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Old November 24th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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Video clips online: what level to choose?

I've been listening to a lot of MP3s through a browser recently.
-18dB productions have me reaching for the volume
-12dB productions seem weedy
-0.003dB productions sound like everything else...

Here's the beef:

We're brought up to produce a video sound track that bubbles along at -12db (-18db if you're the BBC) allowing room for peaks and crescendos that go to -6dB or even -3dB to add extra impact.

But any audio ripped from CD dances its peaks at around -0.001dB and bubbles at -6dB. As does most commercial radio. UK viewers may note the volume difference between Radio 4 and any local radio station. UK radio geeks may note and extole the volume difference between Radio 3 and commercial radio.

Let's go to iTunes: pick a track at random (not), Scissor Sisters "Don't feel like dancing". The video's audio is -12dB down on the AAC/MP3 audio. That, or thereabouts. Yes, there's lots of compression on the AAC/MP3 version, but if I put my Consumer hat on, the video track is too wussy to include with my playlist for the average iTunes MP3 track.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if one is producing video (heck - even podcasts) for an online audience, for consumption via ADSL, should we ditch the broadcast specs and go for -0.0001 dB peaks? Capital Radio compression?
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Old November 24th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #2
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Yes. The online world is low dynamic range.

That is what I do, anyway.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak
The online world is low dynamic range.
Any guides to the ratio between highs and lows? From bubble (average) to squeek (highs)?
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #4
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Your guess is as good as mine; there is no standard I am aware of. I would master it like a song, like the ones in iTunes you mention (i.e., pretty hot). A good guide might be to study some trailers from http://www.apple.com/trailers/
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