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Can some explain "average audio level"

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john sklba
Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 29, 2010 at 9:49:06 pm

I'm editing a program and the audio must "have an average audio level between 4.5 and 5.5 ppm" (which is like -10 thru -12 on the FCP level). Does this mean that the levels should always fall between the range of 4.5 and 5.5 at all times or am I misunderstanding this concept?

Thanks for any help.


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Chris Borjis
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:13:24 pm

they can be lower but should not exceed that level.



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walter biscardi
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:16:57 pm

[john sklba] "I'm editing a program and the audio must "have an average audio level between 4.5 and 5.5 ppm" (which is like -10 thru -12 on the FCP level). Does this mean that the levels should always fall between the range of 4.5 and 5.5 at all times or am I misunderstanding this concept?"

This means that the majority of the show should fall within this range.

You should also have an absolute max and minimum level you are allowed to hit for normal dialogue. FCP is not well suited for audio compression and mixing though. For Broadcast work, we send our work out to a ProTools engineer for audio mixing, although we'll have a ProTools rig ourselves shortly.

You can also try SoundTrack Pro and see how the mixing tools are in there.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" Winner, Best Documentary, LA Reel Film Festival...

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john sklba
Re: Can some explain
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:32:18 pm

I guess I'm doing my mixing right then. I'm sending everything to soundtrack this time around and its saving untold hours of my life, but I really dislike my results.

To make a long story short the waveforms aren't visible in FCP, the levels are just that low to start. I export an aiff, then send it all into soundtrack and I'm mostly getting crappy background noise filling up the sound levels. There is no audio besides moaning and groaning and its infrequent at best. Besides adding music, is there anything else I can do to make it sound better and reduce the random noises that make up most of my audio?

PS. CC has been amazing at helping me learn things. Walter I am honored by you responding to my first post. You have been incredibly helpful in your responses.


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Jason Brown
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 2:08:24 pm

I have something I was going to post independently...but I think it fits here.

I don't do any broadcast, all of my work is for in-house productions. But in regards to audio levels...I always have to reduce the level of music tracks - (Network audio CD's - downloaded royalty free tracks - Firstcom downloads).

I remember on my old AVID Meridien that I had to reduce by -7db before I even did anything. If I leave them at 0 in FCP, they are distorted on playback and I have to take them down about -6 or -7 to sound good...is this a common workflow? Am I doing something wrong?

-Jason

P.S.

[john sklba] "CC has been amazing at helping me learn things. Walter I am honored by you responding..."

John, you'll find this forum to be FILLED with talented and knowledgeable people. It astounds me how much I've learned here...I try to give back when I can. I'll take this opportunity to add a thanks to walter and others for all the "professional development" I've gotten from CC over the years! :)


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 2:24:14 pm

Jason,

All Audio CD tracks are way hot for FCP audio levels. We too lower the db on all music tracks from the original.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Jason Brown
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 3:10:06 pm

How much? I've been using -6db...but think -7 would work too.

Is there a way to batch process multiple music tracks this way? (doing it in the browser...not in the timeline)

-Jason


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 3:18:01 pm

Just set your levels as needed.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Chris Borjis
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 5:50:30 pm

[Jason Brown] "How much? I've been using -6db...but think -7 would work too."

it all depends on how compressed it is.

lower it until it gets to the average area.

I'm surprised the number of "film" student graduates who submit tv spots or music videos for airing with audio slammed at zero.



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Chris Linke
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:30:24 pm

I'm surprised at the number of supposedly "professional" post houses that send files for broadcast tape output with audio levels peaking at zero.

Chris Linke
PRC Digital Media
http://www.prcdigital.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Can some explain "average audio level"
on Dec 31, 2010 at 12:29:13 pm

Audio CDs are compressed to get maximum audio level throughout the entire song, same with purchased CDs from a store.

You need to drop the audio as needed for your piece. Louder if it's stand alone music, quieter if it runs underneath narration or interviews.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" Winner, Best Documentary, LA Reel Film Festival...

Blog Twitter Facebook


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