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Old March 11th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #1
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leveling out sound

In last stage of editing a project with fifty-five pieces of audio...some is music, everything from rap to an old Marvin Gaye song, plus numerous chunks of voice, some of which is very hot and some of which is bit low.

Up to now in these types of projects I have adjusted every piece of audio individually; very time consuming. Usually after burning a test DVD I still have to go back and adjust something.

I experimented with using "Dynamic range compression setting of Music Standard on a similar but smaller project yesterday and it seemed to even everything out...

Is there a tool or any setting in Vegas, that will even everything out?
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Old March 11th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #2
 
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Try experimenting with WAVE HAMMER. I think it'll do what you need.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #3
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Bill, what is it? A plug-in?
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Old March 11th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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fiurst of all ensure all yoru pieces are normalised.. (rght click normalise) this shoudl boost your signals up to the RMS threshold... this will give you the headspace to play around with levels..

wavehammer is a good one, but there are plenty of other plugins for mastering audio, such as Waves and TCNative.. these are direct x and VST audio plugins which can either work in realtime on the track level, or can be processed offline (on the clip level) then reimprted without skipping a beat if u use an app like soundforge (or even audition)
Vegas/forge will create multiple takes of said audio clips depening on whether your opening a copy in soundforge, or whether your opening the original.. sometimes however, it just pays off to go it manually..
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Old March 11th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #5
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This looks like the beginning of a new and terrible learning phase. I hate this.

I have SoundForge 8 but have never even installed it....give me a hint where to begin...do you start out with all audio at the original level and render it in a particular format (I am guessing .wav, but at what settings) and then open it in Soundforge?

Thanks in advance.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #6
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Another question....it has never before occured to me to use the peaks of each piece of audio to quickly eyeball and even out audio...is this a reliable method of getting volume levels under control, or are the peaks not a true indicator of actual volume? Anyone know? I'm going through this project now and lowering everything to where the peaks are about the same size and then using an audio volume envelope to raise the the quiet sections. I cannot believe I haven't thought of it before...it's really too obvious...any reason not to start out this way?
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Old March 11th, 2007, 10:20 PM   #7
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Just normalize the audio and save yourself a lot of work.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #8
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Just normalize the audio and save yourself a lot of work.
Peak Normalization or RMS? Peaks are not a good indication of level and peak normalization will not even out the level between pieces. If the selected audio has a spike in it and you normalize that to 0 or .2 db below digital 0, the RMS level will still be low compared to other pieces.

I have found that the best method is to manually select and lower the spikes(like an ess sound or a gun shot) then normalize. Then I playback each piece and listen at low volume to determine what jumps out. Then repeat the manual process. Very time comsuming.

I have not found a plug-in that will do this automatically.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #9
 
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Here is a utility that does do this automatically, but it doesn't work in all NLE's or DAW systems.
check out the freebies, they're really powerful, and the paid-for software is at an awesome price too.

BTW Glenn, I'm with you; Normalization shouldn't be a "normal" part of the audio processing practice.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
....it has never before occured to me to use the peaks of each piece of audio to quickly eyeball and even out audio...is this a reliable method of getting volume levels under control, or are the peaks not a true indicator of actual volume?...
Although the display can be generally helpful in finding the quiet and loud in your tracks, all volume adjustments should be done by ear. It isn't really about volume, it's about perceived loudness, your ear is the best tool. (accurate monitors help.)
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for the assistance. I will check out the utility Douglas recommends. Seth you are correct about volume vs. percieved loudness.

I used the peak indicators on project to make initial adjustments and it is an excellent starting point. I then went through listening to burned DVD and everything was so close only needed minor adjustments which were easy and quick to make.

BTW, is Wave Hammer only part of SoundForge, and will anyone recommend as to whether it is worth installing to use for sound on NLE projects? I have the program but haven't used it before.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #12
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Douglas, thank you for the link to the exact page of the BlueCat utilities I should try...you are most kind...the utilities are intriuging and I'm going to dowload them now! What an excellent resource this place is.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
BTW, is Wave Hammer only part of SoundForge, and will anyone recommend as to whether it is worth installing to use for sound on NLE projects? I have the program but haven't used it before.
I use it for the final processing step for audio for video that we publish weekly on the web. Works great!

Note that the compression/limiting settings vary depending upon the target. A movie theater can have wide dynamics. Radio broadcasts to car stereos need a lot of compression. TV broadcasts are less compressed than radio. DVDs are less compressed still.

I compress to a medium level for the web, considering that people often listen on cheap speakers near their noisy PCs.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #14
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Jon, How do you use it? Do you render an audio file into a particular format eg., .wav and then bring into SoundForge? If you use .wav, is there a best setting?

Thanks
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #15
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Jon, I just watched your Sword of the Stone and Action Trailer...fantastic...I loved the soundtrack...everything.
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