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AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device

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Jesse Selwyn
AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 14, 2012 at 10:13:29 pm

I'm frequently exporting client videos for YouTube and have never had an issue with audio or visual quality when played back on a computer or mobilve device.

However, on my current project, when the video plays back on a mobile device, the dialogue is garbled/muffled. It's ONLY the dialogue, and you can't understand what is being said at all.
Music track + SFX sound perfectly fine.
... and ALL the audio (music + dialogue + SFX) sounds perfectly normal when streamed from a computer.

Exporting H264 / AAC 44.1kHZ

Any ideas why the dialogue only would be garbled on a mobile device?
Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 14, 2012 at 10:49:00 pm

What were your peak dB levels on the timeline? They should be nowhere near 0. They should be between -12dB and -6dB

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jesse Selwyn
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 14, 2012 at 10:50:46 pm

They were up near about -2.
But I just thought about that - dropped everything by -6db and trying a new export.

If the levels were too hot, could it effect the dialogue only?


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Shane Ross
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:30:35 pm

It affects the audio that is peaking. If the music bed is lower, it won't distort.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Gissing
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 15, 2012 at 1:13:22 am

Put the entire mix through a decent compressor limiter (if you haven't already) and set peaks around -10 dbfs. The tiny toy speakers in mobile devices cannot handle volume or dynamic material. Dialog can be very dynamic and as Shane points out, it is likely the loudest material in the mix.

Also some devices have volume limiters which will act like a poor compressor. The sum total of all this is to control your mix dynamics and not use full range of the digital signal. Full range digital signals can also further distort when data compressed as aac or mp3, particularly at low data rates.


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Jesse Selwyn
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:24:32 am

Thanks for the help - it turns out the dialogue levels weren't the culprit.

It was a strange issue of panning... FCP defaults audio pans to -1.
After trying a million other things, I randomly center panned all the dialogue and ran a quick export and upload test. Watched it on mobile and - CLEAR dialogue.

Center panning it lowered the overall volume quite a bit, so I had to boost everything to get it back up to par. It must have to do with the way it was recorded, which was out of my control.

I didn't know panning could have such a muffling effect like that - and on mobile only.
Very strange issue, but...

SOLVED!


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Bret Williams
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 15, 2012 at 5:27:40 pm

Muffled? Sounds like a out of phase type issue, which would leave alone music and sound effects for the most part.

If the voice was dual mono and out of phase and then you panned the tracks together, the voice would pretty much disappear. But if it were say a lab and a boom and it were out of phase and panned together you'd get a garbled muffled sort of problem. And since iPhones and iPads are center panning stereo material, that's when you'd hear it.

As far as levels, everything you download and buy commercially is going to be peaking as close to zero as possible. And things like films have some pretty dramatic changes. Devices don't distort that. I originally read your post as distortion/over modulation issue. But muffled? And having to bring up the levels when you center pan sounds like a phase thing. Delete a channel, and pan the remaining channel and see what you get.


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Erick Puentes
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jul 20, 2012 at 7:52:44 pm

I think I am having a similar issue as far as "phasing". This is my first encounter with this so if anybody can walk me though it I'd appreciate it. I apologize is this is a simple fix. I'll give a little detail.

I shoot product demos with my Canon HF S200. When I import the video into FCP7, the audio tracks look like stereo but they are two mono tracks. I tried to unlink stereo pair and then proceeded to delete one of the tracks (right track deleted). Now the left track remains but only plays out of the left side. I played with the panning and it has no effect of the track.

I'm obviously doing something wrong but can't figure it out. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!


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Dave Donaldson
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Aug 2, 2013 at 1:16:09 am

I have this same problem recently. Here is a link to the project I just did. Coming out of the desktop or laptop, no problem. Coming out of my ipad, no problem. Coming out through my iPhone 4S it only plays the sound fx and music. But if I put in earbuds I can hear everything. The volume is pretty low and I understand that. But I'd like to troubleshoot this I case it happens again to me or anybody. Here's the link. Watch from the desktop first, then watch from a phone.







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Toby Younis
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Oct 10, 2014 at 4:52:42 pm

This video explains a similar problem I had, and how I fixed it.







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Dave Donaldson
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Aug 2, 2013 at 1:16:34 am

I have this same problem recently. Here is a link to the project I just did. Coming out of the desktop or laptop, no problem. Coming out of my ipad, no problem. Coming out through my iPhone 4S it only plays the sound fx and music. But if I put in earbuds I can hear everything. The volume is pretty low and I understand that. But I'd like to troubleshoot this I case it happens again to me or anybody. Here's the link. Watch from the desktop first, then watch from a phone.







Adobe Premier CS6


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Jesse Selwyn
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Aug 2, 2013 at 2:57:53 am

Did you try changing the panning?
Center panning all tracks fixed this issue for me.


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Kaileen Fitzpatrick
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Aug 31, 2014 at 3:01:51 am

This is most likely a phase issue. I just worked through this same problem tonight, thanks to Brian Collins, who said this:

"I have a client who did a short video on their own and ended up doing the same thing. The clip sounded fine on his computer but almost no sound when posted online. The reason it sounds fine on your PC is that you are listening on a stereo setup. Two discreet audio feeds are being sent to separate speakers. At the showing, the PA setup was mono. They summed the two audio channels into on signal path and the two channels canceled each other out.
Think of it this way... an audio signal is a wave. If both channels are phased correctly, the two channels will simply be added together with no decernable effect. If the two are out of sync, the equal but opposite signals will cancel each other out. 1-1=0. Capiche? The problem is figuring out where one of the signals got reversed. It could have been done when you edited the program. It could have been a impropperly wired cable at your client's presentation or the audio guy could have reversed the phase on one channel on the pa system...."

http://www.videomaker.com/forum/topic/audio-channelscancelling-each-other-o...

I had all audio recorded on one day out of phase with itself. so these particular audio clips would not play back in my video, but many others would and of course the soundstrack and effects. What i did, in Premiere CS6, was take my stereo out-of-phase-with-itself audio tracks and panned them hard left, soloed the tracks, exported a mono aac (audio only), re-imported that into premiere and just settled for the mono voice-over.

hope this helps.

Kaileen


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Tom Thistlethwaite
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Dec 9, 2013 at 11:53:32 am

I had this problem too - and it does appear to be a phase issue from a mono source split into an out of phase stereo pair when recorded. With headphones or speakers you don't notice it, but when an iPhone recombines the two to play out of it's mono speaker I think you get the garbling. By deleting either the right or left channel and then centre panning it, the problem should be solved.


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Wardell Parker
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 6, 2015 at 9:25:47 pm

Okay, this problem has a deeper weirder side ... perhaps part of some government conspiracy.

I've captured a program live with Wirecast Studio while simultaneously recording to tape on a Sony DVR
The entire program auto posts to my YouTube channel and plays just fine on desktop and mobile.
I play a small section of the program from the Sony DVR tape and use Wirecast Studio to capture it to the hard drive
I upload that small section and the audio plays just fine on desktop ... but sounds garbled when played from mobile.

Explain THAT!

PS: The Truth is Out There!


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Shane Ross
Re: AUDIO: Dialogue garbled ONLY on mobile device
on Jun 6, 2015 at 10:32:50 pm

How high are the audio levels? The mobile device might not be able to handle the volume level. This is why we have standards as to how loud audio can be..because it can cause some devices or TVs to distort.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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