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Old February 19th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #1
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I have a Puzzling problem

I just sent a bride her DVD. She told me that when she playes it on her TV and two others that the audio is a bit weird. The "live" audio is fine but the downloaded songs play as if the "speaker is blown" (her words).

However, when they play it on her sisters Mac it sounds fine. I played it before it left the house and didn't notice it then either.

I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and haven't had this issue before.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #2
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Could be the home theater system they have. Sometimes I get the same deal on my players, sometimes not. Every once in a while the audio sounds clipped on my home theater system but on my big machine (600W surround sound with seperate DVD player) they sound fine.
IMO if it works fine on your system(s) and on one of theirs then it's not the disc it the system.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Could be the home theater system they have. Sometimes I get the same deal on my players, sometimes not. Every once in a while the audio sounds clipped on my home theater system but on my big machine (600W surround sound with seperate DVD player) they sound fine.
IMO if it works fine on your system(s) and on one of theirs then it's not the disc it the system.
Thanks Don!

But do you think that all three TV's would have the same problem?
For the sake of good customer service I'll probably burn them a new one because "you never know", but more than anything I don't want it to be something on my end.

Any theories on why it's just the dowloaded music that is acting up and not the music from the first dance etc?

Very odd.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Don't you just love random problems like that?




"I played it before it left the house and didn't notice it then either."

Played it on your PC/Mac or on a TV through the dvd player?
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Old February 19th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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Didn't notice you said all of her systems sounded clipped. Sorry.
In that case it might be the audio track of the DLd music. It might just be set to a very high level on the timeline. Before burning it again, check out the levels of that music in your NLE and make sure it doesn't peak above -12db.
Not to use you as an example but this situation just points out why a finished product needs to be checked on a set top DVD player on a TV and not a computer. Computers sound systems are different than a home theater or surround sound on a TV.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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I agree with Don. I always check my final copy on a consumer DVD player hooked up to my LCD TV. The audio signal straight out of a DVD is hotter than a computer and could be the reason for the issue.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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Thanks guys!

I "usually" check on the television before they head out the door but it might have been one of those days where I couldn't wrestle the TV away from my 4 yr old!

I'll burn it again and check those settings you mention Don.

Thanks again!
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Old February 19th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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I do both video and DJ work. When we switched from using CD players to laptop for all our music it took alot of getting used to. We noticed right away how much higher the mixer levels had to be to get the same volume we got from the CDs from the laptop. Even with all the internal levels on the laptop maxed out its still not close to a standard cd or dvd player.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Haro View Post
I do both video and DJ work. When we switched from using CD players to laptop for all our music it took alot of getting used to. We noticed right away how much higher the mixer levels had to be to get the same volume we got from the CDs from the laptop. Even with all the internal levels on the laptop maxed out its still not close to a standard cd or dvd player.
Wow that's interesting.
I'm going to have to pay more attention to that.

Thanks!
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Old February 20th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #10
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I use fcp. When I import a song, i usually knock it down about -3 or -4 on the volume. I've done this because, yes, when I play it on TV, it sounds kind of 'hot' when you just import the music straight to the time line and burn without any modification.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #11
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Kelsey... What do you use as a maximum audio level on your timeline? I ask this because having lived too long in the analog world of 0VU being optimal, I've learned that the digital world is different. It appears, at least to me, that -12 is where I set my peaks these days. I settled on this after lots of reading, and anecdotally it seems right because disks mastered at this level have similar sound levels as commercially produced disks and broadcast/cable TV.

Now, I'm not sure if this would factor into your problem, but it's another parameter to consider.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #12
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I also lower the volume of commercially produced music in Final Cut Pro - it always seems too loud.


It's usually a good idea to mix audio at very consistent equipment settings. What I did is set my Mac's internal volume all the way up, and my audio board to unity (0). Then I played a commercially produced DVD and set the monitor levels to a comfortable mixing volume.

Then, for mixing, don't change your computer volume, monitor volume, or audio board levels AT ALL. Do all your adjustments on the audio tracks from within Final Cut Pro. I still have a little trouble now and again with volumes rising or falling based on what I get used to while I'm editing or what the material is, but it's far better than it was before I came up with this system of setting my monitors.

I used to adjust the volume all the time on my audio board, just out of habit, but I was ending up with a very inconsistent audio track that would be way too loud, then way too quiet...

The other possibility with this is that the downloaded music is somehow out of phase - the left and right tracks are exactly the same waves but one is inverted. If you play this on a TV with only one speaker, right and left will cancel each other out and give you a very strange listening experience. Not sure how this would happen, but it's possible. The best way to tell is that every TV you play it on with one speaker or playing in mono will sound that way, but if you play it on a system with two speakers in stereo, you probably won't notice it. There's a chance, depending on how it's mixed, that you could get someone to worry that they blew a speaker on their TV if it's out of phase. I doubt that this is the issue if it's downloaded music, unless there was something unusual done in the mix or in how it was downloaded or recorded.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #13
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I've been struggling with the levels and what is proper. I thought originally -12 peak was a nice safe space but when I render out anything less than -3 peak it's too quiet when playing the dvd on a laptop.

I asked around to a few people and they were recommending getting the levels as close to 0 as possible in FCP which seems a bit too much the other way.

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Old February 20th, 2009, 07:48 AM   #14
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One other think to look at is how your audio is encoded when you do your final render in your NLE. I use Vegas and my final audio files that I bring into my DVD authoring program are in .ac3 format (Digital Dolby). I need to modify the settings before I render, otherwise the volume levels are out of whack between the music and the natural audio on the clip.

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Old February 20th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #15
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.... and people think producing a quality video is easy.... and they want to pay accordingly...
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