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Sound Normalization with FCP

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Fredy Schwerdtner
Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 14, 2011 at 3:26:31 pm

Hi There,
I was searching around the forum for some knowledge about the application The Levelator.
I've found very "strong" discussions about the good of use it, and not. People saying to use an audio production house or hiring a sound designer and etc ….
I always come to Cow to get advices, tricks and tips from some guys that are in the editing industry for many years. I believe that those who are in the position of being that kind of a "Guru" are in reality, the minority, helping the rest to grow and survive in the business.
Even them (the gurus), in their very beginning, did not start working doing just the editing. I'm sure they also did like the most here, held the lights, cameras on shoulders and etc … to go running to their editing suite to finally finish a video.
So, in this scenario, budget is the leading and getting back to tracks …
I've try Levelator with a small piece of audio and I found out that it really takes care of the level of the audio and nothing goes over 0Db. It smoothes everything, almost flattened.
Now I ask. how about if I need to insert a SFX (door slamming, car passing, explosions ) which usually is there "to make a point", impress or scaring the audience ? Normally it sounds louder. But if I have to stay on 0Db it wouldn't "make a point". In that case, should I decrease the level of the dialogs normalized by Levelator ?

Thank you all in advance !
Fredy.

MacBook Pro 17"
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
(2) External HD LaCieMac (400/800 FW and USB)with 500GB -(2) USB External HD Western Digital (in cases) with 750GB
OS X 10.6.5
Final Cut Studio "3"


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 14, 2011 at 3:39:51 pm

Why does it need to be loud to make a point? Don't such things typically occur at breaks in dialogue?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Paul Figgiani
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 14, 2011 at 4:09:19 pm

Fredy,

The Levelator is designed for spoken word audio processing.

http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator

-paul.


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Fredy Schwerdtner
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 14, 2011 at 4:18:20 pm

That's what I will have. A presentation with 2 actors. The SFX desired are to make more intense sometimes ...

MacBook Pro 17"
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
(2) External HD LaCieMac (400/800 FW and USB)with 500GB -(2) USB External HD Western Digital (in cases) with 750GB
OS X 10.6.5
Final Cut Studio "3"


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Michael Gissing
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 14, 2011 at 9:28:22 pm

Digital audio stops at 0dbfs. That is the loudest it goes. A typical broadcast program has no peak signals above -10dbfs.

If your presentation is not for broadcast then you can have levels that go up to 0dbfs. The door slam will not sound dramatic unless the dialog levels are lower than the spot FX. For broadcast, we use really good compressor/limiters which can cap the peak level but still make something seem loud and dynamic. FCP is not an audio finishing tool which is why Apple have bundled Sound Track pro which is much better at audio finishing and has some reasonable compressor limiters.

All that said, the reason why many of us recommend putting the audio to a pro sound person is the knowledge of how to drive such software.


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Andy Mees
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 15, 2011 at 6:34:34 am

[Michael Gissing] "ll that said, the reason why many of us recommend putting the audio to a pro sound person is the knowledge of how to drive such software"

I'm think I'm going to have to marry Michael and force him to have my children ... they may not be pretty (or even human) but they will make good telly.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 15, 2011 at 6:55:10 am

[Andy Mees] "I'm think I'm going to have to marry Michael and force him to have my children"

No need for force Andy.


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Andy Mees
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 15, 2011 at 7:16:05 am

Hee ... ah, thank goodness for keyboard protection.


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Fredy Schwerdtner
Re: Sound Normalization with FCP
on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:39:25 pm

Thanks Michael. You did explain it well and You've stated very professionally.
thanks.

MacBook Pro 17"
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
(2) External HD LaCieMac (400/800 FW and USB)with 500GB -(2) USB External HD Western Digital (in cases) with 750GB
OS X 10.6.5
Final Cut Studio "3"


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