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Old March 14th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Helsinki/Finland
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AC3 audio level - still an issue...


Thanks. I had the impression that the AC3 finetuning could be done in DVDA... I was wrong. You cannot either do this AC3 volume correction in Vegas, if you do not render the audio separatedly. What a shame...

I normally go from HDV to AVI (PAL) in Vegas, quality drop is mainly due to loosing the HDV resolution. The I let DVDA render from AVI to MPG2 (DVD) since it is impossible to tell at this stage the final bitrate of a crowded DVD with all menus and additional stuff. The worst thing that could happen is that an already rendered MPG2 file gets re-rendered in DVDA if it does not fit.

It seems that there is then no work-around for properly rendering the audio levels of an AVI source material in DVDA into MPG2 for DVD burning!!! Am I correct?

And - am I the only one that thinks this is a severe shortcoming - or even an stupid omission?

Sony touts everywhere to stay in AVI for the best quality, additionally it is fast and easy to edit (no GOPs). It would be completely natural to assemble the final DVD in DVDA out of AVI files (the natural format of most of the DV material). This can be done - but the audio level will be somewhat -20db too low due to the default and fixed setting of the AC3 encoding...

To solve this audio problem I am forced to:

1. Assemble my final DVD already in Vegas (albeit not the menus).
2. Render the audio into separate AC3 file with custom tweaks to keep the volume level intact.
3. Determine at this stage what is the proper bit rate for the DVD so that all video will fit when assembled in DVDA.
4. Render the video as an separate MPG2 file (without audio)
5. Put togheter my final DVD in DVDA (separate audio and video files) and cross my fingers and hope that everything will fit.

This can not be how Sony has intended it? I am very disappointed if there is not other (simpler) way to achieve 1:1 volume in DVDA after coding stereo AVI into stereo AC3 MPG2... This is very frustrating. DVDA should be the application where you assemble your final DVD - or?

I am grateful to you Edward that you teached me (and probably a bunch of other unknowing people) how to work around the audio problem. I had no clue why all my DVDs sounded so silent... If someone says that just turn up your volume on your TV - remember that you loose at the same time the same amount of S/N...

However, in a professional sw package as Vegad+DVDA - it should not be this complicated. Stereo AC3 should be by default converted at 1:1 - when the source is stereo AVI. There should be a setting in DVDA, to fine tune the AC3 encoding. There is no technical reason why it could not be also there and not only in Vegas. And there is no other reason why it couln not be there. Someone with influence should talk to the Vegas development team...

Sorry for the long post - but I feel a little disasppointed. Othervice Vegas is rock solid and works great, but this kind of structural shortcomings (in my opinion) should be ironed out. Am I alone with my opinion?

The future does not exist - we must invent it !
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Old March 14th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #17
Sponsor: JET DV
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 7,858
You basically have two options:

1. Render to MPEG2 and AC3 in Vegas giving you FULL control of all settings (and, yes, also full responsibility of getting the sizes right). There are several bitrate calculators available and a chart in my newsletter to help ensure you get a file that is small enough. Using the chart in my newsletter, my MPEG2 files have always been sufficiently small.

2. Render to DV-AVI in Vegas and let DVD Architect take care of everything for you. However, you no longer have full control over the various settings (you basically have NO control). Plus, depending on your source and whatever else you've done to the project, you've potentially lost some color information as well by going through the intermediate AVI file.
Edward Troxel [SCVU]
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