How to Fix Movies with Loud Action Music and Low Dialogue Volume

Have you ever been bugged by the fact that the dialogues in the movies are quiet, but the action scenes and sound effects are LOUD? We have all noticed this at one point of time. You pop in a DVD for your favorite movie, load it up in VLC to play it and as soon as there are some sound effects, they ring your ears. Well, there is a solution for fixing the loud action and quiet dialogue volume using VLC Media Player. We use the compressor tool under the audio effects and filters to fix this issue. We can also do it using the normalize volume option but the compressor’s better.

So, how do we fix the loud action and sound effects vs the soft-spoken low volume dialogue?

Here are the steps:

Using the Compressor

  • Go to Tools > Effects and Filters [CTRL + E].
  • Switch to the Compressor tab under Audio Effects.
  • Activate the Enable checkbox.
  • Drag the individual sliders to these settings.
    VLC Compressor Settings
  • Hit Close, when you are done.

What did we do?

  • Makeup gain: Sliding this will make the quiet parts (those with the dialogues) louder.
  • Ratio and Threshold Slider: Sliding the former to the top and slightly moving the later down will quiet the loud parts.
  • Attack and Release: Moving these two up a little bit smoothens out everything.

Note: The settings might depend from movie to movie and scene to scene. But remember that the makeup gain slider is moved so that you can hear the quiet parts and ratio and threshold slider will affect the action parts with heavy sound effects. Play with these settings a little more to get the best output.

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