Since forever I face this when watching movies – I adjust volume so that I can hear dialogs well and then suddenly some explosion wakes up my whole family! Fortunately sound effects come in handy.

Specific effect we need here is called “compression”. It works quite simple: decrease loud/silent sounds ratio so that volume differences are smaller.

How to turn it on?

  • Windows: in VLC player you find that effect in “Tools > Effects and Filters > Compressor tab” (for better explanation see )
  • Linux: play movie from command “mplayer -af volnorm=2: 0.9 file_to_play.avi” (experiment with “0.9” value – it’s somewhat correlated with the desired volume compression)

Let your parents (or kids) sleep tight from now on.