Dynamic volume problem

hi, I have a problem with dynamic volume on a Denon AVR-2311. when watching TV, the volume of the speach drops down sometimes so I can't hear it during one or two seconds.

it appens only when dynamic volume is ON (day, evening or midnight) .

the audio signal of the TV is on a optical Toslink cable and it appears to be only with dolby digital plus signal. I have checked the cable by changing it...

is anybody else having this problem with dynamic volume ON or is it my AVR witch is broken ?

thanks in advance

please excuse my english, i am french

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36 Comments

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Does this happen when you are fast forwarding in the DVR and then you stop forwarding and hit Play?

    There is nothing broken. Dynamic Volume looks at the audio ahead (with a small buffer) to determine what to do. If you are coming out of silence then it doesn't have any way to look ahead and so it drops the volume to make sure the sound will not be too loud.

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    Laurent

    thank you Chris for your response.

    the problem is not when i come from silence but when I listen the TV and mostly when someone is talking on a Dolby digital plus signal (5.1 or 2.0).

    I can hear the voice and suddently the volume of the voice becomes randomly (several times in an hour) so low that I can't hear that is said during one second.

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    That is definitely not normal.  Another possible cause may be a competing dynamic range control in the source device.  If your DVD/Bluray player has one turned on it may be interfering with Dynamic Volume.  Many of these players have these turned on by default.

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    Laurent

    I have checked my TV receiver and there's no dynamic range control in it and I have disabled all sound controls on my TV (samsung LE46A676) while I'm playing audio throught my AVR.

    I had no problem with my old AVR witch didn't have a dynamic volume option.

    the problem is only with dolby digital + signal witch is on some TV channels here in France. no problem with standard stereo signal from others non HD channels !

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    I'm afraid you will have to contact Denon about this to see if something is wrong with your AVR.  This is not normal behavior for Audyssey Dynamic Volume.  We have tested the 2311 in our labs and do not see this problem with DD+ signal (or any other signal).

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    Laurent

    After I run Audyssey calibration, my center speaker was at -4dB and we thought it was'nt enought loud so we put it at -3dB... I had think to this tis night so I didn't had time to test since this morning...

    can it be that witch is running Dynamic volume not correctly ?

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    No... 1 dB change will not cause this problem.  You said it only happens on "some channels". This could mean that these channels are applying some form of dynamic range control at the station.  Traditional methods for doing this can cause artifacts that interfere with Dynamic Volume.

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    Laurent

    this stations are in Dolby Digital plus, it's the only difference... i have asked Denon about this and i'm wating for their response but i don't think they will have a solution...

    thanks for your help

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    Chrisdemoor

    Hi Chris,

    It seems like Laurent had the same problem I am having now (see my question below that i submitted).

    Could you contact him and find out if he got to know the solution?

    Thanks!


    Hi Chris,

    On my Marantz SR5005 I have this strange problem that suddenly all sound is gone for a second. It happens once every 30 seconds or so. Like the sound is interrupted with silence. I think there is a relation with dynamic volume as the interruptions occur more frequently if that is turned on. It happens on any tv program, also during a football game, where there is constant background noise.

    The strange thing is that I have had this before. Then the problem was gone for a few months and now it's back again since a few days. I can't watch tv like this, you can imagine. Its like someone once in a while mutes the volume for a second.

    I'm not an audiophile, but I seriously dived into this machine and your technology to understand it. I am lost on this though. I work in IT and this makes an impression like a software bug.

    Any ideas? Heard this before?

    Thanks for your help.

    Chris

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    Laurent

    Hi, an automatic email from this site alerted me yesterday...

    Finally, I turned off dynamic volume for the TV source on my Denon (the problem occured only with dynamic volume ON and only with the TV and DD+ sound).

    My TV is only hdmi 1.3 compatible so I must use an optical cable for the sound and I can't do a test with hdmi 1.4 from TV. The problem must be on the AVR because deactivating Dynamic Volume solves it !

    I also work on IT and my impression (after all tests) is like yours !

    PS: sorry for my english !

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    Chrisdemoor

    So Chris (from Audyssey), Lauren & I found a bug.

    If you have an optical out cable from your TV running to your AVR, DD on and dynamic volume on, then the sound gets interrupted for a second and drops to silence a few times per minute. It's a blocker to use the system, I can't watch TV like this. It must be an Audyssey issue as I am having this on my Marantz AVR and Lauren on his Denon, both equipped with Audyssey and the issue dissapears when you turn Audyssey technology off. Is there any explanation for this? And better, a solution? If it is a bug, do you release new software, can we upload it somehow in the machine?

    Thanks for your help,

    Chris 

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    We have been unable to reproduce this.  It has nothing to do with the Dynamic Volume technology, but most likely related to a problem in the incoming signal.  For example, if the digital signal from the TV is dropping its digital clock sync then the AVR clock has to resync every time that happens.  This would cause the kind of problem you are hearing because Dynamic Volume thinks the volume is changing from silence to on.  You don't hear it with Dynamic Volume off because the timing blips may be very short and the AVR doesn't react to them.

    Can you try connecting the TV to the AVR via analog cable to see if the problem is still there?  I really think this is a digital clock issue between the AVR and the TV.

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    Laurent

    connecting TV with analog will not allow me to have a DD+ signal

    stereo digital signal has no problem....

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    I was only proposing this as a test.  It sounds like the problem is with the DD+ stream and how the TV and AVR are handling it.  

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    Chrisdemoor

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your help so far. I have wandered around the internet for an evening on this subject and find this ‘audio dropping’ to be a widely spread issue on TV broadcasts with dolby in combination with AVR’s of several brands. The problem seems unfrequent and very hard to narrow down (as Laurent & I experienced). I found some different lines of diagnose which I will copy excerpts from below. As far as a solution, no one has found a solution yet is mentioned several times and the only thing to do is switch to PCM / Stereo (and then simulate surround from that). I find that to be a very very sad solution after buying such an expensive AVR machine in search of great sound, as you can imagine.

    Chris, sorry for ‘blaming’ Audyssey, it’s not the cause, but is the source signal AND the receptiveness of certain brands of AVRs. I do feel that dynamic volume has an increasing impact though. Personally I think Audyssey technology is amazing, there is some incredible realtime processing going on in that machine and lots of respect for that. If you get to speak the guys from Marantz at some point, please tell them that their sound is amazing but their user interface is total crap, way too complex. They can delete 75% of the buttons on the remote and really cannot expect an end-user to spend several weekends to understand how to use it. Still I do not think I get out of it what’s in there.

    Here’s some excerpts from threats on the internet, and a link to a PDF of a technical company that did some investigation on this. Chris, if you could react on this with your impression and maybe a way forward to a solution, I would highly appreciate this.

    - Is there anything we can do?

    • Thanks in advance.

    ‘This only occurs on using the Dolby set, the cause is that the metadata on the broadcast signal jumps from 2.0 to 5.1 and back now and then.”

    “The dropouts seem to be associated with mpeg4 encoded channels”

    “The bottom line is that this problem happens due to errors in the broadcaster's AC3 digital audio data stream, and those errors cause DirecTV's MPEG4 encoders to "brrrrp". So the problem truly lies on both ends .... the broadcasters need to improve their equipment to eliminate those AC3 audio errors, and DirecTV should improve their equipment to be less susceptible to these audio errors.

    Posted by user rga8350 ....

    "I work for a local TV station and we have become aware of the "motorboating" of DirecTV audio followed by an audio dropout. Our viewers have complained about it for weeks. DirecTV's tech management says the problem is caused when the AC3 encoder at the video source sends out extraneous packets of information. DirecTV's equipment bounces the extraneous packets back and forth several million times in a fraction of a second, causing the "motorboat" ripping sound everyone is complaining about, followed by a short period of no sound. The DirecTV gear detects the error and cuts if off. When the cut-off occurs, that kills the sound for a fraction of a second. Then the sound picks up again. All this happens in less than a second, but it's annoying. We also have anecdotal eports that the errors spoil DVR recordings. I noted three motorboat incidents in just the first three minutes of this weekend's Oklahoma football game. These extra packets are errors in the AC3 data stream, and DirecTV's gear appears to be unable to handle them. DirecTV's CSR's have been instructed to tell anyone who complains "We are aware of the problem and are working on it." DirecTV doesn't know why their equipment can't handle AC3 audio errors. They are working on a "band aid" solution, which is a software patch which will remove the "motorboat" buzz and replace it with silence. I don't think subscribers are going to stand still for programming with holes in the audio, so DirecTV has to find a permanent solution. Some broadcasters are experimenting with all sorts of fixes including very expensive Dolby audio frame synchronizers, but that is just an experiment and probably won't work. Until DirecTV figures out a way to process out the AC3 errors this problem is going to continue."

    “There are no known workarounds other than:

    • Set the audio setting on the receiver to Stereo vice Surround Sound.  This causes the digital audio to be output as PCM vice Dolby Digital, and the dropouts will then no longer occur.  Of course, the audio will be 2 channel vice 5.1 channel.  Note that the 2-channel output is matrix encoded, compatible with Dolby Pro Logic II, so a suitable DPL receiver can decode a non-discrete surround sound output.

    • Use the 2-channel analog outputs vice the optical or HDMI digital output.  Again, sound will be 2-channel, but DPL encoded.

    • Certain audio receivers are known to be much more tolerant of the dropouts than others.  If you have such an option to change audio receivers, the dropouts may be much less noticable.” 

    And the technology company investigation

    http://www.quantumdata.com/pdf/980_Protocol_Analyzer_AppNote_AudioDrop.pdf

     

    Regards,

     

    Chris

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    Rob Brooks

    Slightly off-topic but still relevant.

    the Audio from my TV into my Denon AVR is simply awfukl over the optical SPDIF connection. And this had been replicated with a number of different (quality) cables.

    it plays havoc with Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Vol, and just sounds "thin"

    Makes no difference with Dynamic EQ/Vol on or off, it sounds plan horrible

    Reverting back to the Analogue outputs from the TV solves all issues

    At the end of the day, the audio for Satellite or terrestrial broadcasts is going to be average quality at best.

     

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Chris, thank you for posting this. I was not aware of this problem, but was suspecting a clock sync issue from the symptoms you are describing.  I have some contacts at DirecTV and will ask them what they know about this issue.

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    Chrisdemoor

    Great, looking forward to your findings.

    If it would indeed be a widespread issue on TV broadcasts with DD, I can imagine some new business for Audyssey. Either in terms of Audyssey audio dropout prevention where you succeed to kill the receptiveness of AVR's by software. Or by Audyssey audio dropout correction where you mix in the stereo signal during the Dolby Digital audio dropout ánd for that period set the surround to simulated surround like dolby pro logic. Accompanied with an unnoticable transition at start and end of the dropout, it might do the trick to fake the listener who has uninterrupted surround audio and wouldn't notice the flipflop. So during a dropout that would be DD --> Stereo with simulated surround --> DD.

    Just an idea ;) You'd got at least two customers to buy the new AVR; Laurent and me.

    Looking forward to your findings from Direct TV.

    Regards,

    Chris

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    Domenico

     Hi Chris,

    I was playing with the Audyssey settings of my Denon AVR-1912. I noticed that when turning the Dynamic Volume function on and off, this has a different effect on the general volume level depending on the source reproduced.

    If I play a music CD, turning the Dynamic Volume on I hear is a significant volume decrease.

    On the contrary, if I do the same when I watch a movie (DVD or BD), the volume increases when the function is on.

    Is this a normal behaviour for the Dynamic Volume function?

    Thanks,

    Domenico

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Domenico, this is expected. Dynamic Volume looks for its reference level around dialog. If at the time you switch it on the content it playing louder than normal dialog then it will bring the level down.  If you switch it on during a soft scene with background then it will bring the level up.  After this initial level change, you should set the volume to where you like it and let Dynamic Volume do its job: prevent wide variations in level as the content is playing.

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    Domenico

    Thanks Chris. I wish I could have the possibility to set my amplifier so that Dynamic Volume is active only when a movie is played. But unfortunately I will have to do the setting manually every tome I change from music to movie...

    Cheers.

    Domenico

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    Rob Brooks

    Domeneco

    what you can do is set another function of the AVR (say the one labelled CD) 

    but you assign it the same cable input as the DVD/ BD player

    so all you need to do is to switch the input on the AVR, and then all teh saved settings for Music Listening are applied

    i.e you would want CD music to be in Stereo/ Direct mode. with Dynamic EQ turned on but Dynamic Vol turned off

    I have done this with my Denon DVD player and Denon AVR 

    they both share the same HDMI cable from the same source

    But the CD input uses "Direct" decoding,

    it also has a different Source Input Level (to reflect the higher mastering volume of most CD content) 

    I also have the levels of the L+R channels equal in the CD mode (because in DVD mode my seating position is off-centre and the Right Channel is set lower by Audyssey)

    so your AVR is capable of doing all of this too

    and it's only one single button push for all these settings to change automatically

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    Domenico

    Thanks Rob, that's an excelent idea.

    I will try that.

    Domenico

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    Chrisdemoor

    Dear Chris,

     

    The audio drop out issue is back again, since yesterday. I've made a video of it and posted it to youtube, so you can see and hear for yourself. It happens regardless if it is stereo or dolby. I am totally out of options of what is causing this. I show different settings and comments in the video. 

    Do you have any idea what this might be and how to solve it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2j6-QZMtQ

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Chris

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Hi Chris,

    This looks like an issue with Marantz.  Please have them check it out.  It is not caused by Audyssey because, as you mentioned, it happens with Audyssey on or off.  In my opinion it must have to do with a processing or clock problem in the Marantz, but only they will be able to help you with it.

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    Chrisdemoor

    Hi Chris,

    I'll head to Marantz for a solution. I really appreciate the fact that you interact with end consumers the way you do. I think one would have a hard time finding any CxO who interacts with its company's customers this way. Thanks for your comments on my dropout problem.

    Regards,

    Chris

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    Thanks Chris, please come back and let me know what you find.  I really would like to know the solution/cause.

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    Florian Meister

    hi,

    same problem here. The volume drops for 1 or two seconds and then restores ... 

    best regards,

    flo

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    Chris Kyriakakis

    What is your source?

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    Florian Meister

    I'm using a Samsung-TV for watching TV. It sends audio via ARC to a Denon AVR-2113.

    best regards,

    Flo

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