Doctor Who, please turn the music down

An unlikely hero for an American boy

I love Doctor Who. I remember watching episodes with the fourth doctor, Tom Baker, when I was around 10 years old. I remember watching on Saturdays, eating pizza from the highway gas station while plotting out custom Dungeons and Dragons maps (which never got played, as an aside.) Those were the days when I paid more attention to the Doctor and his cool dog sidekick K-9 than any women in the show. I even read all the Dr. Who paperbacks I could find at the library.

What did you say?

Anyway, getting to the point…

Today I was watching Season 1, Episode 11 of the “New Doctor Who,” with the ninth doctor, Christopher Eccleston, and realized a lot of the new Doctor Who suffers from a common production problem.

In many of the episodes, any “background music” is very obnoxiously presented in the foreground. It seems impossible that anyone bothered to view the finished episodes before releasing them, as you can hardly hear the dialog and other action for the music being too loud! A lot of it is some sort of woodwind, maybe a bassoon?

Control your levels

Whether you’re making a movie, a YouTube video, or a video game: please, control your audio levels. Listen to them. Is your music too loud? What do you hear first — music, or dialog? This seems like a sophomoric aspect that anyone could properly diagnose. I do not know how the BBS messed it up with Doctor Who.

Separate volumes for video games

Lastly, when building video games with a music track, I highly recommend you provide separate volume settings for sound effects and music. No matter how hard you try, the music you choose to put in the game will not please everyone. For those of us who thing your music track stinks, you should give us the option to turn it off, or at least turn it down.

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