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Peter Steele
audio levels
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:25:30 pm

Hi, another quick question about audio levels. What number on the level meter do I want the audio to be peaking out on? Also, if it is too low or too high what do I want to change to adjust it? I can't tell the difference between amplitude, gain, clip volume etc. Right now my audio is bounding around -9 to maxing out at 0. I keep trying to decrease loudness and amplitude but it doesn't seem to affect the levels. Thanks

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Chris Wright
Re: audio levels
on Apr 21, 2016 at 2:37:55 am
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Apr 21, 2016 at 2:50:23 am

are you mixing for web, theatre, cell phones, tv, it all depends on what your destination is. there are actual standards
that you can select for match volume.

web podcasts are usually @ -16 lufs

for broadcast safe:
click match to: ITU BS 1770-3
loudness -23 lufs

other thoughts...
Loudness vs. Speech Normalization in Film and Drama for Broadcast

multiband compression can also be setup for different feels. little band compression for scary movies, small for radio. 0db is too loud and people will hate you.

theatres calibrate to 85db SPL off pink noise, fader 7
always calibrate around dialogue because you want to hear talking with effects.
with dialnorm metadata properly set, film dialogue -10 yelling, -20db talking normal -27db whispers

audio reference levels for theatres is SMPTE RP 155
sound pressure level is SMPTE RP 200
SMPTE ST 202 the (x curve)

in SMPTE 202, the x curvehigh freq 2k for large cinemas has reverberation time @ 0.85 sec more bass will reverberate. high freqs won't bounce as much.
what does this mean?
roll off 50hz and less and 2k and more in the equalizer for theatres.
before you do this, add 0.85 reverb (to 50hz-2k)to your speakers to emulate the theatre sound so you know what will happen when its played back live.

doly digital AC3 is 4db less then DTS audio unless they're THX certified.

final compression variation should be inside 5-20 db so effects shouldn't be scaring you.

the problem is, the theatres always crank up the volume to unintended mixing levels to wow the audience
so you don't always get what you want.

and remember, every 3dB is 200% louder!!

this gives pleasant sounding levels:

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Peter Steele
Re: audio levels
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:40:45 am

Thanks Chris, this is helpful stuff. I am mixing for a documentary which will be used on a web site and probably be put on DVD.
Would your "easy" settings (match to: ITU BS 1770-3 loudness -23 lufs) work ok for that?

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Chris Wright
Re: audio levels
on Apr 22, 2016 at 2:07:46 am

yes -23 for dvd,
for web use same ITU BS 1770-3 l but change lufs to -16 as computers and tv's have a different loudness standard.-16 is the new podcast standard volume so people don't have to adjust their computer speakers.

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