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audio output levels

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Beth Cramer
audio output levels
on Feb 24, 2009 at 1:50:15 am

My mixer wants to know what output levels I want for my final mix.
What should the output level be at for DVD distribution?
It's strange that I hear -6db for broadcast.
Isn't 0 utilizing all 16 bits? Anyway, can you clarify what I should set my output to be for DVD?

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Noah Kadner
Re: audio output levels
on Feb 24, 2009 at 6:50:13 am

Nope because if you go 1 db over 0 you are totally distorted. -6 or even -10 gives you a proper cushion against peaks.


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Dave Friend
Re: audio output levels
on Feb 24, 2009 at 2:56:14 pm


SMPTE recommended practice for digital audio sets a -9dBfs maximum peak. Probably more important to apparent loudness is where the mean peak is falling and what kind of dynamic range you want.

For my money keeping the narration peaking at -12dBfs with an absolute limit of -9dBfs produces good results.

BTW, you're always using 16 bits. It just that more of them might be set to 0 at lower levels.


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