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Clip louder in browser than in timeline

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Michael Lynch
Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:03:49 pm

I did find one other post about this issue, but there was no real conclusion. Here is the issue:

Imported clips viewed in the browser have clean audio between -6 and 0 which is how it was recorded. Drop the clip in the timeline and now audio is around -12. PITA for editing. Any ideas?

Thanks!

-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Andy Neil
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:23:05 pm

Interesting. What is the channel configuration of your audio? How many tracks? Is the waveform any different (ie: smaller) when in the timeline?

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Michael Lynch
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:53:53 pm

4 tracks but only one with audio, the 3 unused tracks are disabled and configuration is "four mono". Waveform is smaller in timeline. Difference in dB seems to be about 6. Interesting.

-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Andy Neil
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:59:01 pm

Did you have "remove silent channels" checked in your import dialog box? Have you tried opening the clip it's own timeline?

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Michael Lynch
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 6:08:24 pm

Did not know of an option to remove silent channels. When I open the clip in it's own timeline it shows 4 tracks and only the first one has a waveform (makes sense), but that waveform is significantly lower than in the browser. I don't have an easy place to store a screenshot or I'd post one.

-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 6:36:00 pm

[Michael Lynch] "I don't have an easy place to store a screenshot or I'd post one."

How about HERE? ;)

Simply click the little camera icon above the text field, upload the file, select it in the list and copy the subsequent embed link into your answer text .


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Michael Lynch
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 6:58:37 pm

Let's give it a shot:


-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Andy Neil
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:05:15 pm

Michael, you may have a phase issue of some kind. Open your clip in timeline and delete the other three audio clips.

The "remove silent channels" is at the bottom of the import dialog box. When importing a clip make sure this is checked and FCP X won't bring in those channels.

Bill,-12 DB might be unity for most video productions, but FCPX should not be auto attenuating clips placed into the timeline. That would be a nightmare for mixing.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Charlie Austin
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:34:51 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:46:57 pm

[Andy Neil] "Bill,-12 DB might be unity for most video productions, but FCPX should not be auto attenuating clips placed into the timeline. That would be a nightmare for mixing."

Agreed. I'm all for X taking care of some drudge work for me, but changing audio levels with no user input is not something I'd be happy about. At all. And... I don't think it's doing that, in fact, it doesn't do it for me. even with audio that's slammed to 0db on the meters. same in browser and project... something else is going on.

I'm with Andy, delete or disable the "empty" tracks in the master clip and see what happens. The fact that reference waveforms are showing up in them points to some sort of signal being present...


-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Bill Davis
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:04:27 pm

[Charlie Austin] "[Andy Neil] "Bill,-12 DB might be unity for most video productions, but FCPX should not be auto attenuating clips placed into the timeline. That would be a nightmare for mixing.""

Fair enough.

I just saw the -6 to 0 db in the OP's reference and a HUGE reg flag went off. Atavistic response to brining in audio that has absolutely no headroom in any digital audio system seems ludicrous to me.

Since I came out of radio sound was my first professional discipline, and having to learn that the concepts of "soft clipping" that I'd relied on for so many years would totally destroy my work in the future was enough to get me into the "lower is better, provided it's scrupulously clean" mindset that has served me well for the past decade.

I've seen WAY too many people "mix hot" and then cry when the entire audio signal sounds like hash on the output.

It's not a thing I usually think about because I nearly always record my own stuff and in doing so, I always know where my levels should be, but I'd feel totally incompetent if I delivered a track with anything other than a transient even remotely close to 0db gain.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Bill Davis
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:43:32 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:45:17 pm

Huh?

-12 db nominal is the correct baseline standard for digital mastering the last time I checked.

if you have digital audio that's between -6 and zero - it may not be technically over-modulated but you're functioning with very little to no digital headroom and real digital over-modulation is totally catastrophic for audio.

It seems to me that the program is doing precisely what I'd want it to do.

If I saw that, I wouldn't be concerned, i'd be RELIEVED.

What am I missing here?

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:37:41 pm

[Bill Davis] "It seems to me that the program is doing precisely what I'd want it to do. "

This is in no way what FCP X should be doing. By any stretch of the imagination.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:42:56 pm

[Bill Davis] "It seems to me that the program is doing precisely what I'd want it to do. "

Then you should be using iMovie, which will mix for you. :-) Even iMovie requires the user to tell the app how much to duck the competing clips though. There's some other issue here...

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Michael Lynch
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 9:08:37 pm

Hmmm...reimported, chose "remove silent channels" and unchecked "analyze and fix audio problems".
The actual clip imported at a lower level peaking at -12. From the timeline it peaks at -18. With volume level maxed, it to peaks at -6, which is fine, as I set it to -12, but again, I don't know why the discrepancy from browser to timeline. Will keep testing. Thanks for all of your input, it is appreciated!

-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Andy Neil
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 9:40:55 pm

When you reimported, did it get rid of the other 3 channels or are they still there? The point I'm getting at is if they aren't really silent, but just low and at an opposite phase or close to of Ch 1, then there could be some kind of cancellation going on when it's dropped into the timeline.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Michael Lynch
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:20:25 pm

It dropped one and imported 3, one with good audio and 2 with nothing I can hear. I opened the clip in the timeline and deleted the extra tracks. Issue still exists.

-----------------------------------------------Michael Lynch |Electronic Media Producer
Washington State University College of Nursing
MacPro 2014; 6 core; 16G RAM; FCPX


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:21:34 am

Select the clip in the browser, de-activate the unused channels in the Inspector, then set Pan Mode to Stereo. Does that solve the issue?

- Ronny


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Drew Hayes
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on May 23, 2016 at 8:16:04 pm

Running into exactly this same problem. Took Ronny's suggestion. Still getting consistently -6db lower levels in timeline than in browser. Here's an image of my settings.

I can work around the issue, but would love to know what is going on here.

-Drew


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on May 25, 2016 at 3:19:43 pm

[Drew Hayes] "but would love to know what is going on here."

I'd say it's because you have the panning set to STEREO, even though it's merely a single MONO track. Therefore splitting the sum across the two channels of your STEREO project... equals half the volume? Have you tried switching to mono panning??

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 1, 2016 at 4:13:23 pm

I actually spoke to someone "in the know" and yes, it would certainly appear to be a bug and has been filed.

I fiddled with it a bit and found that if you are e.g. getting -4dB initially in the event and -10dB in the project, then change the panning of the clip in the event, it changes to -10dB in the event as well. If you reselect it, it plays at -4dB again.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bill Davis
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 4, 2016 at 7:25:18 pm

Do a web search on: FCP X Pan Law.

Any 6db anomaly - that's the trigger that it's pan law related.

T. Peyton has written extensively on why this happens and what you can do to fix it.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 4, 2016 at 8:02:15 pm

To be more precise… I take it you're referring to THIS: https://twitter.com/tpayton/status/704789195043155968 ?

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bill Davis
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 5, 2016 at 1:10:45 am

T did quite a bit more writing on the Pan Law than just that tweet - basically talking about how the different approaches to panning and summing signals - and when it's appropriate to apply additional gain to a summed signal.

My take away was that it's a bit of a conditional and somewhat fluid problem.

If the math yields a 6db drop in the summed result, I can easily manually correct for that and there's no chance of screwing anything up.

But if I design a circuit that sums - then automatically applies additional gain to the result to somewhat normalize the summed result - what happens when a component of the original channel is super close to digital clipping? Is the sum/boost cycle going to send me into digital clipping? If so that could be a MUCH worse problem.

Thankfully, I've never had to figure that out.

The reason I referenced T's work, is that I've just never found any of the sound handling I've encountered in X to be a problem I can't VERY easily fix.
This is kinda in that category to me. So I've largely ignored it.

But it's good to get the info out about how to deal with it if it bothers somebody. And it's not imaginary. It's the math.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 5, 2016 at 7:21:15 am

[Bill Davis] "T did quite a bit more writing on the Pan Law than just that tweet"

Then I think a link would be in order? Since that's the closest I got via the big G.


[Bill Davis] "My take away was that it's a bit of a conditional and somewhat fluid problem."

Actually, from what I'm told and what I'm understanding, the original problem isn't a bug, no. Unfortunately, for some annoying reason, I'm unable to edit my previous post to reword it accordingly, since I think it misrepresents what I actually meant. What's most definitely a bug is what I described is happening in the event.

But as far as the OP's discrepancy is concerned, I'm told "You could automatically raise the volume when you drop a mono clip into a stereo timeline, but probably people don't actually want that to happen. It is left the same (split sum, as I eluded to in my first post) so if at any point switched back to mono you won’t get distortion, as you would/are likely to if it WERE automatically raised." Which was my initial thinking, makes sense, and basically coincides with what T. is apparently talking about (somewhere) in more detail, yes.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Matt Wilson
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on May 31, 2017 at 7:17:21 am

Hey Guys,

I'm reviving this old post because the 6 db difference can also be seen between audio playing in the FCPX timeline and the same clip playing in Adobe Audition. Audition has it at 6 db louder. So I guess my question is, which is the accurate one?, and assuming that Audition is accurate, is there a problem with doing your initial volume levels for a film edit in FCPX and then once you take the film project over to Audition, will you have some of the clips actually clipping?

For example, imagine you cut a scene where an actor is screaming. Maybe you bring the audio up to -6db while working in FCPX. Upon transfer, will it be clipping in Audition? Obviously you could adjust that actor's level down in Audition, but now the relative volumes of that actor compared to other sound in the scene is off. So assuming Audition is the true volume, can you merely do a global volume/level decrease by - 6 db, on all clips, as you begin your Audition session, and would that keep all the sounds the same relative to each other?

Would also be curious if anyone heard anything from Apple on this issue?

Thanks,
Matt


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Matt Wilson
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 2, 2017 at 3:33:22 am

May have found answer to my question: as I used X to CC to bring FCPX project into Adobe Audition, it was duplicating all stereo clips, yielding 2 clips in Audition(on separate tracks) for each one in FCPX. When I deleted one of the duplicates, the db level in Audition reduced by 6 db and matched the FCPX db level. The duplicated clips were labeled separately as left channel and right channel. I deleted the right channel to fix db issue, but the clip still played with meters showing left and right channel levels and sound came out of both left and right speakers, so assuming all is good here. The good news is that the timeline db level is the one that is transferred over via XML, and not the browser, so your timeline volume level adjustments should be accurate when you go to Audition for proper mixing.

Small note, mono clips came over into audition without being duplicated, but they too were 6db higher, so I figure I can just manually adjust those clips down by 6 db upon importing XML to Audition.


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Matt Wilson
Re: Clip louder in browser than in timeline
on Jun 7, 2017 at 7:51:58 am

Problem solved for those experiencing FCPX files playing 6 db louder in Audition. I was using X to CC (formerly Xto7), and that was bringing the files into Audition at 6 db louder. I spoke with one of guys at X to CC producer Intelligent Assistance and he recommended taking the X to CC converted XML into Premiere, and then taking that into Audition. That did the trick.

Note: This was the first he had heard of X to CC having this issue for people going from FCPX to Audition via the X to CC software, but for those with the problem, go to Premiere first and you're all set.


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