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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #16
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I'm *positive*. Unless you're sending different things to the various channels, you're making a 5.1 channel *mono* recording.

If they require it, just give them 2.0 AC-3, which is stereo with no subwoofer (LFE) channel. You can also do 1.0 AC-3, but I would use stereo music tracks.

Definitely ditch the 6 track stuff, you're just wasting space and cpu power. It will sound fine either way. You would hear more of a difference between AC-3 and PCM if you had for example, a very nice symphonic recording, on a nice speaker system, in a nice listening environment. Speech can sound pretty good on AM radio, so it'll sound fine either way with this. :)

So the final verdict is 2.0 AC-3, microphone panned center, music in stereo. :)

And for leveling your signal, use a compressor on your speech, and stay away from any Normalizing. Just raise the clip levels if necessary. Normalizing just makes your peaks as loud as they can be and raises everything else up below that, but doesn't really smooth out and match your levels the way a Compressor will.
Well you just changed my operation :-), thanks!

So FROM NOW ON, I'm going to record in regular sterio, 2 tracks, wav files.

And it's funny you mention normalizing. We just recorded and had her stay at about -8db and didn't do anything and they sounded great without normalizing!

My DVD replicator requires AC3 so the little 300$ SurCode AC3 Dolby Digital Encoder plug in will have to stay.

Will it still be "Dolby Digital" with just 2 channels?
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #17
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Well you just changed my operation :-), thanks!

So FROM NOW ON, I'm going to record in regular sterio, 2 tracks, wav files.

And it's funny you mention normalizing. We just recorded and had her stay at about -8db and didn't do anything and they sounded great without normalizing!

My DVD replicator requires AC3 so the little 300$ SurCode AC3 Dolby Digital Encoder plug in will have to stay.

Will it still be "Dolby Digital" with just 2 channels?
You can record just mono with your mono microphone. You'll use half the space for your files for that mic, and a slight amount of processing power as well.

Yeah normalizing is just a waste of processing power. For example, if somone ruffles their clothing, coughs, sighs, a phone rings, etc. Anything louder than their actual speech (even by 2dB), your audio will be 2dB quieter than it *could* be, because of one little loud section. Compression will keep the little sound under control, and then the output gain of the compressor will bring the entire track up. A compressor is a good idea on speech anyway, to keep the quieter words closer to the volume of the louder words, and keep it all above your music bed, ambient sound, etc. :)

So yes, you'll need the $300 app to do this anyway, unless you're going with Encore, so you haven't lost out on anything, just saved some time and space and power with this thread. ;)
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #18
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FWIW, Encore DVD includes a stereo Dolby Digital encoder.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #19
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FWIW, Encore DVD includes a stereo Dolby Digital encoder.
Right, but I believe he wants to avoid Encore and do it all from Premiere. And he spent $300.. :)
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #20
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I also believe you get one or two uses before you have to pay for Dolby.

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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #21
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You can record just mono with your mono microphone. You'll use half the space for your files for that mic, and a slight amount of processing power as well.

Yeah normalizing is just a waste of processing power. For example, if somone ruffles their clothing, coughs, sighs, a phone rings, etc. Anything louder than their actual speech (even by 2dB), your audio will be 2dB quieter than it *could* be, because of one little loud section. Compression will keep the little sound under control, and then the output gain of the compressor will bring the entire track up. A compressor is a good idea on speech anyway, to keep the quieter words closer to the volume of the louder words, and keep it all above your music bed, ambient sound, etc. :)

So yes, you'll need the $300 app to do this anyway, unless you're going with Encore, so you haven't lost out on anything, just saved some time and space and power with this thread. ;)
So back to the original question if ya don't mind. I talked to some people on the phone today about MPEG2 encoding and they say Adobe's suck. So I was thinking of exporting as a Microsoft DV AVI file and then compressing using a fancier MPEG2 encoder.

Would that really matter or if you were me, would you just keep it simple and export EVERYTHING via PP 2.0 on one MPEGII file and call it a day?
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #22
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I also believe you get one or two uses before you have to pay for Dolby.

Mike
Yea, you get three, but supposedly the SurCode treats your audio way better in the encoding process plus you can say it's "Dolby Digital" officially as Minnentonka, the company who sells it, jumped thru all the hoops for Dolby already.

That's what I heard... Could be wrong though.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #23
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The video encoding isn't good either? Hmm. I don't know for sure. Perhaps speed-wise the transcoding could be faster in Encore. I'm not sure about quality though.

It's Dolby Digitally 'officially' if it's stored in that format. Like saving a file as an MP3 with 10 different MP3 encoders.. Which one is the MP3 file? They all are, whether the encoder was free, bundled, or 10 gajillion dollars.. :)
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #24
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So back to the original question if ya don't mind. I talked to some people on the phone today about MPEG2 encoding and they say Adobe's suck. So I was thinking of exporting as a Microsoft DV AVI file and then compressing using a fancier MPEG2 encoder.

Would that really matter or if you were me, would you just keep it simple and export EVERYTHING via PP 2.0 on one MPEGII file and call it a day?
As I had/have said before, the quality of your content, sound, interface, and packaging will have much more to do with your success than fancy encoders.

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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #25
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Personally, I like to export from an audio or video app as rendered file (either avi or wav), and then keep that file somewhere. I then have a real 'master' file that I can further process/convert to other formats, without having to wait for the rendering process all over again if I decide that VBR doesn't look as good as CBR (random example here). I just have to convert the avi another time (transcoding), without rerendering..

Same with multitrack audio recording/mixing. I always export to a 24 bit wave file and then convert than to an mp3, because if I need a lower or higher quality mp3 later, I don't need to mixdown (render) the whole song again, I just need to convert to another format, which is quick, especially with Sound Forge.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #26
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As I had/have said before, the quality of your content, sound, interface, and packaging will have much more to do with your success than fancy encoders.

M

Cool, that actually makes me feel better because our DVDs look great, very crisp, audio sounds good, etc. I think I'm just trying to hard to make it "Perfect".

So to make this simple (Thanks to ya'll :-)), I'm goin to stick with just doing 2 simple audio tracks, doing the AC3 thing, and just encoding using the encoder within Premier. So screw it, I'll just export it all out of Premier using their internal one and call it a day. This is about as simple as you can get! Thanks fellaz!
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #27
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Personally, I like to export from an audio or video app as rendered file (either avi or wav), and then keep that file somewhere. I then have a real 'master' file that I can further process/convert to other formats, without having to wait for the rendering process all over again if I decide that VBR doesn't look as good as CBR (random example here). I just have to convert the avi another time (transcoding), without rerendering..

Same with multitrack audio recording/mixing. I always export to a 24 bit wave file and then convert than to an mp3, because if I need a lower or higher quality mp3 later, I don't need to mixdown (render) the whole song again, I just need to convert to another format, which is quick, especially with Sound Forge.
I've never recorded in anything other than 16 bit, 48 Khz for my DVDs. Any reason to ever to 24 bit?
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #28
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I've never recorded in anything other than 16 bit, 48 Khz for my DVDs. Any reason to ever to 24 bit?
Yup, better audio fidelity for processing. If you run a compressor, effects, eq, volume fades, etc, etc.. You'll get better fidelity. It may or may not be perceptible, but the more processing you do, the more you want the extra math in there for detail.

It's the same thing as image processing in Photoshop or any other graphics app. The more colors you have available (16 bit = 65,536, 24 bit = 16,777,216), the smoother your fades will be in your images, the better the colors will blend, etc. Those numbers are also the same values for # of volume levels from 0 volume to full volume with audio. More levels will give you more accurate audio when blending things, eq'ing, etc. It also lowers your noise floor. These things are subjective though. You won't hear a 16 bit audio clip and say 'that doesn't have enough level variations in it!'.. But the 24 bit version may sound better. The same thing applies to samplerate (48k, 96k, etc).. It's like having 48 frames/second like IMAX, vs 24 frames/sec for regular film. The 24 doesn't look *bad*, but the 48 is smoother on movement, has more detail during the movement, etc. Sampling your audio 96,000 times/second will have more detail than 48,000 times/second. Plus you get cleaner high frequencies from harmonics and other things, at frequencies that are still below 20,000Hz which are audible.. They're affected by frequencies above human hearing. Also, due to the Nyquist theorem, digital audio only plays back at half the frequency of the sample rate. so 48kHz really comes back at 24kHz.. This is all far more complicated than you care to know about, but the point is, the higher the numbers, the more detail in your audio or video.

Like a newspaper photo versus a magazine photo versus a super glossy magazine photo. They're all photos, they all look fine. But one of them looks damn fine, assuming they used a nice camera, nice processing, and nice printing on nice paper. :)
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Old August 15th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #29
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Right, but I believe he wants to avoid Encore and do it all from Premiere. And he spent $300.. :)
Well, that's what I thought initially. But I noticed his revised DVD authoring workflow includes Encore for burning the DVD, in place of DVD Lab Pro.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #30
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I also believe you get one or two uses before you have to pay for Dolby.
The SurCode for Dolby Digital Pro Encoder - which allows up to 5.1 channel encodes - that Adobe bundles with Premiere Pro allows three trial uses. For any encodes beyond that limit you can activate the plugin for $300.

On the other hand, the stereo Dolby Digital encoder included with Encore does not have to be purchased. It allows unlimited encodes. You don't get all the options the SurCode encoder provides, but if your needs extend only to stereo encoding and setting the bitrate, it works fine.
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