Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

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bighouse3
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:51 pm

Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by bighouse3 »

Hello- I am encoding movies for playback on Apple TV and iPad and using the "Apple 720p30 Surround" preset as my base. I'm getting a little older and my hearing is starting to fade, so I would like to boost the volume of the movies, mostly for the dialogue because that's what I have trouble hearing (especially with headphones and iPad on a noisy airplane).

I understand what the settings for DRC and Gain (for AC3 source to AAC Dolby Prologic II mix) do in general. DRC set to 1.0 will try to use the DRC cues embedded in the source, DRC above 1.0 will compress the softest and loudest sounds toward some middle ground. Gain will boost the entire volume of the file.

I will concede that asking what the "best" settings are for DRC and Gain is very subjective. So I guess, I am trying to learn from more experienced users where the upper limits are for DRC and Gain. Is there level for these settings that will give me the dialogue boost I am looking for without a lot of general sound quality distortion (background music or other sound effects in most movies)?

Woodstock
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by Woodstock »

The encoder in handbrake does not use DRC. You can use AC3 pass through to get the original DRC information, if it was present.

bighouse3
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:51 pm

Re: Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by bighouse3 »

If I start with the Apple 720p30fps preset, there are adjustment dials for Gain and DRC under the audio settings tab (mac version 1.0.1). I'm not sure how to post a picture here, but from left to right I see the following:

Line 1: Track-0: English (AC3)(5.1ch), Codec-AAC(CoreAudio), Mixdown-Dolby Pro Logic II, Samplerate-Auto, Bitrate-160, Gain-0, DRC-0
Line 2: Track-0: English (AC3)(5.1ch), Codec-AC3 Passthru Mixdown/Samplerate/Bitrate/Gain/DRC are all greyed out and not available
Line 3: None

Are you saying these controls (gain/DRC) in the first line don't actually do anything?

Handbrake documentation states the default (DRC = 0) will ignore DRC cues from the source and a setting of DRC = 1.0 will attempt to "use" the DRC cues from the source. Settings above 1.0 will compress high and low sounds beyond the source cues.

My end goal is to boost the volume of dialogue in movies (and as a byproduct, possible reducing other sounds such as background music, sound effects, etc), particularly when viewing/listening on an iPad via headphones. What settings can I change to accomplish this?

From my own research, DRC and Gain seem to be the way to do this. If not, please direct me to a better way. If DRC/Gain is the way to go about this, then I'm appealing to users with more experience than myself about their settings: is there an upper limit for DRC (2.0? 3.0?) and gain (6.0? 8.0?) before audio quality takes a big hit?

I want to boost the dialogue for my old man ears, but not ruin the audio for others in my family who hear far better than me! Thank you!

musicvid
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Re: Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by musicvid »

What you want is DialNorm, and I'm not sure that control is available in Handbrake.

bighouse3
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:51 pm

Re: Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by bighouse3 »

I had to google DialNorm, and yes, ability to adjust DialNorm would be ideal, but I can't find anything in the Handbrake app or documentation about a DialNorm setting/control. DRC and Gain appear to be my best bets...any suggestions?

Doyle
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Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 2:41 pm

Re: Apple 720p30fps Gain & DRC tweaks to boost dialogue volume

Post by Doyle »

I'm not a real technical guy but I'm trying to boost the overall volume level in Handbrake also. Any help is appreciated.

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