks" that way the perceptual result should not be bloated bass but missing bass, no? My thinking is that music content is mixed at LOWER levels than film and this causes the bloated bass we get without the Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset.

January 25, 2012 08:00 AM
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Markus

Chris, maybe we're just talking past each other. When your write "mixed at higher than film reference levels" are you talking about recorded level or about monitoring level? I'm talking about monitoring level.

January 26, 2012 06:02 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

I am talking about both.  The average listening level in the studio can be above 100 dB for hip hop.  It's unbelievably loud.  In addition to that, the peak-to-average difference in a hip hop song is minimal (maybe non-existent) because of the massive dynamic range compression used.  So, the perceived loudness of the song will be much higher than content like movies that has a much wider variation between soft and loud.  That means that when you set to the volume to a given value on your AVR, the hip hop song will be receiving more correction than it needs.  That's why it needs an offset.

January 26, 2012 06:41 AM
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Markus

How much equal-loudness compensation is necessary in this "100 dB for hip hop" example when the master volume control of a movie reference calibrated system is at 0? I would think probably none because that is the kind of monitoring level I would expect from a movie reference calibrated monitoring system when the content has an extremely low crest factor.

January 26, 2012 06:57 AM
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Sergey

Why after options Audyssey recession on high frequencies if to compare with Pure Audio? It would not be desirable them to lose!

Somewhere read that the Mode of listening THX with switched off Re-EQ allows to choose curves Audyssey or Audyssey Flat without a blockage of high frequencies! Receiver ONKUO 608, front Fokal 714 +центр+сабвуфер I can't choose modes of listening THX as I use only front.Re-EQ isn't involved. The crossover cut has put on 80Hz (THX) though Audyssey has defined them 40Hz. Before adjustment 2EQ has lowered high on-2db, and after has added to 0. A sound выравнился. Before adjustment 2EQ - what to do? (To put on 80Hz, to disconnect Dynamic EQ, to disconnect Audyssey, wanted that the sound was without a blockage of high frequencies)?

January 27, 2012 11:34 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Sergey,

First: Pure Audio has nothing to do with Audyssey.  It turns off all processing including Audyssey, bass management and many other useful things. 

The small high frequency reduction in the Audyssey target curve is needed to translate the response of the mixing room to the response of the listening room at home.  When mixing movies, the listener is dominated by direct sound.  At home the listener is dominated by reflected/reverberant sound.  The Audyssey target curve makes the proper translation.

Denon AVRs allow you to select Audyssey Flat curve, but earlier Onkyo models only select Audyssey Flat if you are in THX mode.  The newer Onkyo models allow you to select Audyssey Flat for any mode.

January 27, 2012 08:27 PM
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Sergey

Has understood that at me old model! To choose Plane Audyssey, I can't? In films all устаривает, but in music I do not want to lose high frequencies!

January 27, 2012 11:30 PM
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Sergey

More question: If the equalizer in the position (off), whether the correction of the premises made ​​by Audyssey 2EQ?
Off only tonal correction?

January 27, 2012 11:52 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Unfortunately there is no way to manually select Audyssey Flat in the Onkyo model you have.   If Audyssey 2EQ is off then there is no correction applied by Audyssey.

January 28, 2012 06:37 AM
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Sergey

Thanks Chris!!! At me it has turned out to adjust for music!!!

January 28, 2012 11:23 AM
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Wayne Liptrot
Hi Chris, General Question - can you comment on (I) whether THX listening modes are advantageous if using MultEQ XT, Dyn. EQ, Movie Profile - for Movies? It seems Audyssey uses many of the THX principles, so is this double processing of similar things? I have tried both, and currently select Straight Decode without extra processing for the HD sound from blu-rays. (ii) All Channel Stereo - and why I saw you were dead against it? How does it do what it does? Thanks, Wayne.
February 03, 2012 02:37 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Wayne,

It's fine to use the THX settings.  Keep in mind that they are not based on any knowledge of your room.  MultEQ should be on all the time to fix the acoustical problems on the room after the measurements.  This is not something THX does.  They have their own version of loudness adjustment and you have to select between that and Audyssey Dynamic EQ.  That's up to you to decide--the AVR won't let you use both at the same time.

All Channel Stereo was created so that people who paid money for extra speakers (for movie surround sound) don't complain that nothing comes out of them when they listen to music.  There is no science behind it.  It just basically copies the content to all the speakers and this causes all kinds of problems including comb filtering and other bad stuff.  

February 03, 2012 07:41 PM
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Rickard L

Just to add that you can use THX Cinema with Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume.

You don't need to use THX Loudness Plus, which is THX' loudness technology ,with THX Cinema.

In Onkyo, just set "Preserve THX Settings" to No and don't enable THX Loudness Plus.

Chris, do you know what THX CInema (used with Dynamic EQ and not THX Loudness Plus) does with the surround channels?

I find that it softens and diffuses the surrounds a bit which is good for me because I have direct radiating surround speakers aimed at my MLP. Is it the Timbre matching?

February 04, 2012 02:26 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

I am not really sure what it does for the surrounds.  In the old days of mono surround (over two speakers) it applied decorrelation, but this is not needed now that we have discrete surrounds.

February 04, 2012 06:56 AM
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Boris

Hey Chris,

 

Sorry if this was answered already but should you use 5 db or another setting for movies (BluRay) if you don't listen at reference volume (0db)? I've found using 5 db for video gaming improved the dynamics versus 0 db since I don't ever listen at reference levels.

 

 

February 16, 2012 07:45 PM
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