Suggested decibel levels? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite
All about the world of Adobe Premiere and its associated plug-ins.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 22nd, 2011, 12:58 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 46
Suggested decibel levels?

Quick question, and since I edit in Pr CS5, I figured this was as good a place as any to pose it:

Do you guys have rules of thumb for decibel levels for voice, background music, consistent white noise (if you have to use it), etc? I find myself tinkering constantly with this, and it's giving me inconsistent sound from video to video, and sometimes within a video.

I'm pretty green when it comes to sound, so no answer is a bad answer, here!

Thanks.
David Lavender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2011, 11:28 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 85
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

I usually set the loudest sound (usually dialogue) and bring it up to -6 db, and then adjust everything else (music, sound fx, etc) as needed.
Kevin Currie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2011, 07:44 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

I would agree with Kevin when I go to DVD or web video I peak at -6. I've found that comes closer to what most people expect when playing their DVD back. On many TVs it seems that you get clear and basic levels at about 1/4 of the way turned up. Going back to DV tape I bring it down to -12, which is an acceptable standard for professional DV. DVCam or DVCPro down to -20.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:35 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 46
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

Thanks, guys, very helpful. What about videos that live solely on the web? Would that have similar or different guidelines? That's most of what I do (although I do deliver on DVDs from time to time).
David Lavender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:11 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

I use the same guidelines for online as for DVD and have so far seen good results.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2011, 01:57 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kråkstad Norway.
Posts: 229
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

Also look here...
http://www.markedmondson.us/Mark_Edm...s/Spec-web.pdf
It might help for a more detailed explanation.
__________________
http://www.mlotv.com
Gary Brun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

Gary nice article that explains the professional broadcast levels and what is expected. Here is the only thing that I can tell you from making DVDs and web video for a university. I made a DVD for someone with the main levels at -12, because that's what our pro-dv Panasonic DV200 records proper levels at. The client came back and complained that the levels were too low. Why? Because they had to turn their TV up to around 75% of max to hear it. Other DVDs that they have either bought or received were at a much higher level. I changed the same video to -6 peak and they were much happier. As for web video the same thing. We were running streaming directly out of our master control at broadcast -20 peaking to -12. People watching the stream complained that it was too low because they had to turn up the volume on their computer to full in order to hear it. In order to make the clients happier and not clip or distort the audio I've been using -6 for DVDs and web, -12 for DV tape and -20 for DVCPro, DVCam. The best thing is to experiment with what works for you. Have fun.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 164
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

i edit a local TV show and deliver on DV Tape, they ask me to keep the level around -12 for most of the time, peaking at -9 on occasions is acceptable but they ask for the standard level to stay at -12ish.
Iker Riera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2011, 01:19 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Maassluis, The Netherlands
Posts: 294
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iker Riera View Post
i edit a local TV show and deliver on DV Tape, they ask me to keep the level around -12 for most of the time, peaking at -9 on occasions is acceptable but they ask for the standard level to stay at -12ish.
That's how the TV station wants it delivered, but that's not the same as how the consumer gets it delivered from the TV station.

I also use -6 dB for dialogue on the web and DVD.
You could rip a piece from a DVD and analyse the soundmeter...

For TV you need to follow the guidelines from the station and for cinema you evebn have different 'rules' and more dynamic range. (My graduationfilms had dialogue at -12 or -14 if I remember correctly, but peaks at almost 0 dB and lows at -20 dB.)
__________________
Brainstormnavigator searching for the hole in the sky.....
Audiovisual Designer (NL) - http://www.brokxmedia.nl
Walter Brokx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2011, 01:56 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,554
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

Many times, I take the lazy route by increasing audio gain and applying the Dynamics effect with the Limiter checked and set to -6.8db. So far, with the local TV station that I run, this has worked great. Plus, I use the same exact audio settings when exporting to the web. Take a look...or I mean listen here New Cicero TV - Programs Check out the Clean Up Day where I use music in the background.

However, for more involved projects with multiple types of audio, I massage everything.

No one has asked this yet, but what speakers do you use and how do you get the audio from Premiere to those speakers? There is no exact db setting that fits all projects; so, having a good sound system is crucial. With my PCs, I have either a Mackie Onyx 1220i or M-Audio FW410 as the audio interface connected via firewire to the PC so I get CLEAN audio from the computer. The audio connections built into the computer are crap, which is why I emphasized clean. For headphones, I have a couple Seinnhesiers, HD280 Pro and HD380 Pro ($100 & $200) but headphones cannot be used for the final mix. For speakers, I use Blue Sky International EXO2 and MediaDesk 2.1.
blue sky international

On a side note, I don't recommend ANY Mackie product that requires a driver to be installed on a computer because their drivers are poorly written, which causes random cracks and pops in the speakers and sound randomly disappears requiring a power reset. Other than that, my Onyx 1220i is a great field mixer.
Steve Kalle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 4th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #11
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 14
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

So just for clarification (as I was wondering about output levels as well), when most of you say you set your levels at -6dB, you're talking about the loudest points peaking around -6dB, correct?
Shawn Altorio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: monroe, or
Posts: 572
Re: Suggested decibel levels?

It's my guess that any facility (especially a broadcaster) that requests levels any less than 0db is wanting ample headroom for their own compression.

Once a peak is crunched in the digital world, there's no getting it back. Low levels, once the bane of the analog environment, are much easier to deal with because you can essentially boost them from practically nothing and not increase noise. Signal to noise ratios are almost irrelevant today except for actual circuitry, not media.

An aside, a common mistake that producers make is assuming that normalization adequately sets proper levels... it does nothing to vary the relative levels, or dynamics. It spots the loudest peak and lifts the entire level at a constant. If you don't believe it... take a sound file that has a single transient peak that hits or exceeds 0db, and then normalize. There will be no change.

The question is not only where to run your peaks, but how to control your dynamics.

I master all my soundtrack mixing and mastering (using Sony Vegas, Sound Forge with the WAVES mastering plug-ins) to peaks at 0db, and dynamics depending on the nature of the material.

Practice with your compression and mixes... and compare with commercial releases.
Marty Baggen is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:34 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network