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Old September 9th, 2014, 06:48 PM   #1
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How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

In short, when you have a lot of clips of all sorts of audio capture levels, how do you quickly:

1- equalize the level of all clips so that they are all of equal loudness? (normalizing sometimes doesn't do it, if one of the clips has a large peak in it)

2- equalize the volume across a single clip?

I edit in premiere, and I use audition for more complex audio cleaning.
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Old September 9th, 2014, 08:33 PM   #2
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Hey Max, if you don't already know about The Levelator (and I didn't until recently), check with Google. It's free, and a lifesaver.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Thanks Adrian, I'll check that out!
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

I use Adobe Audition of if I have listened to it so much, send the audio to my engineer friends.

I have heard about the Levelator as well.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

We add a 2:1 compressor to all spoken audio tracks.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Danny- I'm no audio guru (not even close). I vaguely know what a compressor is, but you explain what you mean by a 2:1 compressor?
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Old September 11th, 2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

I have tried levelator but found it increased audio levels in silent parts so much I found it unusable, now I just manually adjust levels when needed.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

I manually adjust volume.

Add a audio envelope to the track and increase and decrease as and when required ...

I've noticed the more plugins you use, or other programs, the longer it takes to render, or you spend a lot of time deviating away from the project fiddling with not so relevant stuff. Stick to the basic way of doing it and just put your head down and crack on.

Now if I needed to repair a audio file. Then thats a totally different workflow which will require more effort with third party software.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

I agree with James on this one. keep it simple. manually adjust the levels for each track.
works in sony vegas very well.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I have tried levelator but found it increased audio levels in silent parts so much I found it unusable, now I just manually adjust levels when needed.
I tend to run a suspect track through The Levelator and then bring it into Vegas and listen to how it compares to the original. Sometimes its not great, especially if there are frequent periods of short near silences as it will bump up the floor in those parts. But if there is a certain amount of ambient going on its much better and can be excellent. You could of course use an envelope on the Levelator track to fix just the silent bits, and that can be quicker and better than trying to do the whole thing yourself.

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Old September 11th, 2014, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Manual for me too via an envelope. I have used Levelator a few times on tracks where I have had issues with the audio. I don't consider it software that you use each and every time. As Noa says it pushes all the audio up so you do get an increase in background noise but it's still worth having a copy on your desktop if manual adjust fails! I had a bride once who was so nervous she was literally whispering and her audio waveform was almost a flat line on the track whilst the groom and priest was quite normal. Sony Vegas only allows 12db lift via the envelope so instead of pushing the whole track level up a huge amount and then pull down all the normal audio, Levelator did a good job there.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 09:27 PM   #12
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

I do everything manual as well and try to keep stuff between -6 and -12 db on my Premiere CC audio level window.

If I have low volume audio, I usually bring in the multiband compressor from the audio effects panel.

Otherwise, I just use the rubber bands on the tracks as needed.
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Old September 12th, 2014, 05:51 AM   #13
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Yeah, I usually use Compression in Audition to level out audio, I found Levelator to not be too great tbh like others have said it brings up the silent parts up to much.
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Old September 12th, 2014, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Combination of manual, compression and limiters.

There is no one-click solution I've ever been happy with. Adjustments are made on a case by case basis.
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Old September 12th, 2014, 11:15 AM   #15
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Re: How do you make sure your audio is all level in post?

Not to be a smart-alec, but it bears mentioning...
Try and get the audio correct during the recording process.
Not always possible, but it should be step #1
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