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Proper audio levels for FCPX

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Sierra Neal
Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 10, 2013 at 1:45:23 am

....Trained on FCP for many years... but new to FCPX

I was taught to mix dialogue between -6 and -12 dB, and of course never peaking above 0 dB. But this is assuming you are using a digital meter, which never exceeds 0. If i'm not mistaken FCPX now uses the dBU scale which goes into the positive range, and sort of depicts the average loudness as opposed to the instantaneous peaks on the digital (dBFS?) scale.

So my question is... what should my rules of thumb be for audio mixing now? About what dB level should my dialogue be set to, and what should my max peak be? I know there's new laws for broadcast, but I had some trouble deciphering it. Probably a little louder for internet i assume?

Thanks!


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Richard Herd
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 10, 2013 at 8:51:49 am

Compound Clip it. Set the dB of the CC to -12. Hit CMD-8. Choose the compressor and jack the settings sliders to 100% and 100%. Presto. All audio (if it's captured cleanly) is at -12.

You want, -6, set it to -6 and so on.

Audio compression shouldn't be that hard. And it isn't.

It still needs to be recorded clean. <-- Can't overstate that!


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Paul Figgiani
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 10, 2013 at 1:30:08 pm

0 dB in FCPX is the same as 0 dBFS in FCP 7. In essence - X's meters are PPM's and not VU's.

If you're looking to adhere to a -12 dB target, using the FCPX Limiter or Compressor is fine. OTOH it's slightly less intuitive when compared to using something like Nugen's ISL or Wave Arts Final Plug. (I own both and I'm not affiliated).

Both of these plugs allow you to clearly set -12 dBFS as your ceiling. If necessary you can drive the input as high as you like - the signal will never pass -12 dBFS. In fact the Nugen limiter will also handle ISP's (Intersample Peaks).

-paul.

Here you see I'm set to safeguard at -12 dBFS:



Here I set a -12 dBFS Ceiling - and I'm driving the input by lowering the Threshold. This will result in an increase in overall loudness with the output never passing -12 dBFS.



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Paul Figgiani
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 10, 2013 at 2:25:35 pm

0 dB in FCPX is the same as 0 dBFS in FCP 7. In essence - X's meters are PPM's and not VU's.

If you're looking to meet a -12 dB target, using the FCPX Limiter or Compressor is fine. OTOH it's slightly less intuitive when compared to using something like Nugen's ISL or Wave Arts Final Plug. (I own both and I'm not affiliated).

Both of these plugs allow you to clearly set -12 dBFS as your ceiling. If necessary you can drive the input as high as you like - the signal will never pass -12 dBFS. In fact the Nugen limiter will also handle ISP's (Intersample Peaks).

Here you see I'm set to safeguard at -12 dBFS:



Here I set a -12 dBFS Ceiling - and I'm driving the input by lowering the Threshold. This will result in an increase in overall loudness with the output never passing -12 dBFS.



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Michael Sanders
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:37:21 pm

I just wish I could get ppmulator from zplane to work with X.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Paul Figgiani
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 12, 2013 at 1:30:27 pm

Mike,

What features in ppmulator make it attractive for you? It does look like a nice set of tools. And the price is reasonable.

I'm using Nugen's VisLM in X. Worx pretty well. The thing is X makes it difficult to use due to the lack of tracks, buses, etc. I'm not complaining - I realize that's the way it is. As it stands I apply it to Compound Clips for global measurements. Sometimes I have multiple instances of it running on individual clips. Not very efficient to say the least. It would be nice if apple ramped up the X meters. There's definitely room for improvement and enhancements ...

-paul.


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Michael Sanders
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Feb 13, 2013 at 2:52:45 pm

I just like the ballistics of a proper PPM - also from what I understand PPmulator is very very accurate.

I had it working on my old system with Soundflower and FCP 7 but I can't seem to get Soundflower or Audio Hi Jack Pro to work on my current 10.8 system.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Jeff Krieger
Re: Proper audio levels for FCPX
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:59:31 pm

Hi, can you give a more detail explanation of your method? Raise ALL the sliders in the audio compressor effect to 100%? There are quite a few of them, and I'm guessing that's not what you mean. :) Thx.


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