Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > DVD Authoring


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 3rd, 2009, 04:53 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro

I need some help with the audio quality of my DVDs. Everything sounds alright on my editing computer from within Final Cut and it sounds alright when I "simulate disc" prior to burning. But when I play the DVD in a standalone DVD player, the audio is noticeably lower.

I'm using Final Cut Studio as my NLE and DVD Studio Pro to author SD discs using audio and video tracks output from Compressor. I use the Compressor DVD Best Quality settings which produce a Dolby 2.0 AC3 file (48 kz. 16 bit 2 channel Center Mix -3 db, Surround Mix -3 and Dialog Normalization -27 dbFS) and an MPEG 2 video file. I do not process the original soundtrack in Soundtrack Pro to adjust levels or normalize....just take it from FCP to Compressor to DVDSP.

What should I be doing in my workflow so the sound on the DVD is closer to what I hear when editing?

For some reason I think I'm altering the sound file twice: once in compressor and a second time when DVDSP muxes it. Could this be the source of the problem?

Someone told me to just increase the track levels in FC so they are louder overall; however, that seems rather imprecise. There must be target levels (that I'm unaware of) for the audio in order to get best results....no? Right now I try to maintain peaking around -6db on the FC meter.

I've searched thru Google and the answers are all over the place and mostly pertaining to AIFF files, which is not what I get from my Compressor pre-set for DVD. Thank you
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:40 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 456
Try moving your Dialog Normalization to -31
Eric Darling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
Just so I'm clear, to do this I should export the audio to Sountrack, use the dialog normalization function and re-import it into Final Cut. Correct?

Why -31 as opposed to some other setting?
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2009, 12:09 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Kerner View Post
Just so I'm clear, to do this I should export the audio to Sountrack, use the dialog normalization function and re-import it into Final Cut. Correct?
No, the -31dB Dialog Normalization is a setting in Compressor's Audio presets (which Apple choose to default to -27dB, which will give you a 4dB level drop if you don't change it.)
__________________
Martin at HeadSpin HD on Blu-ray
Martin Mayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
Got it. Thanks
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 25th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
I need to bring this thread back to life. Sorry. I'm trying to get a handle on why the audio levels in my uncompressed QT movies are noticeably louder than what I'm getting onto my DVD. I must be doing something incorrectly.

I started with the original audio track in Final Cut. In another forum someone suggested my peaks were too low (around -12) for output to DVD so I exported the audio to Sound Track pro, used the compressor to tweek, then normalized and applied a little noise reduction. Import back to FCP and export as uncompressed QT movie. The audio levels in this sound ok, even a bit loud.

From here, I open the uncompressed QT movie in Compressor and select the Apple DVD Best Quality 90 minute pre-set. I adjusted dialog normalization to -31, as suggested by Eric. Compress then import into DVD Studio Pro....where it sounds quite lower when I play the track in DVDSP. It's much better with Dialog Normalization off, but still sounds low on the finished DVD.

At the risk of comparing apples and hammers, I usually run my tv audio level on about 11. Playing my discs requires me to increase volume to 22 or greater.

Am I double or "over" compressing this? Is there a more direct workflow or settings within compressor I should be tweeking?

I'd really appreciate assistance with details on levels etc to adjust for in Compressor or STP! I feel like this should be simple but I'm missing a step!!

Thank you in advance.

Last edited by Bob Kerner; December 25th, 2009 at 06:47 PM. Reason: spelling deteriorates as aggravation increases
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #7
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Henderson, Nevada
Posts: 1
I'm having same FCP to DVDSP low audio...any answer????

I am having the exact problem you describe here. Did you ever find the answer?? Any tips greatly appreciated.
Steve Wess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 388
Not really. Only to turn off Dialog Normalization in Compressor by setting it to -31. I've tried boosting the levels in FC and Soundtrack and that helps a little. I'm almost starting to believe that individual DVD players handle the sound differently.

My home DVD plays everything very low, even professionally recorded movie releases, while my DVD at work plays them a little louder. If I take the same base .mov file and encode it for DVD it comes out too low. Encode it for the web or Iphone and it's blaring loud.

I'm stumped.
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2010, 12:49 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,615
And to complicate it, some DVD players have volume adjustments hidden in the menus.
__________________
William Hohauser - New York City
Edit/Camera/DCP production/Animation
William Hohauser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2010, 05:39 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia Vic
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Kerner View Post
Not really. Only to turn off Dialog Normalization in Compressor by setting it to -31. I've tried boosting the levels in FC and Soundtrack and that helps a little. I'm almost starting to believe that individual DVD players handle the sound differently.
My home DVD plays everything very low, even professionally recorded movie releases, while my DVD at work plays them a little louder. If I take the same base .mov file and encode it for DVD it comes out too low. Encode it for the web or Iphone and it's blaring loud.
I'm stumped.
Hi Bob,
I too have had this stupid low audio issue. I corrected this by trial n error, did a few test encodes...and volar..
set normalization in compressor to -31, that did not work for the correct audio level, so then I changed my
"compression" in compressor from Film standard compression to "None", and the audio is now good again
and levels are what they should be when played in DVDSP and in DVD players....
the resulting file size of "None" compared to "Film standard " is exactly the same.

I checked the levels by importing into DVDSP a aiff CD track, played it , and listened to level.
then imported the new ac3 track with the "no compression" setting, and they both are the same level... so all is good now..

I've attached a pic of settings round-up FYI.

Cheers Tom K
Attached Images
 
__________________
Tom K
www.olinevideo.com.au

Last edited by Tom Klein; October 29th, 2010 at 09:57 PM. Reason: typos
Tom Klein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #11
Tourist
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1
Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro

I'm having the same trouble, and setting normalization to -31 and "None" rather than "Film compression" gave me the audio asset I needed, and in DVD Studio Pro it even previewed great. But... the DVD itself still has softer sound. Most noticeable is what happened to the gunshots -- they became soft little "pafs." Does anyone know whether DVD Studio Pro normalizes when "muxing" -- and whether there's a way to make it stop?
Willard White is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2010, 03:32 AM   #12
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
When encoding the AC3 audio in compressor from the FCP reference movie, I did dialog normalization -31. On the "encoder" tab, there's sub-tab called "preprocessing" that will have a bunch of things checked. I unchecked them all, except for "low pass filter" next to "LFE channel" 'cause it's greyed out. But jumping between DVD studio with an ac3 file created with these settings, and the original FCP timeline, and playing the audio in each, I've tested it before and it sounds the same.

Not sure what the "center downmix" and "surround downmix" settings set to -3 do, under "bitstream processing," but I left them alone.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2011, 12:04 PM   #13
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2
Re: Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro

Yes, switch to -31 for dialog normalization and switch compression from "Film" to none and you should see your levels essentially transparent from FCP.
Jed Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #14
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2
Re: Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro

Also, assuming your FCP sequence levels peak pretty hot which is a good idea if you're making a DVD you might want to turn the Peak Limiter on also. I like it at -1.
Jed Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2013, 11:12 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 74
Re: Low audio levels in DVD Studio Pro

Not sure if its right but here's what I did. I had the same trouble as others with low DVD volume even though I already had the clip peaking in 0 to -3 db in FCP.

I exported the FCP audio clip in AiF. Then pulled that aif file onto a soundtrack project.
I raised both the track level by volume gain 6+ and the master mix by 6+.

File - Export-
Settings
Export filetype AC3 Dolby Digital Professional

Normalization Gain remained at -15 db and exported with Speech compression.

Have tested on a couple TVs and doesn't seem to break. Much louder than before, and a lot of my customer base are 50+ or must like loud music because that was there no. 1 complaint of other builds. You'll have to play with your gain amounts and settings to make sure you don't distort for your material.
Tobin Strickland 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 > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > DVD Authoring

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:46 AM.


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