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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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Increasing audio level

I know you can grab the audio "bar" at the top of the timeline and adjust gain for individual clips on the timeline. But this only allows lowering the audio level. How can I increase the auto level for individual clips on the timeline??

Thanks much,

Duane
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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #2
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clck on the audio track header (far left of the screen) press V. That gives you an audio envelope -you can raise of lower as needed by using 4 point editing.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #3
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Don is of course right - once you have an envelope you can drag the whole thing up, or insert points to raise & lower sections, or create volume ramps.

Another quick method is to right-click on a clip, pull down to Switches | Normalize. This will find the maximum volume in your clip and raise it to near-0 db, depending on a pref. -.1 is a common figure, but it can be anything. All the sections of your clip will be raised proportionally.

Then copy that event, and select multiple clips and right-click Paste Event Attributes to set a whole group of clips to "normalized".

There are some common misconceptions about normalizing. It does not add noise any more than any other method of increasing volume does. Some audio experts see it as an unneccessary trick that is the mark of inattention in the recording process - maybe sometimes true, but if it fits the post workflow of what you're trying to do it's really no worse than any other method.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #4
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Thank you very much. I tried a search in the vegas help but didn't come up with that.

Duane
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Old December 8th, 2008, 12:17 AM   #5
 
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There are two methods of normalizing; and regarding the Vegas method, noise is raised right alongside the signal. And it's all relative. There is peak normalizing, which Vegas does offer, and RMS normalizing, which Vegas does not offer. You have to go to Sound Forge for that method, and it's usually a better method.

I respectfully disagree with Seth regarding normalization. Although it does not add noise, normalization does raise the apparent noise, and if your signal to noise ratio is poor, especially with compressed audio files, at some point your signal is limited but since noise is at the bottom of the signal, existing noise levels will be raised.
IMO, normalize vs other methods of raising volume levels is a last resort. Don't forget you can use the volume envelope to raise as much as 6dB (which raises noise too, of course). you can use EQ to raise levels as well, and it often is a better method because it allows the selective frequencies to be raised giving the important frequencies greater loudness vs raising everything.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
...Although it does not add noise, normalization does raise the apparent noise, and if your signal to noise ratio is poor, especially with compressed audio files, at some point your signal is limited but since noise is at the bottom of the signal, existing noise levels will be raised...IMO, normalize vs other methods of raising volume levels is a last resort...
Spot has the nub of the normalizing issue here and has said it very clearly - all methods of increasing volume alone will proportionally bring up any noise floor of the recording along with the signal, often to audible levels. Normalize is perhaps the 10-pound sledgehammer of raising volume, and will almost always make the noise floor audible if not objectionable.

"Last resort"? Perhaps so, if you take the 10-pound hammer analogy, you wouldn't reach for it when a 1-pound hammer or even a little tacking hammer will do the trick. It's a question of how much correction you need.

None of these volume methods changes the actual signal to noise ratio, but as Spot pointed out a finely tuned EQ can frequently reduce apparent noise, improving signal to noise.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; December 8th, 2008 at 11:52 AM.
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