BBC Television programmes  permalink

Obtrusive background music/noises.

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 50 of 865
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by 4alex (U14346551) on Sunday, 8th June 2014

    Why can't the BBC and other stations provide the red button service to 'mute' the background music / noises which are added to the recorded programmes in separate sound studios. I have noted over the years that many complain of the noise but we the viewers are just told to adjust our TVs, even when we have done the adjusting and informed the BBC etc.

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by GaryB007 (U3895241) on Sunday, 8th June 2014

    There's only one RB stream on Freeview (apart from special events), and it's often in use, so opportunities to use it would be limited, though very welcome, especially on documentaries. Only problem is the Producers would then have to make two different versions of the program, which would increase costs, and the number of people using it would probably be too small to make it worth the cost.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by deliacooks (U15907597) on Sunday, 8th June 2014

    Thanks for the explanation - I must admit this question had crossed my mind ( although I only object to the musical backgrounds occasionally). I hadn't thought about the cost but no doubt you're right about that. Not going to happen, then.....

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Monday, 9th June 2014

    Thanks for the explanation - I must admit this question had crossed my mind ( although I only object to the musical backgrounds occasionally). I hadn't thought about the cost but no doubt you're right about that. Not going to happen, then.....  Nope!

    And to cap it all the BBC news has music in the background as well!

    People being interviewed with music to give "atmosphere"!

    They keep making it up as they go along thinking we will not notice! I notice it! But then I'm the only one - yes? Thought so! smiley - laugh

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by 4alex (U14346551) on Monday, 9th June 2014

    There's only one RB stream on Freeview (apart from special events), and it's often in use, so opportunities to use it would be limited, though very welcome, especially on documentaries. Only problem is the Producers would then have to make two different versions of the program, which would increase costs, and the number of people using it would probably be too small to make it worth the cost.  Thanks for the explanation, however I still think that with the advances in technology some solution could be found. On your point about the number of viewers who would use the feature, I think you would be surprised (providing they knew about it) as I have noted over the years many complaints on this matter.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Tuesday, 10th June 2014

    Yes, but there are those who will tell you that those complaints are all made by the same few on here! Oh, and in the press too!

    Yes, technology could deal with it, if only those in the know would care to do it. They still believe that the producers are right, you see, that we all want the added noises. Poor disillusioned souls! Ha-ha to the lot of them.
    smiley - biggrin

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Wednesday, 11th June 2014

    At the end of the day it is the producer who signs off a programme to be Suitable for transmission – and their minds are being refocused on this as the UK Major broadcasters go to file delivery.

    I recommend that viewers look at this Video www.bbc.co.uk/academ... from about 8 mins 34 seconds to 9 mins 46 seconds (and any one in the media industries the whole 11 mins)

    On the technology front – giving the Viewer some adjustment of what they hear would require a whole new broadcasting system for ALL sound - as was done for very similar reasons for Audio description on DTT (but not on SKY) where the viewer can adjust the narrators’ voice - but the pregame sound level is adjusted for the AD mix by the broadcaster.
    But this had new equipment through its very short path from Creation to injecting at play out to the set top box/ TV –

    The Techy word for this is “object audio” and the BBC have been doing many tests of this - for instance on Wimbledon where you could adjust how much Commentator you got! https://tech.ebu.ch...
    this requires sending information (met data) alongside the audio ( which is difficult with existing systems) and a very clever set top box to render the sound mix in your home. The Dolby ATMOS system in Cinemas uses this object technique.

    But Sound systems for UHDTV require immersive sound (even 5.1 is not good enough) and thus Engineers are looking to Object audio as a way of sending the sound where it can be sorted out and put on Loudspeakers where you want them to be - while still giving the sound that the producer wants you to hear....
    So means may have to be found to get at least some object audio to the home if this is adopted for the new system of TV that UHDTV offers.

    Then the broadcaster could enable the viewer to adjust some of the audio stems for instance to give a commentaries for either teams point of view, or an alternative dialogue or just to enhance the AD service as is currently given -or to “lift” the dialogue.

    But this requires each Object to be captured and wrapped with its metadata from the start of the process to the end - so multiple audio channels with metadata all the way from acquisition to your Loudspeakers! – And for TV in a speedy and inexpensive manner! (This will not be easy )

    So there is a lot of work being done – a lot still need to be done – both technically (to get metadata added altered and transmitted) and creatively – and there is more need to explain it to more people – For instance SMPTE which is a worldwide body dealing with all forms of the moving image (and its Audio metadata etc.) is holding 3 meetings next years across the UK explaining object audio and the research that is being done by the BBC and UK universities which after HHI in Germany and Dolby in Royal Wootten Basset is leading the world

    But at the end of the day all that technology can do is to help Producers Directors and others convey their ideas and storytelling to the audiences.....

    Speaking as a sometime producer myself – I wanted the audience to enjoy my programme and not complain – about its content, or that they could not see or hear what was essential to the story and understanding.

    So for the time being (and in the future) The Producers should heed the advice of those who craft their audio and video and metadata as part of their team .

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Wednesday, 11th June 2014

    Telly people now think that more is more .... and that you need to be musically thrashed into taking notice.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Stephen Jones - in our hearts we are Greenlanders (U1175342) on Wednesday, 11th June 2014

    I've got a great button to totally get rid of bbc background music, on my remote control and marked "ITV".

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by GaryB007 (U3895241) on Thursday, 12th June 2014

    I notice that on sports programs (not just on the BBC) they now play music when showing things like football league tables and leader boards in F1 & golf, etc.

    I really can't work out why they do this and how it's supposed to improve the viewer experience. The level on some of them is so high that it just makes the voice-over harder to her.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by 4alex (U14346551) on Sunday, 15th June 2014

    At the end of the day it is the producer who signs off a programme to be Suitable for transmission – and their minds are being refocused on this as the UK Major broadcasters go to file delivery.

    I recommend that viewers look at this Video www.bbc.co.uk/academ... from about 8 mins 34 seconds to 9 mins 46 seconds (and any one in the media industries the whole 11 mins)

    On the technology front – giving the Viewer some adjustment of what they hear would require a whole new broadcasting system for ALL sound - as was done for very similar reasons for Audio description on DTT (but not on SKY) where the viewer can adjust the narrators’ voice - but the pregame sound level is adjusted for the AD mix by the broadcaster.
    But this had new equipment through its very short path from Creation to injecting at play out to the set top box/ TV –

    The Techy word for this is “object audio” and the BBC have been doing many tests of this - for instance on Wimbledon where you could adjust how much Commentator you got! https://tech.ebu.ch...
    this requires sending information (met data) alongside the audio ( which is difficult with existing systems) and a very clever set top box to render the sound mix in your home. The Dolby ATMOS system in Cinemas uses this object technique.

    But Sound systems for UHDTV require immersive sound (even 5.1 is not good enough) and thus Engineers are looking to Object audio as a way of sending the sound where it can be sorted out and put on Loudspeakers where you want them to be - while still giving the sound that the producer wants you to hear....
    So means may have to be found to get at least some object audio to the home if this is adopted for the new system of TV that UHDTV offers.

    Then the broadcaster could enable the viewer to adjust some of the audio stems for instance to give a commentaries for either teams point of view, or an alternative dialogue or just to enhance the AD service as is currently given -or to “lift” the dialogue.

    But this requires each Object to be captured and wrapped with its metadata from the start of the process to the end - so multiple audio channels with metadata all the way from acquisition to your Loudspeakers! – And for TV in a speedy and inexpensive manner! (This will not be easy )

    So there is a lot of work being done – a lot still need to be done – both technically (to get metadata added altered and transmitted) and creatively – and there is more need to explain it to more people – For instance SMPTE which is a worldwide body dealing with all forms of the moving image (and its Audio metadata etc.) is holding 3 meetings next years across the UK explaining object audio and the research that is being done by the BBC and UK universities which after HHI in Germany and Dolby in Royal Wootten Basset is leading the world

    But at the end of the day all that technology can do is to help Producers Directors and others convey their ideas and storytelling to the audiences.....

    Speaking as a sometime producer myself – I wanted the audience to enjoy my programme and not complain – about its content, or that they could not see or hear what was essential to the story and understanding.

    So for the time being (and in the future) The Producers should heed the advice of those who craft their audio and video and metadata as part of their team . 
    Thanks for this video information, but again stress is put on the quality of colour, focus etc and not background obscuring dialogue (this was never mentioned) Incidently again sound was over the dialogue in that it distracted from what was being said.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by devonia (U11270616) on Sunday, 15th June 2014

    Masterchef is another example, i.e. when the celebs were cooking for the postal workers this week, there was such loud inappropriate accompanying music when imo, the programme would be much more enjoyable without it.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Tuesday, 17th June 2014

    And the beat goes on...

    and on, and on.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Wednesday, 18th June 2014

    4alex

    The "form" that the producer has to sign off against
    Both an editorial point for unclear audio and a technical point on audio background nose and unwanted audio ....
    As well as lip sync and low level audio that also annoys the audience
    If you want the complete list this is it dpp-assets.s3.amazon...

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Na Sporran (U14845045) on Wednesday, 18th June 2014

    I notice that on sports programs (not just on the BBC) they now play music when showing things like football league tables and leader boards in F1 & golf, etc.

    I really can't work out why they do this and how it's supposed to improve the viewer experience. The level on some of them is so high that it just makes the voice-over harder to her. 
    If I cannot hear the voiceover because of the 'music', I just assume it was not that important and change channel. T'internet gives more info without the nonsense anyway.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Wednesday, 18th June 2014

    Simon Schama's history series is being shown currently - made in 2000 .... and, mostly without B/FGM, is startlingly soothing. No crazy editing either or the rest of the pro-forma stylistic gimmicks. I don't think he once proceeds from one side of the screen to the other in medium shot, or has his nose shown in close-up. Incredible!! Hands? He sticks them in his anorak pockets smiley - ok Telly heaven.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Friday, 20th June 2014

    Simon Schama's history series is being shown currently - made in 2000 .... and, mostly without B/FGM, is startlingly soothing. No crazy editing either or the rest of the pro-forma stylistic gimmicks. I don't think he once proceeds from one side of the screen to the other in medium shot, or has his nose shown in close-up. Incredible!! Hands? He sticks them in his anorak pockets smiley - ok Telly heaven.  That's the truth! They don't make them like that anymore.

    Thanks for that information, giving an example of TV which is watchable.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Mrs Meldrew (U16093798) on Friday, 20th June 2014

    See my post 'Has the BBC lost the plot'.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by angelictennisfan (U8898769) on Friday, 20th June 2014

    Thanks for the explanation - I must admit this question had crossed my mind ( although I only object to the musical backgrounds occasionally). I hadn't thought about the cost but no doubt you're right about that. Not going to happen, then.....  Nope!

    And to cap it all the BBC news has music in the background as well!

    People being interviewed with music to give "atmosphere"!

    They keep making it up as they go along thinking we will not notice! I notice it! But then I'm the only one - yes? Thought so! smiley - laugh 
    You're not alone - it drives me nuts too.

    A while back we had Danny Cohen on Points of View promising to tackle the matter. Has he heck.

    I also find that programmes produced in-house by the Beeb are sometimes worse for intrusive music than those made by outside companies.

    Maybe if we complained to the companies at fault direct they would take notice. Pigs might fly.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by angelictennisfan (U8898769) on Friday, 20th June 2014

    I also feel that some of the blame has to fall at the door of the colleges teaching the TV producers of the future. If they were doing their jobs properly e.g. dissuading their students from swamping dialogue with music, we wouldn't have this problem.

    Also young people growing up today are surrounded by noise and music from the time they are born. I suppose they can just switch off. They don't know what silence is.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Saturday, 21st June 2014

    With the World Cup on I'm reminded that ( I think) the first time I noticed early BGM it was being applied to clips of football action (but not associated commentary) ..... a decade or two ago ...... and in the style of Brazilian samba rhythms. It was annoying then too. When beach volleyball emerged it featured kind of a musical-chairs similar on-off jolly but bizarre music when play was happening.

    It feels to me like BGM has fanned out from that origin .... possibly. Unconfident producers hoping adding something else will make their product more successful.

    ..... but it's music with everything now. There was a sad case reported yesterday of a young woman killed absent-mindedly stepping off the pavement while wearing music ear-pieces. There are more and more similar accidents now. I've had it happen while riding my bike.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by santasusie (U10941938) on Saturday, 21st June 2014

    It must be imported from America to put music on with sport, it started overhere with Sky sports and has spread like a virus, beach volleyball plays music all the time I think there must be a DJ. Young people like music with everything the louder the better.
    Maybe there will be the technology to switch it off one day at least the BBC have brought in a no commentary button this year no one else has.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Saturday, 21st June 2014

    A no commentary button? First I've heard. But then I don't seem to watch much TV nowadays, and I've not read about it in the papers. I'll have to research this one. smiley - run

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by santasusie (U10941938) on Saturday, 21st June 2014

    A no commentary button? First I've heard. But then I don't seem to watch much TV nowadays, and I've not read about it in the papers. I'll have to research this one. smiley - run  It's on the red button for the football, bliss when they start being annoying only BBC though

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Sunday, 22nd June 2014

    Ah, right then, that explains why I've not heard of the no commentary button - we don't watch football, or any sport for that matter. We saw some of the Olympics but not much. So then, no need to research it now. Good for sports fans though, who find the commentaries annoying.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Sunday, 22nd June 2014

    I also feel that some of the blame has to fall at the door of the colleges teaching the TV producers of the future. If they were doing their jobs properly e.g. dissuading their students from swamping dialogue with music, we wouldn't have this problem.

    Also young people growing up today are surrounded by noise and music from the time they are born. I suppose they can just switch off. They don't know what silence is. 
    I was at the screenings of the work of University of Westminster students at BAFTA on Saturday... Quite a bit of very appropriate BGM but very clear dialogue
    So one of the top film schools does teach it well....
    And also overall quality of the whole film .... Script direction camera work to tell a compelling story .... Some were rather arty !

    Earlier in the week I was elsewhere .... More media studies - and what a difference !!!!!
    Technical execution was not there .. The scripts were good ish but the story as portrayed was not there. ...

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by John H (U16108967) on Wednesday, 16th July 2014

    Another possibly good programme - "Operation Cloud Lab - Secrets of the Skies" - rendered unwatchable due to the pervasive, intrusive backgtround "music". I know I could hit the mute button and turn the subtitles on, but that's not the answer.

    How about offering a repeat with "background music suppressed"?

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by sagethyme (U5272261) on Wednesday, 16th July 2014

    Programme on Crossrail also unwatchable. So much really loud BGM that I switched off after 10 minutes. A pity as I was looking forward to this.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Ravenlocks (U1447601) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Another possibly good programme - "Operation Cloud Lab - Secrets of the Skies" - rendered unwatchable due to the pervasive, intrusive backgtround "music". I know I could hit the mute button and turn the subtitles on, but that's not the answer.

    How about offering a repeat with "background music suppressed"? 


    I know how John H feels. I was trying to watch a documentary “Speak to the Animals”. The presenter was trying to interpret various animals’ noises and what they were supposed to mean. Could you hear the noise that the animals were making? – Not a bit of it because of the intrusive background music. Only respite was when the noise was played back to illustrate what did they animals mean. Sitting in a noisy metropolis we could get the sound of nature only through nature programmes. But it is too much to expect from BBC’s weird sense of priority. Even when the presenter was walking through the forest, you could not hear the sounds of Nature, because the canned music to create ‘atmosphere’ was drowning the noise of the forest. Who these musicians think they are? Creating atmosphere in the wild by drowning out natural sound with man-made sound! It was so intrusive that I had to abandon the idea of watching the programme.

    I suppose the management of BBC’s music department is now in the hand of that generation who grew up with ear-plugs from iPod in their ears. They have no experience of music other than the man-made music. I feel pity for them.

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Ravenlocks (U1447601) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    It must be imported from America to put music on with sport, it started overhere with Sky sports and has spread like a virus, beach volleyball plays music all the time I think there must be a DJ. Young people like music with everything the louder the better.
    Maybe there will be the technology to switch it off one day at least the BBC have brought in a no commentary button this year no one else has. 


    "No commentary button"? - I wish it was for the Wimbledon Championship. I could have silenced that verbose McEnroe. Each year his presence ruins my Wimbledon watch. Why BBC patronize him so much I would not know. This year he was even commenting on the Men's Final. This is the man, though brilliant player, has done more ill to the Tennis than even the foul mouthed Connor. Why do we have to have American commentators ? I suppose because all our home grown ex-players could not reach the dizzy height of tennis.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Na Sporran (U14845045) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Another possibly good programme - "Operation Cloud Lab - Secrets of the Skies" - rendered unwatchable due to the pervasive, intrusive backgtround "music". I know I could hit the mute button and turn the subtitles on, but that's not the answer.

    How about offering a repeat with "background music suppressed"? 


    I know how John H feels. I was trying to watch a documentary “Speak to the Animals”. The presenter was trying to interpret various animals’ noises and what they were supposed to mean. Could you hear the noise that the animals were making? – Not a bit of it because of the intrusive background music. Only respite was when the noise was played back to illustrate what did they animals mean. Sitting in a noisy metropolis we could get the sound of nature only through nature programmes. But it is too much to expect from BBC’s weird sense of priority. Even when the presenter was walking through the forest, you could not hear the sounds of Nature, because the canned music to create ‘atmosphere’ was drowning the noise of the forest. Who these musicians think they are? Creating atmosphere in the wild by drowning out natural sound with man-made sound! It was so intrusive that I had to abandon the idea of watching the programme.

    I suppose the management of BBC’s music department is now in the hand of that generation who grew up with ear-plugs from iPod in their ears. They have no experience of music other than the man-made music. I feel pity for them. 
    I totally agree with you on that one. I am watching last night's coast, there is a recreation of a cliff walk from 1968 on Anglesey. The silly thing is they talk about the sound of the waves crashing below, but a combination of his voiceover and musak means we cannae hear the waves. How to turn a dramatic reconstruction into a rather dull holiday snap.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    I was trying to watch a documentary “Speak to the Animals”. The presenter was trying to interpret various animals’ noises and what they were supposed to mean. Could you hear the noise that the animals were making? – Not a bit of it because of the intrusive background music.  I have to accept that you had a problem hearing the animal noises but I didn't.

    I fully accept that there was a lot of music in this programme (even I noticed it) and some of it was quite a strange choice but it didn't stop me hearing any of the animal noises.

    In the first minute of this link I can clearly hear: the lion's roar, the stag, the monkey, the meerkats (or prairie dogs), the frog's croak, the bees, the bat, the hippo splash, the dolphin's splash, the elephant seal, elephant trumpet,chimpanzees, even spiders vibrating and would be surprised if others couldn't.

    https://www.youtube...

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by captainMouse (U14652804) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Well bully for you! And this helps other people how?

    Telling people you don't have a problem doesn't miraculously solve things. It like a child going ner. Ner de ner ner no use whatsoever.

    As is posting links that some of us can't view

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Well bully for you! And this helps other people how?  It "helps" them to realise that the problem may, just may, be with them or their TV set up.

    Did you really need to use the condescending phrase "well bully for you"? smiley - doh

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Just imagine if I said that I couldn't see any of the animals, for whatever reason.

    Wouldn't you say that you were surprised to read that as you could clearly see them?

    Telling people you don't have a problem doesn't miraculously solve things.  t wasn't meant to "solve" anything, just stating my POV

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by captainMouse (U14652804) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.  Yes, glad you see my POV clearly (unlike some I could mention).

    As I have said many time on other similar threads, if the problem truly was a question of an incorrect mix of music and other sounds then nobody would be able to hear the other sounds and that is not the case.

    If someone wants suggests that that they personally thought the music was unnecessary, the wrong type or too loud, then I would have no reason to question that but when someone suggests that they couldn't hear the other sounds at all I tend to find it difficult to comprehend.

    The thing that I find most disappointing is that many people take such an aggressive line with me, or anyone else who dares to disagree with their point about BGM

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by sagethyme (U5272261) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Do you positively like the BGM then?
    This evening we watched a programme about tunnels which was very good, but would have been even better without music. There were enough interesting noises from the machines, the people, the river traffic, etc, without the need for strings and drums.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

    Do you positively like the BGM then?   Absolutely yes but that isn't really the point.

    The point is does it obscure dialogue or natural sounds and in my experience it does not and I find it strange to read about people who say that it does for them.

    Again I have said this many times before on other similar threads, to me music is processed by a different part of the brain than dialogue or natural sounds and so the two don't tend to "clash".

    I can watch a programme and not even notice that there is music there, that is not to say that my brain hasn't absorbed, and enjoyed, it, just that I haven't even consciously thought about it.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Na Sporran (U14845045) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Right enough, on that footage you can hear the animal sounds. The unnecessary music rather spoils the opening, but making the sounds secondary. I love music and I love wildlife and nature, but they have to be kept apart or combined sensitively and there are few producers who know how to do that.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Chrissy (U14921689) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Another possibly good programme - "Operation Cloud Lab - Secrets of the Skies" - rendered unwatchable due to the pervasive, intrusive backgtround "music". I know I could hit the mute button and turn the subtitles on, but that's not the answer.

    How about offering a repeat with "background music suppressed"? 


    I know how John H feels. I was trying to watch a documentary “Speak to the Animals”. The presenter was trying to interpret various animals’ noises and what they were supposed to mean. Could you hear the noise that the animals were making? – Not a bit of it because of the intrusive background music. Only respite was when the noise was played back to illustrate what did they animals mean. Sitting in a noisy metropolis we could get the sound of nature only through nature programmes. But it is too much to expect from BBC’s weird sense of priority. Even when the presenter was walking through the forest, you could not hear the sounds of Nature, because the canned music to create ‘atmosphere’ was drowning the noise of the forest. Who these musicians think they are? Creating atmosphere in the wild by drowning out natural sound with man-made sound! It was so intrusive that I had to abandon the idea of watching the programme.

    I suppose the management of BBC’s music department is now in the hand of that generation who grew up with ear-plugs from iPod in their ears. They have no experience of music other than the man-made music. I feel pity for them. 
    I totally agree with you on that one. I am watching last night's coast, there is a recreation of a cliff walk from 1968 on Anglesey. The silly thing is they talk about the sound of the waves crashing below, but a combination of his voiceover and musak means we cannae hear the waves. How to turn a dramatic reconstruction into a rather dull holiday snap. 
    Just the same on Countryfile. Recently Matt Baker was saying something like "it's a beautiful peaceful place" and, guess what, ridiculous background music playing as he said it! We are SO fed up with music on everything - they seem to be obsessed with it. Let's hear what the presenter is saying, let's hear the birds singing or the waves lapping on the shore! And we certainly don't need it to introduce world news. Absolutely crazy. Have complained many times but they all know best and come back with the same explanation, i.e. it gives atmosphere, creates emotion etc. etc. Crazy!

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Ravenlocks (U1447601) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.  Yes, glad you see my POV clearly (unlike some I could mention).

    As I have said many time on other similar threads, if the problem truly was a question of an incorrect mix of music and other sounds then nobody would be able to hear the other sounds and that is not the case.

    If someone wants suggests that that they personally thought the music was unnecessary, the wrong type or too loud, then I would have no reason to question that but when someone suggests that they couldn't hear the other sounds at all I tend to find it difficult to comprehend.

    The thing that I find most disappointing is that many people take such an aggressive line with me, or anyone else who dares to disagree with their point about BGM 
    Because your defence about BGM is untenable. Whenever someone is speaking or the sound is paramount BGM is superfluous. The speaker facial expression is enough to convey his/her feelings. If you do not see that then we give up.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Do you positively like the BGM then?   Absolutely yes but that isn't really the point.

    The point is does it obscure dialogue or natural sounds and in my experience it does not and I find it strange to read about people who say that it does for them.

    Again I have said this many times before on other similar threads, to me music is processed by a different part of the brain than dialogue or natural sounds and so the two don't tend to "clash".

    I can watch a programme and not even notice that there is music there, that is not to say that my brain hasn't absorbed, and enjoyed, it, just that I haven't even consciously thought about it. 
    Good for you.

    if hearing deteriorates one phenomenon is a decline in ability to distinguish particular elements of sounds heard, for example at a party when someone is talking to you it gets lost in the general clamour. It all becomes an agregate mish-mash of sound.

    it might be 'strange' to you but it's true.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Do you positively like the BGM then?   Absolutely yes but that isn't really the point.

    The point is does it obscure dialogue or natural sounds and in my experience it does not and I find it strange to read about people who say that it does for them.

    Again I have said this many times before on other similar threads, to me music is processed by a different part of the brain than dialogue or natural sounds and so the two don't tend to "clash".

    I can watch a programme and not even notice that there is music there, that is not to say that my brain hasn't absorbed, and enjoyed, it, just that I haven't even consciously thought about it. 
    Good for you.

    If hearing deteriorates one phenomenon is a decline in ability to distinguish particular elements of sounds heard, for example at a party when someone is talking to you it gets lost in the general clamour. It all becomes an agregate mish-mash of sound.

    It might be 'strange' to you but it's true. 
    The modern BGM complained about is just an insistent ugly modern style, presumably designed to 'reflect' the hectic, frantic pace of life now and so seem up-to-date, contemporary, and so acceptable.

    Personally I hate the insistent ugly hectic, frantic pace of life now and find it unacceptable ...... and I don't want tv programmes to be overlaid with superfluous forcibly interpretation-modifying raucous noisy window-dressing.

    Above all it is unnecessary.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Owen Herring (U2135393) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.  
    Yes, glad you see my POV clearly (unlike some I could mention). 


    I agree with you, Tom. A few weeks ago in Radio Times there was an article which suggested that these perceived problems were the result of the inadequate speakers on modern tvs, and that some people found they were remedied by using a soundbar or other speakers.

    I play my tv through my stereo system, and I never have these problems - in contrast, I cannot hear people on the phone if there is any background noise.

    The programme makers probably hear their work on better speakers than the average tv offers.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by Chrissy (U14921689) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Do you positively like the BGM then?   Absolutely yes but that isn't really the point.

    The point is does it obscure dialogue or natural sounds and in my experience it does not and I find it strange to read about people who say that it does for them.

    Again I have said this many times before on other similar threads, to me music is processed by a different part of the brain than dialogue or natural sounds and so the two don't tend to "clash".

    I can watch a programme and not even notice that there is music there, that is not to say that my brain hasn't absorbed, and enjoyed, it, just that I haven't even consciously thought about it. 
    Good for you.

    If hearing deteriorates one phenomenon is a decline in ability to distinguish particular elements of sounds heard, for example at a party when someone is talking to you it gets lost in the general clamour. It all becomes an agregate mish-mash of sound.

    It might be 'strange' to you but it's true. 
    The modern BGM complained about is just an insistent ugly modern style, presumably designed to 'reflect' the hectic, frantic pace of life now and so seem up-to-date, contemporary, and so acceptable.

    Personally I hate the insistent ugly hectic, frantic pace of life now and find it unacceptable ...... and I don't want tv programmes to be overlaid with superfluous forcibly interpretation-modifying raucous noisy window-dressing.

    Above all it is unnecessary. 
    You are so, so right!

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.  Yes, glad you see my POV clearly (unlike some I could mention).

    As I have said many time on other similar threads, if the problem truly was a question of an incorrect mix of music and other sounds then nobody would be able to hear the other sounds and that is not the case.

    If someone wants suggests that that they personally thought the music was unnecessary, the wrong type or too loud, then I would have no reason to question that but when someone suggests that they couldn't hear the other sounds at all I tend to find it difficult to comprehend.

    The thing that I find most disappointing is that many people take such an aggressive line with me, or anyone else who dares to disagree with their point about BGM 
    Because your defence about BGM is untenable. Whenever someone is speaking or the sound is paramount BGM is superfluous. The speaker facial expression is enough to convey his/her feelings. If you do not see that then we give up. 
    It is quite ridiculous to say that your opinion is any more "tenable" than mine.

    In fact because so many programme producers add music to their own output it rather suggests that my opinion is any but "untenable".

    If you can't see that music is used to back up the mood of what is being shown and talked about then it is me who "gives up".




    As to the thought that one day my hearing might deteriorate to an extent that I am struggling to hear what is said then I will accept that the problem is with me and not the programme makers.

    Broadcasters are under an obligation to provide subtitles for viewers with hearing difficulties however unsatisfactory that solution might be, I really don't think they can be expected to tailor all their output to suit a minority.

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by CannotResistThisOne (U15930232) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    "If you can't see that music is used to back up the mood of what is being shown and talked about then it is me who "gives up"."

    Who decides the mood? Whose mood? Programme maker's mood may not be my mood when viewing a hippopotamus. I personally don't believe hippopotamuses are mood creating. One should not impose a mood on a hippopotomus which may not be at all relevant, either to the hippopotamus nor to the viewer of the hippopotamus. Hippopotamuses are simply themselves, often muddy and squelchy and fun to watch. Thankfully no hippopotamuses are in therapy because of some programme maker's projection of their mood on to the hippopotamus, in other words no hippopotomus was harmed in the making of this moody musical production. So that's all right.

    However, as the original post says, each to his/her own and, hopefully, new smarter TVs and technology will give us an option to watch hippopotamuses moodfree if we so wish. Easy.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by captainMouse (U14652804) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    But your point of view is always that the person with the issue has a problem not the BBC or the program makers, them personally.  Yes, glad you see my POV clearly (unlike some I could mention).

    As I have said many time on other similar threads, if the problem truly was a question of an incorrect mix of music and other sounds then nobody would be able to hear the other sounds and that is not the case.

    If someone wants suggests that that they personally thought the music was unnecessary, the wrong type or too loud, then I would have no reason to question that but when someone suggests that they couldn't hear the other sounds at all I tend to find it difficult to comprehend.

    The thing that I find most disappointing is that many people take such an aggressive line with me, or anyone else who dares to disagree with their point about BGM 
    But I don't agree with you! I'm with 'them'

    I don't believe they or me have a problem, I have worked at a TV company so feel qualified to comment, you just slam everybody, who doesn't share your opinion.

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Thursday, 24th July 2014

    BGM is really a particular kind of musical back-up prevalent now (imo). One defence is to say that the programme creators are providing an enhancement to the mood of the programme.

    If that is so then the intended mood of every programme on any subject whatsoever is endless extreme emotional turmoil and terminal mental crisis.

    Report message50

Back to top

About this Board

The Points of View team invite you to discuss BBC Television programmes.

Add basic Smileys or extra Smileys to your posts.

Questions? Check the BBC FAQ for answers first!

Go to: BBC News Have your say to discuss topics in the news

Make a complaint? Go to the BBC complaints website.

BBC News: Off-topic for this board, so contact them directly with your feedback: Contact BBC News

or register to take part in a discussion.


The message board is currently closed for posting.


Mon-Sat: 0900-2300
Sun: 1000-2300

This messageboard is reactively moderated.

Find out more about this board's House Rules

Search this Board

Recent Discussions

Copyright © 2014 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.