Software to Normalize Sound Levels


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Is it me getting older or is it now common for TV shows to periodically muffle and mumble dialogue and then crank the background music or effects.

The first big offender irc was BSG back in the aughts. Today, surprisingly, two of the most bothersome are Killing Eve and The Crown. The producers forget these are TV shows being watched in a home and not everyone is watching or watching with headphones. And yes, I do use cans but don't want to have to.

Some shows I automatically pick up the sound remote because I know I'll be going up and down.

So-- is there a software cure? If I have to demux first, what's good for that?
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Have you tried night mode on your AVR? That tends to reduce dynamic range so explosions are less likely to wake anyone but keeps dialogue up so you can hear it at a low volume.
I've found that most dynamic thing about The Crown's audio is generally the intro. The show is basically all talking--or has been in the first two seasons, and any background score is generally very subtle. It's not like there are a tonne of loud noises in it!

I'm not sure if dynamic range is your issue, or if your speakers are blowing out frequencies which should not be anywhere near that loud. In which case a proper EQ might help.
You could go for something like what we use at the radio station I'm the technical officer for:

It's a shame that basic compression, like what you could get with N-Force (gawd I'm old) night mode audio drivers back in the day, seems to be not so universal these days. It's a really practical feature.

This can probably be done with a windows audio plugin thing these days, but this sort of stuff was once part of the audio device drivers.

Time moves on. Some things get better, some good ideas get forgotten.

Breakaway one is the sort of processing that keeps levels consistent when you listen to FM radio. Does some other stuff too.

The ultimate answer is to pay someone to hold the volume knob, and turn it up and down as stuff gets louder and softer.

Not a cheap solution, but what most of us do for free all the time, for our own listening.
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