Monitors: How loud? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 14th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: springfield, OH
Posts: 344
Monitors: How loud?

How loud should you have your monitors for audio editing? I've got mine turned up halfway. I'm still very new to the audio side, but I've got a couple books in the mail :)
__________________
Tony

"Good taste is the enemy of creativity" - Picasso

Blog: http://www.tonyhall.name
Tony Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Hall
How loud should you have your monitors for audio editing? I've got mine turned up halfway. I'm still very new to the audio side, but I've got a couple books in the mail :)
The standard calls for for a pink noise sound pressure of 85db at the listening position. A lot of sound editoring software has a pink noise generator and you can get an inexpensive sound pressure meter from Radio Shack.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
In general, the level should be about that which the material will normally be played back. But playback loudness should be adjusted now and then throughout a project to check the mix because the human ear is not linear.

Humans are "deafer" to lower and higher frequencies at lower playback levels. As playback volume is increased, the ear becomes more linear. By being linear, I mean that it hears all frequencies at the same level.

The human voice has a lot of energy at 1-3 kHz. Turn up the volume of a mix and the music creeps up around the voice track. Turn it down, the music falls away. That's because music normally has frequencies higher and lower than the human voice.

That's why there are loudness switches on stereo units. They compensate for our hearing non-linearity by boosting the top and bottom frequencies at lower playback levels.

For more on this, check out the info about the Fletcher-Munson curve. http://www.webervst.com/fm.htm

The more complex the mix, the more inportant it is to check at different levels. I usually use low, medium and high to check the mix once or twice.

It's also a good idea to have large and small monitors and a switch that lets you listen to each set. Some folks have run into problems only using dinky speakers because they don't reproduce low frequencies very well. When the program is played back on bigger speakers, low frequency junk is audible. It's been there all the time, but the smaller speakers simply weren't capable of reproducing them.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: springfield, OH
Posts: 344
Thanks for the info guys... although a bit techical for me right now. I guess that would explain why I'm inclined to change my mix whenever I turn the volume up or down.

That's really kinda the problem. I basically just want the mix to sound good on a TV at normal volume. I don't want my video to be one of those "turn it up, turn it down" videos... like a lot of movies these days.

I'll probably find this out when my Audio Postproduction book comes in the mail, but here's another basic question I've been wondering.

In the mixer, how loud should I shoot for a normal speaking voice... My first inclination was to make voices as loud as possible with the peak falling at -0.1 db in the mixer. But now I'm thinking perhaps I should make them a bit quieter to leave some room for louder sounds I might want to have... does that make any sense?

Like many, I've got the video side pretty well covered, but was surprised to find out how much goes into the audio part of video.
__________________
Tony

"Good taste is the enemy of creativity" - Picasso

Blog: http://www.tonyhall.name
Tony Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 10:06 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Sounds like you are on target.

You have to budget loudness. What's the loudest thing? If it's the voice, fine. If it's something else, then make room.

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
Steve hit the standard, which is where most places start.
However, output settings and monitoring volume, especially in the software world, are not the same thing.
Leave your output settings so that your NLE/DAW is outputting a peak level of not more than -.03dB (this is including any maximizers or other dynamic range-controlling tools)

Set your listening position at the proscribed 85dB, which is only a starting point. That may well be too loud for you if you're in a small room and at close quarters. But you won't turn down the level at the DAW/NLE, but rather at your mixer or other physical output control point. Personally, I use a Mackie BigKnob, and love it.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: springfield, OH
Posts: 344
That's good to know... thanks Ty
__________________
Tony

"Good taste is the enemy of creativity" - Picasso

Blog: http://www.tonyhall.name
Tony Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: springfield, OH
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Steve hit the standard, which is where most places start.
However, output settings and monitoring volume, especially in the software world, are not the same thing.
Leave your output settings so that your NLE/DAW is outputting a peak level of not more than -.03dB (this is including any maximizers or other dynamic range-controlling tools)

Set your listening position at the proscribed 85dB, which is only a starting point. That may well be too loud for you if you're in a small room and at close quarters. But you won't turn down the level at the DAW/NLE, but rather at your mixer or other physical output control point. Personally, I use a Mackie BigKnob, and love it.
Yeah, basically I was asking about monitoring volume to begin with. I have no idea how to set my listening position at 85db... I'm in a very small room and in very close quarters too :)

I've got an M-Audio 410 and a couple BX5a's. I've got the 410's software mixer up all the way and I've got the BX5a's at mid level. It's definately not too loud right now.
__________________
Tony

"Good taste is the enemy of creativity" - Picasso

Blog: http://www.tonyhall.name
Tony Hall 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 > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 AM.


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