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Old July 29th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #1
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Best Audio Settings for Project?

I'm putting together a project and my NLE (Pinnicale Studio 12 Plus) gives me 4 options:PCM, MPA (MPEG1 Layer 2), Dolby(R) Digital 2 Channel and Dolby (R) Digital 5.1 Channel. WHich one of the settings will give me the best audio? The footage from the dv tape was shot on a XHA1 1080 60i. I recoreded on both channels using the RODE NT2. I split the signal so that its on both channels, two mics were not used. The sound on the tape is GREAT put when I go to burn the DVD, i'm losing some quality. Is this normal?
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Old July 30th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Anyone? I just need to know how to keep the audio the exact same as whats on the tape.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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48k PCM file.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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I've been a Pinnacle Studio user for a while PCM or Dolby(R) Digital 2 Channel are the most common setting I use. Which one I use depens on the project. I want to say PCM is the default setting. PCM sound a more crips (more high tone) Dolby (more low tone).

Hope this helps
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Old July 30th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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PCM is uncompressed. If you have room on your DVD for PCM audio that's great. You'd figure out if you have room by using a bitrate calculator. Anything you give to audio, you take away from video.

Dolby Digital 2-ch., also known as AC-3 compression, is most commonly used. It's pretty good sound at a low bitrate. Don't know how well Pinnacle deals with it.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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"Anything you give to audio, you take away from video" Seth, does that mean that if I use the PCM setting, that the quality of the picture will suffer?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
"Anything you give to audio, you take away from video" Seth, does that mean that if I use the PCM setting, that the quality of the picture will suffer?
No, only the length of the program that will fit on the DVD is affected.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lewis View Post
"Anything you give to audio, you take away from video" Seth, does that mean that if I use the PCM setting, that the quality of the picture will suffer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
No, only the length of the program that will fit on the DVD is affected.
I suppose the correct answer is "It depends", or "sort of", or "kinda'".

Here's the deal. In the hardware DVD specification for set-top players, you get up to 9.8Mbps (megabits per second) datarate that should be decodable by the player without freezes or frame skips. However, more conservatively, experience seems to commonly show that 8 or 8.5Mbps works more consistently on more set-top players with recordable DVD media.

Typically, you want stereo audio. Most commonly used bitrates are:
PCM at 16/48 = 1536Kbps (1.536Mbps)
Stereo Dolby Digital aka. AC3 = 192Kbps
More bitrates are supported. MPEG1 and MPEG2 audio are also supported but typically not used in the US where AC3 is part of the spec - poorer performance than AC3.

Without going deeper into excruciating detail (lots of info on the DVD spec available online), what this means is that using 16/48 uncompressed PCM audio comes at a cost in video. Bitrate given to audio is not available to video.

Steve is right in that for most video this becomes more of an issue at about 60 minutes, where disk capacity issues start to come into play. This number is soft because all video is not created equal. My well-lit talking head shot on a tripod doesn't take as much to look good as my hand-held high-action paintball scenes. If my low-motion video looks great at 4Mbps, why not use PCM audio? If my hi-motion video needs every bit of 8Mbs, I'd better use AC3 audio.

General guideline: AC3 at 192Kbps is pretty good. Dealing with well-recorded music? Consider AC3 at 256K. PCM at 1.5Mbps is used by those devoted to uncompressed audio and nobody else.

Better yet, use a bitrate calculator, get a sense of what *your* typical video and audio content take in bitrate to look and sound good.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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Seth:

Thanks for the detailed explanation. Do these settings need to be deternined upfront, or can I simply create my project. And make the audio adjustments later. Im currently using piinicale. Could I save the project as an MPEG2 file and simply place the file into an NLE that has all the audio options that I need. I'm fairly new to Pinnicale, but perhaps Pinnicale is already capeable of this. The biggest thing I need to know is if these settings need to be pre-determined prior to the start of the project.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:20 PM   #10
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I'm not familiar with Pinnacle.

A typical workflow will be to edit using project properties that match the media. Probably that means 16bit 48KHz out of your XHA1 tapes.

Then, output something from Pinnacle. What that something is depends on your DVD authoring environment, and its integration with Pinnacle.

Usually, it will be one of three formats:
Standard definition DV, 720x480 anamorphic for 16x9, with audio.
Some HD format, specs match your footage, with audio.
Standard def MPEG-2, at a datarate suitable for use on the DVD, with or without audio, PCM or AC3.

The main question is whether the encode to MPEG-2 will happen in the DVD software, or in Pinnacle.

OTOH, if Pinnacle includes DVD authoring within the application, maybe you should be selecting final output properties for your edit within Pinnacle. How are you creating DVDs?

There is Non-Linear Editing on the PC - The Digital Video Information Network , which includes Pinnacle. Maybe you can receive more direct support there.
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