The first instinct for controlling “Too Loud” in the movie theater is “Turn it down.” From the viewpoint of the patron: We drive to the movie theater. We pay for our ticket. We sit for a while in soft lighting (wondering if we’re going to be bothered by the sound and smell of our neighbor’s popcorn all night).
Then the room goes full dark and a movie preview music begins. It’s all mystery-building-like with cool, dark logos and – Bright and Loud!!! Turn it down!!!
From the view of the cinema manager, sometimes that may be the correct response.
But probably not most of the time. “Too Loud” might really be “Too Distorted” – something wrong with a speaker or amplifier. That is the topic of the next article.
Or it might be “Too Loud For Your Age” – there is a growing number of people who have lost part of their listening capabilities. Things don’t sound as clear for them as they still do for a younger audience member. There are other aggravating things – and we are on a path to investigate several of them. One thing is for certain – most of your auditoriums were designed by professionals and stocked with professional equipment and tuned by professionals to play sound that was mixed by professionals. There are exceptions, and we’ll look into those as well.
Getting familiar with these things will help you, the non-technical manager, to assist the customer and also help the technical person that will need to follow up on what you have found.
Good luck to us all.
Part Two: Too Loud, Because Distortion