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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #1
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Audio levels

Hallo, could you tell me wich are the audio level suggested in audio track for the music and in the audio track for speak?Even idf i use the headphones sometimes on the tv screen appears the music too low or too high.Thx a lot
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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #2
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This is one thing that has to be done by listening to it as there are too many variables to say "speech should be at this level and music at this level".
Location audio levels can be all over the place and pre-recorded music will vary as well, depending on the style.
Unfortunately a lot of people pay little attention to the audio when it's initially recorded and then spend a lot of time trying to fix it later in the edit suite.
Get the best possible sound that you can while on location.
This means using headphoes while on location so that you can hear if you're recording good sound as well as picking up any problems.
Invest in a decent set of monitor speakers as a set of $50 computer speakers are not good for critical monitoring.

Very few people listen to a video while wearing headphones so never do a mix with them.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Mike is correct, of course.

Marcus, it is best to NOT use headphones.. Use speakers to listen.

Set your speaker volume to comfortable listening level and adjust volume on the timeline as you go along.

Normal variations in volume are normal, it is the extremes that you need to adjust.
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Old April 19th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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reference monitors and compare to another dvd

I agree with previous comment - if you are serious about improving your efforts (I assume its DVD output?) then investing in some "proper" speakers to monitor the audio is almost one of the best things you could do.

i find that even the simplest videos i do requires adjustment of the audio no matter how good the initial capture was (though the better the capture, the more professional it sounds and less i have to do)

If you get a little mini mixer you can then listen to your Vegas timeline and also a DVD player by switching between the two just to compare (you do have to set up / calibrate your input levels so that you are comparing like for like signal levels).

Before I duplicate a 1000 DVDs I will try and test my DVD on several TV/LCD sets listening, making notes, and re-mixing the audio until levels are optimised.

headphones only are not good for mixing really, just as a comparison
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Old April 19th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marcus Martell View Post
Hallo, could you tell me wich are the audio level suggested in audio track for the music and in the audio track for speak?Even idf i use the headphones sometimes on the tv screen appears the music too low or too high.Thx a lot
Yep, no headphones for editing. If you use a bus for each audio track you have a lot more control of the levels.
I start with the track header presets namely the EQ and set to a sot limiter at -3db, then the bus is set to a soft limiter at -6db. My main bus is set to hard limiter -6db and I set the wave hammer to Master for 16 bit. I picked this all up from VASST I think it waas Spot who wrote it up. Also in the header there are 2 sliders. One controls levels and one is for panning. On the levels slider right click and chage the position from ADD to whatever level you want the track to be, I usually use either -3 or -6 depending on what the track is. Voice or music. I then keep the MASTER BUS level to max at -12db by adjusting the various track levels thru either the slider on the bus OR Volume Envelopes. It takes a little time but it works quite well. Consistant levels. If it is a bit low or high, it's consistant.
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Old April 19th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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Here's one more thing to do when you're doing the final encode to AC-3.
This assumes you have Vegas Pro and not one of the Movie Studio versions.

Encode set to AC3;
Click on Custom tab;
On the first tab, set diag. norm to" -31";
On the last tab marked Preprocessing, set the Line Mode Profile
and RF Mode Profile mode to "none";
Save this as a preset.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
Here's one more thing to do when you're doing the final encode to AC-3.
That will set it to the loudest possible levels. I sometimes have to adjust it to between -31 and -27 to get a better result. I also sometimes change the profile to a film or other profile depending upon the content.

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Old April 30th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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I'm learning cool stuff righ here hombres!
Thanks a lot guys
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Old April 30th, 2009, 05:33 AM   #9
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This is what I try to acheive with audio.
Spoken word peaking at 6db and siting between 12db to 6db.
When you have a spoken word with music try keeping music to between 18db to 24db or less.
When you have just music try keeping peaking at between 12db and 6bd or less.
With mixing audio it's a must to keep everthing flowing with out jumps from one source of audio to another.
By keeping the spoken word peaking at 6db this gives you a bit of head room to move up 3db if required.
Also by using this as a guide this is easier to get a mix together.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 05:17 PM   #10
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Also remember that adding more tracks containing audio adds to the overall sound energy that is present. More tracks more dbs. This is a great test to do yourself.

Grazie
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #11
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WOW Simon daz a cool guide here!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Graham Bernard View Post
Also remember that adding more tracks containing audio adds to the overall sound energy that is present. More tracks more dbs. This is a great test to do yourself.

Grazie
True unless you go into the track header on the panning slider and right click the handle to adjust to more suitable level. There is 0 add, -3, -6, constant and film levels. I generally start with -6 if I have more than 1 track of audio. That way it's not adding up volume. Between that and using a seperate bus for each track it gives you very good control, then add in volume envelopes to a track and BAM! Great control over levels coming out.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
This is what I try to acheive with audio.
Spoken word peaking at 6db and siting between 12db to 6db.
When you have a spoken word with music try keeping music to between 18db to 24db or less.
When you have just music try keeping peaking at between 12db and 6bd or less.
With mixing audio it's a must to keep everthing flowing with out jumps from one source of audio to another.
By keeping the spoken word peaking at 6db this gives you a bit of head room to move up 3db if required.
Also by using this as a guide this is easier to get a mix together.
I presume those are all - (minus) db's...
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #14
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Yep -db
It's hard to do but the more you start thinking about mixing levels like this you can keep a good mix going through out the edit. The more advance one gets I would then export the final edit and bring this into Sound Track Pro, which is a Apple product and do a light compression to bring this all together.

Cheers
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #15
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Vegas 9 has a greatly improved ducking tool where you can drag a selection and change the level by simply pulling down that part of the volume envelope. (You'll need to insert an audio volume envelope first to the track you want to duck).

Almost all professional audio tracks duck then music when the voice track appears, its a little extra work but not much.

Also, you should shelve the high end of the music track with an EQ so the the voice can cut through a little better. I usually cut as much as 6db's above 5K although the frequency depends on the tracks. The listener will rarely detect the music track is a bit softer, but they will be able to hear the voice more easily.
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