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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old October 24th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #961
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Thanks for the catch, John. I'm so SMPTE Drop Frame NTSC centric I don't always check under different settings - especially for the really quick one liners. In fact, there have been many cases where I've had to make adjustments to code to work correctly with other rulers. I debated on using the "+=" method but thought it might be clearer what was actually happening the other way.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 05:46 PM   #962
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i'm surprised that no one has weighed in on this... so i'll bump it to the top :-)

i don't know much about audio, but after a lot of thrashing about i ended up with the waves L2 ultra maximizer(sp ?) plugin... it does things with audio that i have not been able to do with the standard vegas software... but that could be a function of my editing incompetence in vegas, lol.

maybe first look at the levels of all three tracks to see how they compare, perhaps you'll just need to tweak on one or two tracks, instead of all of 'em at once... vegas lets you tweak and monitor every track in solo mode.

voiceover's sometimes need to have the background noise cleaned up, but i would approach that very cautiously... it doesn't take much tweaking to ruin the mix.

as i understand normalizing, it increases the volume of that portion of the audio signal that's low, without pushing the highs over the clipping limit... so normalizing ambient audio may not be a good idea... you would typically not want to normalize at 100% or more, leave at least a tiny bit of headroom under that 100% mark.

presets are your friend... do some serious googling on vegas audio presets, there should be something for voiceovers... also look at the dse website.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #963
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One problem with normalizing in Vegas is that it simply takes the loudest point and adjusts everything according to that point. Therefore, if you have a single loud clap or other noise, everything will be normalized on that point. This makes it difficult for multiple clips to be normalized the same. Sound Forge does a much better job at this.

You can also adjust the audio levels manually using a Volume Envelope. The other audio tools in Vegas can be of use as well.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 07:29 PM   #964
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This leads to another question, I have had 3 audio tracks but one of em was softer than the others.What is the best way to get them to sound like the same volume? I used a volume env to do it manually. I'm not an audio guy, thanks!
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Old October 25th, 2005, 08:42 PM   #965
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Right Click on the audio clip you want to increase the levels on. in the menu there is NON REALTIME FX-click on that. If the package isn't open when the page comes up click on "all"-now all of the audio FXs show up. Scroll to "volume" and click on that-you can now raise or lower the overall level of the clip render it as a "take" and make final adjust using an envelope which has more precise control as to where you want to raise or lower the level. Remeber the "volume" tool will raise or lower the overall sound of the clip.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #966
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Jay Rose has a nice article about compression:
http://www.dv.com/news/news_item.jht.../2004/rose0405

For your purposes, using a compressor as a limiter may be helpful. A limiter just takes the peaks that go too high and squashes em down. This can help even out sudden transients (i.e. clicks, pops) that you may not have caught or accounted for. Limiters are good to have as a "safety", and should go in the master output FX chain.
To do this:
Have a very high ratio, like 10:1.
Threshold has to be below what you want the maximum to be. So if you want the maximum to be -0dB, then set the threshold at like -2dB.
Attack should be very very fast, close to 0ms.
Release should be very fast too, although it doesn't matter as much. You can make it the same as attack.

Make-up gain: Use this to put some volume back in, because compression lowers volume without adding gain afterwards.

2- Another useful compressor is "Track Compressor". Use it at the track (i.e. compress narration differently than other things) or master level.
It's generally a good rule to have some compression on the narration to even it out. It's much much faster than doing volume envelopes.
Start with the "3:1 compression starting at -15dB" preset. Depending on how much compression you want, mess with the threshold setting. A volume control elsewhere would change the volume control for that track.

I hope that makes sense. I'm not very good at explaining this.

3- The Waves Ultramaximizer plug-in is ridiculously easy to use, and is very good quality.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #967
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Levels v. Color Curves for contrast/black

Is there any substantive difference between using color curves to crush blacks and increase contrast (like what Ultimate S does with "pushed 16mm" filmlook) and using levels to bring down blacks, and fix the gamma?
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Old October 25th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #968
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Yes.

If you have curvature in color curves, that causes shifts in the colors (i.e. slight changes in hue). You could make the color curves full of straight lines, but it's a PITA to make it do so.

If you want to increase contrast with the Levels filter, it will clip highlights and shadows. Sometimes this looks better, although I think most of the time it's better to use color curves with the s-shaped curves (like the pushed 16mm preset).

2- A downside to the color curves filter is that it will push values out of the legal color range (usually 16-235, but not always). There's a way to make it only do legal colors. Bug me about it if you would like me to post up a .veg with the color curves that do that.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #969
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Hey, thanks, Glenn. That's helpful. If I use color curves and it sends the colors out of the legal zone, can I run broadcast colors after it in the chain to bring it back?

And why do you think it's better to use the s-shaped color curve if Levels sometimes looks better? I would like to clip shadows, that's a good thing for film look, I think. Highlights, though, I would like to keep.

I will keep working on this, and look forward to others weighing in.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #970
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metering light

I have read of the importance of having a light meter. I lived with one during my speed graphic and slr days. just curious, how would one actually use one with a video camera set up. just changing the asa or din is a big difference and our cam corders do not have any such thing. so what good is the light meter??

Also when setting exposure manually I have noticed that going by the appearance in the lcd does not give me what I think I am getting when i put it on a large screen tv, seems a bit more washed out. what is the safewst way to set exposures manually to get them dead on.If I could use a light meter it would help narrow down the probelms.


Gus
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Old October 26th, 2005, 12:38 AM   #971
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Quote:
Hey, thanks, Glenn. That's helpful. If I use color curves and it sends the colors out of the legal zone, can I run broadcast colors after it in the chain to bring it back?
The broadcast colors filter won't bring it back, it'll just clip illegal colors off. The Smoothness sliders will add smoothness so things gradually roll-off before they clip. Try the filter on the white to black gradient generator, and look on the waveform display of the video scopes.

Quote:
And why do you think it's better to use the s-shaped color curve if Levels sometimes looks better? I would like to clip shadows, that's a good thing for film look, I think. Highlights, though, I would like to keep.
For the film look, I don't think you want to be clipping shadows or highlights at all. Instead, making the color curves s-shaped to boost contrast without clipping image detail (highlights and shadows get compressed instead).

I think color curves looks better most of the time.

2- Things get kind of tricky when you consider that DV cameras will record superwhites (values above digital white level). You typically want to bring this down into legal range, which increases your exposure latitude in a way.

I'll try to upload a veg when I'm not busy.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 01:04 AM   #972
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Thank you all for that very useful info, I now have a starting point, and will definetly use that the compressor as a limiter, rather than normalizing the whole deal, since there is very few really loud noises and only in one track.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 04:41 AM   #973
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Users of UltimateS may be interested in my earlier post at:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=51396
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Old October 26th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #974
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NEVER trust the LCD of ANY camera to give you proper exposure or true color. Every one will be different depending on make and mfg of camera AND how the LCD is set. I have used a light meter to get an overall brightness of a setup and differences in key and fill lighting but it is not very practical on most of my stuff which is run and gun, so the best suggestion is learn to use the ZEBRAS properly. The ZEBRAS will help you more with exposures than any light meter. One thing I have always done with the LCDs on all of my cameras is to try to adjust the brightness down to the level of the room, in other words if I'm in a venue where its pretty dark, I turn down the brightness of the LCD so it more closely approximates the room, instead of turning it up so I can see better. When I shoot with my full sized camera, its ZEBRAS with a nice black and white viewfinder AND proper WHITE BALANCE. I'll use the LCD for framing reference only when I'm on a tripod.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #975
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If it's looking washed-out that's also likely the classic black-level alteration that often occurs when going from Japanese camcorders to US PC's.

When I first started working with DV I ran into the baffling phenomena of why did my DVDs look washed-out compared to what I'd seen in my LCD or PC (PC screens show video darker than calibrated monitors or TVs do). So I went online and found that this was a very common cause of hair-tearing so I researched and found out what was going on and what to do about it.

Basically it comes about because of the different standards in black levels that US equipment and Japanese equipment have. US equipment calls for a black level of +7.5 while Japanese equipment (and DV) calls for a level of 0. Every time you go from 0 to +7.5 things get lighter, washed-out and can look over-exposed.

Black levels can get altered going out of a Japanese camcorder into a US computer, and again when being encoded for DVD and then Japanese DVD players change it yet again (they add +7.5) and you can get quite a mess.

There is a very good article on this at:

http://www.signvideo.com/dv-black-le...g-2-part-1.htm

There is also an excellent 5 minute Flash video that explains (and shows) black level stuff problems.

http://pro.jvc.com/pro/attributes/pr...etup/demo.html

The bottom line is you film something, edit it, get it looking exactly how you want and then find it looking washed out and/or over-exposed when played back from a DVD player on a correctly set TV or a calibrated monitor.

Fortunately the solution is simple. The Vegas Color Corrector includes a preset called "Studio RGB to Computer RGB" which restores washed-out black levels. I also highly recommend monitoring your Vegas timeline via firewire on an external calibrated monitor so you can see the black levels more accurately.

HTH,

Tony
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