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Where's the 'mute' button? (Read 73222 times)
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #15 - Jul 21st, 2010, 2:47pm
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/issue/2008/06/080626_issue_background_sound.shtm...

Updated 6th July 2010.

For interest.
Background sound

The use of background music or sound in programmes is often too intrusive and irritating.

We appreciate that some viewers and listeners are irritated by music or background noise in programmes. Some find noise makes it difficult to hear dialogue, while music may be considered badly chosen or even unnecessary. Naturally we regret this whenever it causes annoyance or frustration.

It is difficult to strike the right balance between differing opinions on acceptable levels of noise and music. Music in particular is partly a subjective matter in which personal taste plays a large part. It is added to programmes for many reasons and can be vital to underpinning moods and feelings, adding dimensions to a programme or conveying emotion. It has many applications in programme making.

Programmes can often sound different in the editing suite compared with being viewed on an ordinary television set. And although producers can control these effects within the programmes they make themselves, other programmes are bought in and there is no straightforward way to vary background sound levels before broadcast.

Many televisions now have options whereby audio settings can be changed to a personal preference setting, or amended to suit the type of programme being viewed. There is usually a default setting for "music" or "speech" meaning that viewers may be able to adjust their television's sound to make speech clearer. Similarly, viewers with surround sound systems may be able to clarify speech by increasing the volume on the centre (dialogue) speaker whilst decreasing the volume on the surrounding channels (music and effects).

Nevertheless, the BBC already has detailed guidance for producers to assist them in their decision-making when it comes to the audibility of a programme. This guidance has been devised in consultation with RNID and the National Deaf Children's Society and is available to all BBC staff through the BBC's intranet. The BBC is also undertaking a research project about television intelligibility which goes beyond investigating the problems with background music. This is because viewers have identified a number of issues, apart from music, that can impact on their ability to understand what is being said. The BBC is collaborating with several organisations, including RNID, who are conducting their own research into this issue. The BBC and RNID will coordinate the research and share the findings.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #16 - Jul 25th, 2010, 10:13am
 
We're imagining all this problem then..........the official BBC answer is that we're all deaf or have faulty TVs.
So how is is that there's no trouble with old black and white films or indeed anything recorded by the BBC before the mid 90s?
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #17 - Jul 27th, 2010, 10:25am
 
Quote :
"The BBC is also undertaking a research project about television intelligibility which goes beyond investigating the problems with background music. This is because viewers have identified a number of issues, apart from music, that can impact on their ability to understand what is being said. The BBC is collaborating with several organisations, including RNID, who are conducting their own research into this issue. ....  "

How we can take part?
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Richard
 
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #18 - Aug 1st, 2010, 9:04pm
 
Dickie asked..
"How we can take part?"

Perhaps we should start a campaign, along the lines of:-

"Music Interupts My Enjoyment".  (MIME).

"The One Show", "Countryfile" are prime examples of BBC TV programmes that use music everywhere..

Every change of scene, every start of a new story HAS (it seems it's mandatory) to have more music laid over the original sound, the original voices, or just everywhere.

Mood Music?  Grin

I don't need to be TOLD that the scene has changed.

Up with real FX and voices, down with music!

Music in its own right is fine, but it simply isn't necessary 95% of the time in this sort of 'factual' programme.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #19 - Aug 3rd, 2010, 2:55pm
 
Re the amended BBC reply.....
...'programmes sometimes sound different in the editing suite to a domestic TV'............
.........so why not do what we had to do.........switch the editing suite speakers to an approximation of a domestic TV and try it before you commit to the final mix!
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #20 - Aug 3rd, 2010, 3:17pm
 
"Sometimes"??

"Sometimes"???

It will ALWAYS sound different!

In my control rooms we had a "Degrade" button which simulated the 'domestic listening environment".

When I mixed programmes I used "The Degrade" button frquently.

Get rid of unnecessary music, keep the voices clear, and (dear sound mixers) be professional and stand up to ignorant producers and editors!
You know your trade.

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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #21 - Aug 4th, 2010, 8:01am
 
Well said Amigo.............if only ............if only.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #22 - Aug 4th, 2010, 11:40am
 
Where we live (Spain) most of the Digital Terrestrial channels broadcast four channels of sound.

For example, if TVE is showing a Hollywood Blockbuster, or Tele Cinco showing a made-for-TV movie, generally, they will have two audio options:-

1 Spanish (dubbed)
2 Version Original.

Is there no way that UK Digital TV could have two pairs of audio channels?

1 "Main Track only", carrying only clean voices, narration and reasonable FX.
2 "Messed-about track" with all frills, music, and general over-produced audio.

Just an idea.

Support "MIME"-


Music
Interrrupts
My
Enjoyment


You know it makes sense!
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #23 - Aug 5th, 2010, 4:16pm
 
When the BBC tried that as an experiment using the Red button for a music free David Attenborough programme it was too popular.....

Unfortunately there isn't the bitrate budget to allow for two "full bandwidth" stereo sound channels.

Better to push for compliance with the BBC Code of Practice, which most indie and some BBC producers are either ignorant of or ignore.

Richard
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Richard
 
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #24 - Aug 7th, 2010, 8:11am
 
It was the "Attenborough" experiment that I was referring to.

For those who have hearing problems "Stereo" is probably academic.

"Full Bandwidth"? Sometimes this is the last thing the elderly and those with hearing problems desire!!
Booming 'bass', distorting 'treble'?

Clarity of words is far more important.

If a quality script is inaudible due to music, FX and (I hate to say it) muffled microphones, the rest of the programme may as well not exist.
"What plot? All I could see were moving people. I couldn't hear a word they were saying".

There is the "AD" (Audio Description) facility. Perhaps this could carry a central, mono, narrow-bandwidth, voice-track only?

Wishful thinking.
I know what my elderly relatives need.
Dolby 5.1 certainly ISN'T on their wish-list. Nothing wrong with progress....
but (and t's a BIG 'but') don't forget the basics. Wink
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #25 - Aug 23rd, 2010, 10:58am
 
I have to say that this is a relatively new problem that started with the removal of the continuity suites and was made worse by the introduction of multi skilling (a practice where the monkey grinds the organ as well )

Those who have had experience of the old commercial channels are well aware of the battles between the channels and the advert producers, where over compression and excessive eq with the use of all sorts of outboard equipment was used to enhance the perceived sound levels and in many cases the ads were peaked as much as 4db below prog.

The modern problem is more associated with poor and unskilfull working practices where original sound to broadcast sound will not include any trained sound technicians in the process.

Post production is in a lot of instances confined to the edit suite only and dubbing in all but the largest productions limited to the adding of background music and a few spot effects.

Modern digital sound processing is cheap and easily accessed but the skills to make judgements about how to engineer a final sound track are not.

When one watches a live to air programme using a proper sound crew the results are excellent voices are clear and the balance between music items and speech seamless but when it comes to multi skilled contributions whether live or recorded the same cannot be said.

I suppose it comes down to the old maxim "what you take out depends on what you put in"
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #26 - Aug 24th, 2010, 6:57am
 
The fault lies with the channel controler.
THEY are in charge. They can say 'Not good enough'.


Do they ever actually LISTEN to their output?

There was a sequence transmitted a few nights ago when the presenter was diving, and the voice was almost inaudible BEFORE they added unnecessary music over the top of the voice. Once the music appeared, I switched over to a different channel, one where I could hear what was being said.

Do we really need these irritating musical interludes during programmes that achieve nothing except get in the way of actually hearing the programme?

It's the lazy way of making programmes, "hurry hurry" music and a twitchy zoom.

Message to producers:- I am not stupid, I do not need to be told a scene has changed, left alone without interuptions I can actually tell when something has happened.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #27 - Aug 24th, 2010, 8:26am
 
Amigo wrote on Aug 24th, 2010, 6:57am:
The fault lies with the channel controler.
THEY are in charge. They can say 'Not good enough'.


Do they ever actually LISTEN to their output?

There was a sequence transmitted a few nights ago when the presenter was diving, and the voice was almost inaudible BEFORE they added unnecessary music over the top of the voice. Once the music appeared, I switched over to a different channel, one where I could hear what was being said.

Do we really need these irritating musical interludes during programmes that achieve nothing except get in the way of actually hearing the programme?

It's the lazy way of making programmes, "hurry hurry" music and a twitchy zoom.

Message to producers:- I am not stupid, I do not need to be told a scene has changed, left alone without interuptions I can actually tell when something has happened.



It's called a factory process, or one size fits all, or it worked the last time, or thats how we always do it.

In other words nobody considers it as important enough to actually think about it.

The production process has become a production line and the process has been simplified to make it cheap and easy to do.

With so many suppliers of programmes the process of maintaing technical standards has fallen by the wayside.

Although all Broadcasters have a set of technical standards no one is maintaining them because to do so would involve extra expenditure and I believe they have made the decision to just ride out the small but well informed critisism in the believe,  that if they ignore it the problem will go away and sadly they are probably right
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #28 - Oct 15th, 2010, 3:19pm
 
From a complaint I made about "Saints & Scroungers" where the background music was the same level as the commentary and very strident.

"This programme was originally shown as a 45 minute episode in the morning but for an evening broadcast we had to cut it down to 30 minutes. Once shortened the music may have seemed more noticeable, however it did pass all the relevant checks which meant the music was within the accepted levels. "

"There is a wider BBC project on background music which has included working with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and holding sessions for production staff to boost awareness of background sound issues."

"We believe the best way forward is to make sure producers are aware of background sound issues. We're currently editing series 2 of 'Saints and Scroungers' and can assure you that we're taking your complaint very seriously. We will use music more sparingly and we're looking at the style of music we use which has quite a strong bass line to see if other styles would be less obtrusive."

Richard
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #29 - Oct 15th, 2010, 4:25pm
 
I complained in exactly the same manner about exactly the same programme.

I am waiting for exactly the same reply.


"... within accepted levels"......

i.e.  as nothing "'Peaked' 8" no automatic alarms were triggered. no-one would have actually

listened

to it.

I would dearly love the channel controller to sit in front of a standard TV in a standard room and actually listen to the channel output.


The programme concerned "Saints and Scroungers" was simply disgraceful. A classic example of nobody caring about quality.


The programme content (when I could hear it!) was stretched beyond belief. Valid enough, but 'thin'?

30 minutes- the programme material could have been done in ten.

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