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Audio output for Australian broadcast from FCP

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Lisa Newton
Audio output for Australian broadcast from FCP
on May 7, 2012 at 4:50:35 am

I'm uploading a TVC (via Adstream) edited in FCP7 for Australian broadcast.
The Adstream specs require the reference dBFS to be -20 and the Max peak dBFS to be -9.

I have a couple of questions:

Is the 'reference dBFS' like and average reading? ie should the bulk of the audio be hovering around the -20 mark?

Is there a way of setting these values in FCP or is it a matter of manually adjusting the musicbed & VO to fit in this range, just by watching the meter?


It's probably obvious that audio is not my strong suit, but I was taught (by a colleague who no longer works with me) to keep my audio mix in the upper end of the meter, without peaking, and to put an AU peak limiter on my final export with the following settings:
attack time 0.02
release time 0.02
pre-gain 0
limiting amount 10

Generally that works out fine but recently I noticed that an ad that went to air seemed quiet in comparison to the ads either side of it.
I would really appreciate any advice on getting maximum volume for broadcast without exceeding the Adstream specs.

Thanks :)


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Neil Patience
Re: Audio output for Australian broadcast from FCP
on May 7, 2012 at 11:25:04 am

The reference refers to reference tone at -20
so add 30 secs of 1K tone at -20 at the head.
Make sure nothing peaks higher than -9
That gives you an 11db range so try to work towards the top of that without peaking but keeping a good balance.
Ads are very often fairly highly compressed so appear "louder" even though they dont peak above -9
That may be why yours sounded relatively quieter.
Ideally you need some PPM meters to get this totally correct.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Lisa Newton
Re: Audio output for Australian broadcast from FCP
on May 8, 2012 at 12:29:00 am

Thanks Neil...I just wish I understood your advice. Might be time for some training in audio.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Audio output for Australian broadcast from FCP
on May 8, 2012 at 1:27:00 am

Yes Australia has a weird setup of -20 dbfs 1khz tone which is the SMPTE standard and maximum peaks to -9dbfs which is the EBU standard.

Loudness is another matter. FCP really hasn't got decent compressor limiters so you are better off finalising the audio in Sound Track Pro and putting a compressor and limiter. Setting the limiter to -10dbfs is a good idea, in case of a slight overshoot.

Most audio post people like me have proper metering, dbfs, PPM and loudness plus years of experience to judge the compression and limiting to get our material sounding the correct loudness for broadcast. Using FCP you will struggle to come close and without a proper mix and monitoring environment you are largely guessing. You could always send you mix file to a facility to do a final compress limit pass.


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