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Old August 3rd, 2007, 07:58 PM   #1
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Increase levels in FCP

Is there a way to increase audio levels in FCP beyond raising the level in the audio clip. I am at maximum level within the clip and need a bit more boost.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:06 PM   #2
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You can duplicate the audio tracks and stack them. Do you know how to do that?
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Old August 4th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #3
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As it turns out I have the same problem. Low audio levels. I'm just migrating to FCP from PP and would like to know how to stack the audio tracks.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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Stacking can work, but the real fix is to export to Soundtrack Pro, fix it there with gain or normalization, then bring it back in to FCP.

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Old August 4th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #5
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Perhaps Soundtrack can help, but its limited to 6db of boost per track, so it may not be able to boost it enough. You can stack tracks there too to achieve the same effect.

For FCP you want to duplicate the audio tracks and move them down, while staying aligned.

First thing is to unlink the audio from the video. You need to do this so you don't copy the video and the audio. Select all the audio you want to stack and hit command-L. Now deselect everything and select just the audio tracks you want to stack. Hold down option (causes FCP to make a copy) while you drag the audio tracks down to where you want the tracks to stack (FCP will automatically create new tracks). This next part is a little tricky. Before letting go with the mouse, release option and hold down shift. This will cause FCP to align the tracks vertically to stay in sync. Then release the mouse button.

You may want to go back to the original audio and video tracks, reselect them, and hit command-L again to get them linked again.

You may want to practice with a single track to get the hang of it.

Mike.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #6
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You can also use the "AUPeakLimiter" filter in FCP. There's a pre-gain setting in it that will allow you to kick up the levels far beyond what FCP normally allows.

You can turn off the other features in that filter and use only the pregain adjustment. Apply that filter first, then add on any other filters you might need. I prefer to do it this way since stacking takes up additional tracks.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 02:01 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the valuable input. Great info.
John
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Old August 5th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #8
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I was going to say, there's a couple compressor plugs that have master gain settings in them that go far beyond 12db.

I just use one of those. Stacking tracks gets to be a mess after a project gets complicated and you need to make revisions. Plus it only nets you +3db
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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #9
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Agreed. I use the same method as Dean. Just be careful that you are not employing any actual compression or limiting, just raising the output gain of that plugin.

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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hanlon View Post
Perhaps Soundtrack can help, but its limited to 6db of boost per track, so it may not be able to boost it enough.
Mike.
You can normalize in ST Pro as well. More than 6dB, I think.

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Old August 5th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #11
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I don't know if stacking tracks boosts background noise in the audio as well as the desired sounds. I edit in Pinnacle Studio 11.1 and what I had to try was probably similar.

I had dropped the audio levels down a lot, intending to totally kill the audio and lay in music due to horrible wind noise (Our method of transportation to a remote shooting area didn't allow transport of boom or stand for external mic). But the talent, from about 40-50 feet away made a comment that was pertinent and it was audible on the audio track but somewhat weak.

So what I tried was this: I boosted the gain as much as I could on the timeline, "wrote out" that clip from the timeline to an AVI file, copied that to the "captured video" folder and brought it onto the timeline as an extra clip at the end. Locked the audio track and deleted the video then dragged the remaining audio track down to the "voice over" and sound effects track. Boosted the gain all the way there and it worked but not real well.

Not clean audio because a little wind noise, some vegetation rustling, and what sounds like some general "noise" also got amplified.

Lesson I learned: Always manage to carry at least a lightweight stand and my Rode StereoVideoMic with Deadcat. Either get good audio on location or lay in music and/or voice over.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #12
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Any sound in the track that gets stacked increases, including noise.

A stand works for locked down shots, but you'll need a boom op otherwise.

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Old August 6th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #13
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If you're working in Soundtrack Pro just apply the Gain plugin from the "Soundtrack Pro" plugin folder. This gives you a range from -96dB to +24dB. If that's not enough apply it twice. If that's not enough - did you actually record any sound?? :o)
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