Monday, April 4, 2011

Sound Woes

I wish I could be in control of all movie, TV and commercial sound mixing. So many of the "professionals" doing these jobs do a poor job in my opinion. And I don't believe I'm saying this as a migrainista, but as a consumer.

Almost every show and every movie I've seen has had moments, if not several moments, of poorly leveled sounds. Surely you have noticed these sorts of events. You're at home watching a movie and suddenly the characters start whispering and you can no longer hear them so you turn the volume up but then there is a loud event like a car crash and suddenly the sound is outrageously loud and the speakers rattle. The thing is, if the sound mixers had done their job right, you could put your TV volume at a reasonable level and experience a range of sounds from whisper to crash without needing to adjust the volume. You can bring the levels down during a whisper but it should always be at an audible level. I guarantee you the characters are not trying to hide their words from the audience so we need to hear it. And the same goes for overly loud moments. The goal of the sound should not be to blow us all away. Certainly some points in shows or movies need to be louder but they never should be so much louder than conversations that your speakers react.

Often times when coverage is being done at sporting or other large crowd events the coorespondent's voice will be completely drowned out by the screams and cheers from the masses surrounding them. I am so sick of being forced to listen to several minutes of these obnoxiously loud screaming fools. If the station is incapable of focusing in on the sound of the speaker then they should NOT ever send the speaker out into a loud crowd. NOBODY CAN HEAR YOU - THIS IS A WASTE OF ALL OF OUR TIME! AND IT MAKES ME SO MAD! This happens on the Today show all the time. They will go outside to do segments and sometimes their crowd is so loud you can't hear what's happening.

Surely all consumers are annoyed by all ofthis, as I am. But also being someone who lives with chronic migraine pain and sensitivies to sound, this is particularly troublesome. I wish I could step in and take charge so that none of us ever has to be exposed to poorly mixed sound. Seriously, I know this is someone's job, why don't they do it better?


  1. I'll bet there are regulations about this too especially TV sound. I have the same problem. Augh!!!

  2. I have the same problem. It is annoying to watch a lot of TV of movies. I try to watch more DVDs because I find I have to turn on the subtitles so I know what is being said. I think the professionals who do a poor job ought to get a new profession.

  3. I completely agree! I especially hate commercials... some commercials are a reasonable volume level, but then there will be one that is just so LOUD... for NO reason! It's so dumb. I definitely hate watching TV or movies, where I have to sit with the remote in my hand, so that I can turn the volume up and down... Argh.