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nugget2014's picture
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What exactly does a centre speaker do?

when it comes to centre speakers i had the impression that it is mainly for vocals and the film soundtrack, is this mainly it or does it do more stuff too?

 

for example, good action scene going on in man of steel would any of the movie bass go to the centre speaker or would it only go to my dali zensor 3's?  

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

The centre speaker carries typically 60% of a soundtrack and it'll receive as much bass as any other speaker (which will depend largely on your bass management settings).

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

It is one of the most important channel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_channel

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

http://www.the-home-cinema-guide.com/home-theatre-surround-sound-systems.html#axzz32x58fYUx

http://www.audioholics.com/diy-audio/improve-center-channel-performance

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

It is THE most important channel. This anchors the information from what is happeneing on screen to the screen, so that things sound natural to those not sitting in the sweet spot. Having a centre channel also allows you to change the volume of the centre channel in relation to everything else.

As the_Lhc has mentioned, it carries the majority of the information you're hearing, and in my opinion can account for up to about 80% or more of what you hear, depending on the type of film you're watching.

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

The placement of this speaker is also very important.  Are you asking because you dont really hear the benefits of having one?  To put this into context, for HiFi it is non-essential, for AV it is essential.

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

So few centres match half decent floorstanders. I recon the size, scale & price should be the equal of the fronts. I guess its because a large front would be difficult to integrate into the home environment but purely from an acoustic viewpoint ??

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

RobinKidderminster wrote:

So few centres match half decent floorstanders. I recon the size, scale & price should be the equal of the fronts. I guess its because a large front would be difficult to integrate into the home environment but purely from an acoustic viewpoint ??

Have you seen the size of some recent centre speakers? They're absolutely enormous.

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

@lhc. Nope  :oops:

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

RobinKidderminster wrote:

@lhc. Nope  :oops:

Have a look at the KEF R200 and 600 (particularly the 600). Idiotically big.

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

Yes R600C is huge and I had to have TV unit made to fit it in, but it sounds soooooo good  :grin:

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

Those types of speaker are better suited to dedicated rooms with a transparent screen that can hide it.  Imagine it in a living room!

 

 

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RE: What exactly does a centre speaker do?

The_Lhc wrote:

The centre speaker carries typically 60% of a soundtrack and it'll receive as much bass as any other speaker (which will depend largely on your bass management settings).

That's not entirely true. All major stereo sound FX will only be in the L & R channels and not through the centre. At times only Dialogue will be put in the center speaker. If they put the same amount of bass through the center speaker as they do the fronts or surround all the dialouge would be too boomy and masked by all the other audio. This would negate the reason for having a center channel.

The main purpouse of the centre speaker is to give better clarity to the dialogue. and other certrally placed audio that doesn't really need a stereo image like foot steps and other foley. Granted to help with room effect or the location the dialogue is being spoken in and if on set audio has been used then there will be more audio in the center including ambiant sound with a slightly deleyed stereo image of the ambiant sound in the fronts to give it the real feel.

I'm sure you know what and M&E track is. These have all the music and effects with no dialoge in and are mostly delivered with the 5.1 soundtrack for forign language versions of the feature the same L+R channels as already in the original language 5.1 mix. Then the forign language dialogue will have it's own room/evironment accoustic effect applied to it if they have bothered to mix it porperly.

There will be instances when the center channle is empty and if a piece of dialogue is panned left or right (most film leave all dialogue in the center unless it's off screen) depending where the actor is on or of screen L/R and none of that dialogue will be in the center channel.

All LFE should go to the subwoofer. Of course you want a good sized center speaker because none of the frequencies for the center channel should ever go to the subwoofer unless it's for effect. So if you want to hear the full detail of any voice be it from a movie or concert then you deffinitely need a center speaker.

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