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Levels when recording spoke word?

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Rick Pearl
Levels when recording spoke word?
on Mar 5, 2010 at 7:02:54 am

I am importing videos into Final Cut Pro that I want to narrate over. I'm going to use a Countryman headset, plugged into a mixer that is plugged into my Macpro. The videos will be compressed for the web.

1.) Is there any reason to record my narration in a program other than Final Cut Pro for this purpose? Is there anything to gain by using another program?

2.) From what I have read, the ideal average levels for spoken word is around -12db. Should I be concerned if I am hitting below this while recording, and only sometimes reaching -12db? Or is this something I can just adjust in Final Cut Pro? OR should I try to average -12db when recording my narration?

Thanks!!!



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Richard Crowley
Re: Levels when recording spoke word?
on Mar 6, 2010 at 3:18:02 am

"Is there any reason to record my narration in a program other than Final Cut Pro for this purpose? Is there anything to gain by using another program? "

Probably nothing to gain unless you want some special processing such as gating or compression, etc. But you can apply those in post anyway.

-12 is a reasonably conservative target for regular peaks. There is no hard and fast rule because it depends on other things, not the least of which is the dynamic range of the narrator. I'm talking here about "tracking" (recording) levels, not mix levels which, of course, will be adjusted as appropriate during editing


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