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What is the maximum audio db level for DVD Video?

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Dave Kidd
What is the maximum audio db level for DVD Video?
on Jun 16, 2005 at 10:33:53 am

Hi there,

I have been editing video footage and creating DVDs for a guitar tution company and I was wondering what is the suggested/recommended maximum audio level for DVD authoring. I've been capping it at -5db, but have seen people suggest -6db, so I wanted to check if I was breaking any golden rules here??!!

I work with both PAL and NTSC formats, but I thought I'd ask just in case there was some recognised broadcast standard as such and if it is -6db, why?

Any advice would be gratefully received and thanks in advance :)

Regards

Dave


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Pierre-Luc
Re: What is the maximum audio db level for DVD Video?
on Jun 16, 2005 at 3:27:55 pm

The absolute maximum for digital audio (Not only DVD-Video) is 0dB, BUT, you'll never see a stream maintain this level. There's not a fixed standard level for digital audio, but generally it varies between -14dB and -6dB. All depends of your audio content, you must keep an headroom for peaks and high level sequences. If this is a hardcore action movie with many peaks, you'll keep your level lower, such as -14dB, and if all is about music (Your case), you can keep it at -8dB or -6dB, since peaks are not too high and more much smooth (Well, depends of kind of music!).

Pete


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Dave Friend
Re: What is the maximum audio db level for DVD Video?
on Jun 16, 2005 at 6:57:38 pm

Dave,

For video production in general there is a "SMPTE Recommended Practice" that specifies an absolute max peak of -9dbfs. That's for the NTSC world. European/PAL standard operating proceedures may be different by a few db, but I'm not sure about that. Most of the major networks in the U.S. go by this standard. Why? This level results in an acceptable RMS level when converted to analog by AES/EBU compliant D/A decoders.

Hope this helps.

Dave


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