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Author Topic: Noise levels
Robert Crewdson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 790
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted January 12, 2018 03:35 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have only been to the cinema a handful of times since they moved over to digital, and didn't enjoy the experience due to the volume levels, which I think could be damaging to regular cinema goers over time. i don't remember the volume being so loud in the days of film, or is my memory playing tricks?

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David Hardy
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From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted January 12, 2018 04:30 AM      Profile for David Hardy   Email David Hardy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No Robert your memory is not playing you tricks.

To loud a volume level has been a problem before the coming of Digital movies.

The problem really began with the advent of Digital sound as the "norm" in most sites and also multiplex sites these days which are mostly unmanned.

We found the adverts and trailers were always far to loud so adjusted the volume level down to compensate.

However some feature films were the same and we would always turn it down from the default sound volume setting which was usually pre set during the installation by the engineers.

Most times they got this wrong as it was only based on what they thought was an "average" setting. I had many an argument with them and the managers about this.

I for one would go round every auditorium at the start of the feature and judge the volume level setting from the seats halfway up at the rear and at the front of the screen taking into consideration the amount of people in the auditorium.

I would then make the adjustment I deemed correct at that time.

However the answer to your question is a resounding YES !

All Digital Movie sites I have visited play the volume at to high a level it seems. I have complained about this but nothing gets done now that unmanned projection boxes ( booths) are now the norm.

[Smile]

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" My equipment's more important than your rats. "

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

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From: Bristol. United Kingdom
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 - posted January 12, 2018 04:44 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The set-up by engineers demanded a volume setting of 7 for all Dolby prints. We were told that the prints were sound graded for this.

But, as David says, it really needed a check into the auditorium to see if the sound was right. For instance, a small afternoon attendance would require a less volume setting than a packed evening audience.

Ads and trailers blasted out unless set much lower on the fader.

--------------------
Maurice

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Robert Crewdson
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: UK
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 - posted January 12, 2018 04:54 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for your replies David and Maurice; it's enough to put me off wanting to go again, as I go to enjoy the movie, not have my hearing permanently damaged.

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Allan Broadfield
Master Film Handler

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From: Bromley, Kent
Registered: Nov 2010


 - posted January 12, 2018 05:48 AM      Profile for Allan Broadfield   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Broadfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in the fifties and sixties when I inhabited projection boxes, it was standard to increase the sound in the last house due to the absorption caused by the number of bodies in the auditorium, and increasing the light output which was required to cut through the thick pall of smoke.
Those were the days.

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted January 12, 2018 06:04 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to say its been years since i went to the pictures because i no longer enjoy it.
It's nothing to do with the digital change, its the donkeys that go and generally have no manners or respect for anyone else around them. Dickheads with mobile phones, tossers who want to talk all the way through and idiots who stuff there faces with sweets that for some reason are wrapped in the nosiest of wrappings. All this makes me mad and i cant enjoy the movie, the worst of them being the dickheads with mobiles, mainly dim teenagers and students who pay sod all to get in anyway.I much prefer my home cinema. It's a shame as i do enjoy the pictures and the big screens of today.
Today, there is an absolute lack of any respect, this is something i hear more and more about and it needs to be taught by parents and schools, unfortunately we all see it constantly on the TV, the way soaps and movies today it seems to actually generate this way of behavior and has become the norm.
I know it's not everyone, but it is a hell of a majority of people, especially the under 30s.

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Robert Crewdson
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From: UK
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 - posted January 12, 2018 06:13 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if they have compensated for the fact that the rooms are now smaller. I don't know how many screens the Odeon has in Oxford, it used to have one, now at least three. The last time I went there, this particular screening room had probably no more seating for 100 people.
I loved the logo they had until recently 'Odeon, fanatical about film'. It was digital.

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Tom Photiou
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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted January 12, 2018 06:31 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here in Plymouth we have a VUE 15 screen cinema, three of the screens are extreme screens, in others words, extra big, but the old ABC, now a Reel, is closing, this was a three screen, they are building poxy flats on the site, probably for students again, yet they are currently building another 15 screen cinema less than a mile from the VUE!!!

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Robert Crewdson
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From: UK
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 - posted January 12, 2018 07:02 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Oxford City Council approved the building of a Multiplex Cinema; I don't know what impact this will have on the 2 remaining historical cinemas in the city centre, that were here in the 1930s at least.

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Brian Fretwell
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 - posted January 12, 2018 07:43 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would also think that as the new systems have a higher dynamic range they are set so the lowest possible sounds are audible. Then someone mixes the tracks mainly into the higher range for effect and so the overall level is much louder. This range would preiously only be used for peak level. So I would say a combination of technology and "style" from the film maker, a bit like the complains of "teal" colour timing.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 12, 2018 10:31 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The fact is that just one visit to the cinema could very well damage your hearing for the rest of your life. It only takes a few minutes of exposure to very loud sound levels to mow down the hairs of the inner ear, and they will not grow back. The ones most easily damaged are the short ones that respond to the higher audio frequencies. So you may still be able to hear speech just fine after loud sound exposure at a cinema, but your sensitivity to the higher audio frequencies is gone forever. And loud sound can also cause Tinitus, permanent ringing in the ears.
Perhaps what is needed are a few law suits against the cinema's.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,

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Clive Casey
Junior
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From: Barrow-in-Furness, UK
Registered: Dec 2017


 - posted January 12, 2018 10:54 AM      Profile for Clive Casey   Email Clive Casey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We took our grand daughter to our local cinema before christmas to see lowerPaddington Bear 2. My hearing is not the best, but the ads and trailers were painful to listen to. We complained and the manager sent a message to say the volume would go down once the film started, which is fairness, it did. But why can't they run the ads and trailers at a lower level to start with.
When I was a projectionist we checked the sound levels at the start of every performance. All this bull about pre-sets and average fader settings, what is wrong with a person going into the screen to listen.
Ive had my moan, now its brew time. Happy listening [Mad]

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David Hardy
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From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
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 - posted January 12, 2018 11:07 AM      Profile for David Hardy   Email David Hardy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom I was once at a show in the VUE Aberdeen with my then young daughter who was in her teens.

A couple of neds near the back row of the cinema thought it funny and smart to chuck bits of popcorn at my daughter in order to gain her attention.

The thing was it kept hitting me too and I was sitting chewing at the bit ready to say something. My daughter pleaded with me not to.

However I was getting very pissed off at this and asked them to cut it out . Needless to say they just laughed and shouted at me "shut up and sit down you old fart."

So I went to find an attendant to sort them out and of course none could be found.

I then returned to my seat and they continued chucking the popcorn.

So I got up and marched up the stairs to the row where they sat and they just laughed at me saying " what you gonna do then ya wee shit ? " I am only 5'3'' tall but can look after myself.

I grabbed the large box of popcorn from one of them and poured it all over them both whilst saying... " laugh at this guys, funny aint it ? "

The look of shock on their faces said it all.
We never heard a word from them for the rest of the show.

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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" My equipment's more important than your rats. "

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

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From: New Zealand
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 - posted January 12, 2018 12:26 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Clive you hit the nail on the head.

Its something I always did for every session before the start, to back off the volume from the downstairs control, at the back of the cinema and once the feature starts, then adjust it to the "age and size" of the audience, plus it kept me fit running up and down the stairs all day [Smile]

Another thing is the "ageing process", yes folks thats us [Wink] as you age, both your hearing and eyesight and other things change. As your hearing changes some sounds in the mid to high frequency range, can sound a lot more irritating, so as a projectionist its not a case of older people being in general more grumpy, which they usually are, as more the fact its the way there hearing has become over time.

Digital or Film.....well it comes down to a cinema that cares for its customers and if they want to survive into the future they have to get it right, and the volume level is certainly one of them.

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Robert Crewdson
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted January 12, 2018 04:31 PM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom, your comments about people eating noisily while you are trying to watch a film, reminded me of this 1947 recording from Spike Jones and the city Slickers on the same subject.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqHJtzli-s

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted January 12, 2018 08:38 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That was very funny Robert [Big Grin] ...it shows some things have not changed [Big Grin]

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Brian Fretwell
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From: London, UK
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 - posted January 13, 2018 04:17 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I received the Cinema Theatre Association magazine yesterday which has an article on the Western Electrical sound on disc system. One part has "sound levels on discs was rather flat and projectionists were issued with cue sheets telling them the level at which the fade control should be set for each scene."

The letters section also has a reply to a letter complaining about sound levels, saying that he "positively welcomed being blasted out of his seat"!!! Also that he had been told by a cinema manager that the complaint he received about levels were either that the sound was too high or too low. Perhaps the second ones were those whose hearing had been damaged already.

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Dave Groves
Master Film Handler

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From: Southend on Sea, Essex, UK
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 - posted January 13, 2018 09:28 AM      Profile for Dave Groves   Email Dave Groves   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Went to see 'Dunkirk' at our local cinema and had my fingers in my ears for much of it. The bullet pings were painful. I didn't think overmuch of the film either. And I could have watched 'The Limehouse Golem instead!!! Oh well......

--------------------
Dave

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted January 13, 2018 09:54 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Big Grin] [Big Grin] Well David,
Dave, i watched Dunkirk on DVD last week, i didn't dislike it but once again it was way over hyped and all this "trendy" method of filming just doesn't really do much for me, The original and best Dunkirk film was on TV over Christmas, a much better film, but as i say i didn't dislike this new version, it was just over hyped so everyone expects more.
As far a modern day war films are concerned Saving Private Ryan is one of the best and made by one the masters of today, When i saw this in the pictures the sound was very good but not overly loud as they seem to be today. [Wink]

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