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Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation

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Nick Griffin
Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation
on Dec 5, 2013 at 9:36:00 pm

In the timeline controls in MC for audio WHAT is the difference between "Volume" and "Clip Gain?" In the audio world, where I started, these were essentially the same thing. So what does "Volume" do since I use Clip Gain keyframes for audio levels??


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Pat Horridge
Re: Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation
on Dec 6, 2013 at 9:23:15 am

As with most things in Media Composer it's to allow you multiple ways of doing the same task.
So you can use keyframes to adjust the audio level but you can also use the audio mixer, and best of all you can use both.
So if you've neatly ridden a section of audio with keyframes and then decide the whole section needs to come up or down a bit instead of having to lasso all the keyframes and move them all you can adjust that clip in the audio mixer.
And since V7 you now have a small mixer fader at the start of each clip.

Pat Horridge
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Job ter Burg
Re: Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation
on Dec 6, 2013 at 10:16:20 am

There is no simple answer, sorry.

Clip Gain works on clips and segments, for the duration of the clip or segment. You can use clip gain to set the level for an entire clip that is loaded into the source monitor. You can change the clip gain for any clip or several clips in a bin by selecting "Clip->Apply Gain". You would typically use it to bring the levels of fully normalized music tracks down by 9 or 10 dB to bring them closer into the realm of broadcast/post levels.

'Volume' used to be called Automation Gain, and in the Audio Mixer, it still is labeled as Auto. AutoGain is keyframable, by placing and manipulating keyframes in the timeline, but you can also record a manual mix session using the Auto section of the Audio Mixer. This will let you ride the levels and record whatever you do (basically generating a whole bunch of keyframes).

They are not necessarily two paths to the same goal. They are more like any typical audio mixer, where you will have an input gain knob per channel as well as a channel fader. You just happen to now have both of these on any clip or segment. Changing very hot music files is typically something you'd do with Clip Gain. Making an actual mix is more what you would do using AutoGain/Volume. But different folks use different methods, of course.

Also realize the order in which sound is routed in MC. Any clip will go FIRST into Clip Gain, then into AudioSuite, then into EQ, then into the track's RTAS, then into Automation Gain, then into the Master bus.

It is important to realize, because for instance if you have a clip in your timeline and you have an audio compressor on it, raising the Clip Gain will raise the INPUT signal to the compressor (thereby raising the amount of compression), while using AutoGain will raise the OUTPUT signal of the already compressed signal (not increasing compression amount at all, but raising output levels). In cases where you would use a brickwall limiter, you can easily tell why it would be important to know which happens first, because using AutoGain would then let you raise levels beyond that brickwall.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation
on Dec 6, 2013 at 12:21:51 pm

Gentlemen-
Thanks to you both for two excellent explanations. I had not thought of the audio controls in the context of a mix console where there is an input trim and a level fader. Makes perfect sense now.


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Michael Rothenberg
Re: Please tell me the SIMPLE explanation
on Jun 27, 2014 at 7:24:47 pm

Fantastic succint explanation of Avid audio. Thank you!

Michael Rothenberg
Peak Productions


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