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Background music and sound on BBC TV programmes

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  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    smiley - star Volume control - do you think background music is too loud?

    Please have a look at this page first - 'Sound matters' www.bbc.co.uk/academ... We want all viewers to have the best chance of hearing our programmes. On this site is the BBC's best practice guide. Please have a read.

    smiley - star Did you know that you can customise the sound on your TV by changing the settings?

    Even if the sound of a TV set is tuned by a professional, it may not necessarily have been adjusted to suit your personal preferences. Many modern TVs have controls which allow you set 'music to take priority over speech', or 'speech to take priority over music'. If you are having difficulty hearing the spoken word, check your TV settings, you may find that yours is set to 'prioritise music' which is why you are having difficulty hearing the spoken word. Manuals for many TVs can be found online on this site - just select your TV from the dropdown lists at the bottom of the page www.digitaluk.co.uk/... or of course refer to your ownTV manual.

    smiley - star Tick 'Use ambient noise reduction' or 'no ambiant noise' to help cut down on background noise. This works on computers and TVs so if you haven't ticked it do so now - it really helps.

    smiley - star Sound balancing - Does the sound level change between programmes or between channels? M any newer TVs have a feature in the audio menu section called a "sound balancer" or something similar depending on your TV.

    If you switch that on, your TV volume will never get louder (nor softer) than the volume level you have it set at with your remote.

    So if you have your TV volume set to level 20 and something comes on the TV that is either louder or softer than level 20, your TV auto adjusts itself internally.

    Sometimes the sound levels can be different between different channels, or on promos or adverts. The sound balancer option compensates for this.

    smiley - star Why do we have background music anyway?

    Background music is added to programmes because production teams believe it adds atmosphere and mood to their work. TV is a creative medium and it uses lots of different tools to create the finished product.

    Natural background sounds are difficult to pick up when the filming is done from a distance, so if you simply remove the music that the producers have added, you're left with images on screen accompanied by a complete and utter silence that 'feels' totally unnatural.

    smiley - star Why don't the BBC provide programmes in two formats - one with background sound and one without?

    The reason broadcasters (and don't forget it's not just the BBC) don't provide alternative soundtracks for every programme is due to expense and limited resources. It would mean every programme would have to be recorded and edited in two completely different versions. It's not as simple as just broadcasting the original version before the music was added, they would have to be mixed from scratch.

    It also means broadcasters would have to transmit two versions of the same programme simultaneously, which would use up the available bandwidth currently being used for other red button options.

    smiley - star Why can I hear a narrative of exactly what's happening on screen? It never used to be like this and it's very intrusive!

    It sounds that you may have accidentally turned on 'Audio Description' Audio Description allows you to hear a verbal description of what is happening on screen in between the dialogue. The service was developed particularly for viewers with sight problems. More info here: faq.external.bbc.co..... You can turn off audio description using your own TV setting controls.



    ***************************************************



    smiley - star Give Feedback

    If you have tried all of the above and still have problems relating to background music or background sound levels, please let us know by registering an official complaint. Please remember to tell us the name of the programme and if possible at what point or points in the programme you had difficulty.

    www.bbc.co.uk/compla...

    The sound levels of programmes have been changed when a number of complaints have been received, so don't just grumble here - register your views via the complaints site too!


    ************************************************

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 10th January 2013


    This topic has been discussed in depth on this previous discussion.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    So please feel free to read through the above discussion too, to see what people have said in the past.

    The older discussion has now been closed, so please add new comments here.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Can I just add two more comments

    the BBC guidelines - which every program maker has to comply www.bbc.co.uk/guidel...
    if they do not ..... Complain!!!- the BBC will give you an answer from the Programme maker....

    and just a note that soon the Loudness levels between channels and programmes etc will be resolved as the UK voluntarily accepts a thing called EBU R128 see tech.ebu.ch/loudness... ....
    this changes the meter that is used to something which better represents how we hear....

    But please comment here .... it has been all good comments in the old thread...

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by seaglennon (U9259670) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Natural background sounds are difficult to pick up when the filming is done from a distance, so if you simply remove the music that the producers have added, you're left with images on screen accompanied by a complete and utter silence that 'feels' totally unnatural.  

    Hi Peta
    I wish to point out that I do not agree with the bit about totally unnatural. Some years ago I did the coast to coast walk and not once did I hear any music. What you are talking about is a norm where programme makers feel they have to add music. TV is a visual medium and pictures will stand on their own. So perhaps you need to include another star and ask about the appropriateness of bgm.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Hi seaglennon

    That's not what that bit means.

    It doesn't mean that people on the coast to coast walk hear music wafting over the hills!

    When you walk you hear other noises; your footsteps, the wind whistling past your ears, the sound of the trees rustling, perhaps the sound of a passing police car or people shouting in the distance or children playing.

    These 'natural noises' are very difficult to pick up on a microphone, so a recording made without adding any sound at all, is likely to come out with no sound at all - just blank. If you do pick up sounds, it's more likely to be the police car or the people shouting - so the natural sounds of the time might not fit the scene either.

    Adding the sound of whistling wind or adding birds cheeping later on in post-production editing, can sound rather fake.

    So, to add 'atmosphere' - programme makers often add atmosphere music, to fit the scene. Some people, but not all, find that it enhances the viewing experience.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by seaglennon (U9259670) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Can I refer the Honourable Lady to Rivers with GRJ about 24:30 to 25 mins. Is that fake? Are the sounds of birdsong and the river fake? I cannot tell but it is a good example of how silence ie no bgm at some points works effectively and GRJ can be clearly heard. If all programmes were like that the complaints would be very few.

    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Vox_Populi (U3226170) on Thursday, 10th January 2013


    So, to add 'atmosphere' - programme makers often add atmosphere music, to fit the scene. 

    Absolute stuff and nonsense!, a well made programme does not need any music to add atmosphere to a scene, it's only badly made programmes that need artificially induced atmosphere and most people probably don't watch them anyway.
    Much like "canned laughter", if a programme is funny people will laugh at it, if it's not, canned laughter will not make people think it's funny.
    Stop taking people for mugs!!!!!



    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by foxglove (U2178400) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Did you know that you can customise the sound on your TV by changing the settings?
     

    Peta,we've been through all this before. I've tried changing my settings through every imaginable permutation,with no improvement whatsoever.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Vox_Populi (U3226170) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Did you know that you can customise the sound on your TV by changing the settings?
     

    Peta,we've been through all this before. I've tried changing my settings through every imaginable permutation,with no improvement whatsoever.  
    So have I.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 10th January 2013

    Did you know that you can customise the sound on your TV by changing the settings?
     

    Peta,we've been through all this before. I've tried changing my settings through every imaginable permutation,with no improvement whatsoever.  

    If you've checked your settings all well and good. New people coming onto the board might not have been aware of this, so certain bits of information are probably more relevant to them, that to you.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 10th January 2013


    So, to add 'atmosphere' - programme makers often add atmosphere music, to fit the scene. 

    Absolute stuff and nonsense!, a well made programme does not need any music to add atmosphere to a scene, it's only badly made programmes that need artificially induced atmosphere and most people probably don't watch them anyway.
    Much like "canned laughter", if a programme is funny people will laugh at it, if it's not, canned laughter will not make people think it's funny.
    Stop taking people for mugs!!!!!



     

    Other people do not agree with you - that's your opinion, which of course is completely valid, for you.

    Some people *do* like atmospheric background music and enjoy programmes that have it.

    Anyway, it's good evening and goodbye for me for the day now.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by olewilliam (U14355381) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Well Peta should you want an example of BGM FGN have a look at last nights Chippendale program. I got carried away with the number of different musical pieces inserted to prevent the plebs from falling asleep. Do tell was it 73.5 or did I fail the competition?

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by captainMouse (U14652804) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    The adverts are much louder than the program's always hit the mute at the end of a program or change channel

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by TotallyRadical (U829285) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Peta,

    The general consensus with the previous post seemed to have been that background music (or noise, if you like – BGM or BGN) is often intrusive, inappropriate or a combination of both for a wide variety of the audience, over a wide range of programmes.

    It can add atmosphere and mood to a programme, if used effectively – the pleasant BGM on “Great Railway Journeys” spring to mind – but is all too often used to excess – the cacophony on “Dr Who” is a good example. It can ruin an otherwise excellent programme – David Attenbrough’s “Birds of Paradise” is a good, if dated, example (I gave up with nature progs soon after that, when my nerves jangled to wild plinky-plonking over an underwater scene). There was a recent showing (clip or programme, I cannot recall) where the dialogue was completely drowned out by the not-so-BGM – not a word could be heard!

    I shall now get my popcorn and a deck chair, and sit and watch the usual culprit tell us we are so wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by EggOnAStilt (U7111730) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    The first night of Stargazing Live I thought threw up a nice example.

    K9 was introduced in a whimsical spot asking a question, master.

    Prof Cox, immediately echoed my thoughts on saying he couldn't understand what the question was as the background music/noise was too loud.

    smiley - friedegg

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by TotallyRadical (U829285) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    The first night of Stargazing Live I thought threw up a nice example.

    K9 was introduced in a whimsical spot asking a question, master.

    Prof Cox, immediately echoed my thoughts on saying he couldn't understand what the question was as the background music/noise was too loud.

    smiley - friedegg 
    How ironic, considering how petulant he was with viewers when they complained about the BGN being too loud in his programme about the universe.


    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Lee (U1149673) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    K9 was introduced in a whimsical spot asking a question, master.

    Prof Cox, immediately echoed my thoughts on saying he couldn't understand what the question was as the background music/noise was too loud.  

    Did Prof Cox say he couldn't understand the question or that he couldn't hear the question? There's a big difference.

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by foxglove (U2178400) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    If you've checked your settings all well and good. New people coming onto the board might not have been aware of this, so certain bits of information are probably more relevant to them, that to you.  
    Peta,they can check their settings till they're blue in the face, but it won't make a
    scrap of difference,I can assure you.So there's not much point in getting their hopes up for nothing.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Dennis (U15571556) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Natural background sounds are difficult to pick up when the filming is done from a distance, so if you simply remove the music that the producers have added, you're left with images on screen accompanied by a complete and utter silence that 'feels' totally unnatural.  

    Hi Peta
    I wish to point out that I do not agree with the bit about totally unnatural. Some years ago I did the coast to coast walk and not once did I hear any music. What you are talking about is a norm where programme makers feel they have to add music. TV is a visual medium and pictures will stand on their own. So perhaps you need to include another star and ask about the appropriateness of bgm. 
    Hitchcock removed the music from many of his films to add suspense to some scenes, with great effect

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Lee, what Brian Cox actually said was that he couldn't hear the question because "that was the music from rugby special wasn't it", he was then told that K9 had his own programme and that was the theme music. But either way I think Brian was saying he couldn't hear the question because of the music.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by seaglennon (U9259670) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    As M14 mentions Michael Portillo's programme I thought I would use it to illustrate something said in the opening post.

    Background music is added to programmes because production teams believe it adds atmosphere and mood to their work.  

    I was fortunate enough to receive the box set of The Hollow Crown for Christmas. Over the 4 episodes bgm is used sparingly but effectively; it certainly adds atmosphere and mood and more.

    Now Mr Portillo's railway programme - which I enjoy.
    Allowing for a few seconds either way, the rule is

    MP talking to camera - no bgm
    MP talking to someone on screen - no bgm
    MP voice over pictures - bgm

    This is not bgm to add atmosphere and mood, it matters not one jot what is being said. This is wallpaper muzak to the formula described above.
    In my opinion the bgm does little credit to the programme maker in those terms.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Huckerback (U14411634) on Saturday, 12th January 2013


    Peta,they can check their settings till they're blue in the face, but it won't make a scrap of difference,I can assure you.So there's not much point in getting their hopes up for nothing. 
    It can help me on the odd occasion I have an issue. smiley - smiley

    My TV has various digital and Dolby options that make a big difference to sound output.
    It's well worth trying. I've found it very helpful with some DVDs that have muddy sound.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Lee (U1149673) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Hitchcock removed the music from many of his films to add suspense to some scenes, with great effect.  
    Equally, it is well documented that he thought his film Psycho had no suspense at all until his daughter recommended he add some background music.

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Lee, what Brian Cox actually said was that he couldn't hear the question because "that was the music from rugby special wasn't it", he was then told that K9 had his own programme and that was the theme music. But either way I think Brian was saying he couldn't hear the question because of the music.

     
    It's here, about 14.50 in if you want to listen, the subtitles are a bit out of sync, but that could just be my equipment.

    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    As M14 mentions Michael Portillo's programme I thought I would use it to illustrate something said in the opening post.

    Background music is added to programmes because production teams believe it adds atmosphere and mood to their work.  

    I was fortunate enough to receive the box set of The Hollow Crown for Christmas. Over the 4 episodes bgm is used sparingly but effectively; it certainly adds atmosphere and mood and more.

    Now Mr Portillo's railway programme - which I enjoy.
    Allowing for a few seconds either way, the rule is

    MP talking to camera - no bgm
    MP talking to someone on screen - no bgm
    MP voice over pictures - bgm

    This is not bgm to add atmosphere and mood, it matters not one jot what is being said. This is wallpaper muzak to the formula described above.
    In my opinion the bgm does little credit to the programme maker in those terms. 
    That is the truth, seaglennon, as always. You explain it just how I feel about bgm, which is noise, not music at all. Your description is dead right re.Mr Portillo's programme.

    The formula is the same everytime on these types of programme. But those who keep defending the use of such noise only keep going on about the mood enhancement it makes and they completely ignore the fact that the noises we have to put up with just interrupts the enjoyment of the spoken word.

    Keep on telling them, seaglennon.
    smiley - ok

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Thanks for the link - Subs out for me to!!

    The music was taken down in level when there was K9 voice which could be heard but because of its highly rhythmic nature of the music it was dominant.
    -to quote from the Guidelines
    •Choose music that is not too dynamic, i.e. that does not have a lot of short peaks that would interfere with the speech track. Instrumentation can be important - a 'wash' of strings, for example, is much less intrusive than a solo trumpet. Certain styles of piano music and percussion can be very difficult to mix satisfactorily with speech. 
    My emphasis !!!!
    If the "take it down 4db rule" had been applied it would have been better !!!!!
    thus you would not have got so hooked to the beat... and the dimming done during the speech (which was in absolute PPM metering terms probaly about right) would then have worked even better....

    So well done but no quite good enough! (just)

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by EggOnAStilt (U7111730) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    K9 was introduced in a whimsical spot asking a question, master.

    Prof Cox, immediately echoed my thoughts on saying he couldn't understand what the question was as the background music/noise was too loud.  

    Did Prof Cox say he couldn't understand the question or that he couldn't hear the question? There's a big difference.  
    i don't know I couldn't hear for everyone talking at once smiley - winkeye

    smiley - friedegg

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Richard Taylor (U13861121) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    As mentioned in the Stargazing thread, Cox's dialogue in the Oz piece was low and drowned by the BGM. Something he no doubt insisted on following his previous outburst about loud BGM in his universe programme.

    And as regards sound settings on TVs; these merely change the frequency response of the TV sound system. That results in what I would call an unnatural sound response!

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Hitchcock removed the music from many of his films to add suspense to some scenes, with great effect  What he did in places, to great effect, was to have music and then stop it, that creates the tension that, if there had been no music to start with, wouldn't have been there.

    I have pointed out this use of a pause in music before.

    I don't think I have seen all of Hitchcock's films but I can't imagine that he produced one with no music at all and, lets face it, he was the master of suspence and dramatic effects.

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Richard Taylor (U13861121) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Doh! pressed the wrong button, and you can't edit your post!

    I meant to add that his K9 comment was probably a subtle dig!

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    Lee, what Brian Cox actually said was that he couldn't hear the question because "that was the music from rugby special wasn't it", he was then told that K9 had his own programme and that was the theme music. But either way I think Brian was saying he couldn't hear the question because of the music.

     
    It's here, about 14.50 in if you want to listen, the subtitles are a bit out of sync, but that could just be my equipment.

    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... 
    This is just what I have been saying for ages, it WASN'T the volume of the music that caused Brian to not hear the question but the fact that he concentrated on the music too much (as he recognised it from "Rugby Special")

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Saturday, 12th January 2013

    You mean that the music isn't too loud it's just that people get distracted by it and listen to it rather than any dialogue?

    I can go with that.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Jan-Ann (U14322193) on Sunday, 13th January 2013


    This topic has been discussed in depth on this previous discussion.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    So please feel free to read through the above discussion too, to see what people have said in the past.

    The older discussion has now been closed, so please add new comments here.

     
    Yeah, but we have wrttten our reasons for not wanting so much BGM again and again. Please read those comments, they are valid.

    Why on earth is "The first time I saw your face..." wailing over the top of David's voice in the trailer to Africa? One voice over another. Why is a beautiful piece like Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto supposed to compliment F1 motor racing? Hot fast raw passion doesn't go with the sound of delicate strings.

    Music is beautiful. The fact that so many people want that music identified shows their attention was distracted from the subject of the programme itself.

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by thedogcody (U14659366) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    I have read all theses comments and some on the previous threads before I ran out of energy

    Background music does not seem to bother me as much as it seems to bother others-but that is just my opinion

    What I don't get is those that hate it so much take the view it is there just to annoy and distract from the programme-perhaps someone can explain what would be the point of that?

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Jan-Ann (U14322193) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    What I don't get is those that hate it so much take the view it is there just to annoy and distract from the programme-perhaps someone can explain what would be the point of that?
     

    Exactly. What's the point of it if it annoys so many people?

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by seaglennon (U9259670) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    I don't hate bgm. I think in the right place it can add tremendously as I quoted above in the Hollow Crown.
    However, you asked
    it is there just to annoy and distract from the programme  
    Well, to me the answer is No, the programme maker does not do it intentionally to annoy . But, like DOGs, on screen inserts, shrinking credits etc bgm is one of those things that is added mostly without any real thought but because the other channels do it.
    Then, for me, it usually detracts from the programme. The example I gave above relating to Michael Portillo's Railway programme convinces me the addition of bgm is formulaic, added everywhere and not always fitting the words/pictures.
    Loudness is another 8000 posts worth.

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    I'd be interested in the actual figures of how many people it actually does annoy, compared with those it doesn't. Can you provide them Jan-Ann?

    I honestly can't remember a time when I found background music too loud.
    I will say though that the background/crowd noise during the New Year countdown and fireworks was very loud and I couldn't hear what was being said, but that's probably a bit different isn't it?

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by thedogcody (U14659366) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    My problem is that the opinions of a few posters on this subject cannot be demonstrated as what the rest of the country is concerned about

    Now I am not saying that the country as a whole has an issue with background music-how could I? -but the snag is that people here on these threads complain that the broadcasters are not listening-as if opinions on here are the definitive opinions of all

    Accepting that people complain when something is upsetting but people don't comment when they are happy.

    Just my thoughts to give a bit of balance-as I say to me it is not a big issue.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Sunday, 13th January 2013

    You too often read my mind cody!! smiley - biggrin

    Maybe one day in the future, the BBC could do one of those live opinion poll sort of programmes, as in there could be an audience with keypads, online, mobile txt, twitter, facebook. Get all the (you cannot vote twice) opinions in and see how some of the most talked about subjects on these boards pan out.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by seaglennon (U9259670) on Sunday, 13th January 2013


    My problem is that the opinions of a few posters on this subject cannot be demonstrated as what the rest of the country is concerned about  


    I can but refer you to the reference Peta gave in the first post and what the BBC has done about difficulties people have hearing what is being said.
    www.bbc.co.uk/academ...

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013


    I recently found this setting on my own TV


    smiley - star Tick 'Use ambient noise reduction' or 'no ambiant noise' to help cut down on background noise.

    This works on computers and TVs so if you haven't ticked it do so now - it really helps.

    I've added it to the FAQ in the first post. smiley - ok

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by minimetto (U1159894) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    This background 'music' is starting to infiltrate throughout everything the BBC is doing at the present time - not only television programmes are affected. I have just had three R4 afternoon plays in succession RUINED by back ground noise/'music' - I will be submitting a strong complaint to the BBC as there was absolutely no need to ruin these plays.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by daliscar (U15564228) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    Several people have commented positively on the background music on Michael Portillo's Railway Journeys.
    Surely the difference between it and the ugly cacophony that marrs programmes like Masterchef is that the former stays in the backgound, and IS music. Very attractive and atmospheric music at that.
    What goes on in shows like Masterchef is repetitive, ugly, electronic noise.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Ceiderduck (U14588518) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    Did you know that you can customise the sound on your TV by changing the settings?
     

    Peta,we've been through all this before. I've tried changing my settings through every imaginable permutation,with no improvement whatsoever.  
    Yup.

    Background music has never been a huge problem for me, I really can take it or leave it (though less is more preferably).

    HOWEVER, I have had ongoing problems with the clarity of speech ( on BBC dramas, for example Ripper Street, Silent Witness (and various others over the past couple of years. When a new beeb drama comes out I can be guaranteed to TRY it without the subtitles but I never last long. When I say 'clarity of speech' I mean that even when I turn the volume UP, it makes no discernible difference.

    I did recently get hearing aids and believe it or not, I STILL need to use subs when i've got them in. I dunno about the hearing aid issue, but I know I'm not the only one unhappy about speech clarity in BBC dramas smiley - erm

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    I stopped watching BBC4's Nature's Microwolrds half way through because the constant background music is too intrusive, too insistant and profoundly unsettling.

    Whilst I took a few minues away from the screen to make a cuppa, the effect was even more noticeable as I was not distracted by the pictures on the screen, and was only conscious of the combination of voice and background ( foreground ) music.

    I would pay money to attend a face to face debate with the tweakers who make all this unnecessary BGM but who themselves are never seen, nor mentioned.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peter Bangor (U10940962) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    In the last 6 months or so quite a number of programmes have had the background music so loud that the commentary cannot be heard properly. I am watching Double Cross just now and some of the comments made by the participants cannot be heard properly. Your comment saying that the programme makers feel that it helps the atmosphere. That, I understand when there is no one trying to make a comment. But it is totally wrong to do it behind speech unless it can barely be heard.
    Those watching the programme are important also. If we cannot understand the message of the programme why bother watching it?

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Bethgem (U14263559) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    Bang on! Peter you got that right!

    I have recorded Double Cross, while I was doing other things, and I am now forewarned that this programme is also infected with BGM.

    I will take a look, but as soon as the noises get to me then off it will go!

    I am going to have to learn to live without tv at some stage in my life at this rate! I'm sure of that!

    smiley - steam

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013

    I would pay money to attend a face to face debate with the tweakers who make all this unnecessary BGM but who themselves are never seen, nor mentioned.  I really wish you, and others on this thread, would do just that, may they could get through to you better than I can just how important music is in many programmes.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 48.

    Posted by daliscar (U15564228) on Thursday, 24th January 2013

    I would pay money to attend a face to face debate with the tweakers who make all this unnecessary BGM but who themselves are never seen, nor mentioned.  I really wish you, and others on this thread, would do just that, may they could get through to you better than I can just how important music is in many programmes.  Thats ridiculous. its not about concepts, or the programme makers idea of what a programme should be.
    Its about viewers actual reaction to some background music.

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Jan-Ann (U14322193) on Thursday, 24th January 2013

    I'd be interested in the actual figures of how many people it actually does annoy, compared with those it doesn't. Can you provide them Jan-Ann?

    I honestly can't remember a time when I found background music too loud.
    I will say though that the background/crowd noise during the New Year countdown and fireworks was very loud and I couldn't hear what was being said, but that's probably a bit different isn't it?

     
    This board must give a selection of people from the public and we often give praise for a good thing, not just moan at what is disliked. The BARB figures don't count everybody, just a selection of people. This board is much the same.

    A lot more complaints about BGM than people saying they love it or it's okay. Lots of people want to know the name of the music, but that just shows they must have been distracted to the music itself, rather than felt it created an atmosphere.

    Only 7 messages on the thread in praise Africa's BGM. I said you should have called it 'I love BGM'. smiley - smiley

    Report message50

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