Midnight Mode
In the "Real World" of Home Theater, experiencing all of the sound dynamics of the latest Hollywood blockbusters through today’s high-powered Audio/Video Systems is not always conducive to the everyday schedule of the home. Family members oftentimes have different schedules which may inhibit "turning it up", or parents might want to fire up their Home Theater and watch a movie after it’s bedtime for the kids. Who wants to constantly monitor the volume when the explosions and thriller-intensive musical scores kick in? Today’s multi-channel film soundtracks are designed to be played back with Dynamic Range levels between 45dB for quiet background sound and 110dB for loud sound effects. And on a good home theater system, these soundtracks deliver almost the entire theater experience (we say "almost" because you still need the popcorn). So what happens when you have to turn the volume down during that exciting movie?
  • High and low frequencies are decreased.
  • Surround effects are diminished.
  • Smooth panning from channel to channel is lost.
  • Center channel is too high relative to the other channels.
  • Subwoofer level is too low.
Technical Stuff – How Does It Do What It Does? Midnight Mode addresses these low listening volume problems by making several adjustments to the signal to enhance the realism in the "Ambiance Channels" without affecting the overall Sound Pressure Level. Depending on the master volume setting, the following adjustments are applied:
  • Dynamic Range Compression is applied for Dolby Digital Soundtracks
  • Applies Loudness Curve (High & Low Frequencies) to the Front & Surround Channels
  • Adds Delay to the Center (1 ms) & Rear Channels (5 ms)
How Do You Use Midnight Mode? Midnight mode is incorporated on some of our Pioneer and Elite A/V Receivers (see below). The next time you’re trying to enjoy a Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic or DTS movie or soundtrack at a low volume level, just press the "receiver" button on the remote and then the "4" (or "Midnight") key and the adjustments will be done automatically. Remember that Midnight Mode is designed especially for lower volume levels (–30 dB and below) and should be used when listening at those volume levels only. Midnight Mode Is Different! Other late night viewing modes work with Dolby Digital soundtracks, but not with DTS and Dolby Pro Logic. Pioneer's Midnight Mode works with all surround sound formats.
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