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Audio Levels in Final Cut

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Neal Boyle
Audio Levels in Final Cut
on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:17:55 pm

When I import a CD into Final Cut it's really loud. I recently gave a radio station an audio clip from a programme I was editing. Their tech said just put it on a disk with tone so they could set the levels. I also made an audio CD so the director could listen to it. Two things bother me, first is that the levels as per normal TV broadcast are spot on but in a CD player I had to turn up the volume to get a decent listening level, which I could and it was clean. So what is the level that would be ideal for making an audio file a CD? The other thing is that on the radio broadcast I felt that the audio was noisy, almost like it had to be lifted too much, this could be their problem but just to be sure anyone know what levels I should go for? FYI this was before the programme was mixed as it's still in offline, but this was just voice and atmos and levels were bang on.

Thanks for your help.
Neal


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Shane Ross
Re: Audio Levels in Final Cut
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:25:23 pm

Audio from CDs or just as files that I download from music library sites is always close to peaking at 0. That's the max level it goes to.

Audio for broadcast needs to peak no more than -12db...some allow you to go as high as -10db. But that's it. And yes, it is noticably quieter.

There isn't a uniform level for CD and broadcast.

Shane
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John Pale
Re: Audio Levels in Final Cut
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:33:43 pm

If you want it to really have the same...oomph....as a typical radio spot, you'll probably want to add a healthy dose of compression to it. You might want to play with the compression filter in Soundtrack Pro.


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Neal Boyle
Re: Audio Levels in Final Cut
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:47:09 pm

I know nothing of sound mixing, I send everything out to an audio post company. This was a one off and as in all cases want everything to be perfect, but audio post is a gap in my knowledge. I guess its time to open soundtrack and muck around.

Thanks for the tips.
N


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Mark Spano
Re: Audio Levels in Final Cut
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:44:12 pm

Neal,

Radio typically wants full range levels (average -8 to -12, peaks at 0 dBFs) and 44.1 kHz while TV wants a different range (average -20, peaks -8 to -10 dBFs OR average -24 LKFs). If you're handing over spots to radio, they'll usually accept it on CD or as MP3 files - these should be mastered so that it's not too compressed, and the peak levels hit 0 dBFs.

I assume the reason is because radio is sequencing songs (ripped from CD, peaks at 0) with everything else, so they'd rather not have to do any gain processing on your stuff.



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