FORUMS: list search recent posts

How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites

COW Forums : Audio Professionals

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
LanceB
How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 4, 2007 at 7:23:19 pm

We are a company with 5 editors. We make ads for tv broadcast. Currently we put the ad to tape and the broadcaster captures using a decklink card.They do this to ensure the audio levels meet their spec's.The broadcaster then converts to a mpg2 file for broadcast.
It would be far more efficient if we mpeg'd out the ad straight from the NLE but for one thing:
- the audio levels seem to be different for each machine

They are all as per broadcaster spec's in the NLE but when they are played the levels vary.

My question: how do I get the machines levels all the same?

Our Setup:
NLE PPro 2.0 and CS3
Windows XP
nVidia sound cards - various models

Your help will be much appreciated.

cheers

Lance


Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 5, 2007 at 11:30:26 am

Establishing and maintaining a house standard is as much about having each person understand what the level should be as it is how the gear is calibrated.

If the five rooms are similar in configuration, getting that part right is relatively easy. Getting operators to mix and master the same way may not be as easy.

Some visually oriented folks really don't have a good handle on audio. (and vice versa).
The results, therefore, may vary. As a starting position, perhaps someone can be designated the house audio mastering guru. He/she will travel to each suite for the final mix to make sure levels, EQ, compression and limiting are right. As the others in the suites see/hear how it's done, they may learn from your guru. As they do, they can do the mix and have him/her sign off on it.

Getting a good spot mix is not simply about keeping it loud enough, but out of the red. A good mix also means attention to EQ, compression and limiting. Do that and your spots will kick butt and please your clients.

You will need to standardize your audio monitoring systems in all rooms. Having the same system in each suite placed properly so you can hear what's going on is essential.

Don't know where you are, but I do that sort of consulting.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


Return to posts index

LanceB
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 5, 2007 at 7:02:29 pm

Thanks for your reply Ty. I am in New Zealand but if you're over here you are more than welcome.

I will organise one audio person as per your suggestion.

As for hardware is it a case of having to calibrate sound cards? or do we need to make sure that every machine's master volume control is at the same setting and then other steps from there?

cheers

Lance


Return to posts index


Ty Ford
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 5, 2007 at 8:27:18 pm

You're not at Isola with Bronwynn WIlson are you?

Without knowing a lot more about each suite, it's difficult to say. Certainly all systems need to know what 0dB is in the digital domain.

Is it just the monitor volume level in each room that differs, or is is the actual level of the file?

Regards,

Ty Ford





Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


Return to posts index

LanceB
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 5, 2007 at 9:42:06 pm

No I work for a company called AlphaMedia Productions.

The levels are the same coming out of Premiere but thinking about it, it may be with the encoding the ads to mpg2. Fundamentally though we are saying that the levels are fine from us but the broadcaster (who is part of the organisation) are saying that our productions are broadcasting at different volume ie some are louder, some are softer. Which is why they want to capture off tape so they control the levels - which means it is a levels problem not volume?

Lance


Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 5, 2007 at 10:24:34 pm

[LanceB] "
The levels are the same coming out of Premiere but thinking about it, it may be with the encoding the ads to mpg2. Fundamentally though we are saying that the levels are fine from us but the broadcaster (who is part of the organisation) are saying that our productions are broadcasting at different volume ie some are louder, some are softer. Which is why they want to capture off tape so they control the levels - which means it is a levels problem not volume?"


Hello Lance,

Could be some of your mixes are more compressed (audio, not data) than others. What happens when you listen to them?

Regards,

Ty Ford



Return to posts index


LanceB
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 7, 2007 at 12:46:34 am


Not quite sure what you mean by what's happening to it but having spent this time talking to you I think I need to do more testing as I've realised there are many places the problems could be and I need to narrow it down before coming back.

cheers Ty and thanks for your help.

Lance


Return to posts index

Anthony Marzilli
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 7, 2007 at 3:45:15 pm

Compression may be a big issue. I also send a lot of ads to stations and I can tell you that they will compress your project WAY more after you already do. So if you do not have it well compressed and leveled then once they get their hands on it the levels will sound way different then what it did at your studio. At least thats how it seems around here in Michigan in the US.


Return to posts index

Peter Groom
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 15, 2007 at 8:39:15 pm

How come no one has mentioned meters yet?

If you havent got PPM meters across the mixer, then how on earth can you expect to have either ANY idea of what the levels are doing or have any consistency across multi rooms?

Systems have to be calibrated with reference level tone to a known meter value, which then relates to the peak levels of a final mix.

What meters do you have?
Peter


Return to posts index


LanceB
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 16, 2007 at 6:07:48 pm

The meters inside of premiere pro.

Lance


Return to posts index

Peter Groom
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 16, 2007 at 6:40:25 pm

Im not familiar with Premiere, but will almost guarantee theyre not meant for balancing and mixing.
You need Peak Programme Meters (PPM's) that actually show the max peaks and not some average value. PPMs attack very fast and decay very slow so you seee the max level. This then has a relationship to the tone you supply at the head of the programme over the bars for picture calibration.
In the UK the standard is PPM 4 = -18dbfs at 1k tone, and the audio peaks (maxes) at =8db above this on PPM 6. Other countries have different values, but that isnt importans. What IS important is that the relationship between the max amplitude of peaks and the delivery tone ref level is known and the relationship understood by everyone, or it is specifically stated.

There are many quite good and cheap software PPMs available, the best in my opinion called PPmulator by raw materials. However be aware that many non linear systems dont allow it to be inserted easily in the mixer output postition. This is why most operators have much more costly external PPMs costing hundreds or thousands of


Return to posts index

LanceB
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 16, 2007 at 7:37:47 pm

I understand that premiere's audio is a good one and doesn't average out levels - but I could be wrong on that. I have left the realms of my knowledge so have decided to get an audio gut in to sort it out. thanks for your advice.

Lance

Lance


Return to posts index


Peter Groom
Re: How to standardise audio levels over 5 edit suites
on Dec 16, 2007 at 8:00:49 pm

By average I was referring to a meter type. A VU measures an average value. As it sets off on its way to read a loud peak, it is halted en route by the next audio which may be a quieter one, hence it never actually reads a peak which is what we need to see. A PPM always shows the highest peak and it is weighted for a slow decay so it falls back slower so we always get to see the peak and respond to it.

I wasnt suggesting that Premiere is such a donkey as to actually adjust the mean audio values, merely that internal metering is in my experience not designed for this use. They are usually calibrated to "O" where all the 0's and 1's become 1's in a digital datastream and onset clipping occurs.

Different meters for different jobs.

Peter


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]