Dynamic EQ and Reference Level

What is Dynamic EQ and reference level?

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184 Comments

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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!

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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?

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Sergey

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

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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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.  

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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?

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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.

     

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Boris,

    The Reference Level Offset is a preference setting.  So, you can use any offset you prefer.  If you want to listen to the reference balance of low and high frequencies while the master volume is turned down then 0 dB offset is the correct setting for movies.

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    Robert M. Bridi

    Hi Chris,

    Regarding speaker levels.  Following calibration, I checked the speakers levels using a Radio Shack SPL meter and the level for the subwoofer was 3dBs higher than the other speakers.  Is this normal or should I lower it to the same level as the other speakers?

    Thanks in advance.

    Rob

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    Audyssey Labs

    The SPL meter is not a reliable way to measure sub levels.  Its calibration in the lower frequencies is questionable. Proper measurement of sub levels is done by looking at the frequency response and not with a typical RMS based SPL meter.  I would leave as is.  

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    Robert M. Bridi

    Hi Chris,

    Again, thank you for all the information.  You have cleared up so much confusion.

    Regarding Dynamic EQ.  For example, if I am watching a movie I simply leave Dynamic EQ on and the default is set to movies.  If I am listening in stereo mode to rock or hip hop music I set it to 15dB.  If I am listening in stereo mode to jazz music I set it to 10 dB.   If I am listening in stereo mode to classical music I set it to 5dB.

    Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance.

    Rob

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, it's generally correct.  But keep in mind that because we don't know the reference level in music mixing there may be cases where you will have to switch to a different offset for some content.

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    Olaf b

    Hi Chris, i have the following questions: what if i Set the Offset to 10 dB while watching Movies, because i genrally like the function but at 0 dB i personally think the adjustments are to strong on moderate volumes an the 10 dB Offset is Nice for Music. It. Doesnt decrease the Dynamic Range within Movies, or? And what will Happen technically if i Leave the Offset at 10 dB while turning the Master Volume at e.g. -5 dB in Movies? Decrease the Overall Volume back to reference Level -10 dB or just so nothing at all because nothing needs to be increased?

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Olaf,

    You can set the offset to any Preference you like. But just keep in mind that 0 dB is the Reference setting for movies.

    Dynamic EQ has nothing to do with Dynamic Range.  It doesn't change it at all.  It adjusts the frequency response based on the volume control setting and the content to preserve the low and high frequency balance as the volume is turned down.

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    Jonathan Moore

    Hi Chris,

    I have an Onkyo 606. After running Audyssey calibration I trimmed each speaker up in volume about 2 db using a radio shack SPL to help when listening to other sources which can tend to have a lower signal being sent to the receiver (specifically my turntable). My question is, in doing so have I compromised the results of the Audyssey calibration? Will I be hearing more Audyssey compensation in my surrounds and LFE at low Volume? Thx

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    Jeff

    Hi Chris, got another question and observation for you. Let me first explain what I found and how I solved it, and then you tell me if I am correct. I have the Onkyo 809 with an Emotiva XPA-3 driving the fronts. When I first setup the receiver with the amp and ran Audyessy I noticed that at 0 on the knob I was not getting the volume levels that I should be. It was quite low actually and I knew something was wrong. I popped in my Digital Video Essentials disc and played the tones with volume set at 0 ref level. The tones measured about 68db from all speakers. I was confused. My first thought was the Onkyo did not have enough voltage in the pre outs to drive the amp. I knew this to be incorrect though. Output is 4v max and the Amp was designed to be driven to full rated power with less than that. I was very confused. 

    I then checked each source( HD DVD, Blu-Ray and DVD) with the disc and meter with volume set at 0. Each source was different and none were close to 75db. I read and found the input trim settings(intellivolume Onko calls it) I played a tone in one speaker and raised the trim setting until I got 75db. I did this with each source and each have a different setting. Volume levels now seem normal. Is this the correct approach to setting source levels? Could Audyssey include a Test CD at some point to address source level differences? Can I get credit for coming up with the idea :) lol Thanks for your input as always. 

     

    Jeff

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Jonathan: changing the trims after calibration will misalign the Dynamic EQ calibration. 2 dB won't make a huge difference, but it's better to do it with the Intellivolume control that Onkyo provides. That adjusts the input level for each source rather than the output level adjusted by the trims.

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Jeff: this is quite odd. If the discs are properly mastered then the tones should all be at the same level.  I hope the discs you are using have properly set the dialnorm level during authoring. We have seen it set incorrectly on several occasions.

    The best way to test (and the one Audyssey uses as a reference) is the internal test tone of the AVR.  Start with calibrated SPL meter (these can be off as well) and place it in the location of the first Audyssey mic measurement.  The levels should read 75 dB (C-weighted, Slow) ±2 dB considering the tolerance in the Audyssey mic.

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    Jeff

    Chris, I might not have explained myself correctly. I only used one copy of the test disk. A dvd copy in each player. The players were the source of level differences not the disc itself. Is my method correct for getting each source output level correct is what my question is?

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Jeff, I understood that you used one disc. I was referring to "discs" because sometimes these calibration sets include multiple discs.  It sounds like the decoding may be done differently in the source players.  Hard to say.  Are you using the same type of encoding on the disc when you play it in different players? For example, if one is using Dolby Digital and the other Dolby HD there are reported level differences of the DD tracks being 6 dB hotter than the HD tracks. 

    In the end, the best way to check is the method I described above. We certify the Audyssey level calibration in each receiver based on a test with the internal test noise.

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    Markus

    Hi Chris,

    Do all AVRs with Audyssey use the same noise signal?

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    Jeff

    Chris, yes I did use the DTS track on all sources, the Dolby digital track gave me the same results as well. I did check the with the built in tones with the receiver and they were close to 75. 73db I think it was. It seems that each source outputs at a different level. What I did not try was using each players internal test tone. That may be the more accurate way to match each source cause it would eliminate decoding errors. I understand what your saying about using the receivers tones but that would not account for any output differences at each source. I trust Audessy and the receiver to get everything balanced correctly my concern was that if the source is not outputting at the correct level then Dynamic EQ won't be correct for a given volume level. I want to make sure each source matches the receivers tones. Does this make sense?

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Markus: it's a band limited pink noise signal between 500 Hz and 2000 Hz.  The high and lowpass slopes may be a little different, but overall it's the same signal.  I believe the sub signal is 30-80 Hz band passed.

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Jeff, Yes this makes sense and I understand the concern. There are several places in the chain where things can be messed up. Authoring with the wrong dialnorm setting, decoding incorrectly, who knows... The only thing we can check for is the internal test tone.

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    Jeff

    Thanks Chris, I thought I was on the right track but I just wanted a second and more educated opinion.  :) Thanks again. 

     

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    jiohn

    My Marantz SR7002 does not have Reference Level offset, but under the Surround Steup does include an LFE setting with 2 options 0db and -10db.  Is this essentially the same thing with 0db the movie reference setting?

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    Audyssey Labs

    The LFE setting is not related to reference offset.  It is there to account for decoders that may or may not be adding the +10 dB in the LFE track.  Dolby has always required that this +10 dB be added upon decoding to bring the LFE track back to proper level.  But some older DTS content (music) did not require it on authoring and so AVR makers provide a way to not add it on decoding.  That's what the –10 dB selection is for.

    The reference level offset is related to Dynamic EQ and the settings are described in the first post of this thread.  If your AVR doesn't have it, you can achieve the exact same thing by lowering the AVR's input level for the source you are using.  Almost all AVRs give you this capability in the Setup Menu.

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