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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:36 PM   #1
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Sound Forge for NLEs?

Is it worth purchasing Sound Forge- what exactly can it do to help my projects? Is there a steep learning curve?
I saw in the Class on Demand DVDs for Vegas you can output your audio to Sound Forge right from the timeline...which I thought is pretty cool.
Anyway, just wondering who on here uses Sound Forge and how helpful is it?
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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:42 PM   #2
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I have used sound forge for a couple of years now. It is a steep curve, unless you have a strong background in audio. But even an untrained idgit like myself can use it to a degree. I have cleaned up windnoise, mixed tracks, and other nifty things. Definately a tool to have.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:07 PM   #3
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Is it compatable with XP?
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 06:59 AM   #4
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I am sure they have a version that is XP compatible. I however, am not XP compatible, and will have nothing to do with it :)
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 08:25 PM   #5
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Don't like XP? Runs on the NT kernal...much more stable than 98SE. Then again...I'm leading this post astray...sorry Wranglers.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 09:38 PM   #6
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SoundForge is easy to learn. The only learning curve involved is in creative audio signal processing. I've been
running the various versions of SoundForge on Win98,W2k and WinXP over the years.

I use SoundForge quite a bit for my audio work, and have successully fixed some bad audio in DV AVI files.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 06:57 PM   #7
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Audio Processing a Must

I sweeten ALL my audio in Sound Forge XP before I edit within Adobe Premiere 6.5. All video cameras, including the expensive broadcast cameras, cannot record a proper audio signal for use in any digital environment. They do not have the audio processing power. If the audio is from a highly processed, skilled audio engineered source, it might not need sweetening. Otherwise, compression (Sound Forge calls it dynamics) will need to be first and the gain boosted at the very least. Most mics need equalization to sound right.

If your results go to DVD or CD or any other digital content, it MUST be boosted or it will sound weak compared to professionally produced media. If you are going to VHS, sweetening is more optional.

I like to sweeten the audio before I edit the video, because most video editing programs have poor audio editing tools.

One of the most powerful features of this program is the ability to actually draw on the audio waveform. This allows one to remove glitches, distortions, and errors like no other processor can. The statistics will allow one to analize the audio for max/mins, and total volume power. There are too many fancy features to name here, but even the basics are enough to justify using Sound Forge.

Having a good knowledge on audio processing techniques will be helpful in getting good audio results. Unfortunately, no book comes with the software to teach one how to process. But there are some good books available to learn the techniques.

Once I sweeten the audio, I save them as .wav files and import them seperately. Part of this is because it makes the sweetening non-destructive. But more importantly, it takes too long to wait for the .avi files to save!

I find the consumer version of Sound Forge XP ($60 at most software stores) to be adequate and it is a very stable program on XP.

Note: Sound Forge does not do multi-track editing. It will edit in stereo. To multi-track, consider Vegas.

If you don't get Sound Forge, get some kind of audio processing!
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:28 PM   #8
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I recommend the two Jay Rose books as excellent places to start learning about audio for video. Not only does he tell you how to handle problems, he has examples of what problems sound like on the companion audio CD that is included with each book.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 07:44 AM   #9
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sound forge is fully integrateable with Vegas, u can literally open a copy of an audio track from Vegas and edit in Soundforge... u can then export the finsihed wav and replace the source audio all within the same environment..

one top of that there a thousands of DX plugins which boost the capabilites of soundforge, as well as adapters which allow u to run VST plugs within a DX environment... from reverbs (great for 5.1) to delays, compressors, chorus, flangers you name it...

Ive been producing music for almsot 10 yrs, and 5 of those years included the use of soundforge in everything.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 08:09 AM   #10
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Mike, are thos books the same ones offered on the Sonic Foundry web-page? I was thinking about picking them up if/when I get Sound Forge but wasn't sure it could help a complete audio newbie like myself. I mean I have absolutly NO experience working with audio above working with the audio rubber bands in Adobe or the volume envelope in Vegas. Will these books help an audio beginner like me or are they written with the assumption you have some audio background?

Dan, regarding the audio levels of my DV video...I think your right. I'm shooting with a DVX100 and a Sennheisser ME66. If I set the levels so they don't peak the audio comes out clean but a bit low. For example after having my TV on the video input to recieve the signal from my camera to review footage- once I switch it back to start viewing TV it's LOUD. Apparently I had turned it up to a normal listening level which had to be way above the level normal TV stations output.

What's normilization? Does it adjust all of your audio so that it's as loud as it can be without peaking?

Peter, what are "VST" plug-ins?
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Old July 10th, 2003, 08:33 AM   #11
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A VST plugin is a SW application which runs within a ahost program. In the VST case, im referring to Steinbergs Cubase VST.
Plugins have come pretty far, and you can do lots with them now, such as vocode your voice, run filters and basically mangle any noice you like..

VST plugins are just an alternative to DirectX plugins. Some work better than others but thats the deal with most SW these days anyway.

as for your question to Dan, you basically hit the nail on the head... however normalisation is usually the final step in teh audio process...

even if you do record at a lower level, you can boost levels, EQ a lil, run a compressor to tighten the freq range, boost gain and filter out any clipping in post, BUT I would still recommend you normalise it when your done...

bare in mind that when you normalise, you will also increase the noise levels, however, u can run the audio thru a noise reduction filter, or higher band eq to clean it up a little.

there are two kinds of normalisation, the first is to peak levels to the maximum RMS setting which basically goes thru the WHOLE file and adjusts the volume according the PEAK level,(i would recomend this one) and the second is the global normalisation, which literally boosts levels globally. Problem with this is that soft parts become loud, and loud parts become soft... it creates an equilibrium which doesnt have an impact when working with video or music... I would only suggest this for speaches...
On top f that during the normalisation process, you can run Compressors at peak levels which compress the audio so as to not digitally clip/distort as they exceeed the clipping threshold...

hope that helps explain what is possible...
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Old July 10th, 2003, 08:52 AM   #12
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And this kind of nomalisation (the first one) isn't available in Vegas?...only Sound Forge?

Man I really need to learn audio.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 09:36 AM   #13
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Glen- Please note that it is rather easy to screw up your audio, if you don't know what you are doing. I have done this in the past. Knowing as little as I do, I tend to modify a copy, and see how it works. If I trash it, no big deal. If it works, I keep it, and take notes for future referrence.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #14
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and the best thing about opening copies in soundforge while using vegas is exactly that.. your opening COPIES... completely non destructive...

th normaliser in Vegas work with RMS peak levels locally, so it wont fluctuate teh Global sounds, just boost the entire track in reference to the highest peaking level (the one i recomended)

its not that hard, but it there is a learnign curve to be had...
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