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For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?

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Noam Osband
For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 11, 2015 at 5:02:49 pm

In 7, when something wasn't loud enough, I sometimes laid down the audio track twice in the timeline. With X, is there ever a reason to do that or should I just use the loudness feature in audio enhancements? I assume I should just use audio enhancements, but maybe there is a detail I don't know about.

As always, thanks guys.


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Charlie Austin
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 11, 2015 at 5:22:39 pm

[Noam Osband] "but maybe there is a detail I don't know about.
"


Use the loudness enhancement, same as Gain in 7.

What not a lot of people using 7 seem to know is that there's no need to double stuff up. If you're cutting in 7 Just go to Modify-Audio-Gain and reset it. +1 is usually plenty

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

~ 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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John Davidson
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 11, 2015 at 6:17:09 pm
Last Edited By John Davidson on May 11, 2015 at 6:17:46 pm

If it's super low, you can always throw the logic / compressor effect on a clip and that'll give you an additional gain option. Sometimes though, everything is just too loud and lower clips are getting buried. In that case, select all and lower everything except the quieter clip. Then just bring up your master volume and voila, you've made it louder.

It's a bit like the old Rodney Dangerfield 'If you look fat in pictures, just surround yourself with fatter people' gag.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Mark Suszko
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 11, 2015 at 7:34:15 pm

I think the "doubling down of the audio" trick started way back when to deal with a different problem. Namely, low audio caused by phase-canceling or from a single track that only had a left or right channel. Using it instead of a gain or compression setting invites future troubles if the audio gets even a frame out of synch.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 11, 2015 at 8:31:44 pm

Also, the audio would have to be phenomenally low if you need to go beyond the +12db that you can apply to a track right off the bat. I'm not in front of my computer but if you hunt for it, I'm sure fcpx also has a gain plugin that you could use to add another 12db on top of that. From memory it's not called anything as helpful as 'gain' though.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Bret Williams
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 12, 2015 at 1:52:05 am

I dunno. When audio guys are extremely conservative leaving 20db of headroom, and it's recorded on one channel, you're left with a ton of headroom, especially after you pan it to center. For broadcast your peaks might be -12, but that's really low for the Internet or DVD where there's no reason not to use the full range. But there is a gain effect. That's how I bring the up if the +12 isn't enough.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 12, 2015 at 6:03:59 am

That's probably true. I usually aim for about -6db with web video.... But I've been wondering lately, given that web content is just as likely to be consumed on a television, if it shouldn't be mastered to broadcast levels? I know what sort of bad language I use when my TV speakers start distorting because of really high audio levels on YouTube or Vimeo.

Each to their own on the web, I guess...

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Neil Paisnel
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on May 12, 2015 at 12:15:53 pm

I don't know why , or how, but some tracks that I increased the gain on using the 'Loudenss and Uniformity ' on, lost sync with the video.

Very weird.

hundreds of clips over 8 or more nights, all shot on a Canon 5D3.
None of the audio was EVER detached from the video.

yet randomly after applying Audio Enhancements Loudness and Uniformity, they would go out of sync on export.

I know, no connection you woudl ahve thought, but only clips that i had used this function went out of sync.

I was doing very little.
Draggin raw clips from browser,to timeline, adjsuting audio and exporting the timeline. Out of onlyu happened two or three times, out of hundereds of clips, and only where this enhancement was used.

I recorded 'dual mono' voices on stage on one track and musiicains on the other track, in camera via a mix desk.

If you do need more than 12 db for extermely low sections, then split the audio components then raise each individual track seperately. then when 'colapsed back' to the video, you cna rais it again on the whol clip.
If desperate to get yet more, I suppose you could nest the low clip within a compund clip, the raise the level of the compound too.


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Simon Billington
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on Jun 16, 2015 at 2:07:07 am

The trouble with audio recorded at such a low level is that ultimately the volume/gain needs to be jacked back up to compensate, this will most likely produce a noisier track. The only thing you can do from there is reduce the noise, but that only works to some degree.

Ideally, aiming for peaks to be hitting somewhere between -6 & -12dBFS (thereabouts) would be a better target level, leaving enough room for most peak excursions. You could possibly get away with higher levels if you were in a more controlled environment.

But that doesn’t help you now.

Boosting volume, or duplicating tracks will only help to some degree. You can get more volume at energy out of a track if you add a bit of processing as well.



This plugin is actually quite popular with some people working post. It's simple to use and much easier to achieve more desirable audio results. It allows you to control the overall peak level, while bringing up the overall energy, or body of the signal.

A similar effect can be achieved with other audio plugins, but takes much more time and knowledge to setup. If you like, i could detail the process.

A little bit of denoising with a good algorithm and some eq wouldn’t go astray either. In general, you would want to denoise before processing the rest of the signal


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Paul Figgiani
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on Jun 16, 2015 at 3:51:55 am

I find it interesting that a huge number of video editors are still fixed on a mind set that no longer makes any sense, especially if you are distributing right from the Timeline.

The bottom line is Peak Amplitude is not in any way an accurate representation of Perceived Loudness. The -6dB/-12dB Peak ceiling that many people adhere to is really nothing more than a representation of proportional voltage, aka the signal level. PPM meters (included in FCPX) not only display this signal level, they also display any potential instances of clipping when things hit or pass 0dBFS. That's really their sole purpose.

From a general perspective, two or more clips with the same exact Peak Ceiling will almost certainly differ in perceived Loudness.

We now have Loudness Standards/Targets for Broadcast Distribution (EBU R128, ATSC A/85, etc). We also have recommended targets for Internet Mobile distribution. Video editors need to learn how to use a Loudness Meter to monitor and mix to the necessary targets. Specifically - Program or "Integrated" Loudness. This is an accurate representation of Perceived Loudness over time for an entire piece of audio. There are additional descriptors including a True Peak Ceiling.

Bottom line is if you need to boost levels and target properly, use something like the Waves Plugin that was previously mentioned. There are many other tools and methods. Then use a Loudness Meter to meet the desired targets relative to the delivery platform and/or method of distribution.

-paul.
@produceNewMedia


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Simon Billington
Re: For raising audio, should I use the loudness enhancement or is there any logic to just laying down the audio track twice?
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:40:53 am

Exactly.

It appears that the peaks of this project were hitting -20dBFS, which is just way to low, but there's nothing we can do about it in hindsight.

I meantioned a rough peak target only so they can capture the loudest possible signal, something that is even more crucial since many cameras and field recording devices are still recording at 16bit. Once you have a good signal though, there is still more you need to do in order bring up the overall loudness. It becomes even more challenging, however, if the signals have been recorded too low, as I alluded to earlier.

Asides from the plugin above, which is the easiest approach, there are other ways you can massage a signal to achieve a more desired effect, but it does take more illumination, education and training. That said, any editor interested could potentially do it, just as they can learn how to color grade.

One other tool that anyone editors or sound engineers doing audio post may find useful is Waves Vocal Rider. It's not just useful for music production, but can help tame a dynamic audio signal. It's a bit more tricky than the MV2 to use, but both could be used together to achieve an even more desirable result.

As always, care must be taken not to bring up the noise too far in the track while processing.


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